Category Archives: Author Interview

Pushing the Boundaries – One photographer wannabe to another

Hey there! Today we’re talking to Stacey Trombley about PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES and Photography!!!!!!!!!

Hi Stacey! Your main character is a photographer.

Mine too! Are you a photographer in real life?

Actually, I am not a photographer but once upon a time I wanted to be. In middle school and into high school photography was something I loved! I took pictures of sunsets and what little nature I could find in my little suburban neighborhood. We had a digital camera, which was pretty modern at the time, but it was huge and saved pictures onto floppy disks (do teens even know what those are anymore? I’m making myself feel old!) but it had a screen that showed me the pictures after I took them which was awesome!

Ha! I remember floppies, but not inside cameras. I think I got into photography for the same reason: I loved seeing the pictures right away, and you didn’t have to wait to develop before you know if you captured the image or not. 🙂

I really wanted to take a photography class in high school, which was an option at first… the high school I went to my freshman year did offer one (my older sister took the class. I was super jealous) but I ended up moving to a different school district the year before I could take it (you needed a basic art credit before you could take the photography class). My new school, though better in many other ways, did not have a photography class. And so my dream died.

Oh! That’s so sad!

It’s okay. I had the option to take photography in college but I had developed other interests (production media) and it just never seemed to fit into my schedule so I never perused it.

So, in a way, photography is my lost hobby. My lost dream.

Another big sad face! How do you think all of this effected PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES?

Perhaps I’m living vicariously through Myra, who is perusing an art college scholarship through her photography. But in the end I found a new outlet for my creative side when I started writing and I can’t imagine anything being better than this so maybe it was simply meant to be!

Omigosh, me too! I still love my camera, but there are not too many things I like to do more than sinking into my own world. Thanks so much for stopping by!

About Pushing the Boundaries

Pushing the BoundariesMyra goes to Haiti with one goal: take the photograph that will win a scholarship and prove to her uber-traditional family that she has what it takes to be a photographer instead of a doctor. Her camera has always been her shield against getting too close to anyone, but she didn’t expect the hot teen translator who has an ability to see past her walls.

Elias needs his job as a translator to provide for his siblings. He can’t afford to break the rule forbidding him from socializing with a client. Except this girl Myra insists on going outside the city to capture the perfect picture, and he steps in as her guide in order to keep her safe.

The deeper they travel into the country, the harder they fall for each other. Now they’re both taking risks that could cost each other their dreams.

If they get too close—it could ruin both their lives.

About Stacey Trombley:

Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband, new baby boy and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. Any chance she has she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list.


Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png

Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

Authory habits and fun facts with Terri Rochenski

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000Today we’re talking to author Terri Rochenski about authorly habits and fun facts.   Hi Terri!



jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000So, let’s get down to it, then.

What’s you’re writing pet peeve?

They’re, Their, There and all those lovelies that social media-lites so often get wrong. 😉

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000Ewwwe. I hate those, too. I always hesitate and double check, then I lose my train of thought.
What weird thing do you do when you write?

 I usually write a story by hand the first time with good old paper and pen. Doing so keeps me from backspacing and editing while I go.

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000Really? I can’t write freehand fast enough. I’d never get anything done. Ha! What’s your writing nemesis?

Hmm. Probably the writing itself! I’m a sucker for research, outlines, timelines, character studies…I love the details behind the projects. Sitting down and actually writing what’s in my mind is sometimes a chore.

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000I’m the opposite. I’d rather write. That’s probably why I like science fiction… I can make it up rather than doing the work. (Yup, I’m lazy) What book world would you like to live in, why, and what you learned from it as an author?

Any of the A Song of Ice and Fire books. I adore Martin’s writing (even if he is a little long-winded) and adore the world he created. I’ve always wondered what life in the middle ages was really like.

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000Me Too!

Wouldn’t you love to go back to that time???

I’ve daydreamed of time travel, too. I would love to know how Martin keeps his HUGE cast of characters and the timelines in focus and spot on. THAT kind of organization skill could benefit anyone!

