Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School Giveaway

Welcome to the Back to School Giveaway hosted by the authors at Darkly Delicious YA.

Add great YA titles to your to be read list on Goodreads and enter to win an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card so that you can purchase novels from your favorite authors.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Darkly Delicious Detail about Shades of Atlantis by Carol Oates

Like many people in Ireland, I suffered through eleven years of Irish lessons and left school with hardly more than an ability to introduce myself as Gaeilge. Not a little bit shameful considering it’s the national language of the country, although it’s only spoken daily by a relatively small fraction of citizens.  

All languages evolve. Irish has gone from Primitive Irish in Ogham inscriptions to Modern Irish in its many dialects. With the English occupation of Ireland, the use of Gaedhilge declined, mostly declined by mid-18th century. Speaking as Gaedhilge was discouraged to the point of prohibition in schools and it almost died out. Late 19th century saw a revival of the culture and language in reaction to Ireland becoming almost completely anglicised (English culture and language). 

Irish was reintroduced to schools during political upheaval leading to independence. National examinations came into play in the 30’s. However, also during this time the written language went through a dramatic shift and in 1950’s, a new written standard was published to regulate the many dialects and new written form called An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, The Official Standard.

Shades of Atlantis is heavily influenced by Celtic legends. So, I suppose it’s not surprising that it inspired me to re-visit my first language. While I’m still not fluent, I can now pick out words and phrases in both verbal and written Irish. Enough to get the gist of a radio show at least. That’s a lot more than when I left school. It’s coming in handy as I write book three where there are references to both Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic.

Find out more about Carol Oates
Website      Twitter      Facebook     Goodreads

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tip of the Day – Don’t Break the Chain from Kendall Kulper

One of my most favorite productivity tips is so simple, it sounds like a joke:

Step 1. Figure out what it is you want to do every day (say: writing for an hour a day)

Step 2. Get yourself a big ole calendar, the kind that hangs on the wall, and a big, fat marker, preferably red.

Step 3. Every time you accomplish your goal for the day, put a big X in the calendar.

Step 4. Don’t break the chain.

Jerry Seinfeld famously invented this method, and it works because it is so easy and so rewarding. It can be tailored for anything—exercising, cleaning your house, reading—but I love it for writing, and it’s my go-to technique for prodding myself along when I’m on deadline.

There is just something so satisfying about seeing all those Xs line up, fill up a week, a month, several pages of calendars. The rewards become cumulative, because each time you give yourself another X, it feels like you’re adding to a long chain of work you’ve already accomplished (which, hey—you are!). And focusing on the mantra “don’t break the chain” takes some of the stress off the goal. You’re not sitting down at the computer thinking “Oh man, I really should be doing this…” You’re thinking “Look at all those Xs! This can’t be the day I leave a spot blank!”

For me, I gave myself different challenges. I printed out a blank calendar and hung it on the wall. Every time I wrote a thousand words in a day, I drew a little picture for that day. If I wrote two thousand words, I got to color the picture in. If I wrote three thousand words? GLITTER!! It was stupid, but it was effective, and there were many days that I’d otherwise have looked at the clock and called it quits if not for the little voice inside of me saying “I WANT TO COLOR IN THE PICTURE!”

I’ve seen other people get themselves books of stickers or cutesy stamps, and those work great, too. The most important part? Find a goal, get a calendar, don’t break the chain.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Agent Interview: Jordy Albert of The Booker Albert Literary Agency

With us today on Monday Meet and Greet is literary agent and co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency, Jordy Albert .  She was gracious enough to answer some questions for us on writing and the type of books that hook her. 

My followers would like to get to know you better for stalking purposes. Tell us a little about yourself and what made you want to be an agent.

I’ve always loved to read, and I was interested in the publishing industry from an early age. 

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Keep writing! It might not happen with your first dozen projects, but I think practice does make perfect and eventually it will happen. Also, READ. A LOT. Especially in the genre you write. Join writing groups, get a Beta reader/critique partner (group), enter pitch contests, and attend conferences. 

What elements are MUST HAVES in a story you’d ask to see more of?

