Monday, August 17, 2015

Free and Discounted YA Science Fiction and Fantasy!

Okay, so for the next five days, you can load your e-reader with some of the best YA science fiction and fantasy out there.

My book, ELEMENTAL HUNGER, is part of the sale. It is only 99-cents for the next five days. I hope you'll go get it!

About ELEMENTAL HUNGER: Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. When Gabby is commanded to Manifest her Element, everyone knows what she is: a genetic abnormality. Not to mention guilty.

So she does two logical things to survive.
1. She runs.
2. She hacks off her hair to assume a new role—that of “Gabe”, because in her world, only boys are Firemakers.

Not only does she have to act like a guy, she has to pretend to know everything a Firemaker should know. When Gabby meets Airmaster Adam Gillman, he believes her act and pledges to serve on “Gabe’s” Council. But Adam has the mark of a sentry and spent years obeying Alex, the Supreme Elemental. And Alex wants Gabby-the-genetic-freak dead and gone before she can gather the magical protection of a full Council.

With Adam’s lies that sound like truths and rumors that Alex isn’t really a Firemaker—or a man—Gabby sets out to charter a Council of her own. In order to uncover the truth, Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Go to the YAASFF site: Your Adventure Awaits: Summer Fun and Freebies. You can see all the books that are 99-cents and free, and enter to win one of 5 amazing prize packages! 

5 days. Tons of free and discounted books. 5 prize packages. Now until Friday, August 21. Your adventure awaits!

Go now by clicking the banner below!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

All Hallows' Eve Timeless Romance Collection

Dude, I am so excited to be included in the thirteenth Timeless Romance Collection! Halloween has never been my favorite holiday, but I think this year it will be.

Because Heather Moore, Sarah M. Eden, Annette Lyon, Jordan McCollum, Lisa Mangum, and I have six romance novellas centered around the paranormal!

ALL HALLOW'S EVE is not to be missed. Romance, thrills & chills. Need we say more?

In Sarah M. Eden’s mysterious novella OF GHOSTS AND GARDENS, if Enid Pryce has one downfall, it’s that she talks to the ghost in her garden, which doesn’t make her too popular among society’s elite. In fact, she returns to her home in Wales after a Season in Bath with not one offer of marriage. Deeming herself a failure at the nearly-spinster age of nineteen, she is pleasantly surprised when an English gentleman shows up in her garden, apparently intent on finding out more about the ghost. Burke Kennard, grandson of an English marquess, quickly becomes utterly charmed by the young Welsh woman, but the ghost in the garden is more likely to push them apart than pull them together.

In Annette Lyon’s enthralling story IT’S YOU, when Charlie and Anna both see the ghost of Nanny Mae, they think they’re losing their minds. Anna tries to find out more about the ghost and uncovers a decades’ old family secret. One that separated two people in love. Now, the ghost of Nanny Mae must set her wrongs to right. As Charlie and Anna explore the past, and the truth of what happened, they discover that the mistakes of the past might lead to love of the future.

In SOPHIA’S CURSE, a suspenseful novella by Heather B. Moore, Joan grows up in an abbey in France, believing that she is an orphan. A chance encounter with the foreboding owner of a neighboring estate, alters everything she’s understood about her parents. She discovers she’s an integral part of changing a decades-old curse, and that her life, as well as the handsome and intriguing Simon Rousseau’s life, are both in danger unless she makes an enormous sacrifice that will change the course of her dreams.

In Lisa Mangum’s haunting story THE SIRENS’ SONG, we meet recently widowed Oliver, the lead physician on a luxury cruise liner traveling to Greece. He hopes that the change of scenery will help ease his grief over his deceased wife, Cate. After falling overboard, though, he is captured by a siren and taken to a mystical island. Through the sirens' song, Oliver is able to relive his memories of Cate—both the good and the bad—as long as he gives away his memories of her. But can he sacrifice his best memory in exchange for one last chance to say good-bye?

