Friday, December 30, 2016

Well, that sucked! Goodbye 2016!! And good riddance!

It's no secret 2016 sucked for a lot of reasons, but it also sucked for me personally because I was diagnosed with cancer. I feel pretty lucky I'm still here to tell the tale. Last winter/spring was a scary time to be me, but by June my treatment was well underway and I was getting better. I have a lot to be thankful for. Early detection and treatment saved my life. If I'd ignored it, it could have spread and caused me a lot more heartache.

Two other women I love battled cancer this year. One is gone now and the other is still in the midst of the fight. I could easily be there myself one day, but for now, I'm focused on living the best life possible. That means taking my meds and taking care of myself, including eating well and exercising. Did you know that drinking alcohol daily raises your cancer risk? I never drank much before, but now I have even more incentive not to.

But more than that, I have a renewed desire to travel. To see new places I've always heard about. I want to actually go there instead of putting it off to some magical future when I have loads of time and money. There is no such time. We only have today. This is it. This is what we get.

I read a great quote this year - we don't know how we'll die, but we can decide how we will live.

The way I want to live is this: I want the peace in my heart that comes from knowing I did all the things I wanted to and never lost my sense of adventure. I want to be a citizen of the world and I want my children to know that sense of wonder too.

For many years I've blogged about New Year's resolutions, but this year I spent a lot of time giving myself permission not to do a lot of things because I needed to rest and recuperate. For 2017, I only resolve to live. Really, truly live. I hope you do too~

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Crawdad Blog Tour

Happy New Year &Welcome to the Crawdad Book Blog Tour!

For the whole month of January, my new contemporary young adult novel Crawdad, will be featured on the blogs of some of my besties - authors and book bloggers who support the readers and writers of  diverseYA - and I couldn't be more pleased. I hope you can visit them all and enter the giveaway.  Here's the schedule:

Magic of the Muses - Eileen Schuh January 1
I Read too much! January 5
Rich in Variety January 8
Beth Fehlbaum Books January 15
CJ Burright January 22
Twinjas Book Reviews January 29

~About the Book~

Seventeen-year-old Jamil Ramos grew up on Alabama’s Gulf Coast believing his mom, Loretta, was his only living relative. She put a trumpet in his hands as a toddler and sparked his love of jazz. But when Loretta drops a bomb on Jamil from her deathbed- she’s not his mama and his daddy is still alive, living in Charleston, S.C. – his world is turned upside down.

Now, with the only mama he’s ever known gone and the Loyola University trumpet audition less than a week away, Jamil has trouble feeling his music. When his band teacher tells him to get it together, Jamil decides to hitchhike to South Carolina over to find his father and get his questions answered. All he has is a name –Leon Ramos.

Jamil relies on the kindness of the strangers he meets-a gay teen kicked out of his home, a runaway prostitute, and a street musician-as he makes his way across Florida and Georgia trying to avoid the cops along the way. But when Jamil is robbed of his most prized possession, his trumpet, his plans go anywhere but where he’d hoped. That trumpet was supposed to be his ticket for a scholarship, the only way to college his mama could give him. Lost and alone without it, Jamil wonders if finding his father is worth risking his future.

You can find Crawdad in print and e-book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads!

~About the Author~

Lisa T. Cresswell has been writing middle grade and young adult books for what seems like a mighty long time. She can never seem to make up her mind if she likes reality or fantasy, so she writes both. She also likes lemon jasmine green tea, dark chocolate almonds, and lots and lots of coffee. And of course, BOOKS. ALL THE BOOKS!! You can see all of her work at 

~Enter the Giveaway~

Enter to win one of three copies of Crawdad to be given away in January!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Life is too short.

Life is precious and life is too short.

Too short to let fear hold you back.

Too short to spend every day indoors.

Too short to hold grudges or be angry for long.

Too short for hate and prejudice.

Too short to hang onto your money.

Too short not to give.

Too short not to do the things you love, to find your passion.

Too short not to smell the flowers.

Too short not to let your loved ones know you care.

Your life is a precious gift you've been given. 
Live it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My next book cover reveal ~ Crawdad

I know I've been a little quiet this year, but I do have a surprise for you. I'm publishing a new novella titled Crawdad. It's a southern story, much like my first novel Hush Puppy, about a young man who goes on a cross country trek to find his dad after the woman he thought was his mom passes away.

The book is inspired a lot by what I've seen in the news over the last few years. Kids today are living in increasingly violent worlds, but many kids are not violent. They're just trying to do the best they can, you know? Full disclosure, I am a white woman of European descent, but I've always believed we are more alike than we are different and our stories are essentially the same. We are all born the same way, we grow up with hopes and dreams for our futures, and we all fall in love. We all experience pain and rejection at some point in our lives. If we're lucky, we experience great joy. As my character Recks says in my novel Vessel, "The outside doesn't matter. It's what's on the inside that counts." I truly believe that.

Crawdad is now available in print and e-book!

Book bloggers friends, if you'd like to host Crawdad during the book tour in December, sign up with 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A New Start ~ Vessel returns

I have news! My young adult, sci-fi, dystopian Vessel is returning in print. 

Call it Vessel 2.0 :)

You might recall, it was previously published as an e-book. I think that puts a book at a bit of a disadvantage, at least for young adult books. As technologically advanced as we think we are, print books are still in demand and many young readers only read print. Lesson learned!

If you haven't heard about the book before, it's the story of a slave girl and a thief who find themselves in a fight against the Reticents, a secret society that has claimed all knowledge for themselves after a solar storm wipes out all digital data on Earth.

So, now that the cover for the new edition is ready, I'd like to share it with you....

You can add Vessel to your Goodreads list now. 
The new print edition is available on Amazon

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's happening soon! Sign up for the cover reveal :)

I'm pretty excited about this new book of mine peeps! If you blog at all, sign up with Rich in Variety to reveal the cover on Nov. 30 or join the blog tour in December.

Crawdad is a multi-cultural, contemporary story set in the South. If  you loved Hush Puppy, I think you'll love this one too.

Here's a look at some the inspiration for Crawdad.
Sign up soon!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Just a few thoughts about fear~

There's been a lot of internet noise for the last few months, maybe even years, about "The Other". You know, the people who are different, the people who come from far away, the people we know nothing about, but who seem really scary and violent. The Other.

For many Americans, The Other seems to be the other 7 billion people on the planet. Some of those 7 billion are very poor. Some of them are dying right now in terrible wars they didn't start, probably didn't even want. Some of them have awful diseases we don't see in the United States because of access to health care and vaccines. Many of them are children who have done nothing except to be unfortunate enough to have been born in places that are not as safe (relatively speaking) as the United States.

What bothers me about this noise regarding The Other is the sense that people here seem to think "I've got mine. I don't need to help anyone else." This includes The Other in their own country as anyone who is poor, looks different, and perhaps is struggling in some way - the vet with PTSD, the person living out of their car, the beggar in the Walmart parking lot.

For those that fear The Other (make no mistake it's fear), there's no urgency to help their struggling fellow Americans, and certainly no desire to help refugees from other places. I've got mine. Go away. I hear the internet noise everyday and it makes my head hurt.

Fortunately, there are also many people in this world who are kind and generous and have less fear for whatever reason. They weren't raised to believe they needed a gun to protect themselves and their stuff. No one ever taught them "it's me against them". That gives me hope.

No matter how self reliant you are, there will come a day when you need help. It happens to everyone. Not just the poor or the less fortunate. Everyone.

As my cancer-surviving friend says "We're all terminal." One day, we will all get sick or hurt, maybe when we least expect it, and we'll find ourselves at the mercy of others for help. Maybe then we'll understand that struggling doesn't make you less of a person and it doesn't make you less worthy of care. It makes you human.