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000What book world gives you nightmares?


Oh, what a good question!!! I’d have to go with Sarah J. Maas and her Throne of Glass series. Excellent stories, unbelievable world and characters—and a few spooky ones that would scare the living daylights out of me in real life…witches on dragons. *shudder* I’d love to learn how she think tanks, where her influences for the series came from.

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000What’s the funniest thing that ever happened at a book signing?


I had an elderly gentleman shamelessly flirt with me while hand-in-hand with his smiling wife.

jennifer-eaton-portrait-1-img_4000Ha! Too funny!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Terri!

Enter a Rafflecopter for a $10 Roane Publishing gift card

About Eye of the Soul


That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.


Shoot me to Goodreads for links to buy it now!

About the author:

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png

Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

Being Scared Isn’t Always Fun

You guyyzzzzzz! I just started reading Lost Girls by  Merrie Destefano and I’m totally loving it! So I’m thrilled to host Merrie today about being scared. Here we go!

Being Scared Isn’t Always Fun

By Merrie Destefano

I read Altered States by Paddy Cheyefsky when I was in my early twenties and I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that terrified me more. To most people, it’s a science fiction/horror story where the premise is, what if someone combined sensory deprivation research with psychoactive/experimental drugs and it caused a biological devolution. I think this is the book that scared me off altered reality for the rest of my life! 224994It’s been a long time since I read the book, but what I remember is that, as a result of the research he was doing, the main character—Jessup—began to change into a primitive man, probably a very distant ancestor of man.

But wait, there’s more… Jessup kept doing the same experimental research and ended up going back further in time until he became some sort of primordial goo. (Oh, help, just rip my skin off, this is so scary!) And if that wasn’t terrifying enough, let’s just take that premise One Horrible Step Further… Emily, the main character’s ex-wife, reaches into the maelstrom of what’s left of Jessup, takes him by the hand and … Wait for it … She starts to get pulled into the primordial goo too.

At this point, I’m not just ripping off my skin. I’m pulling out my hair and stabbing myself in the eyes with a fork. Make it stop, just make it stop.


I should probably explain that at that point in my life I suffered from acute panic attacks that had not gotten under control. They’re much better now, thankfully. But this book felt like a trip to Hell. Most people would say ‘a trip to Hell and back’ except I don’t remember this book as having a good ending. In my memory, this was what would happen for the rest of their lives. Jessup would slip into the primordial goo, Emily would have to go into that horrible-never-should-have-been-invented-world and pull him out. But every time she did, she got pulled into it too.

I guess I’ve learned to be able to write things I’m afraid of from this. But I’ve also learned that I don’t have to expose myself to ideas/stories/movies that make me feel like my skin has been ripped off. I do my best to stay away from altered reality (I’m talking about YOU Inception and Doctor Strange.) I need my happy ending to survive. Yes, you can take me to Hell in a movie/book, but you best bring me back in the end.

Soooo, ummmm, I guess I can expect a happy ending in Lost Girls? Cause I’m kinda creeped out right now, I’m not gonna lie.


29939399Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry.

Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.

She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: She’s popular. She wears nothing but black.

Black to cover the blood.

And she can fight.

Tell no one.

She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.

But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad: sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves. The rush of the fight, the thrill of the win―something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…

Release Date: 1/3/17

Shoot me to Goodreads to find out more and see purchase links

Author Bio:

Born in the Midwest, magazine editor Merrie Destefano currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat, and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, and listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.

Facebook: Instagram: Goodreads: Newsletter:

Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png

Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

Evolution of a Reader into An Author with @SharonLHughson

Education Concept. Read Books Sign.I’ve been reading since before I attended kindergarten. I’ve been devouring books, sometimes at the rate of one or two per day, since I was twelve.

84119That’s the year my parents got divorced. I moved to Narnia. Such a happier place, especially when the two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve were ruling.

In case you wonder, THE HORSE AND HIS BOY is my favorite from the seven-book Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve read that one at least ten times.

So_what_started_me_off_as_a_writerIt was reading that spawned my overactive imagination. What then? I wrote my first book when I was nine. In a green spiral notebook. I still have a similar notebook for every novel-length project.

What was my first book? THE HORSE KILLER, which reminds me of the books the horse crazy girl I was loved to read. gabby-balloonI checked out every horse book in the school library and the public library during my third and fourth grade years.

The story I wrote was about a vet who kills barrel racing horses so that his son’s horse will win the big competition. My young heroine figures it all out and stops him in his tracks with the help of her well-trained (but retired from barrel racing) horse.

The rest, some old guy said, is history. Now I’m an author of a novel, two nonfiction books, and five short stories in anthologies.

In The Beginning_CoverIN THE BEGINNING is my debut in the young adult publishing world. It’s a world I’ve dreamed of appearing in for about four decades (did I just give my age away?) so I’m thrilled to share it with you.

If you like dystopian or post-apocalyptic reads, you’ll enjoy this collection of eight short stories. Each one is perfect for a quick reality break.

The Demon was Me introduces readers to Oregon after The Greatest War and the Great Nuclear Winter that followed it. Who knew atomic explosions would ignite seismic and volcanic reactions worldwide? You can bet no one knew there were demons trapped in beneath the earth’s crust and released through a huge chasm that swallowed the Rocky Mountains.
You can buy the Kindle format here. Or if you want to hold a paper book in your hands, pick up a copy here.

In The Beginning_CoverAbout IN THE BEGINNING

Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.
Stories include: Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements, Babylon by Nicole Crucial, Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays, The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson, The Deluge by Marti Johnson, Condemned by Elle O’Neill, First Wife by Lora Palmer and Emmaculate by Christina Raus.
Here’s an excerpt from “The Demon was Me”:

The ghastly black fog overtook me. Icicles pierced my back. Every muscle in my body spasmed. I plunged face-first against the ground. Something sharp gouged my cheek. Shivery tingles pervaded my insides. A vile presence pressed against my mind.

“Get out!” I rolled to my back, arms outstretched. I wanted to fight, throw the intruder off me. But how can you resist something as ethereal as air?

Laughter rang in my ears. Sinister. It shuddered against my soul. Terror and hopelessness collided in my chest. A foreign power clutched at my mind.
I screamed. I rolled to my side and squeezed my eyes shut. If only I could disappear.

Another dark wave of laughter echoed through my skull. Convulsions gripped me.

Against my will, my limbs flailed in every direction. A spike pressed into my mind. I cradled my throbbing head. My body, a tumbleweed in the wind, spun on the ground.

About Sharon Hughson

RFR-160111-Cent4F1-16476676_GPRNurtured through a troubled teen-hood by Aslan in Narnia, Sharon Hughson has long appreciated the power of the written word. She has published romance and women’s fiction, but her dream is to write young adult fantasy, a genre she credits for keeping her alive during her parents’ turbulent divorce and the chaotic readjustments that followed.
To find her teenage voice, Sharon taps into a lifetime of experience working with young people in both church and public school. She resides in Oregon with her husband and three cats, where she spends her non-writing hours substitute teaching, reading, playing piano, enjoying the outdoors and scrapbooking her family’s memories.

Handling accurate historical attitudes in a millennial feminist world with @AuthorCKBrooke

Today we’re welcoming author C.K. Brook, speaking about the touchy topic of feminism in historicals. Welcome C.K.!

Make no mistake, I consider myself a feminist. I’m not old enough to have fought for it; I was simply fortunate enough to have been born into a nation and generation where the idea that I could grow up to be or do anything I wanted, regardless of my gender, was something I really never thought to question. I took it for granted. My eyes were opened in high school, when I began to read historical novels and their depictions of how, throughout history and around the world, women had limited rights, if any. Most weren’t allowed to read, vote, or own land. They themselves were property. Independence and autonomy? Many women lived and died without ever having experienced either.

Oddly, that didn’t mean they were all unhappy. pko_0010131Every historical novel about any kind of woman’s revolution will show you the ‘other’ side – the women who didn’t want to vote, the ones who didn’t want to enter the workforce, the ones who willingly embraced what we may consider sexist today: a woman’s domestic and maternal “role”.

To my generation, it feels wrong to be okay with people not wanting or asking for more choices – or indeed, having no choices at all. And yet, that’s how generations of women lived before us, as influenced by the predominant cultures and paradigms of their various societies and eras.

23332977I don’t write a lot of historical fiction. But I do write fantasy that takes place in historical-like settings, and that includes patriarchal societies. One of the challenges of being a writer in today’s market is handling accurate historical attitudes toward women for the integrity and atmosphere of an old-fashioned story, when most of today’s audience may be young millennial feminists like myself, to whom these societal gender structures come across as backwards or even immoral, were they applied in real life today.

For example, the ‘damsel in distress’ is a classic literary motif used by the greatest writers for centuries. But authors paying homage to those old stories today run the risk of being considered sexist. Huh womanIn my opinion, there’s a huge difference between crafting a story in an old-fashioned, patriarchal setting and actually condoning it or thinking the world ought to run that way again. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being under the modern lens as an author, it’s that there are as many different reactions to a story as there are readers to react to it.

Historical attitudes towards women in a novel may offend some, while those enjoying the escape to a different world won’t bat an eyelash. While it’s fun to craft plots about women who must somehow assert themselves amidst arranged marriages, forced journeys, and salacious suitors, I’m appreciative to live in the here and now, where the choice to write whatever we choose is ours.

About CK Brooke

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new, so come and see what she’s up to!

About The Duchess Quest

23332977Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward! Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart. Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.

Get A Copy:  Amazon Stores ▾ Audible  Barnes & Noble  Kobo  Apple iBooks  Google Play  Abebooks  Book Depository  Indigo  Alibris
Better World Books  IndieBound Libraries

Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png

Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

Using real-life fighter pilot experience in a fantasy novel

My husband’s career as a fighter pilot for the USAF has heavily influenced the DRAGONRIDER CHRONCILES. When I was developing the series and figuring out the angle I wanted to take with Jaevid’s story, he had just begun his training in Wichita Falls, TX. We were young, newlyweds, and since I was raised in a Navy household, I had a very limited understanding of the demands of his training. But we got a crash-course in “Surviving the Military Lifestyle,” which is a book I should probably write sometime later in my life.


22542586The training my husband went through was nothing short of life-draining, exhausting, and tested every bit of his resolve. But through those struggles, I saw his strength. I saw him be determined. I saw him at the lowest and highest points, and I eventually saw him achieve his dream of being a fighter pilot. I can’t tell you how beautiful that moment was!


So it only made sense to me to put that in a book – Jaevid’s book. After all, what are dragonriders but medieval fighter pilots? 23344338At least, that’s how I translated them into my world! I adapted many of the aspects of my husband’s training to that setting. I wanted to show how they bonded as a brotherhood, and yet how each one of these pilots his held to a standard by the ones who came before them. There is an inherent need in their culture to uphold traditions, to respect those who came before, and to be prepared for the worst possible scenarios. These pilots, male and female, are warriors. They are our knights in shining armor, straddling fire-breathing beasts as they ride into battle. I just hope my story honors them!


About Immortal

Destiny has called. With Jaevid Broadfeather forever lost to the depths of Luntharda, Felix Farrow struggles to stand on his own. He begins a violent downward spiral which causes him to abandon his post as a dragonrider, hiding in the halls of his family estate. His one hope for redemption lies within the heart of someone from his past—and the very last person he ever wanted to see again. And now the time has finally come. Hovrid, who has ruled Maldobar as a tyrannical imposter, is preparing to make a decisive assault against Luntharda that will destroy what remains of the elven race. Only Jaevid, Felix, and their trusted friends are able to stand in his way. They have only one chance to end the war, and only one hope to absolve the curse that threatens to destroy their world. The stage is set. The plan is in motion. What began as one boy’s adventure will now end in blood.

Find out more about the Dragonriders series HERE


About Nicole Conway:

NICOLE CONWAY is an author from North Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012, and has previously worked as a graphic artist. She is happily married and has one son as well as a cat and a dog. She enjoys blogging, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family. Read more on Amazon’s Nicole Conway page


Instagram: @AuthorNicoleConway


Twitter: @ANConway

Tumblr: @NicoleConway422

Pinterest: @ANConway






Republishing a Series with a New Publisher. Why do it? @sara_wolf1 @entangledteen

Today we are talking to author Sara Wolf.

Sara, you are re-publishing this series. Tell me about your journey in re-publishing. What made you do it? What was the process like, and how is the new version different from the original?

Hi everyone! Thanks for having me, it’s so awesome to be here.

Republishing can be a tricky animal – on one hand, you don’t want to go through all the work it took to publish again, but on the other, you start thinking about how and where exactly your book could use improvement. This is ultimately what led me to deciding to republish the LOVELY VICIOUS series.

When I saw the series do well when it was e-book only, I thought to myself; I wish I could put this in paperback, somehow! I researched a bunch of different sites that promised to do that for you, for a price. I realized I couldn’t afford to both keep a roof over my head and publish the books into paperback, so I turned to the one person who knows what to do, always; my agent.

My agent promised she’d send the manuscript out to various publishers. It was turned down by a ton of them, but I’d been used to that for a long time. I didn’t take it personally. Finally, my agent informed me the lovely Stacy Abrams of Entangled Publishing was interested, and I was thrilled! We signed up with a contract that promised paperbacks and shelf-space, and I was over the moon.

The process was so seamless – the Entangled team made it just so easy. The edits were so crucial – Stacy took the book and made it so much better. She saw the true potential, and we worked together as hard as we could on it. The new version has tons of edits, lots of new scenes, and a delightful new cover for me to blow up and tack to my wall – I mean, ahem, for everyone to enjoy.

I definitely think my decision to republish was the right one; I got to work with so many great, talented people and be part of the Entangled family, and that’s all I could ask for.

Thank you, and have a great one!


About the author

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

About Forget Me Always

It’s been three years, twenty-five weeks, and five days since Isis Blake fell in love, and if she has it her way, it’ll stretch into infinity. Since then, she’s punched Jack Hunter—her nemesis-turned-maybe-something-more—in the face, survived a brutal attack by her mom’s abusive ex thanks to Jack’s heroics, and then promptly forgotten all about him.

The one bright spot for Isis is Sophia, the ephemeral girl who shares Isis’s hospital stay as well as a murky past with Jack. But as Isis’s memories return, she finds it harder and harder to resist what she felt for Jack, and Jack finds it impossible to stay away from the only girl who’s ever melted the ice around his heart.

As the dark secrets surrounding Sophia emerge, Isis realizes Jack isn’t who she thought he was. He’s dangerous. But when Isis starts receiving terrifying emails from an anonymous source, that danger might be the only thing protecting her from something far more threatening.

Her past.

Amazon: B&N: iBooks: Kobo:


Breathing life and a new twist into a well-known fairy tale with @ShonnaSlayton

OOOooooo! Retellings!  I know it’s a fad, but I’ve read some really good ones. I love seeing old fairy tales in new settings. Today we’re welcoming Shonna Slayton to talk about her brand new retelling: Spindle

Hi guys!

I’ve been a fan of fairy-tale retellings since reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. And lately, there seems to be an explosion of retellings. It’s been wonderful to see!

I know right? They are so much fun to read! What did you do with yours to make it different?

My particular twist on a fairy tale involves taking a fairy tale object (the dress and shoes in Cinderella; the spindle from Sleeping Beauty) and moving it into another time and place.

What do you mean?

