Thursday, May 28, 2015

{COVER REVEAL} Library Jumpers by Brenda Drake

I am so excited, I'm giddy! The amazing Brenda Drake devotes so much time and effort to helping other authors that I'm thrilled to be able to help her today. Her debut YA novel, Library Jumpers, is coming our early next year, and she's revealing the cover for it today!!!

READY? (It's really good...)

Release Date: January 2016
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.

Pre-Order Links:

About the Author

Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continued new kid at school until her family settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brenda’s fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write young adult and middle grade novels with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment.) 

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TEASER TUESDAY: Angela Schroeder

Welcome to another installment of TEASER TUESDAY. I'm excited to have the lovely Angela Schroeder here with us today. She'll be sharing an excerpt from her novel, Love Overcomes


     He took her hand into his. She felt torn between wanting to move closer to him and wanting to pull away. Unaware of her internal struggle, he led her out to the patio. A gentle breeze blew and lifted up her hair. She wanted the moment to last. She wanted to sit next to him on the glider and breathe him in. Instead, she walked with him to the low stone wall of the covered patio and they stood next to each other, looking out at the night sky. After a moment, he turned to her. “Tell me about your home.”
     Her eyes widened and she took a deep breath. She leaned against the stone wall and looked into his blue eyes.
     “Home? Home is… nothing like Los Angeles.” She laughed, shaking her head wryly. “Our parents have a big farm with an apple orchard. It’s open. It’s free. It’s a place where you can breathe. Clara and I share a cottage on part of the property, and every night I can sit on the porch, and listen to the symphony that nature creates. Instead of buildings everywhere you look, there are cornfields. I love that. I love that Liam and I can go outside and not be surrounded by concrete.”
     “It sounds nice,” he said. “Will that always be your home?”
     “Probably. I can write articles from anywhere I suppose. My parents are there. My sister is there. I like helping her with the business end of her quilting business. They are all the family that Liam knows. I can’t imagine taking him away from that.”
     “He doesn’t know his dad at all?”
     “Liam doesn’t have a dad.” She stared out at the night sky. “A dad is someone who raises a child. A dad is there when the child is sick. He’s there to tuck him into bed at night. He’s there in the mornings to share breakfast with him. There to wipe away tears and let him know that everything is going to be alright.” Her jaw was tense. She let out a long sigh, letting the bitterness in her voice fade.
     “No, he does not know what a dad is. But, he knows what a grandpa is. And he has men in his life that love him. He doesn’t need to know who his dad is. He is safer not knowing him; we both are.” She looked away from him, gazing out into the darkness. She felt him next to her. His hand brushed back a strand of hair, but lingered on her shoulder in silent comfort

Going to Hollywood was supposed to be something that would change Clara Mackenzie’s life forever.

Her younger sister, single mother Arabella, never imagined that going to California with her sister would have such a huge impact on her life. Now, she needs to try to overcome her past and try to trust again or be doomed to be single forever.

Arabella Mackenzie and her son Liam have never wanted or needed anyone other than their family. When Arabella meets Jeremy Fowlis she begins to have feelings for a man for the first time since before her son was born. Shy, Clara begins to fall for an actor of her own when she meets dashing Jake.

Jeremy is not use to women who do not want to date him because he is an in-demand actor let alone a woman who does not even recognize him. He finds he wants to know more about her but is not sure if he can handle the fact that she is a single mother and has a past that seems to be shrouded in mystery.

Can Arabella and Jeremy both overcome their doubts, fears and past in order to find love?


Angela was born and raised in Iowa, in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children her wonderful blessings.

Connect with Angela on her websiteTwitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+

Don't forget to check out the tour wide giveaway!

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Megan O'Russell

Welcome back to yet another installment of Confessions from the Editing Cave. Today in the confessional -- young adult author, Megan O'Russell!

1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?
All of the editors I have ever worked with have been assigned by my publishers. Other than my assigned editors, I also use my husband as a beta reader and preliminary editor, which helps speed up the official editing process.

