Wednesday 30 September 2015

Fall YASH Team Blue

This is the #YASH post for TEAM BLUE.
If you're looking for the TEAM PURPLE post, click here.

Welcome to the hunt, and don't forget to enter
the BONUS giveaway at the end of the post!

YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM--but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, a purple team, a pink team, and a teal team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number (can you find it?). Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 4th at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am hosting Sara B. Larson on my blog for the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY, and the sequels IGNITE and the forthcoming ENDURE. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the demise of naptime) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

I heard Sara was recently at Salt Lake Comic Con and got to hug Ian Somerhalder 9 times! But I don't know for sure.

Find out more information about Sara by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here!


Endure (Defy book three)
"{spoiler alert for those who haven't read DEFY & IGNITE}

The remarkable third novel in Sara B. Larson's bestselling Defy series!

At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to be married. But their lives are far from safe. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Even worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of the evil Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, which soon leads her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory.

When she arrives, what awaits her is deadlier than anything she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers, and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as Alexa knows it. Will she be able to gather the strength to free herself, protect the love of her life, and save the land? Will there ever be true peace?

Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson has woven a stunning, romantic, and evocative finale to the Defy trilogy, that is sure to leave readers breathless until the very last page."

For my exclusive content, I'm posting my ENDURE playlist for the first time! Here it is: 

  •  The DIVERGENT original score: Tris, The Ferris Wheel, You're not going to like this, Fight the Dauntless
  • INSURGENT original score: Convergence, Amity, Surrender the Traitor, You're Worth it, Erudite
  • Holes in the Sky - M83, Haim
  •  Warriors - Imagine Dragons
  • The Engagement - Patrick Doyle
  •  Overjoyed - Bastille
  • Breath of Life - Florence + the Machine
  • Hanging On - Ellie Goulding
  •  Lily's Theme - Alexandre Desplat
  •  Eptesicus - Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard
  •  Harry's Sacrifice, The Resurrection Stone, Harry Surrenders - Alexandre Desplat
  •  Beating Heart - Ellie Goulding

For a little extra something to whet your reading appetite, here's the book trailer for DEFY, book one in the Defy series.

Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Sara B. Larson, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 9. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

And now for a BONUS giveaway, especially for my fans. It's only running for a couple days, so be sure to enter right away! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author on the blue team! Right this way to SHONNA SLAYTON

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Cage of Deceit Blog Tour: Interview with Jennifer Anne Davis PLUS Giveaway

It's the last day of September! Can you believe it? I don't know about you, but this year is buzzing past me at high speed. Or maybe that's just because I'm on a deadline ...
Anyway, today we're joining the CAGE OF DECEIT blog tour by chatting with author Jennifer Anne Davis. Come get to know more about Jennifer and her book, and be sure to enter the rafflecopter at the end of the post.
Hi, Jennifer! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.  
I am a mother of three kiddos and a full time writer. When I’m not taking care of my kids or writing, I’m reading. I love to read YA fantasy.
Author links
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tell our readers a bit about CAGE OF DECEIT.
CAGE OF DECEIT is about a princess who is set to rule the empire. She feels suffocated by court life and sneaks out at night to hunt down criminals and help her people. Only, war is encroaching and she is faced with some tough choices—like an arranged marriage to an arrogant prince, the fact that she is stuck in the castle like a caged animal, and she is responsible for the people of her kingdom. She can’t run away or act like a child even though she’s only 17. She has enormous responsibilities on her shoulders and she tackles them head on.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
I wrote The True Reign Series a couple years ago and I really wanted to explore what happened twenty years after the story ends. CAGE OF DECEIT is about the daughter of the two main characters from The True Reign Series. I took the two main characters and created their daughter who has inherited all of their hot-headedness.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter. Otherwise how else can you drop subtle hints, foreshadow what’s to come, and create a story for readers to get lost in?
Same! *secret plotter handshake* What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Having enough time! I wish I could write all day sometimes. But I have three kids to take care of so it’s a balancing act.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
Music. I can’t write without music.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To move fast. I’d love to be able to clean my house or write at an insanely fast pace. Or fly. Flying would be fun.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
How to torture someone medieval style.
Haha, that will get you on a few watch lists. Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
My family! My mom, husband, and kiddos for putting up with me!
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and chatting with us, Jennifer!