I feel sorry for those who feel such fear. For all our sakes, I hope they can find peace.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cover Reveal: Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin with Giveaway


Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin
presented by Entangled Teen!
Be on the lookout for this upcoming title, and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!
Life-Action Role Playing gamers, this one's for you!
Author, Casey Griffin's thoughts on the cover:
Talk about punch! The colors immediately grab my eye and the font is so fun and unruly. I feel like the combination of those two things makes the cover of Secrets of a Reluctant Princess striking. With the simple yet powerful design, I think it will scream out from the bookshelf "pick me!" Or maybe that's just because I love pink. And glitter? What's not to love? I'm so happy with the results.
At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…
Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working. Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people. Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her. The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.
add to goodreads
Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin Publication Date: March 7, 2016 Publisher: Entangled Teen Genre: Contemporary, YA
Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.
Complete the Rafflecopter below for an chance to win!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Just a little #SampleSunday from Crawdad~

My newest young adult novel is here! It's called Crawdad and it's a little hard to describe. It's a contemporary tale with a bit of magic. It's the story of Jamil, but it's also the story of Aisha, Angel, Desi, and Sebastian. Crawdad was inspired by my love of the diverse people and places across the South, by music, and by current, terrible events I see in the news.  I made an inspiration  Pinterest page for Crawdad if you want to see.

There's some difficult topics in the book that I haven't attempted to solve because it's not meant to be a preachy book and I obviously don't have all the answers. It's meant to be a hopeful book with an uplifting message while acknowledging some of the tough situations today's teens are up against. I hope you enjoy reading it. Here's a short sample from Jamil:

It wasn’t dark yet, but it was getting there and the mosquitoes buzzed around me pretty thick. The cicadas up high in the pines drowned out everything with their constant sawing screeching noise. I went right. I had to tell someone where I was headed. Missy wasn’t the hottest girl in our school, or even the smartest, but she was pretty darn close and she understood me. I had to hurry cause her mama was pretty strict about not letting me come over past seven on a school night.

I was on her doorstep in just a few minutes. The humidity was so high now just walking felt like going for a swim. I was glad when Missy’s mama let me into their air conditioned house.

“Is Missy here?” I asked, already knowing she was.

“She’s in her room. Why’d you bring all that stuff?” asked her mama, eyeballing my backpack.
“Um, I have a homework question I need to ask her,” I mumbled. It could happen, right? Like, would you turn in my homework while I’m gone?

 “Pfft! Homework?” It was plain she didn’t believe me.


“OK, go on back, but keep that door open. And no trumpet! I’m watching my show.”

Some nights I’d play trumpet for Missy in her room, but I didn’t mean to tonight. I walked softly down the hall and peeked into her room. Missy was stretched out on her bed reading a book.

 “Hey,” I whispered from the doorway. She looked up from her book.

“Hey,” she said. “I missed you.”

I sat down on the bed next to her, leaving my stuff on the floor. She let go of her book and sat up to give me a hug. I’d hugged a ton of people at the funeral, but none of them affected me the way she did. I could smell the flowery soap she’s just shampooed her damp hair with. She was a warm, safe place to fall into and I held her tight.

 “You OK?” I heard her say before I let her go.

 “Yeah, I think so.”

 She pulled back and looked at me to make sure I was telling the truth.

 “Audition is next week,” I said.

Missy, more than anyone after my mama, knew what trumpet meant to me.

 “Will you be ready?” she asked.

 “Gonna try. There’s something I gotta do first, but I think I can be back in time.”

“Be back? Where are you going?”

I had to think a minute how to explain it. I hadn’t told anyone about my dad yet.

 “Before my mama died, she told me something,” I started off.


 “You know how I always thought my daddy was dead?”


 “Well, he’s not. He’s living in Charleston right now.”

 “You mean South Carolina?”

 “Yeah. And my mama ain’t my mama. She’s my aunt,” I added, shaking my head. I still couldn’t believe it.

 “Wow,” said Missy, thinking it over.

 “All this time my mama didn’t tell me ‘cause she didn’t want me to know.”

 “Maybe she had a good reason?”

 “Maybe, but I can’t think of any good ones. How could you keep that from somebody?”

 Missy didn’t say nothing. She just twisted her lips a little the way she always did when she was thinking about stuff.

 “It’s been driving me crazy ever since she told me. I can’t concentrate on nothing else, Missy. Not even trumpet,” I said.

 Missy stayed quiet. She wasn’t like one of those girls who would talk your ear off about nail polish and stupid stuff. Or one of those people who just loved the sound of their own voice or couldn’t stand it being quiet. I liked that about her. She really listened.

 “I’m gonna go find him,” I said, staring at my trumpet and the red and white strap she made in school colors for it.