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
I have always been lucky enough to have really wonderful and supportive editors. I may not have always agreed with every change they wanted made, but in a healthy professional relationship, it’s all right to disagree. I can tell them why I want to keep something in the book the way it is. And no matter what ends up happening, I know it’s in the best interest of the text.

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
I think it came from my first editor. It wasn’t any note in particular. She helped wean me of my tendency to head hop, and for that I am extremely grateful!

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
Making me remove a third POV that was only used for a few scenes in The Tethering. It took out a few scenes the neither of the protagonists are in, so that action became unknown. But it worked out for the best, leaving more mystery going into book two in the series, The Siren’s Realm

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?
First, I get some comfort food, then I go down and look at the comments and track changes. Then I evaluate whether I should curl up in a ball and cry or not. Usually I just walk around, looking like a half-crazed zombie for a few days until the shock has worn off. Then once I’ve gotten over the hardest of the edits, I’m pretty good at breezing through the rest.

6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess.
I dress in my gray polar fleece robe and binge eat until it’s over. If they want a different POV for a scene, I’ve been known to edit with wine. I’ve also run through the house shouting to my husband that I need a flying, silver fox. Edits make me a bit crazy, but it’s the price you pay for publication!


Megan O’Russell is thrilled to have her premier novel The Tethering published with Silence in the Library Publishing. Book two in The Tethering series, The Siren’s Realm, is currently available for pre-order. Megan’s work can also be found the anthology Athena’s Daughter’s 2.

Originally from New York, Megan is a professional actress who spends her time traveling the country for different shows. When not on stage or writing, Megan spends time with her beloved ukulele and her wonderful husband. To follow Megan’s writing adventures, you can visit her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Constance Phillips

Welcome back to yet another installment of Confessions from the Editing Cave. Today in the confessional -- adult romance author, Constance Phillips!

1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?
I have both hired a freelance editor and worked with editors at publishing houses. 

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
I honestly believe I become a better writer because of each experience I’ve had with an editor. Does that mean I always agree 100% with every piece of advice offered? Of course not! But, learning to take that advice, consider it, and decide if I agree and if it’s a change I want to make is invaluable. So, I’ve not only become a stronger writer, but I’ve learned to assess myself and pick which battles are worth the fight.

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
The best edit actually came out of a pretty big rewrite. My editor had a pretty bad aversion to my heroine’s attitude—to the point of commenting on a scene where she was arguing with her brother, “See, even her brother hates her.” We exchanged several emails batting ideas back and forth how to soften her edges, while keeping her strong and her convictions deep. When I turned in the rewrite, my editor emailed me after reading the first chapter to say that I hit the nail on the head. It felt good to be able to take that constructive criticism, brainstorm a bit, and be able to fix the problem.

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
I don’t know that I’ve received a “worse edit”, but I did get some advice from the freelance editor I hired to change a pretty big plot point in my book Resurrecting Harry (this was pre-purchase/publication).  I was very conflicted about the advice offered and thought on in for several weeks. I could see the editor’s point, but also believed it changed the basic heart of the story. Before I even started rewriting, I had the opportunity to pitch the book to a different editor. He was interested to see the story and I told him I wanted to work on some edits I received from a freelance editor. He asked for details and when I gave them to him, he encouraged me to keep the story the way I envisioned it. While, the book didn’t end up with that editor, it was purchased and published without the change.

I learned a lot from that experience about trusting my gut, and knowing the core story I’m trying to tell. It was also brought home the point that no two editors—like no two readers—are alike. Advice isn’t always good or bad, but subjective. 

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?
I might be the odd duck here, but I always look forward to my edits. I see it as the nitty-gritty time to take my story to a higher, polished level. That doesn’t mean I haven’t received edits that bruised my ego, or made me initially defensive, but when that happens I remember to take a deep breath, close the file, and walk away. With some time to digest, I can come back with a clear head and either figure out how to make things better, or defend the hows and whys I did it the way I did. 


Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, and four canine kids where she writes contemporary romance novels and paranormal romance novels.
When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance and her husband spend the hours planning a cross-country motorcycle trip for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.

