Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy 15th, Lenny!

Happy 15th Birthday, Lenny Lee!!

I wrote this poem a long time ago for one of the sweetest, sunshiniest people in all of blogdom--our Lenny. I thought this was a perfect day to share it with all of you (and Lenny, too) again.


Today, many of us have joined together to spread sunshine throughout the blogosphere. But not just ANY sunshine. This sunshine is extra, super-dee-duper SPECIAL. This is Lenny Lee Sunshine, which is the very best kind!!

Sunshiney Guy
(for Lenny from Miss Shannon O.)

Outside's a gray and cloudy sky
the wind it howls, the rain does fly
but here online, we're safe and dry
because we have the "sunshine" guy

The sunshine guy? Who is he?
I gasp! I cough! It cannot be
that you don't know of LENNY LEE
the kid who's always sunshiney

Each place he goes, he shines so bright
that heavy hearts once more are light
and laughter echoes--echoes--our delight
each time we read the things he writes

When brush-offs leave you feeling blue
revision...plotting...queries, too
Here's good advice to pull you through:
Let Lenny's sunshine brighten you.

Happy 15th Birthday!

to see more bloggers who are celebrating Mr. Lee today!

Also, check out today's post for 
The Gathering Darkness Blog Tour


Blog Tour -- The Gathering Darkness

 The Gathering Darkness
by Lisa Collicutt

Don't miss this new YA!!

They say “third time’s the charm,” and for sixteen-year-old Brooke Day, they had better be right. She’s been here before, twice in fact, and so has the darkness awaiting her return.

When Brooke is forced to leave Boston for the village of Deadwich, she thinks her life is over. New friends become estranged—downright evil. But worse, recurring nightmares become reality.

Enter Marcus Knight; he’s popular, hot, and the only person Brooke can trust.

Not to mention, they’ve shared the same nightmares.

With the discovery of an ancient Celtic amulet, Brooke and Marcus unravel the secrets ofher past, revealing the path to her future.

As the equinox approaches, darkness and light merge for the first time in a century. Soul-mates reunite. Magic awakens.

Author Bio:

Lisa likes to write dark and twisted tales of magic and romance. She has a passion for Young Adult and New Adult Paranormal Romance. When she’s not conjuring tales about witches, demons, and other magical beings, she can be found leathered and bound to the back of her husband’s Harley, touring her homeland of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Enter Lisa’s imagination where realism ends and fantasy begins. But heed these warnings … it’s dark, it’s magical, you may experience tingles.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blog Tour + Guest Post -- Holly Schindler's FERAL

Blog Tour & Guest Post


by Holly Schindler

FERAL jacket copy:
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
Feral cats do help add to the creepy atmosphere in FERAL…but they’re actually also included in the book for far more important reasons than that…
“Feral,” as a few reviewers recently stated, can mean “untamed,” as well as “wild” or “uncontrollable.”  So many elements in the book fit these definitions: the gang that corners and beats Claire in Chicago, the nightmares that persist as she attempts to heal from the attack.  Later, when Claire goes to Peculiar for her father’s sabbatical, the spirits that live in the town fog pursue her in a wild way as well—as does the ghost in the basement of the high school.  And, yes, the feral cats pursue Claire in increasingly vicious or disturbing ways.
Peculiar, as it turns out, is absolutely no escape for Claire.  Her surroundings are a mirror-image and constant reminder of the night of her beating.  And one of the feral cats—Sweet Pea, a gnarled-looking, ancient old calico—is beginning to chase Claire far more intensely than the other cats…
It becomes clear that Sweet Pea is chasing Claire because she is being inhabited by the spirit of Serena, the high school student whose body Claire discovered soon after arriving in Peculiar.  Only, Serena doesn’t want to be inside Sweet Pea.  She wants to be a seventeen-year-old girl, who does seventeen-year-old things.  She wants to write for the paper and live in her favorite house and go to dances…The only way to do those things, she decides, is to get inside Claire…
The end reveals that the old calico (Sweet Pea) is actually a mirror image of what Claire desires most for herself.  Sometimes, those thoughts we have ourselves—the things we think that we would never, never, NEVER want the rest of the world to know—those are the things that are maybe the wildest, most ferocious of all…

FERAL falls squarely into the realm of the classic psychological thriller.  While the book features mystery, horror, and paranormal elements, the emphasis is on the “psychological” rather than thriller / action.  The novel features a Hitchcockian pace and focus on character development (here, we’re exploring the inner workings of the main character, Claire Cain). 
Essentially, every aspect of FERAL is used to explore Claire’s inner workings—that even includes the wintry Ozarks setting.  The water metaphor is employed frequently in psychological thrillers to represent the subconscious, and here is incorporated in the form of a brutal ice storm (that represents Claire’s “frozen” inner state).  The attempt to untangle what is real from what is unreal (another frequently-used aspect of the psychological thriller) also begins to highlight the extent to which Claire was hurt in that Chicago alley.  Even the explanation of the odd occurrences in the town of Peculiar offers an exploration into and portrait of Claire’s psyche. 
Ultimately, FERAL is a book about recovering from violence—that’s not just a lengthy or hard process; it’s a terrifying process, too.  The classic psychological thriller allowed me to explore that frightening process in detail. 

Holly Schindler Bio:

Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs). 

Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud.  Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “...a heartwarming and uplifting story...[that] shines...with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.” 

FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller.  Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A BLUE SO DARK…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.”

Schindler encourages readers to get in touch.  Booksellers, teen librarians, and teachers can also contact her directly regarding Skype visits. 
She can be reached at:
hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com, and can also be found at,, 
@holly_schindler,, and

Feral Trailer:
Embed code:

Rafflecopter form for a giveaway of a signed copy of FERAL (running from Sept. 27- Oct. 13):

Friday, June 6, 2014

Blog Tour + Guest Post

Blog Tour & Guest Post

by S.R. Johannes 

After everything that has happened, Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee, and hang out with old man Rex, Birdee's "friend with benefits". Grace quickly befriends Dylan, Rex's nephew, and Dylan's girlfriend, Sadie, who is a die-hard teen activist. Sadie spends her time leading protests against the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for animals or the flimsy law. 

One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. She and Birdee spend time rehabilitating the animal. But when the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a large roadside zoo they all have been protesting. One that is illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge.
Only this time, Grace is the prey.
During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace and her friends are offered one chance at survival, but only if they reach civilization before being caught. With a small head start and very little supplies, only time and skill stand between the hunter and the hunted. But out in the Everglades, there may be more dangers that Grace realizes.
Against all odds, Grace must make it out alive and win, or everything she holds dear could be lost. 

This is book #3 in the Nature of Grace Series--finally! I've hosted tour stops for both of the previous titles HERE and HERE . I love them and highly recommend you dive into this series if you haven't already.  Today, I am honored to once again host Shelli and share her writing wisdom with all of you.


Guest Post
by S.R. Johannes

 Create the Perfect Writing Environment for You

Writers can be picky and many have had their quirks.

·         Charles Dickens was partial to blue ink because it dried quicker.

·         James Joyce wrote lying on his stomach in bed, with a large blue pencil, clad in a white coat.

·         John Steinbeck liked to write his drafts in pencil and always kept exactly 12 perfectly sharpened pencils on his desk.

·         Truman Capote wouldn’t begin or end a piece of work on a Friday, would change hotel rooms if the room phone number involved the number 13, and never left more than three cigarette butts in his ashtray, tucking the extra ones into his coat pocket.
Whatever your literary habits, creating the perfect writing environment is important. But if you ask any writer what they need to write, each will probably list different things. Different music. Different lighting. Different computer.

No matter what you need, you don’t want a space to ever work against you or your creativity.

Here are a few tips to make sure your space is creative and comfortable:

1.    Create a space you love. This could mean using certain colors. Maybe a special place in the house. Whatever it is that makes you want to stay there and write.
2.    Keep your space clutter and distraction free. It is a known fact that the more things around, the more distraction possible for your poor brain. Make sure it works for you.
3.    Be comfortable. What do you need to be cozy? A wweater. Coffee. Tea. A bowl of jelly beans (okay, maybe this is just me J) Make sure you have what you need when you sit down so you don’t want to get up. Evah again.
4.    Do you need music?  Or do you need quiet? If you need music, make a play list that inspires you while you write. If you prefer the peace and quiet, consider noise reduction headphones. These have saved my life and my writing (and probably my kids’ lives too ;)
5.    Organize what you need and keep it close. You don’t want to keep getting up for information/research etc.  Have it at your fingertips for quick reference.
6.    Set a time limit and write. The amount of focus time is different for every writer. Some can write for hours, some only for 15 min at a time. Find what works for you, set a timer, and keep your butt in the seat until it goes off.
7.    Organize your social media time. Maybe use a computer in another part of house – a place out of your writing space – to check email or Facebook. Be aware of the time you spend. It can easily get away from you.
8.    Find the best time of day to write and grab it – no matter what. We all know when we work best. Make sure you protect it if you can and when you can.
9.    Make sure you have the right equipment to be productive. This can be about the best lighting, the best desk, the best chair, or the best computer software. This can help you maximize your productivity.
10. Create a system and process that works for you. Don’t be afraid to change it up if it isn’t working.
Now, go and write on!


Unstoppable is on sale as an ebook now. 
The paperback releases later this month. 

 If you haven't read Untraceable or Uncontrollable
you can get them in paperback and ebook at all major booksellers including:
 AmazonAppleSmashwords, and B&N.
  •  ********** 

    This is a don't miss series. ENJOY!


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