I think of the fairly-tale objects like family heirlooms that get passed down from one generation to the next—for good or for bad. And my characters are somehow descended from or connected to the original fairy tale.

Ooooo that’s a neat idea. But your book doesn’t take place where the original stories are from, right?

I tend to have immigrants in my stories as the fairy-tale objects start out in Europe, but I have to get them to America somehow. An immigrant on the move makes that happen. Also, I’m an immigrant myself so I suppose that’s a subtle bit of my own experience slipping into the tale.

That’s a great way to add a neat twist!

Yup. With this basic set-up, I’ve already changed the trajectory of the narrative. The story is no longer in a fairy-tale land, the characters reside in a real-world historical setting, and they are descendants instead of the actual fairy-tale characters. Well, except fairies. We all know they transcend time.

After that, it’s a matter of fleshing out the new story. It’s also fun to drop hints and parallels to the original fairy tale for readers to catch. That way you get a mix of the known and the unknown. A fresh read that feels right.

Awesomeness! I can’t wait to read Spindle later on in the year. I’m really looking forward to this one. [She slips SPINDLE into her “To be reviewed” page]

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for letting me hang out!

SHONNA SLAYTON writes historical fairy tales for Entangled TEEN including Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes, set in the 1940s, and now Spindle, a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s.

She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

The best way to keep in touch is by signing up for her monthly newsletter. She sends out behind-the-scenes info you can’t read anywhere else. Sign up is on the sidebar of her website Shonna Slayton

About Spindle

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

GoodreadsAmazon Buy Link:  Barnes & Noble Buy Link: iBooks Buy Link: Kobo Buy Link: Entangled Publishing:

Giveaway Information:

• One (1) winner will receive signed copies of Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes (US and Canada)

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

What the heck is crowdfunding, and how can authors use it to fund their books?


I’ve heard of it, but I never really “got it.” I mean, asking for people for money BEFORE you write your book? Is that just plain weird, or is it revolutionary?

Today I asked author/publisher Danielle Ackley-McPhail to stop by and explain all this insanity.

Danielle has successfully crowdfunded several books. Let’s see how this stuff works.

Here’s Danielle!
Swish thin
Not everyone gets crowdfunding. A lot of people do it, for various reasons, but the general public doesn’t have a concept of what goes into such a campaign or what motivates one.

Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Patreon, to name a few, are all platforms where individuals can learn about projects that meet their interests. Based on how well the creator has done their job, those individuals then decide if the project is one they want to support.

A lot of work goes in to a successful campaigns, from designing them, to explaining what they are about, to organizing the rewards backers can expect for their pledge and as bonuses when the goal is exceeded, and above all, promoting them. It is a long, exhaustive process that begins with an idea and is not done until all commitments have been met.

eSpec BooksFor me, I use crowdfunding to finance my efforts as a publisher. I have run seven successful campaigns as both myself and eSpec Books and am soon to wrap up an eighth. I have chosen crowdfunding as a part of my business model because I have been in the publishing industry for over twenty years as an employee and as an author. Over those years I have seen most of the pitfalls independent publishers get themselves into. Hundreds of Dollars MoneyThe primary one being that they tend to overextend themselves. They start with a certain amount of capital (or credit) and race to see how many books they can get out (one of them, with hope, a runaway hit) before those funds are gone. For a while they do okay, but a few bad book choices or slow selling months, perhaps paired with heavy returns, and suddenly the publisher finds he doesn’t have the money he needs to sustain the rapid growth and pay the authors.
I don’t want to be that publisher. For this reason I steadfastly refused for the longest time even considering to be a publisher.
Then crowdfunding happened.
All of a sudden I saw a way to make books possible. See, for a publisher (or an independent author), crowdfunding is basically a way to pre-sell a book. It is also a way to build an audience and increase visibility. Some use it as a way to fund their creative efforts, but I would recommend against this. There are too many complications in promising something that does not exist yet, after all…life does have a habit of getting in the way when you least expect it.

By using crowdfunding as a part of the eSpec Books business model I ensure my projects are in the black from the get-go, instead of needing to earn back their production costs before making a profit. I also ensure I have the funding to pay professionals to do any of the work I am not capable of doing myself. Lastly, by Size of a Dollar Areserving half of the money received in a separate royalty account, I ensure I have the money set aside to pay the authors what they are due. Our growth is slow, but steady, and the foundation we are building is solid. For most of our campaigns there has been little left over once everything is paid for, but everything we bring in after that is profit.

In addition to this, with each successful and completed project we grow our built-in audience as well as our credibility as a publisher.
Book Left1The key is to go into the venture with realistic goals. To know what you can and cannot do, and be prepared to work your butt off to make it happen. This is important. Most publishing crowdfunding campaigns do not succeed. This is because individuals go into it thinking they are going to collect free money. That people are just goBook Left1ing to hand it to them. They go into it thinking only of what they want to achieve, instead of what will make it worth a backer’s support.
Backers don’t care what you want. They want to know what’s in it for them. That is where your focus should be, making sure the backers feel they are getting good value for their support.
Yes, it takes a lot of work, but if you want to make dreams happen, it’s more than worth the effort.

Want to see a live crowdfunding project?

Check out the info and the link below. Interesting stuff.

eSpec Books is currently funding two novels by bestselling authors Jack Campbell (The Lost Fleet, The Lost Stars, and The Pillars of Reality series) and Brenda Cooper (co-author of Building Harlequin’s Moon with Larry Niven, and author of The Wings of Creation series).  The two books are very different coming-of-age stories.
Jack Campbell’s The Sister Paradox is an urban fantasy turned epic adventure, where a teen boy crosses dimensions to fight dragons and basilisks and other manner of magical creatures beside the sword-wielding younger sister he never had.
Brenda Cooper’s POST is a post-apocalyptic journey novel, where a girl name Sage leaves the safety of the botanical garden she grew up in to discover the world outside and with hope, help rebuild it.
To learn more or to support their efforts, visit

Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png

Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture

A Writer’s Muse: My Favorite Place to Write with Cindy Pon

j-eatonMy absolute favorite place to write is the local boba shop. I’ve been writing my novels here since at least 2011.

I love it because they have nice long hours, and they serve both delicious food as well as drinks. Everything I need as a writer if I’m looking for a long writing binge.

(An author must be fed and have her milk teas and coffees!)

It doesn’t hurt that the cafe is often filled with #cuteasianboys to help inspire me in my writing! 😀

I’ve been coming for so long that the owner knows my name. You really cannot beat that.

Looks yummy. I think I need to find a boba shop of my own!

Can I hear some COVER LOVE???!!!

Here’s what Cindy’s new novel SACRIFICE is all about:

Sacrifice, the sequel to Serpentine, plunges Skybright into the terrifying underworld where demons are bred and whisks her up to the magnificent Mountain of Heavenly Peace where the gods dwell.

Stone is stripped of his immortal status and told to close hell’s breach, which mysteriously remains open, threatening mortals.

Zhen Ni, Skybright’s former mistress and friend, has been wed to the strange and brutish Master Bei, and finds herself trapped in an opulent but empty manor. When she discovers half-eaten corpses beneath the estate, she realizes that Master Bei is not all that he seems.

As Skybright works to free Zhen Ni with the aid of Kai Sen and Stone, they begin to understand that what is at risk is more far-reaching then they could ever have fathomed.

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks  | Goodreads

Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine, the first title in her next Xia duology, released in September 2015 (Month9Books). Sacrifice, the sequel is due out in September 2016. WANT, a near-future thriller set in Taipei will release in summer 2017 (Simon Pulse). She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Visit her website at

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Tumblr


Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Serpentine and Sacrifice by Cindy Pon (INT)

Enter here! Rafflecopter!  


Hello out there!cropped-cropped-website-1-1-logo.jpgcropped-fire-banner-final2.png

Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

Catch up with me on social media!

Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture
Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture