It’s that time of year again…

So I really haven’t updated since May? Geez. A lot has happened since then. Let’s see, I went wide, but the consensus was that I had more readers in KU who supported that, so I went back to KU. Near constant migraines got me an MRI, which revealed white matter brain lesions, probably related to the migraines, which were probably related to the stress, which is probably related to my job, so… yeah. Fun times. But I’ve gotten it under control for the most part and it’s a wait and see, at least for now unless it gets worse.

Those who know me in real life, know I have a lot of pots on the fire. I’m a teacher, a writer, a mom, and an animal rescuer. I’ve always done it on an as needed basis, but lately, the as needed basis has gotten a lot bigger, so I created a website and officially opened a parrot rescue in my area. There aren’t a lot in this area of Michigan, and the need is great. The picture is Sugar, my most recent rescue. If you want to read her emotional story, click HERE.

On to the writing news, if you’re still following, lol. I finished my first in a fun paranormal cozy mystery series and just got my edits back.  I plan on releasing that one and several more in the series next spring. I love the characters in this series, the story lines, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

A few weeks ago, I also shared that I’m just handful of reviews away from writing and releasing the next book in my Darkness Falls series. Once When Darkness Falls hits 50 reviews, I’ll write the fourth book because I know you guys love that series! So, if you haven’t left a review yet, please do! I already know what’s going to happen, and let me tell you, it’s going to be awesome!!!

In case you haven’t noticed…

The first book in my series, When Darkness Falls, has been MIA on Amazon for the last week or so. That’s because I’ve been hard at work securing my rights back from my publisher, Kindle Press, updating the manuscript to reflect some changes and republishing it. Because of the Kindle Unlimited fiasco that’s going on right now, where a lot of authors are getting their page reads stripped and accounts blocked, I’ve decided to go wide and not be exclusive to Amazon. What does that mean to you? Not much, except that my book (and soon the rest of my books) will be available on several different marketplaces and hopefully reach a wider audience. Right now it’s still in the process of being reviewed, but I’m excited, and I’m nervous, and tired (though that has nothing to do with republishing a book, it’s just life). Stay tuned for the new link, I’ll let you know what it is as soon as it’s active.

I’ve always loved the paranormal.

I’ve been on ghost hunts, to seances, had my tarot cards read, and even had aura photography done at a metaphysical event. I love secret societies and unsolved mysteries. However, one of my strangest encounters though, didn’t directly involve the paranormal. I was driving through Atoka, Oklahoma and stopped at this little antique store. (Side note: If you love antiques as much as I do, check out the little hole-in-the-wall places in the south. They’re some of the best.). While I was looking through some of their treasures, I overheard three of the people in the store talking. It went something like this:

“So, did you smell it last night?” a forty-something year old woman with bleached blonde hair asked.
“Yep, it was awful, like rotten eggs and dead skunk.” her companion, a younger woman in a cowboy hat and blue jeans said.
“You can always tell when a bigfoot’s around by the smell,” the first woman said.

It went on like that for a few minutes, with me listening in not-so-subtly, and it’s always stuck with me. I’d love to go back someday, and possibly do a real investigation. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up to the sweet aroma of a bigfoot in the morning?

What about you? Do you love the paranormal? Do ghost hunts make you giddy? Do you run toward things that go bump in the night? If so, let me know! I’d love to hear about your experiences with the paranormal.

One more thing, before I forget. I’m looking for a couple people who read both When Darkness Falls and What Darkness Hides who would be interested in reading Darkness Burning Brightly and letting me know what you think, before it get’s published. If you’re interested, please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

And the winner is…

Shannon Fay! Please let me know which book you’d like and your mailing address and I’ll send it right out. Thanks again for everyone who entered. I’ll announce the winner of the Purple Team’s YA Scavenger Hunt as soon as I get that info. That’s all for now, it’s back to work for me. This book isn’t going to edit itself!

YA Scavenger Hunt Starts Now!

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to once again participate in the YA Scavenger Hunt. If you haven’t hunted before, you’re in for a treat! The YA Scavenger Hunt is where you pick a team (purple, right?) and visit all of the participating author’s websites. Each author will have a blog post dedicated to another author, in which they’ll share an author bio and some exclusive content. While you’re reading, watch for the secret number, because you’ll need to add all of those up to enter the contest.