Thanks for having me!!!

Now it's time for our readers to enter the contest for a super cool Clean Teen Mystery Box. Check it out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday 29 September 2015

The Fire Sisters Book Blitz: Interview with AG Henley

Today we're joining the FIRE SISTERS book blitz by chatting with author A.G. Henley. Come get to know all about this YA dystopian series.

Hi, and welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks for having me! I SO appreciate bloggers for the good work you do to help authors get the word out about their books, and you’ve been especially kind to me. Thank you!

So, I’m a YA author with a now complete (hooray!) series of dystopian/post-apocalyptic books. The Brilliant Darkness series begins with The Scourge, a 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist, and includes The Defiance and the just-released The Fire Sisters. There are also two novellas in the series. The series features a blind girl who believes she’s mysteriously protected from flesh-eating creatures called the Scourge, but she hasn’t been tested—until now.

I’m also a psychologist, which makes my workweek an interesting mix of fantasy and heart-wrenching reality.

The Fire Sisters

I know it is good to hear an encouraging word now and then to know how much the readers love your books and to keep you going. So what is your favorite comment from a fan that really lifted your spirits?

I LOVE my readers, and I have such nice ones. They are incredibly supportive. One comment that has always stuck in my brain came very early after I first published The Scourge in January 2012. I was not planning to self-publish, but at the time I couldn’t interest an agent in my writing. I thought no one would buy or read my book.

A woman, an early reader, said she was so engrossed in The Scourge that she read while trying to do her housework, and while changing her baby’s diaper. I was thrilled that the initial response was that the book was hard to put down. I see that as a primary goal for an author: to make you lose sleep, because you can’t stop reading : ) Consider that fair warning! You can see her actual comment here, third one down on the left:

How did you come up with the idea for the Brilliant Darkness series?

I initially came up with the idea of people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of swamps. I figured they’d move up into the trees. But, what if half the people moved up and wouldn’t share with the other half? That’s how the two main groups in The Scourge, the Lofties and Groundlings, were born. (The swamp idea kind of fell away, although water is very important to the story.)
The Scourge
The Keeper (novella)
The Defiance
The Gatherer (novella)
The Fire Sisters

Then, I thought, what if the main character, a Groundling, was blind? And THEN, I thought, and what if there were zombie-like creatures that only she was protected from, due to her blindness??? And that was it. Fennel and the Scourge were born.

I find the concept of the Lofties (tree dwellers) and Groudlings (Ground dwellers) so fascinating. Then there is the dreaded Scourge. Can you tell us a little about each of them?

Lofties are all fair-haired and fair-skinned. Groundlings are dark. Once a year, the two groups meet for the Exchange, when they trade their infants based on their coloring. It’s a terrible time for both groups, but they’ve been locked in this tradition for generations. The Lofties hold the safety and security of the trees and treetops, while the Groundlings control the community’s only water supply. So they have a tense, mistrustful relationship, as you might imagine. The Groundlings are particularly bitter, because they have to hide in cold, dark caves for days when the Scourge come, because the Lofties won’t share their trees.

The Scourge are vicious flesh-eating creatures that chase down and devour, or turn, any humans they come across—except the Sightless, like Fennel. I should say here that if you don’t like blood and gore, don’t be afraid of The Scourge. Most people who say they aren’t zombie fans, and are easily grossed out or afraid, don’t find my series to be objectionable at all. It’s really fantasy romance : )

Your characters have a ways of getting themselves into so many bad situations and some causes problems for those around them. Which character(s) gave you the most problems when trying to write their story?
Hmm, I’m not sure any of them gave me problems. I LOVE creating characters. They usually just jump into my head fully formed!

Who was your favorite character to write?

I’m attached to my two mains, Fennel and Peree. It was so fun to build their relationship from scratch. But the most fun to write was Moray. He’s a bad guy, really, but he has heroic, good guy moments. I really tried hard to write him so that you couldn’t classify him, so he wouldn’t be black and white. I hope I succeeded right through The Fire Sisters.

I know right now the series consist of 3 full length novels and 2 novellas. So is this it or do you feel there will be a spin-off or prequel in the future?

Hmm, this is it for NOW. Funny you should mention a spin-off, though. I did try to leave the ending somewhat open for a few characters, and there are many more questions about the world of the Scourge…

What are you working on now? Has a new story started to bring itself to life?