Be sure to connect with Constance on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Goodreads

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

{Author Interview}: Giovanni Valentino

I'm pleased to welcome my close friend and CP, Giovanni Valentino to the blog today. He just released his 3rd Alternate Hilarities anthology, HYSTERICAL REALMS. 

Not all epic adventures are fun. Imagine walking all the way to Mount Gloom with a wizard that needs to stop all the time to tinkle, a dwarf who continually asks "Are we there yet?" and a perpetually lost elf that will not stop and ask for directions.
       Here is a collection of humorous tales of adventure like dwarf private investigators, mean spirited unicorns, randy genies and girlfriend stealing centaurs.
       So if you think you have what it takes to brave the misty mountains and howling canyons, grab your magic sword, sacred shield and your copy of “Dungeoneering for Dummies”.

Enter the Hysterical Realms if you dare!

One Ring of Cheese to Bind Us All!

But, before he shares any more information about this book, I put him in the hot seat :)

1.     How did you come up with the idea for Hysterical Realms?
a.      I wanted to tighten down the genre for this anthology. Speculative fiction can cover a lot. So I made this one exclusively fantasy. I got the subtitle as a play on the term Mystical Realms which I’ve seen bantered about a lot in the fantasy genre.  

2.     This isn't the first anthology you and Strange Musings Press has released. What unique challenges did you have with this specific collection, if any? 
a.      The biggest challenge for me is coordinating with 30+ authors. Getting contracts signed, bios provided, edits returned, it’s all a lot of work. I think I’ve had to drop one author in every anthology because I couldn’t get in touch with them during one of these stages.

3.     Your story, Mystical Redemption, is included. Can you tell us a bit about it? 
a.      Mystical Redemption is a ridiculous look at the clash between the magic and mundane worlds. A down on his luck wizard reaches out to normal folks to supplement the business to his “real” magic shop. He learns a valuable lesson, spells and coupons do not mix.

4.     What's up next for you and Strange Musings Press?
a.      The next Alternate Hilarities will be a science fiction theme edition called Weirder Science. So, if anyone has a funny robot or time travel story, send it in.

5.     I know you're a fan of humorous stories, particularly within the science fiction and fantasy genres. Who are some of your favorite authors?
a.      For the humorous end of things, Douglas AdamsTerry PratchettRobert AsprinCraig Shaw Gardner 

6.     If you could bring any characters to life from your favorite TV show, who would it be and why?
a.      Doctor Sheldon Cooper. Mainly because I want someone more annoying than me to hang around with to make me look better.

7.     What's your best piece of advice for authors who are hoping to have a story included in one of your anthologies?
a.      Besides write a good story, I’d have to say make the story funny all the way through. If you go a page or two without a joke, maybe that part isn’t really necessary.

8.     When you're not writing or compiling anthologies, what do you do with your time?
a.      I watch a lot of movies and TV. I have Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Netflix and HBOgo. I also enjoy running but that’s part of my writing process. It gets the blood pumping and you have a lot of time to think. I am training right now for a half marathon in the fall. I ran it two years ago and finished. This year, I want to get a better time. I was literally the third to last person to cross the finished line.

9.     Pepsi or Coke? 
a.      Pepsi, especially Diet Cherry Pepsi.

10.  Anything else you'd like to share with us?
a.      In the immortal words of “Weird Al” Yankovic, “I HATE SAUERKRAUT!”

HYSTERICAL REALMS is available in both print and ebook on AMAZON

Giovanni Francesco Valentino has struggled at the art of writing for five decades against many demons like self-doubt, chronic depression, OCD and severe dyslexia. He has written a few memoir pieces about his life struggles going undiagnosed for more than half his life. He hopes one day to be a famous published science fiction and fantasy author. 

He is a member of the CNY Writers Haven, a critique and writer support group. He is the editor of the humorous anthology, Alternate Hilarities, along with a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press. 

