Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Black Dawn CoverThe end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

 With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

 Some things are better left in the shadows.

Black Dawn is another fabulous book by a fellow Cleans Reads author Mallory McCartney.  I would give this book four stars because I loved the amount of detail and backstory of each character. The author did a great job creating the new world of Kiero with problems of their own.

There are three main characters in this book, Emory, Brokk, and Memphis who have all been friends growing up in a military-style academy. When the book starts out, Emory is living on Earth as a normal human but Memphis and Brokk kidnap her from the life she knows to throw her into Kiero and a kingdom she barely remembers. She goes through the process of recovering her memories while training with her powers she forgot about.

There’s a ton of action in this story with multiple point of views. This is the kind of book you want to concentrate on to get all the little clues, but if you like paranormal, fantasy, or young adult you will like this book!

Enter to win a signed copy of Black Dawn HERE.

Mallory McCartney

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

You can purchase Black Dawn below:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

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Read a short excerpt!

Memphis cocked his eyebrow at her. “We are the only ones left strong enough to give Adair a run for his money. We fight now for all the innocent lives he took, for shattering your parents’ legacy. We fight for them, for their love, and for our freedom.”

Emory sighed, letting his words settle in her core. Stillness seemed to suffocate them in the cell as bomb after bomb was dropped above ground. In that moment an absurd idea struck her and she bit her lip, feeling exposed. It was worth a shot—after all, how much time did any of them have?

She glanced sideways at Memphis. He looked like a carving out of marble, flawless and jagged, capturing such a unique beauty she couldn’t tear her eyes away from it.

She noticed the corners of his lips turning up as he asked, “What?”

“You know what I do when I feel really stressed about something?” Emory had his full attention now. “I dance like no one is watching or ever will.”

Confusion clouded his face. “Dance?”

She truly beamed up at him now. “Oh Commander, seeing as we have a bit of time trapped in here with each other, do I ever have a proposition for you.”

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You can find the tour schedule HERE.

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts or review in any way *

 

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Finding Hope by Lucie Ulrich

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Nearly sixteen years after relinquishing the rights to his unborn child, Noah Cooper is stunned to discover his daughter, Hope, wants to meet him. With the love and support of his family, Noah sets off from Elk Flats, Montana to Albany, New York, having no idea what changes are in store for him.

Cancer survivor and widow, Beth Peterson, is more than a little nervous to meet her daughter’s birth father. Their initial meeting goes well, but things decline in a hurry when Noah invites Hope to spend time at the ranch without speaking to Beth about it first.

Determined to meet her new family, a battle of wills ensues between Hope and her mother. While Hope longs for a connection, Beth fears losing her daughter to virtual strangers—strangers who live two thousand miles away.

Struggles and misunderstandings abound between Noah and Beth, despite their growing attraction for one another. Noah is ready to commit, while Beth can’t let go of the memory of her husband and the imperfections cancer has forced her to live with.  Will hope, patience, and prayer be enough to pull this family together?

Lucie Ulrich is one of my favorite authors. I’m so glad to be interviewing her and learning more about her books.

Lucie, what inspired you to write Finding Hope?   My readers. When I wrote The Rose Ring, I did so with the idea that it would be a stand-alone book. I had no thoughts of continuing the story of the Cooper brothers. When readers asked for more, I realized that, without meaning to, I left an opening for another book. While Micah and Noah Cooper are both important to The Rose Ring, Finding Hope is primarily Micah’s story.

That’s a great way to stay involved with your readers. How long have you been writing?  I penned my first novel back in 2001. I had no clue what I was doing, but it got me motivated to learn all I could about the writing process. My first novel wasn’t published until 2012. In between, I wrote loads of skits and plays for my church and the private school where I worked as a drama teacher and eventual performing arts director.

Wow, that sounds great. So, tell me, are you an outliner or pantser? Panster all the way! I love to give my characters the lead. As crazy as it might sound, I keep track of my chapters as I write them, so that I can go back and reference days, dates, times, events, etc., so I sort of outline after the fact.

Sometimes our characters have a mind of their own. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?  I started writing later in life, so it was never my intention to make it my day job, which takes the pressure off. That said, I always have 4 or 5 projects in the works. Some have been around for a long time. When I find a project I’m passionate about, and I get stuck, I leave it alone for a while and work on something else for a while. I did that with Finding Hope on several occasions.