Thanks for asking! I’m writing a YA time travel short story right now for an indie anthology that will release in March. I met a group of women writers here in Denver who all write YA and are mostly indies. We have done a few writing retreats together, and at the last one someone said, “Why don’t we publish a short story anthology?” So, Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time came to be! It’s so much fun to write a new character in a new world. I could totally see this leading to its own series down the road…

I’m also revising a novel I wrote last year that is YA speculative fiction. It will be a duology, if all goes as planned.

Is there any advice you would like to give to the aspiring authors out there?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Honestly, that’s what being an author boils down to. I read, write, and create all day, and it’s a privilege to get paid to do it!

Thanks so much for joining us today!

Thank you again for having me on the blog! It was a lot of fun.

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Monday 28 September 2015

City of Roses Blog Tour: Interview with Donovan Pruitt

Happy Monday, everyone. I hope you've all enjoyed the weekend. Let's dive into the new week by joining the CITY OF ROSES blog tour and chatting with author Donovan Pruitt. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter at the end of the post for an awesome prize.

Donovan Pruitt has a passion for science fiction and fantasy, especially those titles that trend toward young and new adult storytelling. City of Roses was his first standalone book as an indie author, though he has also written for video games and was previously published as a co-author in the fantasy genre. You can visit him online at or join the discussion on Twitter @KalaEmpire.

Hi, Donovan! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell our readers a bit about CITY OF ROSES.
A young man ventures to his lost love’s childhood home in the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine. When a sudden accident puts him off-
course, he awakes to discover a lively and vibrant culture living in a nearby village and a woman who reignites his heart. But something sinister lurks in the shadows, and he must face the terror and help defend the village from evil before it is lost forever. Go beyond the tragedy of Chernobyl and discover the magic in the City of Roses.

City of Roses is a deeply personal love story tangled up in a mystery of reality-bending awesomeness that comes from the main character’s tragic past and the Chernobyl disaster. The story progression is inspired by Eastern European methods of storytelling and includes references to real Ukrainian history and folklore/mythology. There’s action, romance, mystery, and monsters. I hope people love it.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
My second degree was in Russian Language and Culture, and I’ve always wanted to do something special with that education. Researching Ukrainian folklore/mythology was a real treat, and combined with a lifelong fascination with the paranormal and Chernobyl, I put together something that I consider really special. It’s a thinker. I want my readers to ask questions about the themes, the meaning, and ultimately to walk away with a desire to learn more about Ukrainian culture, Pripyat, and Chernobyl.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a pantser. The only time I outline, it’s usually because I’m just curious how much more I have left to write. Even then, my chapter outlines consist of one or two words, like “battle.” I keep everything stuck up in my head, and I like to see where that takes me.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
The first half of a book is always the hardest for me to write because I dwell on the details way too much. I nitpick everything, trying to be too much of a perfectionist to make sure I’m really nailing the tone, the characters, all of it. That’s the stuff I should just fix in the second draft, but I always end up editing while I go along, and then doing it all over again anyway.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
My kitty slash keyboard cover Anastasia, apparently. She insists.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Something mental. Telepathy or psychokinesis. Jean Grey/Quentin Quire, basically. Added bonus if I get to be the Phoenix later in life, too.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
The Backstreet Boys lineup, after my wife swore to me that Jessica Biel married a Backstreet Boy. We were both wrong. Can you tell it’s not our genre of music?
Haha, I can imagine the conversation. Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Playing video games. It’s my downtime reward and my nightly addiction. I have done some writing for video games before, but playing them has been a lifelong passion.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
The biggest and most special would be my wife for giving me this opportunity to try my hand at being a full time writer. This is an amazing opportunity and experience so far, and I refuse to let her down.
Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Thank you for having me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday 25 September 2015

M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight – Vanessa Barger with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are spotlighting
Vanessa Barger
author of
Super Freak
a Middle Grade title from Tantrum Books, coming October 2015!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Twitter or Facebook?
Can I say both? I like Twitter for instant gratification, but I like Facebook for posting fun things too!
Favorite Superhero?
This is hard. I'm not a huge superhero person. But if I had to pick? Wonder Woman. I dressed up as Wonder Woman one year when I was little. Somewhere, I still have my golden lasso of truth!

Favorite TV show?
Okay, most TV shows I actually like get cancelled, but I have three. I love the first 3-4 seasons of Supernatural, I LOVE the Vicar of Dibley, and the Two Fat Ladies. If I'm having a stressful day, I pop the Two Fat Ladies in to relax. I'm weird, I know.

Sweet or Salty?
Sweet. But not too sweet. :)

Coke or Pepsi?
Root Beer (But def coke, Pepsi is ICK)

Any Phobias?
I don't care for spiders, and anything to do with Jack the Ripper seriously freaks me out. Like, I won't watch a TV show about it, read about it, or even read fiction about it!

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
There isn't just one, but let’s go with Fight Song by Rachel Platten. The others on my playlist are a lot more....weird? Lots of instrumental music, and oddball things.

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?
Oh, man, just one?! That's not even fair.

What are you reading right now or what's on your TBR?
I have several books in the TBR pile, but the top three are Namesless by Lili St. Crow, The City of Ember, and Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff. Oh, and I'm dying to read The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Goosebumps! I can't wait to see that one. Jack Black as RL Stine? YES, please!


Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |YouTube


Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.
To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.
Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.
add to goodreads



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Thursday 24 September 2015

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Dead Jed series by Scott Craven with Giveaway #T4T


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 the:
Dead Jed series by Scott Craven!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed's not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being 'different' for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend's sister's birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.
From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully's “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys' room (Jed's always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he's back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed's had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it's awesome what you can do when you're already dead!
add to goodreads


DEAD JED is amazing. It takes true talent to write a book that's witty and has such clever humor. That's exactly what DEAD JED has.” – Courtney, Author

I’m entirely convinced this series is going to be as big and popular as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, if not more. It might be aimed at middle grade readers, but I will highly and happily recommend it to readers aged 9 to 99!”Angie, Books4Tomorrow

“Middle Grade humor at its finest.” – S.A. Larsen, Author


The first part of seventh grade was rough on Jed, but things are looking up now that Christmas is almost here. As with past Christmases, Jed asks for the one thing he’s always wanted–a dog–and again, his parents tell him they’re not ready. But fate has a different plan when Jed sees a dog get run over by a car. Then, it happens. Jed suddenly has a pet, Tread, a zombie dog bearing his namesake–a tire tread down his back. Jed may have gained a dog, but he loses his best friend Luke, who fears the way Jed created his undead pet.
When Jed returns to school, he finds a mysterious group called the No Zombies Now Network spreading rumors of the dangers the undead pose to normal people. Forced to disprove Hollywood stereotypes, Jed has his work cut out for him as stories of a zombie dog begin to circulate. Jed could be expelled if he can’t expose the NZN Network as a fraud. Jed needs help from his kind of girlfriend Anna, especially after he discovers Luke has joined the shadowy group.
Once again navigating the treacherous waters of middle school, Jed does his best to stay in one piece. Only this time he’ll need even more duct tape and staples than usual.
add to goodreads


“Like its predecessor Dead Jed, Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed is an incredibly cute and fun read!”Angie, Books4Tomorrow

“This is a fun story, which was written very well for the age group. I can imagine the series being a huge hit, especially with zombies being so popular at the moment.”Bri, Natural Bri - Pursuits of Life

“…just read it, you will love it and it sooooo funny” – Michelle, Because Reading



Scott is a proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, has one son who is 20, and is a features writer for The Arizona Republic.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


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Wednesday 23 September 2015

Heartbeat Thief Blog Tour: Interview with AJ Krafton

Today we're joining the Heartbeat Thief blog tour by chatting with author AJ Krafton. Come get to know more about AJ and her book. Be sure to check out the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post as well!

AJ Krafton is the author of New Adult speculative fiction. Her debut The Heartbeat Thief is due out on Kindle in June 2015. Forthcoming titles include Taking' It Back & Face of the Enemy. She's a proud member of the Infinite Ink Authors. AJ also writes adult spec fic as Ash Krafton. Visit Ash at

Author links:

Hi, AJ! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell our readers a bit about THE HEARTBEAT THIEF.