You can find more of Giovanni on his websiteGoodreads, Facebook, and Twitter

Monday, May 4, 2015

Confessions from the Editing Cave with Katie O'Connor

Welcome back to yet another installment of Confessions from the Editing Cave. Today in the confessional -- adult romance author and fellow agency mate, Katie O'Connor!

1. Tell us a bit about your background working with editor(s). Did you hire a freelance editor? Work with an editor at a publishing house? Work with an agent in the capacity of an editor? All of the above or some other combination?
Okay let’s get this thing rocking!
To being with, I’m a pretty tough cookie. That doesn’t mean I am insensitive or unhurtable, it just means that I try and take criticism as advice and try to react accordingly. I know I’m on the up-curve of learning how to write. I have a lot yet to discover and try to keep an open mind regarding suggestions.
In terms of editing, I work with two main critique partners, a freelance editor and recently an editor through my agent.
I’ll be honest; it does hurt when someone suggests changes to my baby. After all, we all know that my writing is perfect.  (Joking … mostly.) This is my child that they are slashing. And yes, I do mean slashing. My grammar and punctuation skills are somewhat lacking.
My critique partners typically catch plot errors as the story unfolds which helps keep me in line as I write the first draft.  For self-published works I use a freelance editor who has no qualms at all about telling me where I erred, and I appreciate his input. A lot.  I try to remember what he tells me and not make the same mistakes over and over again.
I’m still puttering away with the first round of edits from my agent (Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.) So far her comments have been spot on and very helpful.

2. What was your overall relationship with your editor? Good? Bad? Indifferent?
My ego is big, but not big enough to think that I don’t need help. Sometimes it’s just tweaking, but on occasion my work needs a major overhaul (usually in the early stages.) I like to think that my relationships with all of my editors are good ones. I appreciate their feedback, even if it hurts sometimes. I am comfortable that they will find the flaws in plot and character and help improve the end product. As a group, they are making my writing better, stronger and are helping me make my characters come alive for my readers.

3. What was the best edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
I’m not sure there was a best edit. Having him notice that my character’s last name had changed mid-story was very helpful. (If stupid on my part.)

4. What was the worst edit you’ve ever received from your editor?
For my first published erotica story, there is a spicy scene that takes place on a wingback chair. This particular editor (who I no longer work with) suggested that perhaps the scene wasn’t accurate or feasible. I disagreed. It was feasible and not dangerous and is actually quite fun! So, in the end the scene stayed.

5. What was your first, initial, gut-reaction to your edits?
I’m always disappointed in myself that I made so many errors. But I quickly get over it and dig in and make corrections.

6. Confession time! Share anything else you’d like to confess.
I hate edits and re-writes. There, I’ve said it.
Are they necessary? Absolutely.
Do I like them? Hellz no!

Will I continue to do them? Yes. Though I am hopeful that as my writing skills progress, I will need fewer corrections.


Katie O’Connor lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, quilter, and author. And she is a huge fan of lacrosse. Those tight, toned lacrosse boys feature in a number of her stories. (And in her fantasies, but we won’t go there.)
Over the years, Katie has been a waitress, cashier, chambermaid, and a lab and x-ray technician. She’s been an office manager, a retail shop manager, and day-home provider. Before taking up writing full time, she owned and operated a longarm quilting studio where she designed and sold quilting patterns.
It took a long time for Katie to discover that her passion is story telling.
She has been writing for years. She says “Writing has good days and bad days. But even when I hate it, I love being an author. Something drives me to create stories and write them down. It is impossible for me NOT to write. I think my head would explode if I kept all those ideas trapped inside. I even dream story lines.”
She’s tried her hand at writing poetry, science fiction, adventure stories, erotica and romance novels. But her passion is, and always has been love stories with a happily ever after.
One day she is going to write a mixed genre novel. It is going to be an erotic, shape shifter, vampire, steampunk, sci-fi, murder mystery, western, historical, thriller, romantic adventure. It will be her biography.
I post things of an adult nature. biography.
Katie believes in love, commitment and above all, she believes in hope.

 Be sure to visit Katie on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads