Monday 23 February 2015

Cover Reveal: Super Bad by Kai Strand

Watch out. Things are about to get really bad.

Excerpt from Super Bad:

Looking around the room Sandra asked, “Is this an FVA party? It seems too far away.”
“No. SVA. You didn’t even know which school’s party you were crashing?” Disdain dripped from Oceanus’s words.
The condescending tone was too much. Hadn’t she been nice to Oceanus when she dropped by unexpectedly? Anger surged inside Sandra. “What does it even matter? The schools are all balanced now anyway. Thanks to you!”
Lexa’s mouth dropped open.
Oceanus clenched her fists. “I told you, I had nothing to do with it.”
Before Sandra could spit back a reply, a boy sidled up to Oceanus, his eyes scanning the partygoers.
“Hey, babe. Those mozzarella things you made were a huge hit. Can you make more?” The boy ran his hand down her back and finally dropped his gaze to Oceanus. “What’s wrong?”
He followed her glower and squinted at Sandra. “Do I know you?”
“Aaaahhh!” Sandra yelled. “You arrogant jerk.”
She spun toward Lexa, who was all but drooling over the boy. “Let’s go!”
“What?” Lexa exclaimed.
The boy frowned. “So obviously I’m supposed to know you.”
“Set, it’s Sandra. Polar’s sister,” Oceanus grumbled.
“Ah, right. You cut your hair,” he said.
“Yeah, one does that after it’s burned off!” Sandra tugged on Lexa’s arm. “We can’t stay here.”

SUPER BAD The unexpected conclusion to the Super Villain Academy series.

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”
Super Bad is scheduled for release in June, but there have been whispers of it releasing sooner. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to Kai’s mailing list and be among the first to know.
King of Bad - Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Is Jeff bad enough for SVA?

Polar Opposites - Heroes and villains are balanced. After Oceanus is kidnapped, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. Ironically Jeff’s superpowers are spiraling out of control. Will they find Oci before he looses it completely, and will they find her alive?
Win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ecopy of either King of Bad or Polar Opposites. Plenty of chances to win. Open internationally. Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,

Thursday 19 February 2015

Spotlight on a Book Series: Lisa Orchard and the Starlight Chronicles Series…

I want to thank and welcome very good friend and fantastic MG/YA author, Lisa Orchard for sharing her personal experiences on writing a book series and showcasing her young adult contemporary series the Starlight Chronicles with us on my blog today. On a side note, Lisa is one tough cookie for not only recently battling breast cancer and going through chemotherapy, but continuing to follow her heart and do what she loves: write wonderful books. So without further ado, let’s get this interview rolling…

Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write the Starlight Chronicles series, Lisa?

From my own teenage desires to be a singer in a band.J

Say what? You wanted to rock out in a band? You’re braver than me! So, how many books are you planning to write in this young adult contemporary fiction series?


That’s a good foundation for a series, Lisa. What sets the Starlight Chronicles series apart from other series in the same genre?

It deals with some teen issues as well as being entertaining to the young adult reader.

How long did it take for you to start and finish each book from the Starlight Chronicles series?

Well the first three books were written as one book, so it took me about six to nine months to write the one book. I’ve started book four, but because of my chemo journey I’ve had to put that one on hold.

Take all the time you need to get your health back, this world needs authors like you! Can you tell us some of your favorite book series, Lisa?

I loved the Nancy Drew series growing up! A more recent series that I enjoyed was the Hunger Games Series.

Wonderful choices! Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write a series?

Keep writing and keep your characters consistent so that they’re recognizable in each story.

Sage advice, my friend. What’s next for Lisa Orchard the author?

To be honest, I’m not really sure. I’m still recovering from chemo. I’d like to finish book four of the Starlight series fairly quickly and I have a couple of new ideas for a stand-alone book that I’ve been tossing around.

Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—IF you could time travel into Earth’s past, WHO would you love to meet, and WHY?

The younger Harper Lee so we wouldn’t have to wait so long for her second book! I’d tell her where it is!

Blurb for “Gideon Lee”
Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?

Blurb for "Lark Singer"
Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. As she and her band, Starlight, gear-up for an upcoming, life-changing band competition, though, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers, or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her unraveling personal life to keep her musical goals on track?

Blurb for "Starlight"
Everything is on track for Seventeen-year-old Lark Singer and her band Starlight. They have a great shot at winning the competition that can launch their musical career. But when Lark discovers they will be competing against her old nemesis Duane McIntyre things really heat up. How far will Lark go to win, and what will it cost her in the end?

Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She knew she wanted to be a writer by fifth grade, but didn’t pursue publication until after having children. That’s when the Super Spies series was born. She has just finished a Coming of Age Young Adult Novel and when she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

Social Media Links:


Gideon Lee”

“Lark Singer”

Barnes and Noble:  “coming soon”

Monday 16 February 2015

Spotlight on a Book Series: Christina Weigand and Palace of the Twelve Pillars Series

I want to thank and welcome fantastic YA author, Christina Weigand for sharing her personal experiences on writing a book series. Christina is showcasing her fantasy series Palace of the Twelve Pillars Series with us on my blog today. So let’s get this spotlight rolling…

Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Palace of the Twelve Pillars Series, Christina?

I’m not sure where the idea for the original book came from. I was taking a writing course and the assignment was to write a short story. For some reason I thought it would be cool to write about a boy who woke up one morning to discover he was a wizard and a prince instead of a farm boy. When I wrote the story it was too much of a story for a short story, so I thought I would write a novel. As I wrote that novel I discovered that the story I wanted to tell was not just about that boy, but who his family was and how he came to be in the place he was. And then the boy’s parents and grandparents took over the story and the trilogy was born. And that farm boy’s story doesn’t actually start until the third book in the series.

Some of the best ideas are hatched from writing courses or workshops. How many books are
you planning to write in this young adult fantasy adventure series?

Currently there are three books in the series. And they cover the generation before the farm boy. Since his story begins in the third book I sense that there are more stories to be told about his generation. Someday in the future there may be more books.

That’s great news! Keep’em coming, Christina! How long did it take for you to start and finish each book from Palace of the Twelve Pillars?

It was ten years total for all three books. The first one Palace of the Twelve Pillars: Book One probably took the longest. The first draft took about a year but that wasn’t consecutive months, because it got put away for a couple of months time as I was struggling with the plot. The second and the third books Palace of the Three Crosses: Book Two and Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three didn’t take quite as long. I would say probably about six months each, although Three Crosses took a hair longer because the characters changed things up a little bit on me. Originally I thought that story about the farm boy would be the third book until his father and uncle took over the story and I realized the farm boy was only part of the story and there was a complete other story that unfolded in the second book, with changes rippling through the third book as well.

Don’t you love it when characters take over your story? What are some of your favorite book series, Christina?

Bryan Davis has a wonderful series, Dragons in Our Midst that I love. My granddaughter and I just finished the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It was the first time I read the whole series and we both loved it. There are so many others, Terry Goodkind, Wayne Thomas Baston, and Donita K. Paul just to name a few.

Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write a series?

If possible try to write them in chronological order. If you write the way I do and that’s by the seat of my pants it can be difficult to keep everything in its proper place if you write out of order.
Know and love your characters, because you will be with them a long time.
Be prepared for unexpected turns in the story.

Unexpected turns? I thought that was normal in writing a story! Great advice. What’s next for Christina Weigand the author?

The dragons from my books have come to Earth with a crucial mission from the Creator. They arrived here at the end of Jesus’s ministry on Earth and will team up with a group of humans to spread and protect God’s people.

I wish you all the best with your plans, Christina. Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—IF you could time travel into Earth’s past, WHO would you love to meet, and WHY?

The time of Jesus. I would love to meet Him, to travel with Him, to learn from Him and then help the dragon’s spread God’s love in the world. And it would make writing this new series so much easier.

Palace of the Twelve Pillars Blurb:

The Peace Summit was in shambles, the prince kidnapped.
When the rival king realizes he kidnapped the wrong prince, hostilities escalate. Loyalties to each other and country are tested for the twin princes of Crato, Joachim and Brandan.
Joachim, captive of King Waldrom, faces deception and betrayal as he struggles to find his way home. Brandan, at home with a father focused on rescuing Joachim, wrestles with his own demons as he searches for his place in the world and the favor of his father.
Torn from the safety and peace of their childhood, they are thrust into a world where bonds of family, brotherhood and roles as heirs to Crato are tested. Through war, spiritual journeys, death and marriage, will they choose the path of good or evil? Who can be trusted, as the world they know slips into a whirlpool of chaos?

Palace of the Three Crosses Blurb:

Brandan and Joachim survived the war, but can their relationship and their countries survive the aftermath.
Brandan and Joachim have returned from the brink of Hell, but everyone questions if they are truly healed and one with Asha.
As each prince tries to readjust to life, they must face the funeral of their father and their missing mother.
They each take on the responsibility of ruling a country with new wives by their sides, but can they and the countries survive the trials that will ensue because of their choices?

Sanctuary of Nine Dragons Blurb:

Joachim banishes Brandan to prison island of Hyogo. His infant son, Prince Airyn disappears from his cradle. A chain of events is set in motion that will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parents against children as Brandan and Joachim struggle for control of their sanity and their very lives.
With Brandan declared dead and his son missing Joachim sinks into despair and anger, where those close to him fear he may never return.
Is Brandan really dead and if he is, who is manipulating the Mantion and enemies of Crato?
Can Maeve save her country and her husband from the tentacles of evil pervading the land?

Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a teenage daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.

When she’s not writing, she’s lectors at her Church and volunteers to help young people develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.

Buy Links:

Connect with Christina:

Facebook Author Page:
Links to youtube trailers:

Monday 9 February 2015

Spotlight on a Book Series: Liz DeJesus and the Frost Series...

I want to thank and welcome good friend and fantastic YA author, Liz DeJesus for sharing her personal experiences on writing a book series and showcasing her paranormal/fairytale series The Frost Series with us on my blog today. So let’s get this interview rolling…
Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Frost Series, Liz?

I got the initial idea for First Frost while watching a commercial for a local children’s museum. I thought about how cool it would be to have themed museums (since children are often into different things), like a train museum, pirate museum, or a fairy tale museum. And once I came upon that idea I knew I had stumbled upon something special. I grabbed my notebook as quickly as possible and jotted down the first things that popped into my head. Nine months later I had a novel.

Nine months? Sounds like you were having a baby. LOL! How many books are you planning to write in this young adult paranormal/fairytale series?

As many as I possibly can. I have an endless fountain of inspiration, there are so many fairy tales that I can have fun with and add to the storyline. But I don’t want to force anything with this series. If it has to come to an end, I want it to happen organically.

What sets The Frost Series apart from other series in the same genre?

The Frost Series is not a fairy tale retelling in the traditional sense. I’ve taken characters that live in the real world and thrown them into a series of magical events. The liberties I’ve taken with some fairy tales it’s mostly to add a solid foundation to the plot line. And some of the main characters are descendants of some of the most popular fairy tales. Bianca Frost is the great-great-great granddaughter of Snow White. Terrance is the grandson of the Big Bad Wolf. Prince Ferdinand is the great-grandson of Cinderella. The only one that’s just a normal girl is Bianca’s best friend, Ming.
We also get to interact with some of the items in the fairy tale museum and discover what each item is truly capable of.

Wow, your characters sound well developed and believable! How long did it take for you to
start and finish each book from The Frost Series?

The initial draft for First Frost took me about 9 months to write. And then another 3 months to edit and polish the book before I started submitting it to publishers and agents. Then while I dealt with rejection I wrote Glass Frost which took me about a year and a half to write and in that time Musa Publishing accepted First Frost and published it.

And I just finished writing the third book in the series, Shattered Frost, it took me about 2 years to write mostly because it’s such a complicated novel. It’s split between two points of view (Bianca and Terrance) and it was harder for me to get inside of Terrance’s head and write his scenes. With Bianca it’s so easy to slip in and out of her head because she’s so much like me. But I think people will enjoy this new adventure and see how these characters have grown and matured since we last saw them.

What are some of your favorite book series, Liz?

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and anything written by Jessica Clare.

Hmm, I’ve got to check those authors out. Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write a series?

What has worked for me is to treat each book like a stand-alone novel. Only difference is that I’m using the same characters over and over again. But again, I’m new at writing a series so I’m just having as much fun as possible and listening to what my readers and other bloggers have to say. I do take some of their comments into consideration but I make sure it all goes with what I have in mind for the series.

I agree. As long as your readers give you constructive advice, then listen to them. So, what’s next for Liz DeJesus the author?

A lot of things! I’m getting ready to hit the road again, going to a whole bunch of conventions, book festivals, fairy festivals and libraries. I put together a few workshops and I am thrilled that people are enjoying them and that they are learning as well as putting some of my tips to good use. I also finished writing the third draft of Shattered Frost, I sent it to my editor and I’m waiting to hear back from her. Once that’s done I’ll send it to Musa Publishing and see if they will accept it for publication.