The Heartbeat Thief is the story of Victorian debutante Senza Fyne, whose mother's obsession with gaining an advantageous marriage is partly to blame for her growing fear of death. The mere thought of growing older and losing her precious youth and beauty and, subsequently, her chances of finding a husband or even obtaining a happily-ever-after…that's quite horrible enough. But when death claims those whom she loves, the grief and fear push her past her limits—and she takes a very drastic measure to escape the clutches of Time and Death forever.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I admit, the story was born of the things I love to read myself. I adore Jane Austen's novels, the characters that grow and bloom before our eyes, the manners and the courtesy, the sense of being in love with love. Austen's style is so different than my own (my books tend to be plot-driven urban fantasy) and I use her books to escape and find a little respite.

But Jane Austen isn't my only favorite. I'm a tad obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe. Always have been. (It started when I was ten, the only kid awake at 3am at a slumber party. The only thing on TV was House of Usher. LOL happy childhood memories.) When our family visits Baltimore, the kids want to know when we're getting the obligatory cemetery visit out of the way. I have them trained, I guess. Little do they know that when we visit Boston later this month, I have a new stop for them—Edgar was born there. *rubs hands and laughs the muhahahaha laugh*

I supposed I always knew that, eventually, the two worlds would collide. The idea for the story developed like a beribboned fog, gradually taking shape as I indulged myself in the styles of the masters themselves.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Usually, I pants my way through most of the first draft, before I do a chapter outline and see what exactly is going on. Once I see the general shape of things, I plot the rest, adding and subtracting elements so that the plot is structured and satisfying.

THE HEARTBEAT THIEF was a little different. I wanted it to have the feel of a historical fantasy and, in tribute to Jane Austen, I wanted a story that was more character-driven than plot driven. I don't think a plot-driven storyline would have served the story as well, since it's primarily a story that deals with a person's perceptions of death, a very personal, internal story. However, Poe's Masque of the Red Death complimented the theme perfectly, and I used excerpts of Poe's story to foreshadow sections of Senza's journey. Poe's story also provided the structure the story needed, right down to the path of the story—like Prince Prospero and his castle with the seven chambers, Senza goes through seven distinct "chambers" in her life, complete with doorways through which she could never return. (I'm sure you can imagine who was waiting in the final chamber.)

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Not editing while I write. I try to write early in the morning or when I'm a little tired just so that the Editor Brain is inhibited. Then I can write effortlessly without censoring, and the ideas flow so much easier. If I'm wide awake, then I switch to analog measures—pen and paper, no delete key, just word after word without worry that I missed punctuation or ended a sentence with a preposition.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Tea. Preferrably Darjeeling. A good Darjeeling. One that leaves me thinking about the taste even after I swallow it.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Heightened senses, physical prowess, and epic fighting skills like Matt Murdock in the Netflix series Daredevil. I want stick holsters in my jeans and the ability to do those wicked kicks and jumps. Unlike the character, my sight is just fine and I still walk into junk. All the time.

(Although yesterday at the day job I had less-than-courteous customers and at one point I wished I could control bugs just so that I could mentally direct them to swarm on a person or two. My gnatty minions! Fly! Fly right into their eyes and up their noses! Fly, my pretties! *cackles*)

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Oh, my God, what a question. I'm almost afraid to answer this because I Google a lot of stuff in the name of writing research. Once I Googled Victorian underpants because I wanted to know what girls wore under all those skirts. Sounds pervy but honestly, it was for science.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

…watching Ghost Hunters.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

My beta readers—Mickey, Jen, and Hall have stood by my side from the very first book. Over the years, I've had the honor of working with many more readers but I think those three should be thanked each and every day.

I also want to say thank you to every person who ever took the time to leave a review about something I wrote. Over the years, I've gotten feedback from hundreds of readers who shared their thoughts about how my work resonated with them (and in some cases, didn't ☺)

Reviews help authors out by encouraging other readers to take a chance on a book. Bad reviews often do the same exact thing. Really bad reviews kind of act like a challenge to readers who often say I have to read that book for myself because I can't believe it's that bad. I know it's true because I've done it.

Personally, reviews helps me to understand readers whose tastes and perceptions are different than my own—and actually helps me craft future stories. I read books to experience another person's life or world…and reading reviews helps me see my work from someone else's perspective. In the end, I don't care about star ratings. What I'm gratified to see is another individual who read my story and wanted to talk about it. It causes me to feel a really big feeling that's difficult to name (something along the lines of validated plus infinity plus 1.)

Thanks for stopping by the blog, and good luck with your book!

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