What are your hobbies aside from writing?  I don’t have a lot of hobbies. My husband and I are both retired and enjoy taking road trips. He’s a fabulous photographer, so I sometimes join him. I’m nowhere as good as he is, but I come up with the occasional “keeper.” My husband and I hit a number of estate sales nearly every week, so I guess I could count that as a hobby.

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Photo credit goes to http://www.estatesalesbyjessica.com/

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?  I’m currently finishing the first draft of a story that ends in Scotland. I spent one day in England many years ago, but haven’t seen any more of the British Isles. I’m not a fan of flying, but I think if the opportunity arose, I’d love to visit Scotland and Ireland.

Here’s a fun question! What if you were just given an Island. What would you name it? And who would live there with you?  Interesting question. I wouldn’t never want to live on an island full time, but I would love a place where I could go to get away and write without distraction. I’d also love to share it with my daughter and her fellow dancer so they could be refreshed and get their creative juices flowing. I would name it Inspiration Isle.

I like that name for an island – Inspiration Island. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I don’t know. I mean that in all honestly. When I traveled to Holland with my daughter back in 2001 (this is where I penned the beginning of my first novel), we were staying at a retreat center. My daughter danced while I wrote. Anyway, we were fed in a communal dining room. Each morning, my daughter and I would enjoy bread and chocolate spread along with something that looked like a sausage. I can’t remember the taste, but we both loved it. When we asked what it was, nobody would tell us. They said we would never eat it again if they did. To this day, I have no idea what it was. Lol The second weirdest thing would be cow’s tongue. It tasted really good, but when I found out what it was, I quit eating. Guess our friends from Holland were right.

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Photo credit goes to http://modernfarmer.com/2014/09/inner-life-cows/

 

I’m not sure if I could eat cow’s tongue, they are one of my favorite animals. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?  Noah Cooper from Finding Hope. I’m not just saying that because he’s my most recent character. I love all my characters, but Noah is the kind of guy every girl would want to fall in love with. He’s sweet, considerate, loves his mother, and is a hard worker. He has a strong sense of family, despite a troubled past. He tends to speaks without thinking—which gets him into trouble—but would give anything for those he loves.

He sounds wonderful. I hope to meet someone that reminds me of him, oh wait, I have. My husband. LOL!   Do you have any advice for other writers?  As trite as it might sound, I’d tell them to never give up. I’d also suggest they join some sort of critique group—whether online or in their community. It’s important not only to get feedback, but to help them grow tough skin. Criticism is hard, but constructive criticism is a must.

Can you share an excerpt of your book with us? I’d be happy to.

The bell over the door jangled, as did Noah’s heart. He needn’t have worried. Other than some fine lines at the corners of her green eyes, and a few added pounds, Amanda was still as beautiful as the last time he’d seen her. He stood and greeted her, brushing her cheek with a quick kiss. “You haven’t changed.”

Amanda flushed and took a step back. Her smile didn’t reach her eyes. “Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.”

“Are you kidding? I’m so excited about the news; I would have come to you.”

Her eyes widened. “No. That’s exactly what I didn’t want. I had to arrange a weekend with a friend in Missoula just to pull this off.”

Pull this off? Amanda’s enthusiasm clearly didn’t match his. He pointed to the booth he’d occupied. “Let’s sit.” He waited until she was seated before sliding in on the opposite side. “Want something to eat or drink?”

“I could use a cup of coffee.” Noah gestured to Julie, holding up two fingers.

She nodded her understanding and brought a carafe and two mugs. “Can I get either of you anything else?”

Amanda shook her head.

“We’re good, thanks.” Noah poured the coffee and pushed a cup her way. “What’s going on Amanda? You didn’t have to come in person to give me the contact information.”

Amanda kept her hands wrapped around her mug and her gaze focused on the table. “For the last fifteen years, there hasn’t been a day go by that I haven’t wondered what would have happened had I kept our baby.” She looked up, her eyes glassy. “I was so young and scared. After the birth and adoption, I did as my parents suggested and tried to forget.”

Pain squeezed his heart. “Kind of hard to forget when you get yearly updates.”

Amanda had the decency to blush. “Are you angry I never told you?”

He shrugged. “Anger won’t change the past. All I care about now is that we get to be part of our daughter’s future.”

“You do, Noah. Not me.” Tears slipped down her cheeks. “Don’t you think I would have done it years ago if I could?”

The pain in her voice matched the hurt in her eyes. He handed her a napkin. “I don’t understand.”