I’m also working on a collection of short stories titled Mugshots (it was inspired by some amazing artwork by MarilenAdrover ) still have a few things to work on story-wise (if they are going to be individual short stories or if it will all tie in together somehow), but I’m having fun with this particular book.

I also have a few ideas bouncing around my head for book #4 of The Frost Series but nothing concrete yet.

I’m also working on a middle grade book titled Pros and Cons of Being a Teenage Fairy. It’s about a girl that grows fairy wings on her 13th birthday and how she navigates her life now that she’s a fairy.
So there is a lot to look forward to as far as writing is concerned.

 Sounds like you’ll be one busy gal! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—IF you could time travel into Earth’s past, WHO would you love to meet, and WHY?

It’s definitely a tie between Vincent Van Gogh and Antoni Gaudi. I love art and architecture (probably because I wish I could draw, only thing I can draw are stick figures) and I would love to meet artists that I admire just to see what it is that inspired them to create. I believe that as a writer there is a lot you can learn from other creative people.

SPECIAL NOTE: I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate Liz on being a finalist in the Book Bzz competition! If you’d like to vote for Liz during the month of February, here’s the link:

Blurb for First Frost:

Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.
She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Blurb for Glass Frost:

When joined together, Cinderella's slippers grant the wearer her heart's desire.  But whose wish will be granted?

When Cinderella’s glass slipper is stolen, Queen Felicia sends her faithful steward Terrance to the real world to retrieve his love and witch-in-training, Bianca Frost. The power of the glass slipper in the wrong hands could ruin peace in Everafter. Bianca must gather every bit of magic she has learned in the past few weeks to find the slipper and protect her new love. Together, Bianca, Ming, Prince Ferdinand, and Terrance venture deep into the heart of Everafter to seek clues as to who has stolen the slipper and why. Along the way, they uncover what happened to the Seven Dwarves after Snow White married the prince, but also learn the awful risk of tampering with black magic and the high price that must be paid for magical aid, even when used for good.

Bianca and Terrance’s relationship is put to the test. Through the pain of suffering and loss, Bianca must determine if following her gallant boyfriend into his faraway world is in fact her heart's desire. 

Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico.  She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 2011) First Frost (Musa Publishing, June 2012), Glass Frost (Musa Publishing, July 2013), Morgan (Indie Gypsy, July 2014) and The Laurel (Musa Publishing, November 2014). Her work has also appeared in Night Gypsy: Journey Into Darkness (Indie Gypsy, October 2012) and Someone Wicked (Smart Rhino Publications, Winter 2013).
Liz is currently working on a new novel and a comic book series titled Zombie Ever After (Emerald Star Comics, Fall 2014).

First Frost Buy Links:

Glass Frost Buy Links:

Learn more about Liz Dejesus on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, and TWITTER

Monday 2 February 2015

Books: Products or Experiences…

As an author I had to ask myself this question: do we sell a product (book) or an experience (memory)? I recently read a marketing post where there was a study conducted in which people were asked if they would prefer to purchase a product (car, couch, etc.) or an experience (holiday, concert, etc.), and guess what most said? Yup. You guessed it. An experience.

So this got me to thinking that authors have it pretty good. Yes, we sell a product whether it’s a book or an ebook or an audio-book or all three. We still have to market and promote these ‘products’ in order for our consumers (readers) to find them. But once our books are in the hands of readers, magic happens and they’re whisked away into another place, and another time. We authors create an experience for each of our readers. And that’s the payoff. Experiences tend to have a lasting effect on people. Sure, buy a car and you’ve got that new car smell for about a year. But I bet you remember going to your first concert, don’t you? Or maybe your first trip to Disneyland? I certainly do.
If you purchase a book, true you may lose it, but I guarantee you that story will stay with you for years to come if the tale hits an emotional cord. And isn’t that why we authors are in this vocation to begin with?

And since February is my birthday month, I’m hoping to generate lasting memories for readers by offering two Goodreads Giveways. One for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, and one for the prequel to my time travel series, Legend of the Timekeepers. BTW—both giveaways are international so no one is left out in the cold! Happy Birthday to me!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis by Sharon Ledwith

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis

by Sharon Ledwith

Giveaway ends February 25, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Legend of the Timekeepers by Sharon Ledwith

Legend of the Timekeepers

by Sharon Ledwith

Giveaway ends February 25, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win