In Jordan McCollum’s thrilling novella THE MAN OF HER DREAMS, homicide detective Alexandra Steen dreams about real murders before they happen, seeing the crime through the eyes of the killers. But the dreams never contain enough clues to save the victim before it's too late. Then one dream ends before a murder occurs—in a place she knows. She finds herself racing against time to prevent the deadly act, only to discover that the intended victim is a man she thought she’d never see again. Seven years might have passed since her breakup with Nick, but the years haven’t changed her feelings for him. Now, she must convince Nick that her dreams are real and find a way to prevent his death.

In Elana Johnson’s chilling story THE GHOST OF MILLHOUSE MANSION, Naomi knows her crush on Colt Jennings is unreasonable. When he invites her to his reclusive mansion to restore an old wooden rocking horse, Naomi can’t resist accepting the job. The more time Naomi spends touring his home, the more interested she becomes in Colt. Until she sees a man in the library who vanishes into thin air. She thinks she’s losing her mind until Colt tells her about the ghosts he’s been seeing for years.

GHOSTS, you guys! I got to write about GHOSTS in the Rocky Mountains! The very first novel I wrote years and years ago was a ghost story. (It was terrible, but we won't dwell on that.) Almost thirty books later, and I get to share some ghosts with you. Completely different ones, in a completely different place, in a completely new genre, but still. GHOSTS.

I hope you'll pick up the anthology, which releases this Friday, August 14. All the novellas are clean romances with a paranormal twist. I can't wait to read them all!

What are you excited about this week?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Exciting News-ish Items!

Wow, this summer has FLOWN by! F-L-O-W-N. I swear it was just barely the last day of school, and next week I'll be starting a new school year. Cray-zy.

Anyway, there have been things happening, as I'm sure there have been for you as well. I had some lofty summer goals for my writing, and I'm happy to report on them.

1. Write the sequel to my adult romance. Check. I drafted the book in June--the same month I got two offers from publishers on the first book. The same month I signed with a new literary agent for that adult romance. So yeah, maybe writing that sequel was done on a high.

2. Edit the inspirational romance I'd written earlier this year. Check. I actually bought several of Margie Lawson's writing packets, and used her Deep EDITS system. I can't recommend it enough. I worked with highlighters and pen on a hard copy of the book, putting in about 10 hours each day for a solid week. Double check. Then I entered all the handwritten changes into the computer for another week. Triple check. More news about this book below.

3. Write the sequel to the inspirational romance. Check. My goal was to write 5000 words each day for 12 days in July, before my big dance trip to Vegas and my family reunion. I ended up drafting the 50,000-word book in only 7 days. Yes, it has holes. Things that need to be fixed, And 10,000 more words. But it's drafted!

So naturally, after my vacations and whatnot, I made myself a list of writing goals for the fall--my busiest time of the year what with school starting and everything. My son's a senior this year too, which means scholarship apps and all that. (I love paperwork, so I'm super excited about this!)

And I decided to publish my inspirational romance under a pen name. I've never been a fan of pen names, but I have all my YA and New Adult stuff under Elana Johnson, and my adult contemporary romance as well. This is inspirational--religious. I decided it needed to be delineated.

So I'll be releasing the first book in the series, SECOND CHANCE RANCH, on September 8. (You can pre-order here.) The second book is in edits right now, and it'll be out on December 1.  I'm writing this series under the name of Liz Isaacson, and you can follow happenings for it on twitter, Facebook, and my blog.

About SECOND CHANCE RANCH: After his deployment, injured and discharged Major Squire Ackerman returns to Three Rivers Ranch, anxious to prove himself capable of running the cattle operation so his parents can retire. Things would be easier if the ranch wasn’t missing 1.6 million dollars, which forces Squire to hire Kelly, the girl who rejected his high school prom invitation, as his accountant.

She’s back in town with her four-year-old son, living in her parent’s basement until she can get her life back together. With fresh ink on her divorce papers and open gashes on her heart, she’s not ready for much beyond her new job on the ranch.

Squire wants to forgive Kelly for ignoring him a decade ago. He’d like to provide the stable life she needs, but with old wounds opening and a ranch on the brink of financial collapse, it will take patience and faith to make their second chance possible.

I'm toying with publishing my YA fantasy, but I also got an offer on one of my YA sci-fi novels from a publisher, and I'm thinking they might be interested in it. So I might wait on that. Either way, it's been an eventful summer!!

How has your summer been??

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Release Day! CHAMELEON by KT Hanna

Okay, so I'm super excited to be coming off my blog hiatus for this. There couldn't be a better way! See, a new book is out today. Yes, this happens a lot. But this book is awesome. I got to read an early copy, and I loved it.

It's CHAMELEON by KT Hanna, and it's the first in her Domino Project series.

About CHAMELEON: When Sai's newly awoken psionic powers accidentally destroy her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. Her only options are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake--a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, and partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite psionic hybrid.

After eliminating an Exiled scientist, she discovers someone is manipulating both sides of the conflict. With each mission more perilous, Sai must figure out who to trust before her next assignment becomes her last.

I enjoyed the book so much, I blurbed it for KT. I thought everything about it was well-done, and I could see why it had garnered an agent's attention. But we all know the market for dystopian and science fiction (two of my favorite genres!) isn't super-hot right now. I'm so glad KT decided to publish this book, because it deserves to be read!

And it's out today! So go order it. If you like well-written stories, with beautifully developed characters with flaws and strengths and everything in between, coupled with phenomenal writing, you'll like CHAMELEON.


About the Author: KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis.

We're having a blog hop, and an e-card & mega swag Rafflecopter giveaway!

The blog hop stops are noted below. Each day has a different theme and you can find out about the process, the idea, and the evolution of Chameleon, and even a bit about K.T. by visiting each blog, when their posts go live.

4-Aug 5-Aug 6-Aug 7-Aug 10-Aug
Fun facts about the book What I learned writing Chameleon Author Interviews The world of Chameleon The Evolution of Chameleon
Manuel Soto Marlo Berliner Leatrice McKinney Rebecca Enzor Patricia Lynn
J Elizabeth Hill Stacey Trombley Dawn Allen Sharon Johnston Bex Montgomery
E.L. Wicker JC Davis Suzanne van Rooyen Mandy Baxter Madelyn Dyer
Jessie Mullins Andrew Patterson Heather Rebel Jessica Therrien Carissa Taylor
Emma Adams Lady Jai Elayna Noreme Kendra Young

We're giving away e-cards of your choice from B&N, iTunes, & Amazon – one to the value of $25, and three to the value of $10! Each prize includes a swag pack of a magnet, sticker, bookmark, postcard, and mousepad!

Just follow the options listed on the giveaway and you'll be entered!

full swag pack

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cover Reveal: CHAMELEON by KT Hanna

Okay, so I'm super-excited for my friend and fellow blogger, KT Hanna. She's revealing her cover today, for her debut novel, CHAMELEON. It's the first in a new YA futuristic series, The Domino Project.

Chameleon (The Domino Project #1) is a YA futuristic science fiction story. It's set in the wasteland of earth after a meteor shower devastates landmasses, makes seas rise, introduces the psionic gene into the human race, damages the atmosphere, and gives the gift of an alien parasite to the world.

About CHAMELEON: After Sai's newly awoken psionic power accidentally destroys her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. The only grades are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake--a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, which partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite and psionic hybrid. When her assassination duties are revealed, Sai understands the real reason for her training.

On a mission to dispatch a dangerous Exiled scientist, she uncovers truths she never thought possible. Sai is unsure who to trust as her next mission might be her last, and a double agent seems to be manipulating both sides.

Without further ado - here is the cover, by the amazingly talented S.P. McConnell.

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2

Isn't it GORGEOUS!?!?!

I love the total sci-fi-ness (totally a word!) of it. And I love YA sci-fi, so I can't wait to read it.

It's available for preorder for a special price of $2.99!

Amazon Link

MeAbout the Author: KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis.

To celebrate, we're giving away 2 x $10 Amazon e-gift cards (open to anyone who can receive and use an Amazon e-card) Just click on as many options as you like and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 1, 2015

School's Out -- A Short Break

Okay, so school's out for summer!

And I couldn't be more relieved. It has been a challenging year for me, and I'm continually amazed at how every year is different in teaching. Always something new, always something different.

So I'm going to take a much-needed break from blogging. Just a couple of weeks. I'm going to relax by the pool, write a book, go to a National Park, and relax. Wait. Did I say that already? :)

What are you doing this summer?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Crock Pot Cook: Shredded Beef Tacos

Okay, so I know people are huge fans of crock pots. "You can't mess up," they tell me. "Works every time," they say.

Well. I'm here to say that I've messed up and had things not work in the crock pot before. But this is not one of them. I love making this meat mixture. It's so versatile. I made tacos one night, layered it with cheese and tortillas for a beef quesadilla the next, put it on sourdough with cheese for an amazing beef grilled cheese the third.

It makes so much, I took half of it to my friend who had just had surgery (and her family of 6!) and still had enough to do all of the above.

This is a recipe from the American Heart Association cookbook. I've made exactly one thing from it: this, but it was worth buying the thick volume. I've made a few changes according to my tastes, and I'll note those below.

Shredded Beef Tacos:
2 lb. top round steak
1 bell pepper (recipe calls for green; I use whatever color I have in my fridge), diced
3 large onions, diced (I only use two, and it seems to have plenty of onion)
1/4 c. water (recipe calls for dry red wine, but I don't cook with alcohol)
1/2 c. ketchup (recipe calls for low-sodium, but yeah. I use the regular stuff)
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. cumin
3/4 t. liquid smoke
1/2 t. hot sauce (I'm a wimp, and don't put this much in. I do a couple of shakes and call it good)
2 medium bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced (I adore garlic and may or may not add more than this...)

1 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. cumin

Taco toppings (sour cream, ranch dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, guac -- whatever you like!)

I use those raw tortillas, cook them and add cheese before I start building my taco. That way, the cheese is melty and everything's warm. #mmm

1. Place the steak in the crock pot. Dice the onions and pepper and layer over meat.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the water, ketchup, bouillon cubes, pepper, cumin, liquid smoke, hot sauce, bay leaves, and garlic. Whisk together and pour over the meat and vegetables. Stir to coat.
3. Turn the crock pot on low and let it go for 6-8 hours.
4. With one hour of cooking time left, add the additional 1 t. cumin and 1 t. brown sugar. Shred meat, remove bay leaves, and stir well. Let stand for one hour so the flavors will marry.
5. Assemble tacos, or quesadillas, or enchiladas, or chimichangas, or... the list is endless!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taking Time to Learn

Okay, so confession time. I'm one of the most impatient people on the planet. No, really. You might be thinking of Two Weeks Notice right now, and when Hugh Grant says, "That's silly. Have you met every person on the planet?" << Ha!

Of course I haven't met every person on the planet, so maybe I just FEEL like the most impatient person ever. Maybe you can relate to this.

Anyway, I've been getting some feedback about my writing, and I've realized that I need to A) slow down, and B) learn new stuff. That last one is vague, but I know there's more I need to do in order to find my success again.

But I'm impatient, and I had previously made some writing goals to draft two books this summer (since I don't work and all that). I find myself resisting the thought to maybe re-draft my goals, and take the time to learn what I need to learn before I draft the novels.

I have notes from the conference I attended last week. I have a few writing exercises I need to get done before I draft. I bought a new craft book on the suggestion of the instructor of another class. I need to read it, ponder it, incorporate it into my writing. And I need to fill out my beat sheets for my new novels.

I think I'll have to do less work later if I put the time into this now. So I guess this is me publicly saying I'm going to take the time to learn a bit more -- about the writing craft, my characters, and my plots -- before I start drafting.

Have you ever had to slow down and readjust goals?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekday Chef: Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Okay, so my daughter is a super-fan of this soup. She's always begging me to make it, especially in the fall months and when it's a little rainy. It's been pretty stormy here for a few weeks, and one day while she was at a mega-dance practice one Saturday, I whipped this up for her.

It's a simple soup to make, and I'll admit that sometimes I even leave out the chicken! She just really likes the pasta and the creamy broth. I mean, who doesn't? It's totally not diet food, which is why I hardly ever make it, but everyone can splurge sometimes, right?

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup:
10 c. water
10 chicken bouillon cubes
1 pkg. egg noodles
1 pint sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk
2-3 c. cooked chicken, cubed

1. Boil the noodles in the chicken stock (water + bouillon cubes) until tender, about 8 minutes. 
2. Add sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and evaporated milk. Whisk until smooth. 
3. Stir in chicken. Serve immediately; do not boil.

Easy! And delicious! And mostly from your pantry, so you might be able to make this TODAY without even a trip to the grocery store. Happy eating!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Struggle to be Around Other Authors

Okay, so I hope this post doesn't come of as A) whiny, or B) rude. I think it might actually do both. Maybe I'll delete it before it goes live. Ha!

But I'm going to admit something: It's sometimes hard for me to be around other authors. I love them. I do. I like hearing about their projects, their successes, their struggles.

But I'd like to keep the questions away from myself. I don't want to talk about my projects. Or my struggles. I just don't.

Maybe it's because it takes me a long time to trust people, and I don't want everyone to know everything. Maybe it's because I don't quite know what to say. Maybe it's because there simply ISN'T anything to say, and then I feel lame trying to come up with something that makes things sound better than they actually are.

No matter the reason, I've been struggling to want to get together with other authors, even in a non-writerly capacity. Because no matter what, the conversation always turns back to writing.

I'm still enjoying writing -- and I'm feeling rejuvenated after the conference I attended last week -- but at this moment, I'm not really enjoying the socializing aspect of writing. I get that "no man is an island," but right now I kind of want to be.

Tell me I'm not the only one who struggles with this from time to time... Anyone?

Monday, May 18, 2015

You Can Do Better

Okay, so this past weekend I attended the LDStorymakers conference in Utah. I've been on the committee for this awesome con for a few years now, but this past weekend I really focused on attending the classes.

The several I got to attend were fantastic, and I have some great notes to help me in my writing. But I attended one workshop called "Deep Editing" by an amazing author and mentor Margie Lawson. Not only did I come away with many devices and revision ideas, but I wrote in my notes, in all caps, YOU CAN DO BETTER.

I think this is something that we struggle with as authors, especially if we've achieved some success. We fall into patterns of our writing, thinking it's "good enough," because it's worked before. So it was not only a fantastic class with information I needed to take my writing to the next level, but also a little pep talk for myself.

I really can do better. And I'm going to work on doing just that!

What are you working on in your writing right now?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Awesome Book Warning: FIRES OF INVENTION

So I'm super excited for my good friend, J. Scott Savage and the forthcoming release of his middle grade steampunk novel, FIRES OF INVENTION. This book is the beginning of the Mysteries of Cove series, and I can't wait to read them all!

Today we get to spotlight the cover, as well as a note from Jeff himself!

Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and "invention" is a curse word. Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion-an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they've ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on-and quite possibly their very lives.

Add FIRES OF INVENTION to your Goodreads list.

Pre-order online!

This is what Jeff has to say about the book: Like many of my books, the inspiration for my new series Fires of Invention came from the collision of two ideas. The first time the story occurred to me was while I was watching the musical Wicked with my wife. The moment I walked into the theater and saw the huge mechanical dragon above the stage, I thought, Wow! I have to write a story about that! A few weeks later, I was talking with my nephew, who is probably the most creative kid I know, but whose inventiveness often gets him into trouble, and I thought, What if a kid who had the talents of my nephew lived in a world where creativity was against the law? What if the kids were building . . . a steam-powered dragon? Bam! I had my story.

Powered by great feedback from my agent, Michael Bourret, my good friend and author James Dashner, my publisher, Chris Schoebinger, and the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons, I wrote the entire first draft of the first volume in the series, Mysteries of Cove in four weeks. This book is unlike anything I have ever written. There are elements of City of Ember, Dragon Riders, and Hugo in it all mashed up together in a world I fell in love with from the moment I started writing.

I think what’s most exciting to me about this book is that it’s about giving yourself the freedom to imagine. To take chances. Too often we limit ourselves by only trying things we’re confident we can succeed at when what we need to do is give ourselves permission to fail. Often it is when we attempt things with no idea of how we can possibly pull them off that we achieve our greatest successes.

Jeff is the best! Be sure to follow him online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or his website.

About J. Scott Savage: J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: UNDERCOVER EMPATH by RaShelle Workman

Okay, so I have a super fun cover to show you today. International bestselling author RaShelle Workman has a new book coming out from Curiosity Quills Press, and the cover is GORGEOUS!

First, let's see what UNDERCOVER EMPATH is about: Nineteen-year-old detective Rose Hansen has a secret. She can read a person’s intentions by touching their hands and that’s the least strange thing about her.

Only one person knows, her partner Jack.

At least that’s what she believes until a handsome, shirtless stranger appears on her doorstep in small town Blush Valley, California. He leaves her an envelope, but not before articulating his disappointment in her for ignoring her powers. The contents send Rose on a path toward the supernatural, solving her parents’ murders, and possibly even saving the world.

Aside from that, Rose and her partner have two important cases they’re working. The first involves a missing child. The other is the death of a stripper. Once it is ruled a serial killing, a very hot FBI agent from L.A. shows up and is given lead. To make matters worse, he asks her to go undercover. As a stripper. And that is just the beginning of her troubles...

And now for the cover!

Amazing, right? I love the colors of it, and the brightness of her eyes, and the sort of electricity or curled lines of her thoughts. It's fantastic!!

About RaShelle Workman: RaShelle Workman is a bestselling author, wannabe chef, and dog lover. She's publishing a brand new series entitled UNDERCOVER EMPATH with her amazing publisher, Curiosity Quills. She's also been self-publishing since 2011 and has no interest in stopping.

Her motto is: LOVE HURTS. LOVE HEALS. So LOVE HARD! And it shows in the different genres she writes.

Her most popular series to date is BLOOD AND SNOW, a reimagining of Snow White with a vampire twist. There are several series within the Blood and Snow world, all inspired by different fairy tales, including THE CINDY CHRONICLES, THE BEASTLY SERIES, and THE EVER AFTER SERIES as well as several short stories. In 2016 she's releasing a new adult series from the world entitled THE DARK MOTH SOCIETY. The series has sold more than a million copies worldwide since release of the first book in 2012.

RaShelle is also the author of The Immortal Essence series (ya sci-fi romance), Sleeping Roses (contemporary romantic suspense), and Across the Ages (ya time travel romance). Her books: Sleeping Roses, Exiled, Beguiled, and Dovetailed have foreign rights contracts with a Turkish publisher.

Currently, RaShelle lives in Utah with her husband, three children, and their three dogs. Visit her website to join RaShelle's EXCLUSIVE mailing list and be entered to win a signed paperback copy of Blood and Snow volumes 1- 4 (Special Edition). And be sure to like her Facebook page for all the latest news.

Find RaShelle on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

RaShelle is giving away $25 Paypal cash during the cover reveal! Be sure to help spread the word to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weekend Baker: Homemade Bagels

Okay, so I love baked goods. Breads, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, all of the above! I'm not a huge baker, because my sixteen-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter have taken over the cookie-making on Sundays.

But a few weeks ago, we decided to make something out of the ordinary. My husband is the real baker in the family, having done artisan breads and such. But we worked together as a team to make these delicious, simple homemade bagels. I mixed the dough and he did everything else, but that's still teamwork, right?

The best part of these is their somewhat crunchy outside combined with their delicious, chewy inside. The trick is boiling them first. I wish it were the weekend so I could bake up another batch of these beauties! And the best part? I had everything in my pantry, and I bet you do too!

2 tsp. dry yeast
1 1/2 T. sugar
1 1/4 c. water
3 1/2 c. flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/2 tsp. salt

1. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into 1/2 c. water. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the dissolved yeast.

2. Pour in half of the remaining water and mix. Stir in the rest of the water, as needed to form a firm, moist dough.

3. Turn the dough onto a well floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Work in extra flour -- this dough should be firm and stiff.

4. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Cut the dough into eight equal pieces. Shape into a ball, and make a ring by inserting your finger through the center and working the dough until the hole is about 1/3 of the bagel's diameter. (You can see ours aren't like this. They don't have to be perfect!)

6. Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes. (Dough resting is important! Don't skip this step. It's a weekend recipe!)

7. Bring a large pan of water to a boil, then reduce heat to keep the water at a simmer. Carefully lower the bagels into the water in batches of 2 or 3. Boil, uncovered, until the bagels rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Turn them once.

8. Transfer the drained bagels to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake* at 425 for 20 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

*You can use steam in the oven if you'd like. Put a pan of ice cubes in the oven as it preheats, and put the bagels in before the ice has all melted. When the cubes have all melted, remove the pan. You can also use a sprayer. After the oven is at temperature and you've put in the bagels, mist the sides of the oven 8-10 times. Close the oven quickly. Repeat after 2 minutes, and again after 2 more. Be careful not to spray the oven light, heating coils, or oven fan.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Moving Forward After Publishing

Okay, so if you've been around this blog for a while, you might know my journey. For those that don't, a brief outline:

1. I signed with an agent in 2009, and my debut YA novel sold pretty quickly. Possession came out in June, 2011. I only sold one book. My agent sold the sequel in early 2011 and Surrender came out in June 2012.

2. My publisher wouldn't buy the third book in an obvious trilogy until Surrender came out and they could see how it was doing. I think this is an extremely common practice in the industry, as I've heard of it happening to other authors. But it terrified me. What if they didn't buy the third book? What would I do then? Surrender was open-ended, as most middle books in a trilogy are.

3. They ended up buying the third book in July 2012, and Abandon came out in June 2013.

4. My agent and I submitted two more books to my publisher, and they passed on both. We went wide with Elevated, and while it came close at several publishers, ultimately it did not sell.

5. I parted ways with my agent in September 2013. She's lovely, and I still recommend her to other authors. The partnership just wasn't working for me.

6. I self-published Elevated, my futuristic fantasy series, and another novel-in-verse, Something About Love in 2014.

6. I signed with a new agent in November 2013, with a time travel novel. We submitted it widely in the spring of 2014, came close, no sale.

7. This agent didn't like anything else I had in the pipeline, and we parted ways in December 2014. Since last year, I've been moving away from a YA-centric career, focusing on writing clean, contemporary romance.

8. I'm querying again, and while some authors have said it's easier the second or third time around, I'm not finding that to be the case. I still send dozens of queries. I still get lots of requests -- and many rejections.

It's hard for me to feel like a success. I have 10 titles out, and have years of experience in the social media realm. But I still feel like I'm failing.

These feelings make no sense. After all, I just received a large royalty check from the sales of Possession. So my books from 4 years ago are still selling, and I'm still earning money from them -- which means I've earned out my advance. All of that should point to "success."


Then why don't I feel successful?

I'm not sure, but I think it's because I don't have agents or editors snapping up the books I'm writing now. I don't have title after title coming out from the same publisher. There are a myriad of factors that have contributed to this, but this blog post would become a novella if I went into all of them.

Maybe I need to redefine what makes me as an author a success? Maybe I need to re-evaluate what makes a book successful? I don't know, because I don't know what those parameters are. What makes an author successful? A book, or a series?

Maybe you can help me with this.

How do you define success for yourself as an author? For your books?

No matter what, I've learned that even after you've been published, there's no yellow brick road that takes you directly to a land of wonder. I'm still wandering in unknown paths, writing books I love, and hoping there's someone out there who will love them too. I know this isn't the case for every author, but I think more of us are on this path than we know about. We feel alone, unsuccessful, but really, there's a lot of authors in the same situation.