 “What? Like on the Internet?” she asked.

 “No, in Charleston.”

 “You're going to Charleston? South Carolina?” She gave me that I-think-you-crazy look.

 “Yeah, I need to at least see him for myself,” I said.

 “But how? You don’ have a car.”

 “I’ll just hitch a ride with a trucker. Should only take a day or so to get there. I can make it back by audition.”

“Jamil, you should be practicing, not hitchhiking, especially not with some drugged up truck driver.” She was frowning now.

"It’ll be fine. I done it before. And I’ll practice on the trip,” I offered.

“Let’s try to find him on the Internet first. Lots of folks find missing family that way.”

“Something tells me he’s not on there, Missy. Besides, I need to see him in person, look him in the eye.”

“Why?” She truly didn’t understand and I didn’t know how to explain it to her.

“I just do.”

“Well then, wait until after audition. You don’t want to take the chance you’ll miss it,” she said.

“If I don’t do this now, I may as well not do to the audition. I’m not gonna be able to play any good until I get this taken care of. I know it. I just know it.”

“Now you’re just being hard headed,” said Missy, frowning.

“I guess I am, but I’m right on this. I know I am.”

Missy twisted her lips again.

“Then why’d you come here?” she asked.

“I wanted you to know where I’m going. I didn’t want you to worry about me.”

“Oh, I’ll worry all right. You got any money?”

“No, but I packed some food. I’ll get by,” I told her.

“You can’t go all the way to Charleston without no money, “she said, getting up off the bed. She crossed the room to her desk an opened a drawer. She pulled out some cash and offered it to me.

“What? I can’t take that,” I said.

“You can pay me back later. It’s only seventy-two dollars.” I shook my head no, but she wasn’t listening. “You’ll starve. Take it,” she insisted, shoving the money into my hands. “Maybe you should take my cell phone too.”

“I won’t have no way to charge it.” She frowned again, knowing I was right.

“OK, but you have to find a way to call me every day and let me know you’re okay.”

“I will,” I said, smiling. She was giving her blessing, which I think was what I might have wanted all along.

“I’m sure I can find somebody to loan me a phone,” I said, standing to stuff the cash into the pocket of my jeans.

Missy grabbed me in another urgent hug.

“Just so you know, I’m not OK with this,” she said into my chest. She might have been crying, but then, I might have been too.

“It’ll be all right,” were the words that came out of my mouth automatically. Does anyone ever believe those words when they say them? Probably not. It’s almost like a gut reaction. You have to say them.

“Get home as fast as you can,” she said.

I nodded before she pulled me into a kiss so sweet and warm I forgot all about leaving for a minute. At a time like this, her mom would usually barge in and ask what was going on, but not this time. Somehow I managed to get my head back on straight and pick up my stuff.

“I’ll be back by the nineteenth,” I said.



That was my last night in Theodore, Alabama for a while. I stepped out into the darkness and the heat and headed toward the highway.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Checking in on 2016 Goals

Early this year I set out some goals for 2016, not knowing what this year would bring. Boy, was I surprised. I thought I'd take a minute to check over those goals and ask myself, what the heck happened??  I'm not making excuses, but I can already tell you many of these fell by the wayside in March when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also lost three aged, beloved pets this spring. It was not a fun time.

So what were my goals for 2016?

1) Read lots of books - The first casualty was reading. It usually is the first thing to go because it's a "nice to do" not a "have to do". I did read the new Harry Potter play, which was mildly entertaining. And Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which I liked. (The movie totally changed the ending though.)

2) Write lots of words - Hoo boy! This I did NOT do. At all. When you're worried about your health and going to doctor appointments every week or more, you just don't feel that creative. No new projects were started this year. JuNoWriMo was skipped because of radiation therapy in June. However, I did complete edits on a middle grade manuscript I'm quite fond of called "Troll Teeth and other Bedtime Stories".

3) Travel - I was a little tied down this spring with radiation treatments every day for six and a half weeks, but after that I went to north Idaho to see family. I've also had some good day trips, some to places I've never been before. Most excitingly, I've got reservations for next spring break in St. Petersburg, Florida. I haven't been there for over twenty years.

