YA author bloggers wanted for some crazy, mixed-up fun!

Hey all!

In case you didn’t know, I have a short story, Dragon Flight, releasing December 2, 2013 in J. Taylor Publishing’s ONE MORE DAY anthology, and I am unashamedly seeking fellow YA authors/bloggers to participate in blog tours between November 1 and the end of the year.  Of course I will be more than happy to host other YA authors either with interviews, guest blog posts, reviews (if you have short stories/novelettes), giveaways, etc., so if you’re interested, leave a comment below.

If you are a book reviewer or have 250 followers or more on your blog, you can participate through J. Taylor Publishing to get an ARC of ONE MORE DAY to review.  Trust me, all the reviews this book can get, the better.  It’s really a fantastic collection of short stories that I’m sure any fan of YA would love to have.  You can sign up with J. Taylor at


I hope to meet a lot of YA authors and bloggers on this tour.  What do you say?  Up for some fun?  I know I am, so let’s rock this thing!  Whoo Hoo!!

What if today never ends? 

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens? 

Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.

Unless …

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could,maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened … to you?


“Dragon Flight” Exposed!

Squeeel!!  My publisher, J. Taylor Publishing, gave the green light to the authors of the soon-to-be-released YA anthology, ONE MORE DAY, to share the first 500 glorious words of their short stories.  That means I get to share Dragon Flight!!!!  Are you ready?  A few words of caution…keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times and don’t look down.

tulip scroll


I grip the handles of the harness and squeeze my eyes tight as the coaster tops the three-hundred foot lift.

Oh, geez. What was I thinking? I hate heights. I hate things that go fast. Not a great combo for rollercoaster riding.

My pulse thumps in my throat as the metal beast curves to the left. I squeeze my eyes so tight they hurt. Oh, no. Here we go. Here we go. The scream hangs in my throat, waiting for the drop.

It doesn’t come. The steel dragon jerks to a halt, with me in the front row and nowhere to look but out and down.

What? No, no, no. We’re not supposed to stop! I’ve watched this ride a gazillion times. It never stops. I picture the track in my mind. Up, around, down, flip, corkscrew, insanity, heart attack. One and a half minutes of terrifying scream time. No. This can’t be happening! Why? Why now? Why did I get on this ride?

The answer sits in the seat next to me. Dean McCall. Damn his tall, dark-haired good looks and jewel-blue eyes. I’ve crushed on him since sophomore year, ever since he showed up in Mr. Wilkins’ history class wearing a pair of oh-my-God-nice-butt jeans and a Halo game T-shirt. I tried then not to salivate like Pavlov’s dog, but it was useless. Not much has changed since, as I’m pretty sure I just about melted out of my skin when he cornered me by the popcorn stand and asked if I wanted to ride Dragon Flight with him. Me! Book nerd extraordinaire.

So what if he waited for Grad night to notice me ? No one’s perfect, right? I gulped, mesmerized by his hypnotic eyes and charming, spearmint smile, and uttered something intelligent like, “Uh-huh.” Of course, my insides turned all gooey, and my heart struck up a crazy fast Congo beat because I’m such a feet-on-the-ground kind of gal. My brain shouted, Speak, you dolt!   Tell him no. Tell him you’re afraid of heights. He’ll understand. Instead, I shook my head and said, “I-I … okay.”

Major face palm, but really, I had no choice. It was Dean McCall, and if I turned him down, I’d look like a moron in front of everyone who was anyone. Besides, who better to face my fears with than the cutest guy to ever walk the halls of Newbury High? Now, as I sit stranded at the top of this freaking ride, I’m beginning to question that logic.

I press my head back against the coaster’s seat. Get a grip, Amber. Breathe deep. You’re okay. You’re strapped in. You’re not going anywhere.

Clunk. Clunk.

My eyes spring open.

What was that?

I fight back the urge to scream.

The harness releases and lifts off my shoulders, its movement stopped by the belt latched to the seat. I squeak like a frightened mouse and clutch the restraint tight to my chest, my knuckles as white as the moon staring down at me. Oh, God, I’m gonna die.


So, what do think?

One More Day

by Erika BeebeMarissa HalvorsonKimberly KayJ. Keller FordL.S. MurphyDanielle E. ShipleyAnna Simpson

Release Date: December 2, 2013

Target Reader: Young Adult

Keywords: Contemporary RomanceFantasyFictionRomanticScience FictionUrban Fantasy


What if today never ends?

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?

Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.

Unless …

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could,maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened … to you?

Paper Wishes – How to get your heart’s desire the 21st century way

Ever wish upon a star only to have it not come true?  Well, listen up, friends, because the lovely and talented author,  Jennifer M. Eaton, is going to share a new trick that makes all of her characters’ most anticipated wishes come true.  Read all about it in her guest post below.  Maybe if you try it, your wishes will come true, too.  Give it a whirl.


Twinkle twinkle little star – How do you make a wish?

What do you wish for? More importantly, how do you make that wish?

Wishing is something that goes back into history, and so many people and cultures have tried and true methods of making their wishes become a reality.

Cultural diversification like this fascinates me.  After all, we are all people.  We all have hopes and dreams, but we come up with different ways of giving our dreams a little “boost” to make that dream come true.

While writing my book “Paper Wishes” I came up with a new idea for making a wish.  Well, it may not be completely new. I have not researched EVERYWHERE, but it’s a new idea to me.

I decided to have my characters write their wishes down on a sheet of paper, and fold them into origami stars.  Their wishes were then “locked” not to be opened for a set amount of time before being revealed to see if they came true.

Neat, huh? It’s kind of like a time capsule for wishes.

I really loved the idea, because so much can go wrong.  Your wish is sealed, so what if you forget what you wished for? What if you didn’t write down what you thought you wrote down? What if your wish contradicts someone else’s?

That’s the funny thing about wishes.  They always come true, even if it’s not quite the way that you intended the wish to play out.

What about you?  What’s your traditional or superstitious way of making a wish?


Jennifer M. Eaton’s new book PAPER WISHES is currently available from Astraea press.  Sit back and read a while–and dream about your own wishes coming true.

Paper Wishes: Jill has no idea what to write down for her wish, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a wish that will change both of their lives forever.   Click on the book cover to get your own copy of Paper Wishes.


Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance.  Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.

Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle. 

Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.  http://jennifermeaton.com/ 

Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

The King of Rock ‘n Roll is Dead

It’s been 36 years today since the King of Rock n Roll passed away.  I was in my room listening to one of his albums when my mom came in and gave me the news as it broke on the t.v.

I was barely 17 and completely devastated.  The thought of his voice never crooning new songs in my ear was unfathomable.  There had to be a mistake.  I’d just seen him for the 3rd time in concert in May 1977.  But we all know there was no mistake.  The King of Rock was gone.

He’d captured my attention and grabbed me as a loyal fan nine years earlier.  I was going through my mom’s ’45s when I stumbled upon a record titled “I Got Stung” backed with “One Night”.  The singer’s name was one I’d never heard before and it was “One Night” that stole my heart, and I never looked back.  Up until then, I’d never seen his face.  When I realized what he looked like…O.M.G.! 

His voice mesmerizes me to this day.  It is a shame he couldn’t sort out his personal problems and get off the prescription drugs.  The world lost a great singer and a good man on August 16, 1977.  Thankfully, his legacy lives on.  May the world never forget.

Merlin’s Blade

A few months ago, Zondervan Publishing contacted me to read and review some YA books for them.  One of those books was Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard.  I was really excited about reading this book because…well, it’s Merlin and King Arthur and Excaliber and all that great Arthurian legend stuff.  It was the first book of six I picked up to read.

I have mixed emotions about this book.  First, let me say I thought it was very well written, especially for a first-time author.  Treskillard knows how to weave a tale and there was a great deal of research and old stories that went into the telling of this one.  Merlin, Merlin’s father, King Uther and all the other players in this book were well crafted.  They were ‘real’ people, people we can relate to.  People we want to see triumph and others we want to see vanquished.  There are all the elements of an epic fantasy tale created in the true Arthurian fashion.  What threw me in this novel, however, was how Merlin was so different from the other tales I’ve read, especially how the sword in the stone ended up in the stone.

This book is told for the most part from Merlin’s perspective.  Arthur is still a baby when Merlin pledges his allegiance to the once and future king.  What I found difficult to grasp was that Merlin is mostly blind in this story, a wound left over from being attacked by wolves at a young age.  I soon found, though, that the story took on dimension.  I ended up like Merlin, experiencing his world through my other senses of touch, smell, and hearing.  I think this gave me a better grasp on the settings as the trees and the towns took on new, vivid  appearances usually left unseen when we rely primarily on our sight.

There were multiple viewpoints in this story but they were well done and engaging, each person’s perspective adding to the one before.  Each one equally important.  So many authors shy away from writing in multiple perspectives but this book is a great testament to how it can be done successfully.