Amanda dabbed at her tears. “I never told my husband.”

Noah sat back. Pulling off this meeting made a little more sense now.

 

You can follow Lucie Ulrich on Social Media:

Facebook   Twitter   Amazon   Website

And you can purchase Finding Hope on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

Lucie

Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with stories of faith, family and forgiveness. She was honored to receive a RONE Award for her second novel, “The Rose Ring.” 

A former performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

Incomplete by Kadee Carder

We humans have to be stronger than we ever imagine, love ourselves in the process, and dig in when the ground seems to sink. We not only relish adventures, we create them. That’s the basis of Saylor’s story in my young adult science fiction trilogy, Insurrection. Volume Two of the trilogy, entitled Incomplete, is now available on iTunes, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook!

kBook Blurb:

Saylor started out on one adventure and ended up on another. After finding herself on a Caribbean island filled with strange noises, dazzling beaches, and a secret military base, Saylor must clutch the missing pieces of her fate. While harnessing her ability to communicate with deadly weapons of mass destruction, attending the annual gala, and fighting her growing feelings for the hunky Australian soldier, Saylor’s instincts become increasingly distressed. Tempted by greed and independence, she must determine what she stands for and on whose side she belongs. Power within in her. War without.

They wanted a warrior. They got one.

Excerpt:

Silent, smooth, and undefined, he slipped beside me, the two of us watching the horizon and the navy sky, dotted with starlight and swaying under the breeze. In the same way that chocolate nestles down slowly and sweetly on the taste buds, or like a crisp spring morning drifts dew over the dawn, he slid his right arm around me, pulling me close. Satin brushed against cotton and hope dashed against the rough breakwater of changing tides.

“Against my own rules, the other day I allowed in the thought about what losing you would feel like,” Tucker said. “Those monsters hovering over you were a greater risk than the Commander’s orders. Holding you in my arms after you fell, motionless,” he shook his head. “That was the flip of the switch.”

Several clouds meandered overhead, blocking out starlight and passing by, finally clearing out again, and I could once again accept oxygen into my lungs. Letting a smile tease my lips, a rosy glow burned across my cheeks.

“I’m terribly challenged in the area of accepting someone loving me,” I admitted. “I have buckets of love. But they’ve been boxed up, packed away, and I don’t know how to carry them.”

He turned to me, his eyes glinting in the light, probably imagining my struggle with big gray metal sand castle buckets.

“Well, that’s convenient,” he answered, somehow moving closer, arms circling, tightening around my waist, until we faced each other. “I have pretty strong arms. I’d be pleased to help you carry them.”

Somewhere, innocent lips blew the wispy seeds from a dandelion bud, somewhere passionate lips sputtered rhetoric and jargon, and somewhere else, lips dripped with lies and temptation. But his smoldered.

****

Deep in the heart of Texas, Kadee Carder resides with her husband and daughters. kkCarder earned a BA in Public Relations at Howard Payne University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. She teaches English courses on the university level and plans her schedule around coffee availability. When she’s not dancing around the living room with her daughters, she helps at church activities, creates encouraging blogs, and orders pizza like a boss.

Connect on social media!

Website: kadeecarder.com

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/

Instagram: kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com. The book is called Ignite and offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace.

Purchase Incomplete for only $4.99:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Incomplete-Insurrection-Book-Kadee-Carder-ebook/dp/B01MSABMCK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485896027&sr=8-1&keywords=incomplete+kadee+carder

Nook/Barnes&Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/incomplete-kadee-carder/1125528337?ean=2940157351953

iTunes:

https://itun.es/us/5rqpfb.l

Reviews:

“I loved this story. The characters are so witty, well developed and real. The growth Saylor goes through is touching and had me rooting for her every step of the way. The technology introduced is intriguing and frightening. Like what would happen if your favorite pastime started fighting back and you were thrown into the deadliest game of baseball you could ever imagine? In the midst of the awesome kick butt-ness are the girl giggles of a first crush that will have you swooning and wanting more.

An amazing first novel in a series that I can already tell will become one of my favorite series.

If you are looking for a unique science fiction book you need to pick this book up! You will be memorized by the story, the wonder of the strange island, the romance developing, and the unwavering friendship.”
~ Amy

***

“I loved this book. As a mom, I’m always looking for good adventure stories for my 15-year old daughter to read, and Insurrection takes the cake. The daring heroine is unafraid of adventure but also not ashamed of romance. (I have to say, though, that it was refreshing to have the focus be more on the adventure and less on the romance!)
The only negative about this book is that only the first one is available! I can’t wait for the second and third books.”
~ Laura

***

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com/incomplete.html for book trailer, radio interviews, gift certificates, freebie codes, and more!

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Clean Reads has published another great book by Krysten!

DatingtheItGuy453x680Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Pick up your copy today! Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Kobo Smashwords

About the author:

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is a also a10177933_630082620414159_6804951753468145375_n book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes young adult, middle grade, new adult, and adult fiction as well as humor essays. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows (she’s addicted to American Dad to the point where she quotes episodes on a daily basis and also loves Girl Meets World). She’s also a third generation Detroit Lions fan.

Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

Follow Krysten here:  Website Instagram Facebook Pinterest Twitter Youtube

Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HdfnUqZPKU

Praise for Dating the It Guy:

“A sweet, endearing story—you’ll fall in love with Emme just like I did!” —Kimber Leigh Wheaton, YA/NA author

“Hager’s authentic characters will resonate with readers of all ages as they are immersed in the story  – complete with teen drama and angst, but also the relationships which make it all worthwhile.” —  Leslie L. McKee, book reviewer, Edits and Reviews by Leslie

What people are saying about Krysten’s work:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

Blonde student worried about exams
Blonde student worried about exams

Read below for an excerpt:

He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.

“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.

I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.

“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.

We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.

“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.

“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”

“I should tell him what you said.”

“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.

“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”

“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”

“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”

“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.

I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”

“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”

I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.

I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”

She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

Free eBook Giveaway!!

In celebration of Valentine’s day, I am hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway of my book, Bleeding Hearts. I know you all have heard so much about my book, but this is your chance to get your free copy!

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Here are some fun facts:

  • There are two holidays and a birthday represented in the book, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Cami’s birthday.

  • Red roses, a flower famous on Valentine’s Day is a symbol of death in the book, not love.

  • The book is set in Richmond, VA.

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Author Interview: Jordan Elizabeth

Here’s another great author interview with interesting answers. Check out Jordan Elizabeth’s new book KISTISHI ISLAND!

Serena has always been plagued by imaginary friends… But what happens is they aren’t imaginary?

Serena Cole can kick serious butt thanks to young women only she can see. School bullies aren’t a problem, but Serena’s mental health might be. To shield Serena from a dark secret, her family tries to convince her that her friends are imaginary.  Fleeing her distrustful aunt, Serena joins her mother on an archeological dig at Kistishi Island. There, Serena discovers an ancient scroll and realizes her invisible friends are goddesses native to the island, and they are in danger of enslavement for their abilities. Only Serena can save her friends if she can discover the past her family has hidden her entire life – the reason why only she can see the goddesses.

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What inspired you to write this book? I wrote this book during college. I was studying childhood education, and one textbook discussed how healthy it is for kids to have imaginary friends. I started to think about what it would be like if you were a teenager and still had those imaginary friends.

That sounds really cool! How long have you been writing? Forever! When I was an infant, my grandmother wrote my stories for me. Eventually I started writing my own in notebooks, but my handwriting is atrocious. My stories really took off when I got my first computer.

Are you an outliner or pantser? Definitely a pantser! I never know how the book is going to end until I reach the final page.

Although I love outlining, I completely understand how your stories will take you on a roller coaster ride. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? I take a walk. Even just a walk around the block inspires me to continue the story, or sometimes to start a new one.

What are your hobbies aside from writing? I love to make jewelry and paint.

We have so much in common! I love to paint and make jewelry. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? A haunted castle in Europe. I can just imagine all the stories it would inspire.

If you were just given an Island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you? Kistishi Island! Serena’s imaginary friends would live there with me…and it would be awesome.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I have no idea! I love food. I guess tofu? People think that’s very odd (but it is one of my favorite foods).

Tofu is the staple of every vegan and vegetarian. There’s so much you can do with it! If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? Clark Treasure from TREASURE DARKLY. Is it bad to have a book-crush on your own character?

img_7391Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t take rejection personally. Everyone likes something different. It can feel crushing, but you have to find the perfect place for your writing.

Jordan Elizabeth writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog. Jordan roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. Follow her on Facebook!

You can purchase here and read the first chapter of Kistishi Island below:

Chapter One

“How are your imaginary friends?” Serena read aloud from the black marker scrawled on her locker. Her dry lips stuck together with each word as the sarcasm stung her mind. The janitor might scrub the permanent marker, but it would always remain a faint reminder of how much people ridiculed her. The washed out marks from last week, “Schizo,” “Fake,” and “Your imaginary friends hate you,” still showed up against the brown metal.

“Aw, someone cares about my day.” Krieg hovered behind, picking fuzz off her dress. “You should answer them. Write ‘Krieg says hi’ underneath.”

The last thing she needed was people knowing how much she still communicated with Krieg. Serena glanced down the hallway, but the students strolling by didn’t look her way. Who could have written the graffiti? Roxanne? Her hand trembling, Serena spun the combination on her lock and jerked open the dented locker door. The hinges rattled.

Did it hurt them if she had an invisible friend? As she exchanged a textbook for her social studies notes, someone bumped her butt. She lost her balance, flinging out her hand to grab the locker.

“Whoops,” a boy said and snickered.

Serena’s cheeks burned as she stuffed her supplies into her messenger bag. One more hour of high school and she could go home. Tomorrow she would bring another marker to scribble out the words that branded her.

Krieg leaned in close enough for Serena to smell her peppermint bubble gum, and said, “Bludgeon them. It’s the only way to get them to shut up.”

“No one’s talking about me right now.” Serena’s sneakers squeaked against the tile floor as she ducked into the classroom. Afternoon sunlight reflected off faded Holocaust posters on the off-white walls.

“It’s annoying when you allow the little rodents to torment you.” Krieg stuck her tongue out at the few students settling into their seats. “Where are the beheadings and crocodile pits? How about some maiming? I want to hear screaming and bones crunching.”

“This is the suburbs in the twenty-first century. People don’t do that stuff here.” Serena took her favorite seat in the back near the globe and opened her messenger bag to remove her notebook. Glancing around the room at the few students, she smiled. Since the teacher hadn’t arrived yet, she could grab a few minutes to work on her novel. Hopefully, the story would be done by her mother’s next visit. Look what I did, Mom!

“Whatcha doing?” Krieg leaned her hip against the desk and rearranged the pleated folds of her silk stola. Beneath the sleeveless dress, she wore a turquoise tunic. A thin silver belt fastened beneath her breasts, and another clasped around her narrow waist.

“I’ve got an idea for chapter seven of my Jennifer Erik story.” Serena pressed her pen to a clean page. “Jennifer’s going to be caught by a gargoyle.”

Roxanne stalked from two rows over and blinked her glittered eyelids at Serena. “Did you just call me a gargoyle?”

Serena tightened her fist around her pen. “No.” Her throat constricted. Why does Roxanne always have to single me out?

Roxanne yanked Serena’s black notebook from the desk; the metal spirals scraped against the hard surface. Serena’s pen slipped from her hand and struck the tile floor, the sound eerily loud.

Fail. She hadn’t made it through that last hour of the school day. “I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Who were you talking to? Your imaginary friends?” Roxanne bent the notebook, her biceps flexing beneath the short sleeves of her skull-and-crossbones T-shirt.

Serena cringed. Even though she would still be able to read the words, her stomach twisted into a knot. It wouldn’t be the same as having the pages crisp, new.

“I told you to bludgeon everyone before they could start on you.” Krieg rubbed her knuckles together.

“Forget to do your homework again?” Roxanne asked.

“It’s not my homework—”

“Maybe they should put you in Special Ed.”

Blood drained from Serena’s head, her heartbeat ringing in her ears. Classmates stopped getting out supplies from their backpacks to stare. Of course Roxanne would have to bring that up.

Serena toyed with her nose ring to calm her nerves. I will not fight back.

Krieg flounced across the room to push Roxanne’s baseball cap off her desk and jumped aside when a boy almost walked into her. He stopped to pick up the hat, and Krieg pointed at his bottom as he bent. She lifted her foot in a mock kick. “You know you want to.”

Serena drew a deep breath, dragging her gaze away from Krieg and back to Roxanne. “Please give my notebook back.”

One, two, three… uno, dos, tres… Her last psychiatrist promised counting in foreign languages would help her calm down faster because it took more conscious thinking to do it.

Her pulse still pounded.

Serena wouldn’t react. She knew better. It was just a spiral notebook.

Roxanne, standing over Serena’s desk, thumbed through the pages, tearing the college-ruled paper with her thick fingers. “Your handwriting sucks.” Needles scraped across Serena’s skin with each rip.

“Do something.” Krieg punched her fist into her palm.

Four, five, six… no, Serena would not talk back. Seven, eight, nine… she wouldn’t say anything this time. Ten, eleven, twelve… maybe she could still make it through the final hour.

“What is this crap?” Roxanne ripped out a page. Smirking, she crumpled the paper and tossed it at the garbage can in the back of the room.

“Don’t let her ruin your story.” Disgust coated Krieg’s words; she spat them out as if they were spoiled milk. Eyes narrowed, Krieg brushed her hand across Serena’s shoulder. Electricity shot through her body, arching her back.

“Give it back!” Serena launched to her feet. No, not again. She grabbed the notebook with two hands while she jammed her shoulder into Roxanne’s sternum. The force knocked Roxanne backward, but she clung to the notebook, dragging Serena with her as she hit the floor. Roxanne rolled until her muscled frame pressed against Serena’s ribs, forcing the breath from her lungs. Serena squirmed to get away, bumping her leg against a desk. She wouldn’t fight, didn’t want to, couldn’t, not here, not again…

Krieg’s voice echoed in her mind. Squelch her. Tie her to the rack.

“Cool. A fight.” A girl sitting across the aisle from Serena laughed.

I don’t want to fight. Krieg’s electricity still burned Serena’s veins, muting her urge for peace. Even if Serena didn’t win, she wouldn’t let Roxanne walk away without a few bruises. Maybe Roxanne would finally quit bullying her. Then Serena would never have to fight again, no matter how much the urge overtook her.

“You think you’re better than the rest of us?” Roxanne bared her teeth. “All alone back here, just because your mom was in National Geographic?”

She wrapped her legs around Serena’s, and they rolled. Serena’s back hit another desk leg. Pain flared along her nerves. A few quick twists of her hands on Roxanne’s head, and Serena could have broken her neck the way Krieg had taught her, but she stilled. Perspiration broke out across her forehead as she forced herself not to move.

“Fry her.” Bloodlust tainted Krieg’s voice. Her unbound hair hid her face, purple eyes peeking out.

“You gotta see this,” a girl said from the other side of the classroom into her cell phone. “Roxanne took on Serena!”

 

Be Thankful

During the holidays, we often become busy with work, shopping, baking, and much more and sometimes we forget to spend time with people that mean the most. Be thankful those people are still in your life and make the best of every moment!

For Thanksgiving, I will often have multiple dinners to attend. Two sometimes three dinners to celebrate, eat and get fat with loved ones. This year I have at least two. During those dinners, we like to talk, play games and go through the Black Friday ads.

What are some of your holiday traditions? food

This year, we are sticking with the classic foods for Thanksgiving, turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and probably a lot more.

What do you normally eat for dinner?

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I also like to sit back after a full meal and read a great book. This year I am reading Starlight Inn by Lucie Ulrich. It’s a fun, Christmas romance and I’m already about half way through. It’s great so far!

Here’s a quick blurb:

On her way to celebrate her birthday and Christmas with her family, Ella Dixon finds herself trapped in the middle of a blizzard. She 61yzcflkmplseeks refuge at The Starlight Inn. Though the inn is full, an elderly guest offers to share her room. Accepting the kind offer, Ella soon realizes Tillie Spencer isn’t your average “little old lady.” She knows things nobody else does, and appears to come and go on a whim.

Nick Wallace runs the inn along with sister, Fran. The attraction Nick feels for Ella is instantaneous and unexpected, but with the miles that separate them, and both busy with their careers, Nick doubts much will come of their Christmas Eve meeting. Tillie, on the other hand, holds a much different view.

Though Tillie won’t admit to being an angel, Nick and Ella think otherwise. How else can they explain the twists and turns that began at The Starlight Inn.

What are you reading this holiday season?

If you need something to read, feel free to check out my book Bleeding Hearts. It’s a romantic suspense about a serial killer and his girlfriend.

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Summer Veggie Sandwich 

Everyone needs a good veggie sandwich during the summer. It’s refreshing and tastes delicious under the hot sun. I’ve put together several ingredients that work well and satisfy your hunger. 


Now, you can change any part of this sandwich as you see fit or if you like something else. It’s extremely versatile. 

Ingredients:

~ 2 slices of bread (I just used a wheat sandwich bread but you can substitute it for bagels, English muffins or any other vegan breath you like)

~ Handful of baby spinach

~ Handful of bean sprouts (or any other sprouts you may like)

~ A small bunch of cilantro (I broke off a finger full and finely chopped it)

~ 1 can of garbanzo beans

~ 1 medium tomato

~ 1 small yellow or red onion

~ 1/2 a small, ripe avocado

~ 1 small pickling cucumber

~ 1 tsp salt, plus an extra pinch

~ 1 tsp black pepper, plus an extra pinch

~ 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar

~ 1 tsp olive oil
Directions: 

Start by draining the can of garbanzo beans and pouring them into a medium bowl. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, and chopped cilantro to the beans. Use a fork to mash the beans into a paste texture.

Next, throw your bread into the toaster so you can chop your veggies while they crisp up.

Peel and thinly slice the small cucumber and slice the rest of the veggies.

I put all my veggies including the spinach and sprouts into a container then douse it with the balsamic vinegar so it has some time to marinate before you put it all together.


Once you have everything chopped, marinated, and the bread toasted, you are ready to assemble.

Spread the bean mixture onto your toast.

Now, add the spinach and sprouts. Be careful, those scrawny sprouts like to wiggle off your sandwich.

Next, add the onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado. They are going to be slippery so if they end up sliding off, just push them back on.


Once everything is together, sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the veggies and top it off with your other piece of toast. You’re done!! Time to eat.

Bleeding Hearts Release Party

It’s time to party!! party

Join me for my virtual release party on Saturday, August 27th from 10:00am to 4:00pm EST. It’s all online so you don’t even have to leave your home. The event is on Facebook and I have a bunch of authors lined up to talk about their own books and give away free stuff.

I will be sharing excerpts of Bleeding Hearts and giving away one, maybe two free EBooks during my party. There will also be a gift basket up for grabs as well as some games and interactive stories.

If you want to know more about me, my book, or my publisher, Clean Reads, don’t hesitate to ask!

Click here to RSVP to the party. See everyone there!

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Born on August 25th, 2016

Babies are all the rage when you’re in your late twenties. After countless questions about when I’ll have a baby, it’s finally happening! I’m having my first baby, my novel! The pregnancy began in June of 2015.

The First Trimester: There was so much to think about… Names, doctors, what the characters will look like. Picking the perfect name was high on my list of things to do. I settled on Bleeding Hearts after many chats with my friend HollyI started this crazy idea of mine and finished the complete book within two months.

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This is NOT the cover of my book.

 

The road to publication has been rough, to say the least. My good friend, Alyssa was the first to experience my mood swings as she tore through the first, initial edits to help shape the outcome of my book baby. If I didn’t start off in the right direction, my baby would come out with some birth defects. We worked together, and she chose her words carefully as Alyssa knew a first time mother might strike back at her suggestions.

My ambition to find the right doctor to produce my book was high. I researched, joined contests, and queried for several months. That’s when the stress really started. I had worried that I’d never be able to find someone who would want to help birth my book, but I did! Back in February 2015, Stephanie Taylor, book expert, lovely person, and owner of Clean Reads offered to be the one to bring my book to life. She was exactly what I had wanted in a book doctor.  

The Second Trimester: Usually this is when things calm down, but not for me. With edits every month for three months, this was a hard road as my nausea lasted a little longer than expected. Each time I’d send in edits, I felt my baby book was growing! Bleeding Hearts was going to be an amazing novel, I just knew it! During this time, I had many doubts that my book wouldn’t make the cut, that somehow, Stephanie would cut me as a patient. We hung in there through several anxiety filled emails asking countless amounts of questions and sharing my worries with her. She always gave me the answers I needed to make the months pass by quickly. 

The Third Trimester: Finally, it’s the home stretch. After several joined book parties and winning gifts, to keep me at ease, from my Clean Reads family, the time has come. It’s this period in your pregnancy that you get a finalized due date. In just two short months, on August 25th, 2016, my dream come true of having my fist book is going to be a reality. Mark your calendars! My book baby will be available for purchase as EBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble. 

Stalk my Facebook page to find out more information. I will be hosting an online Facebook Release Party the following Saturday, 8/27 for my book so watch out for that!

Here is a blurb of my book along with two of my favorite memes!

Bleeding Hearts is a story about a young woman willing to put her heart on the line to find the perfect man.

Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.  

Red roses, a reminder of her parents’ killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.   

Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?

Again… As a reminder, Bleeding Hearts will be released on August 25, 2016