4) Exercise and eat healthy - This really shouldn't be a goal; it should be every day life. I do mostly eat healthy, but I can't lie - when I thought I might be taking chemotherapy, I did some stress eating. I thought it might be helpful to bulk up before chemo so I had a little weight to lose anyway. Probably not what a doctor would advise, but it made sense to me at the time. I didn't end up getting chemotherapy, so I started watching my portions again. My exercise routine was interrupted by my surgery and I'm afraid I never really got back on the bandwagon. I still enjoy seeing how far I can go on my Fitbit each day, but I think weight bearing exercise is just as important as steps are. People keep saying "sitting is the new smoking". I got a standing desk at work and it's pretty cool.

5) Publish - I did the query thing, a got few nibbles, but no bites. My self-published titles are doing well on Amazon, so I decided to self-publish "Crawdad". It should be available very soon.  The rights to "Vessel" were reverted to me from the publisher this year, so I'll be self-publishing that as well. "Troll Teeth" is with a publisher for consideration, as is "Star Taker, Sky Dragon", a steampunk adventure story. If those don't work out, they're both candidates for self-publishing too.

6) Grow a garden that survives - This one I achieved!!  A new fence around the garden and a new greenhouse helped a lot, as well as a drop in the vole population spike.  I got tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, beans, onions, lettuce, and beets. I made pickles, salsa, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce. I've still got tomatoes, but I think I've canned just about all the stuff we can eat, so I'm not sure what I'll do with those. I also plan to make enchilada sauce when my anchos are dried. I also grew the prettiest flowers! The frost got the zinnias already, but there's still poppies and marigolds.

7) Save some money - yeah, not so much. Maybe next year?

8) Do some home improvements - other than the new greenhouse, not much of this happened either
9) Meditate - This helped me tremendously in March and April, which were terribly stressful months. I've meditated before with just a timer, but his year I found an app that had guided mediations for things like stress and worry. It was just what I needed. Check out the Gaiam Mediation Studio if you're interested.

10) Gratitude - If I didn't know how to do this before, I sure do now. Nothing like a life-threating illness to make you appreciate the life you have. I read an inspiring quote the other day that's going to stick with me for awhile....

We don't always know how we'll die, but we can always choose how we will live~

I chose to live life in peace, love, and gratitude.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Unlocked by the hypnotic Margo Kelly :)

Welcome to the book tour for the soon to be released Unlocked by Margo Kelly. Margo is a master of suspense. I'm really looking forward to this one :) check it out!


by Margo Kelly

Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller

Release Date: October 1st 2016

Merit Press

Summary: A provocative thriller involving hypnosis, mystery, love, and friendship!

Someone has been moving the stuffed pink elephant in Hannah's room. She thinks. And ants crawl over her hands, across the steering wheel, all the time. Don't they? They're what made her crash the car on the way home from the fair, and she wouldn't have freaked out, wouldn't have caused her friend's death, for no reason. But she doesn't know if a person is messing with her, if the paranormal is messing with her--or if she's just going psychotic like her dad before her.

When her friends bail, Hannah is left floundering. Not even her boyfriend Manny believes her, and new girl Chelsea is practically replacing her at school. Only artsy outsider and self-proclaimed occult expert, Plug, agrees to help Hannah find out the truth about hypnosis and demons, and even he can't help Hannah reclaim her mind from whatever's taking over. She'll have to do that herself if she wants to save her friends, her mom and herself.

~About the Author~

Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, Margo is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Her critically acclaimed debut, Who R U Really?, was published by Merit Press (an imprint of F+W Media) in 2014. Her second novel, Unlocked, will be published by Merit Press in October 2016. Margo welcomes opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Margo Kelly loves to be scared … when she’s reading a good book, watching a good movie, or suffering from the hiccups. She loves writing thrillers for young adults and hopes her stories give you the goose bumps or the itchies or the desire to rethink everyday things. Margo is represented by the not-so-scary, but totally awesome, Brianne Johnson of Writers House.

Author Links:

~From the Author~

One of the main themes of UNLOCKED is “Choose to act for yourself or be acted upon.” If you’re not making your own choices, then who is and why? Under what circumstances is it okay to give up that power and control to someone else? Which leads us into the topic of hypnosis.

When I was in college I attended my first hypnotism show.

In an auditorium along with a couple hundred other students, I watched as fifteen guys and girls went on stage and participated in the show. The audience laughed and clapped and hooted when the hypnotized students did ridiculous things such as quack like ducks or sing like rock stars. It was great. Terrific. Until the end.

While the participants were still completely hypnotized, the hypnotist turned to the audience and spouted his political views. He didn’t even try to hide what he was doing. He spoke clearly and abruptly. The people to my left and to my right sat in shock. My own mouth dropped open in disbelief. The hypnotist went so far as to tell everyone exactly how to vote in the upcoming election. I was dumbfounded. I felt like my trust had been violated, and I wasn’t even on the stage. I was not hypnotized. I was not in any sort of suggestive state. But those students in the show still were. And I bet there were plenty of others sitting in the audience who were impressionable from watching the hypnosis being performed.

That’s the exact moment when I decided I would never willingly take part in hypnosis. Sure, that was an isolated incident. Some hypnotists are trustworthy. But not all. Some do not have a very high ethical code. And because of that, to this day, I hate giving up control to anyone, under any circumstances.

I’ve never forgotten that college night, and it inspired my novel, UNLOCKED.

For more information, I’ve written an in-depth post on hypnosis here:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Meddlers of Moonshine cover reveal~

Welcome to the latest cover reveal for The Meddlers of Moonshine by A.E. Decker with artwork by the talented Cary Vandever. If that's not creepy, I don't know what is! Puts me in the mood for Halloween already.

The Meddlers of Moonshine is the second book in the Moonfall Mayhem series by A.E. Decker and will be published by World Weaver Press on October 25, 2016.

~About the Book~

Something is rotten in the town of Widget, and Rags-n-Bones knows it's all his fault. Ever since he snitched that avocado from Miss Ascot's pack, things have been going wrong. Armed with a handful of memories he never realized he had, Rags-n-Bones searches for a way to put right whatever he did to Widget in the past. If only he knew what it was! Unfortunately, the only person who seems to have answers is a half-mad youth that only Rags can see.

Widget is also suffering from a ghost infestation that has the townsfolk almost as spooked of outsiders as they are of actual spooks. While Rags-n-Bones seeks answers in the past, Ascot offers the town leaders her service as an exorcist, only to be handed an ultimatum: banish the ghosts or be banished herself!

Who's meddling with Widget? To catch the culprit, Ascot and Rags-n-Bones must match wits with a shifty sorcerer, a prissy ex-governess, and a troublingly attractive captain before the town consigns itself to the graveyard of history.

~About the Author~

A. E. Decker currently resides in Pennsylvania. She holds degrees in English and Colonial American History and has a macabre fascination with the French Revolution. Other obsessions include chess, the Headless Horseman, chocolate, and DALEKS! A former ESL tutor, tai chi instructor and doll-maker, she now spends her time picking apart tropes and putting them back together in the strangest ways she can think of. Like all writers, she is owned by three cats. Hers are named Dorian, Xavi, and Bucky.

~Praise for the Moonfall Mayhem series~

“Falling of the Moon is a fantasy fairytale like nothing I have read before. Mystery and secrets take you to a fantastic mystical world sure to have a book two. It is Pirates of the Caribbean meets Cinderella. Looking forward to Ascot’s next adventure. Strong and determined with her loyal friends she will certainly make the Moonfall Mayhem a great series of books. I am ecstatic that this is just the start to what will be a truly great trilogy.”— Girl + Book

"I'd say it's like Shrek meets The Wizard of Oz if Dorothy were Wednesday Addams and Toto a talking cat with bat wings. Fun and funny with many laugh-out-loud moments. Can't wait for the next book in the series!"— Susan Sullivan, author of the Cleo Tidwell Paranormal Mystery series

"A unique and clever fantasy, The Falling of the Moon is a thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last. Very highly recommended and certain to be an enduring favorite."—Midwest Book Review

The Meddlers of Moonshine will be available in trade paperback and ebook via,, World Weaver Press, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through Ingram.

Be sure to pick up Book 1 too!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Writer Rebooting

I've been quiet this summer.

It's been that kind of year. The kind of year where I take long, unexpected breaks from writing. Sometimes I plan it. Sometimes I don't. It just happens.  I had ambitions to get more writing done this year than I did, but I'm trying to be easy on myself because life happens and it's nobody's fault.

I still have lots of projects I'm working towards completing. I just may have some surprises left in me yet ;)

Stay tuned....

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life is a Series of Last Chance Canyons~

A wise cowboy once told me his personal philosophy ~ life is a series of last chance canyons. He said he realized it once while he was riding the range in Last Chance Canyon and wondered about the name. Dry Creek Canyon was named for the creek that went dry in the summer. Rock Creek Canyon had a lot of rocks. It occurred to him that someone must have had a last chance in this canyon once.

He said you have a lot of chances in life, firsts and lasts. Everyone remembers their firsts: your first bike ride, your first date, your first day of school are things everyone recognizes as significant. You remember some of your lasts too, like graduation is an end to you childhood, but some you don't notice until they're passed. Like your last chance to hold your child on your lap or jump on the bed with them. Pretty soon they grow up and you've lost that chance. Or you last chance to see an old friend or loved one. Most of us have experienced a sudden loss where we didn't know the last time we saw or spoke to someone was our last chance to be with them, to share a special moment with them, and let them know how we feel. If we'd only known.

Life is a series of last chance canyons. Don't be afraid to take a chance~

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hair in all the Wrong Places Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Hair in all the Wrong Places Blog Tour!  Read about the book and be sure to enter the giveaway!

~About the Book~

Hair in All the Wrong Places by Andrew Buckley
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

What has he done?

What’s happening to him?

And what on Earth is that smell?

For Colin Strauss, puberty stinks. Blackouts, hallucinations, and lapses in memory are the perils of growing up werewolf.

Worse than that, Colin worries he might have had something to do with the recent attacks on the townspeople. He may have eaten a person. It doesn’t matter that it’s someone he doesn’t particularly like. What kind of boy goes around eating people?

Foolishly, all Colin can think about is how Becca Emerson finally kissed him for the first time. Yep, hormones are afoot. Yikes!

But girls will have to wait. Collin better get himself under control before someone else ends up hurt or worse . . . dead.

~Find the Book~

~About the Author~

Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.

Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind.

Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.

~Enter the Giveaway~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Information: Contest ends June 24, 2016

· One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Hair in the Wrong Places by Andrew Buckley (INT)

~Author Interview~

When did you start writing and why?

I enjoyed writing throughout elementary and secondary school in the UK and, if I’m being honest, it’s the only subject I really excelled at throughout my entire academic career. I always found satire to be a natural thing to write and was considerably chastised in 5th year English class with Mrs Mallinson when I wrote an essay satirising Macbeth and his terrible decision-making skills. Not long after that I started writing screenplays (funnily enough my first screenplay was a terrible action movie about werewolves) and in my early twenties I transitioned to writing novels.

What's your favorite scene in Hair in the all the Wrong Places and why?

There are several but I’m partial to two in particular. There’s a scene when Colin’s crush breaks into his house to enlist him into investigating a crime scene (that Colin may or may not have been involved in) and it places Colin at the very height of his awkwardness. I may love awkward Colin more than any other version of himself. There’s also a scene with Colin’s Grandmother that I can’t talk about because it gives away too much story but you can find it in the chapter called ‘Granny Storm’.

What's your writing routine?

It’s very simple: ‘Write Whenever I Can.’ Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time as I’d like but I try to complete one book a year. I spend a lot of wonderful time with my wife and kids, I work two different jobs, and I write whenever I’m able which is usually late at night when everyone is asleep. I used to write with no clear direction when I was younger but these days I plan out the overall story arc and then plan chapter by chapter as I write.

What do you have in store for readers in the future?

I’m working on a ‘couple’ of different things at the moment. One is a secret project that I can tell no one about, the other is a TV concept pitch that I can also say nothing about. I have a new novel series started that covers the hilarious life and times of Jack the Ripper, and I have sequels for my first two novels, plus a sequel to HAVELOCK (writing as Jane D Everly) and then there’s the sequel to HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES . . . if anyone has a TARDIS, Time Turner, or an almost flawless cloning machine, please let me know.

Friday, June 3, 2016

My newest title: Cancer Patient

After having been diagnosed this March with breast cancer, I've been through a whirlwind of medical tests and treatments. Surgery appears to have removed it all. Does that mean I'm cured? In remission? I don't know, but I do know that I'm still a "cancer patient" and probably will be for the rest of my life.

I feel pretty good. I'm lucky enough to only go through radiation therapy. I actually feel guilty that I seem to have gotten off so easy. I still have my breast and my hair. It seems weird to say "I have cancer" because technically, it's gone for all intents and purposes. But many years of cancer research say my odds of reoccurrence are higher now and it's best to be vigilant.

Radiation has been an interesting process. I'm finding most people don't know much about it or confuse it with chemotherapy, which involves taking medications that treat the entire body. The two work very differently. Here's what I've learned, but keep in mind: I'm not a medical professional. This is just my understanding, which may or may not be right.

Radiation is basically a high powered x-ray beam that targets a specific area of the body, in my case, the tissue around my surgery site. That's the place most likely to have microscopic cancer cells still floating around that were missed by the surgery. The radiation kills cells at a certain stage in their life cycle, including cancer cells, and encourages new healthy cells to grow back in their place. This happens naturally all the time, but radiation speeds up the process, which is kind of amazing if you think about it.

The machine that delivers the radiation beam is a huge thing that takes up a big room. It rotates around you while you lay on a table. The process is painless, like an x-ray. There's no light or heat, but there is a green laser line they use to position you exactly the same way each time. The machine clicks a little and whirs when it rotates. It buzzes when the beam is delivered, but it's nowhere near as loud as an MRI machine. It's much faster too. Each treatment lasts maybe 5-10 minutes on the table.

They play an oldies radio station in the room so there's music to distract you, which I think is a nice touch in what could be a really sterile, dark room. The day of my first treatment, Elvis came on the radio. He was singing a song about feeling his temperature rise and I had to laugh. It all seemed so absurd at that moment, lying on my back, half naked with my arms over my head while two technicians I've just barely met push me around on the table until I'm lined up properly. (The position reminds me vaguely of being strung on a torture rack, although it really doesn't hurt, I promise.)

The worst part I've found is the hard "head rest" that isn't that comfortable and essentially being topless in the company of strangers. Thank goodness they're all professional. I guess it's like giving birth - you lose your modesty out of necessity.

The best part is the awesome rose garden the hospital has adjacent to the parking lot that I get to visit every day if I want. The roses are all in bloom this time of year.

Most days I feel pretty good about where I am in this cancer patient stuff. So many people are struggling so much more than I am. Sometimes the terror hits me. What if I'm fooling myself that I'm OK? Lots of women go through breast cancer twice, even three times. I know it could come back anytime. Could be five or ten years down the road. How much longer do I get?

The truth is, none of us know how much time we have. Could be two years or two days. I have to focus on the right-now or I'll drive myself bonkers. Right now, I feel good. I'll take it and be grateful for it. Smell the roses. Every single day of it. You should too.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Conch shell of Doom! I love it!

Hello amazing readers!
Welcome to the Book Blitz for
The Conch Shell of Doom by Ryan Hill!
Join us in celebrating this new release, and enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Happy Book Birthday, Ryan!!
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TCSoD Cover
Bailey didn’t mean to catch his parents plotting to unleash the sinister Trenton Maroney and his powerful oceanic army on the world. It was an honest mistake. Now, he’s got the horribly disfigured Mr. Lovell on his trail, which is doing wonders for Bailey’s anxiety.
His only ally is Franklin, a burn-out several decades past wishing his brother Trenton was destroyed for good. Franklin has battled his brother for two thousand years, and has nothing to show for it except his beloved Mustang. To stop Mr. Lovell from awakening Trenton, Franklin and Bailey will have to get past his parents, a one-eyed stoner, crooked cops, giant Scotsmen, and Trenton’s army, which can only be summoned by one thing: the mysterious Conch Shell of Doom.
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The Conch Shell of Doom by Ryan Hill Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Available for Purchase: Amazon
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James Nix Multimedia

Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.
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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
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