The world-building is very well done.  Unlike many fantasy stories, this one takes place in one town, the one Merlin grew up in.  Instead of Merlin going on an adventure, the adventure comes to him, including Uther and Arthur.  I thought this was a unique way to write this story and the ending is filled with the promise of greater adventures to come.

While this story of Merlin broke the mold of a young Merlin I’d read about before, this Merlin is courageous, likable,  kind and noble.  I also loved how he clung to his faith even in the darkest of moments when he could have so easily turned on so many occasions.

Zondervan is a Christian publisher so it is no wonder that religion plays a big role in Merlin’s Blade.  I would like to say, however, that religion played a big role in Merlin’s and King Arthur’s time, so if the story is to be told in its truest form, there has to be a religious element. This was not overdone for those who may stray from ‘religious’ books.  It doesn’t preach; it simply tells a wonderful story of a one of fantasy’s most beloved characters.

One of my only complaints is that the story starts off rather slow.  It takes some time to get into it, but hey, it’s fantasy.  The reader needs the time to know the characters and fall in love with them as their stories unfold.  There were some scenes where the pace kicked up, and I have to say, I wish more of the book moved a bit faster than it did.  That’s why I’m giving this book 4 stars and not 5.

If you’re looking for a great Merlin story for you or a young adult, I highly recommend this story.  I can’t wait to see where Treskillard takes this story next.  I know I’ll be right there, waiting to read the next installment in this Merlin series.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


From the cover:

A strange meteorite.
A deadly enchantment.
And only Merlin can destroy it.

A meteorite brings a mysterious black stone whose sinister power ensnares everyone except Merlin, the blind son of a swordsmith. Soon, all of Britain will be under its power, and he must destroy the stone—or die trying.


Where to find Robert Treskillard:




Danielle E. Shipley had a secret

Author Danielle e. Shipley had a secret…that is until she confided in me.  Now it’s going to be all over the internet because I have to share it with you.  What is it you ask?

Lookie!  It’s the cover reveal for her new novel, “The Stone Kingdom”!

Stone Kingdom Cover

I love the feel the cover has.  It reminds me of old Grimm’s fairytale covers.

I’m really excited to read this book.  Here’s what the back cover has to say:

Love and prince,

Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;

For blood begins,

But naught can be put right by blood alone.” 

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened

on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine

her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle

to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

 The Stone Kingdom

Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

 <> ~ <> ~ <>

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;

A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;

Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –

All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories –

of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist

the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns

appearing just in time for a midnight ball;

of frog princes, and swan princes,

and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.


Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love. 

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales.

Know them now as Wilderhark’s.

Sounds pretty cool, huh?  So, who is this Danielle E. Shipley gal?

Danielle E. Shipley Author Photo

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it atwww.EverOnWord.wordpress.com.

Full Title: “The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales)”

ISBN: 978-0-9891846-1-8
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale
Length: Novella (179 pages)
Release Date: September 20th, 2013
Future availability: Paperback (Amazon.com) and eBook (Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com)
Add “The Stone Kingdom” to your Goodreads shelf today!

You Should Date a Girl Who Reads


I love this quote from Rosemarie Urquico.  I hope you enjoy it, too.

“You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

Paper Wishes

Today, my writer buddy and friend, Jennifer Eaton, has a new book to share.

 The stories aren’t exactly ‘new’ to those of you who follow Jennifer.  They were originally published under the title “Jack and Jill” by Still Moments Publishing.  Sadly, the titles weren’t picked up when another publisher took over the publishing company, but where one door closes, another opens.  Astraea Press loved the stories so much they decided to pick them up and publish them under the title “Paper Wishes”.  I think the new title and  cover are brilliant.

Paper Wishes contains two stories:  Connect the Dots and A Test of Faith.  Both heartwarming stories follow Jack and Jill on their journey from friendship to love over Christmas and New Years.


Connect the Dots:  Jill writes her most intimate Christmas wish to God—and throws it away for its ridiculousness—but Christmas wishes have a way of coming true, even when you don’t know what you’ve wished for.

A Test of Faith:  One day after her Christmas wish comes true, Jill faces a wrenching choice that tests her deepest beliefs.  Will love prevail over conviction, or is happiness nothing more than a fairytale?

So, what are you waiting for?  Head on over to Astraea Press and grab your e-copy!  It’s only .99!!!  What a steal and so worth it!!!