Once you’ve got your total score, head on over to the YA Scavenger Hunt website to enter for your chance to win a free book from each of the participating authors. But wait, there’s more! Most of the authors, myself included, also offer their own giveaways, giving you the chance at even more prices. Want to learn more? Head on over to YA Scavenger Hunt for more information and to enter the contest when you’re finished.

And now, I’d like to introduce Meg Kassel, the awesome author I have the honor of hosting, and her book, Blackbird of the GallowsJust look at that cover! Isn’t it awesome!!

About her book:

Author’s note:

My YA paranormal debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows, is told in Angie Dovage’s point of view, so this scene is a bit of the book from the perspective of her romantic interest, Reece Fernandez. Reece was such an interesting character to write (I love my paranormal boys!), but we never get in his head. This scene takes place shortly before Angie discovers Reece’s secret (that he’s a harbinger of death). I hope you enjoy!

Exclusive content:

When I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m hungry, I eat. I feel pain and heal as slowly as any human. As years pass, I age. On paper, I could be a normal boy. At first glance, I could pass for one of you. Nothing about me is normal.

I’m a harbinger of death. Food isn’t the only thing I hunger for. The other hunger is the reason I’m going out tonight. Also, because of my hot, arty neighbor, Angie Dovage. I’d love to get her off my mind. But that isn’t happening until my group and I fly out of this town. Even now, riding in a car with Cody Knox, a new friend and fellow hockey fan, I can’t get that girl out of my head.

I listen with as much patience as I can muster as Cody starts in on how he’d like to ask out Ava Chen, but is convinced she’d never say yes. She likes guys smarter than he is, he says. She doesn’t like guys who play sports. I nod at that. It’s a problem I identify with. Angie doesn’t seem the slightest bit interested in sports or the people who play them. I wish I played the bass guitar. Maybe, if I were a musician, she’d be able to overlook my…eccentricities. Not that she should. Even if we got along great, I won’t be in Cadence long enough for it to go anywhere.

My fingernails scratch at my coat’s arm seam. This ride feels like it’s taking forever.

“Hey Reece,” Cody says. “Did you leave a girlfriend in your last school?”

I shrug with a smirk and a snort. “No one girl in particular,” is my lazy reply. The truth is, there was no one at all, but of course, I think of Angie: survivor. Secret musician. Girl of the bright, sad eyes that look like they don’t trust what they see.

Girl I can’t stop thinking about.

About the author:

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. She is a two-time finalist and the 2016 winner of the RWA Golden Heart© contest in YA.

 

 

 

 

Before I direct you to your next stop, please sign up for my contest below. I’ll be giving away a free copy of one of my books, your choice, even Darkness Burning Brightly, the rd book in my Darkness Falls series, which comes out May 28th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now, it’s my pleasure to announce the next step on your YA Scavenger Hunt journey, the amazing Shaila Patel.

YA Scavenger Hunt!

 

It’s that time of year again! I’ll be part of the YA Scavenger Hunt on the PURPLE team! The hunt will run from April 3rd until April 8th so you’ll hopefully have plenty of time to participate.

Don’t know what the YA Scavenger Hunt is? You choose a team (c’mon, we all know you love the color purple the best, right?) but I suppose you can pick any of the colors if you want, or all of them if you want extra chances to win. Then you start at one of the author’s websites, and they’ll tell you a bit about an author they’re hosting, offer a teaser, inspiration board, playlist, etc, and then a secret number. If you go to all of the websites and add up all of the secret numbers, you can enter to win a free book from each of the participating authors. You know what’s even better? Many of the authors (myself included *cough cough*) also offer giveaways themselves, so you have a bunch of chances to win free books, book swag, and all sorts of cool prizes.  Interested in finding out more? Click on the scavenger hunt picture to the left and it’ll take you right to the website.

A little late, but Darkness Burning Brightly is coming!

I’ve finally got Darkness Burning Brightly up for pre-order,  and if you haven’t seen the cover, I’ll post it here. It’s gorgeous! It’ll be released on May 28th, so if you pre-order your copy, it’ll be delivered to your kindle as soon as it’s released. In other news, for some reason I decided to draft ANOTHER book next month with my students. I’m nuts. Like, seriously. As if I don’t have enough to do. But writing is fun, and writing with others is contagious, and exciting, and I love seeing the exhilaration on my students’ faces when they talk about their stories and ask me to share details of mine. And, it’s in a genre I’ve never written before, epic fantasy, so we’ll see how that goes. Oh, and dragons, of  course, because fantasy isn’t fantasy without dragons. But that’s about it for now, if I survive the month and writing and editing and all that fun, I’ll let you know. I can’t wait. 🙂

As I sit here on the 30th of December…

Unsolved Mysteries plays in the background, as does as baby monitor so I can listen to my little one sleep. Scrivener’s pulled up, with book three of the Darkness Falls series on it, and I just finished updating my main page with information on What Darkness Hides.

2017 has been a challenging year on a lot of levels, but I’ve learned a lot about perseverance. I can’t control everything, but that I need to focus on what I can. What are you going to focus on for the new year? My resolution: spend more time looking up. Stop letting life and everything else get me down and focus on what I can control, and then work the hell out of it until I get it the way I want.

I’ve got a lot planned next year: Darkness Falls book 3, and three books in a new UF series planned for late summer, early fall, but I also want so much more. Health, like most people, and a chance to really focus on finding a future where I’ll be happy, which will make me a better writer, mom, and overall person. Life’s too short for anything less.

Have I really not posted since October?

Wow, I really dropped the ball there. I swear I was regularly posting… Must have been in my head. It happens. So, is now the right time to tell you that the sequel to When Darkness Falls will  come out December 26th? It’s the perfect thing to use your Amazon gift cards on, right? It’s called What Darkness Hides and it’s on pre-order for only $.99! Click HERE to pick up your copy. After the 26th, the price will go up, so make sure you grab your copy before then. Want to read the first chapter? I just made a shiny new page for What Darkness Hides, so click HERE.  Hope everyone has a peaceful and happy holiday season, I’ll try to write more soon!

YA Scavenger Hunt – Fall 2017

Welcome to 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 until Sunday, October 8th!

As you can see, I’m a member of the Gold team. Check out all of the awesome books you could win if you finish the hunt!

I’m hosting the AMAZING Nikki Katz.

Bio:

You can find out more information about Nikki and her awesome upcoming book, the Midnight Dance, by clicking HERE. It releases October 17, 201.  Click on the pic of her book cover if you’d like to pre-order your own copy.

For her exclusive content, Nikki has decided to share a  deleted scene from an early chapter of THE MIDNIGHT DANCE:
—–
Rehearsal had finally ended and Penny lay in her room, sprawled on the threadbare quilt with Leon curled against the curve of her waist. She’d escaped another trip to the library with Maria, claiming she needed to rest. But dinner was only an hour away and a nap seemed out of reach.
 
She changed into a long skirt and sweater and slipped down the hall to the servants’ exit. Dense clouds filled the sky, sagging and ready to drop buckets of rain. The entire landscape seemed drenched in gray. At least the gala meant spring was on the horizon with all its pastel colors and fragrant blossoms. That was one thing she could look forward to.
 
Holding her skirt so it skimmed the tops of her boots, Penny dashed down the cobbled path to the lake. The water was a seamless echo of the sky, disorienting in its perfect reflection as if she could fall into the clouds. She squatted at the edge, peering further into the depths to watch as minnows chased each other in a never-ending game of tag. With a deep breath, she closed her eyes, concentrating on the cool air, feather soft against her forehead. A breeze carried the smell of the spruce and pine trees, reminding her of Christmas when garland draped the staircase and ribbon-draped trees brushed the ceiling in nearly every room. At night the girls would spend hours singing carols around the fire and peeking at wrapped presents piled high in the drawing room. This year Master had gotten Penny a Michaux bicycle from Paris. She had very little time to ride, especially in this weather, but it was a grand gesture.
 
It wasn’t always terrible at the estate. The girls had everything they needed; beds to sleep in, decadent food, friends, and schooling in the arts.
 
So why did she always want to run away?
 
A screech tore through the air and Penny’s eyes squinted open against the sudden brightness. A black-winged stilt landed on the lake and stared at her, its beady eyes and parted beak seeming to tell her to return to her room.
 
The temperature dropped and shivers raced down her skin. The supper bell echoed a distant gong, calling her back to the safety of home. With a last glance at the bird, she hastened back up the path and indoors.

Before you go, enter my giveaway to win a free signed copy of one of my books!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

For your next clue, check out Sarah K. L. Wilson’s page.

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