Characters that draw me in right away. 

Besides basic grammatical errors and writers sending stories in genres you don’t represent, what are most common problems with the submissions you receive?

Many submissions just don’t follow guidelines. For instance, we ask that you don’t send attachments unless requested, or the author will just send sample pages with no query. I also receive submissions that have no name or contact information, and sometimes the author will just send a link to a website. 

What’s on your wish list?  

I am such a sucker for historical romance (especially Regency). I’d also like to see more realistic MG/YA…Oh! And contemporary, and sci-fi YA. 

Okay, now for some fun questions to get to know you.

All time favorite villain – Voldemort. 

Last book that made you cry – The Fault in Our Stars. 

Guilty pleasure – French fries and chocolate shake, and binge watching Doctor Who/Sherlock when I have time. 

Book you feel everyone must read that’s not from one of your clients? To Kill A Mockingbird. 

Hobbies – Reading lol …knitting, trying to learn more French and Japanese. 

Favorite place you’ve ever visited – Japan.

Thanks, Jordy, for being with us today.

To learn more about Jordy Albert, follow her on Twitter or visit The Booker Albert Agency

-- Cherie Colyer, author of  the Embrace Series and Challenging Destiny


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Darkly Delicious Detail about Dorothy Dreyer

The Reaper’s Rite series is a young adult paranormal series with a horror bent. Knowing this, you’d probably guess that I’m one of those full-on horror movie fangirls who gets a kick out of jump scares and screaming teenagers being chased by guys in hockey masks. Well, the truth is this: I hate horror movies!

Okay, hate is a pretty strong word. I don’t hate them. And I do admit that watching a few scary movies with my hubby (who loves the horror genre), I have been enlightened with a few ideas for both stories and characters. And to tell you the truth, watching scary movies has helped me out with my writing, especially when I’ve needed to convey a really spooky tone.

That said, there are some movies that will always frighten me, even though I’ve seen them more than once. To the point I sit huddled up under a blanket, peeking through my fingers and whimpering like a toddler. Like The Exorcists. Probably the first scary movie I ever saw and the one I’m most frightened of. I mean, talk about creepy! *shudders*

Are you a horror movie fan? What’s your favorite one? And if you’re not a fan, what is the one movie that will forever give you nightmares?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mystery in Post-it Notes?

Intrigue plays a bit part in my YA novel The Monster Within. My MC Sam faces mystery after mystery from the moment she’s brought back from the dead. One of those mysteries involves yellow Post-it notes that come to strike fear in Sam. Check out this scene that occurs immediately after Sam has one of her Mr. Hyde attacks:

My head felt woozy, like I was hung over, but I hadn’t had anything to drink. I slowly got to my feet, still scanning the yard, looking for whoever had done this. Maybe it was the same person who had stolen my necklace. I thought back to the guy who was peeking in the window. The one who’d broken into the house. He knew my name. He knew I could kill with my bare hands. It had to be him. 

Suddenly the realization that I was outside alone in the dark with a stranger lurking around set in. I ran back into the cottage and locked both locks behind me. I went around the house checking all the windows, too. He wasn’t getting inside again.

I pulled the curtain back into place after checking the lock on the window above the kitchen sink. I was breathing hard. I turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on my face. No way would I be able to go back to sleep after all this, so I grabbed a paper towel and dabbed my face, trying to think of how I’d pass the time until morning without waking Ethan. I reached for a second paper towel when I saw the note on the counter. A yellow Post-it note. I froze.

My eyes zeroed in on the handwriting. Every letter was perfectly straight.

Where’s your necklace?

Those three words sent terror coursing through my body. Whoever had given me the necklace had been in my house tonight. He—or she, now I wasn’t so sure—had come into the cottage while I was out in the yard having a vision and trying not to die.

Two break-ins in one night? It was hard to believe, but it had to be two different people. One stole my necklace, and the other wanted to know why I wasn’t wearing it anymore. How had so many people discovered where I lived?

Are you intrigued? If so, check out The Monster Within.

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.
But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Visit her website: