Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Winter Holiday Celebration

A Winter Holiday Celebration

Solstice Publishing proudly presents these offerings from our extremely talented authors. Each has created an upbeat story celebrating holidays all around the world. And those authors themselves are an international group. Settle in and discover these fabulous tales about many holidays coming to all countries, all nationalities.

A Winter Holiday Anthology

Ten stories about holiday celebrations from a multinational group of authors. From a Hanukkah celebration to a young woman taking her duties as St. Lucia in Scandinavia seriously—two military members make St. Nicholas day memorable while a lonely woman takes a cruise. Volunteering to help out the local fire department ignites feelings between a couple and a mischievous granddaughter gets her grandmother into hot water when the child sends out a love potion through the mail. A pagan child learns to enjoy the holidays with her Christian neighbors while an enlightened fly observes a Hindu festival of lights. Finally, a woman’s family rejoices in her life as she passes to another plane while a young daughter of vineyard owners yearns for a dog.

Holiday Novella
Riona’s life of self-doubt stranded her in an abusive marriage with four small children to raise. Her children and a successful career in the Air Force made her life bearable. She needed out—and Fate handed her a way.

Once, when she was younger, there was a man she thought good until he stood her up. She had no way of knowing that he had endured a bad marriage and a bitter divorce, leaving a teenaged daughter in the middle. He had never forgotten Riona.

Both their hearts were hurting. Fate would help them heal.

Sweet Christmas Romances

Four of our romance authors, Susanne Matthews, P.A. Estelle, E.B. Sullivan, and K.C. Sprayberry present to you sweet tales of this holiday season. From a grandmother protecting tradition, to a woman rediscovering the magic of Christmas; from a woman in financial straits discovering that Santa Claus does exist for adults to a couple overcoming adversity to present a beautiful rendition of Silent night—we will give you stories that will overcome those long days spent shopping or preparing meals.

Her Christmas Hero

The Ornament

Christmas Escape

An Angel Sang Tonight

What can you do while standing in line to pay for your holiday purchases? Two of our very talented authors present you with shorts that will allow you to enjoy the wait rather than become frustrated. And you don’t need your Kindle along, Amazon provides a free app for most smart phones!

Say Hi For Me

The Decorator

Finally, what would Christmas be without dessert—the candy, confections, cakes, puddings, and pies? A lucky thirteen of our authors are sharing their favorites with you, and the cost of this cookbook that could become one of your most treasured treats is absolutely nothing. It’s free on the Solstice Publishing website!

This book is a gift from Solstice Publishing to our fans. Grab your free copy now!

Click on the links, discover an escape from the holiday shopping madness, discover a new author to help you relax after a long day, present your family with a beautiful dessert that may soon become a tradition.

We at Solstice Publishing wish you Happy Holidays!

Orange Yogurt Pie - recipe

My son's favorite Thanksgiving dessert. 

Yogurt Pie

2 small containers of orange yogurt (any brand)
1 container of  Coolwhip
1 package of orange jello
1 graham cracker pie shell

How to make:take 1/4 cup of hot water put in a bowl. Add  the package of jello to that and stir.Add your yogurt and cool whip to that and stir in. When it's all mixed together put it in the pie shell and then in the refridgerator to harden. It won't take long. Maybe 30 minutes - an hour

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Guest Blogger: Jim Cronin

The Story:
His home world is dead; the victim of a supernova, but this does not stop Karm from attempting to save the Brin, his extinct species. Rescued by an alien race from a derelict spacecraft as a vial of DNA, then cloned, Karm must travel back in time, convince a small team of co-conspirators to join him in his quest, and outmaneuver a power hungry monarch and his fanatic brother, leader of The Faith, both absolutely committed to opposing him.           
All of Karm’s plans rest on the untested and controversial cloning theories of the young geneticist Dr. Jontar Rocker, and the abilities of his bodyguard, personal assistant, and surrogate niece, Maripa. Will their combined efforts be enough to overcome the power of the monarchy and the planet’s most influential religion? Will Karm’s secrets destroy the trust of his companions and ruin his campaign to save the Brin?
The Cover:

Come in, Latonia Base…come in Latonia Base. This is Starship Hegira, repeat, this is Hegira. Come in, Latonia.”
Static crackled from the speaker. The lieutenant, bleeding and dying from the injuries he received during the mutiny trembled feebly as he gripped the microphone. Blood soaked his crest feathers; his talons broken and jagged from the hand-to-hand combat in the spaceship’s passageways. He knew his wounds were fatal, but his duty was clear: to report back to base about the failure of the mission. His body tensed as the next wave of pain shot through him.
“Latonia Base, this is Hegira. Come in. Priority clearance Falcon, Delta. Come in Base. Damn you to hell!” the soldier shouted in desperation. “Somebody answer! Come in, Latonia!” The microphone dropped from his talons, clattering on the control panel before falling to the metal plated floor. The lieutenant slumped back into the chair, pressing a blood soaked rag to his shoulder. Staring out the view port he watched the star-filled blackness and wondered at the cruel turn fate had taken over the past few days.
Reviews: on Amazon.com
- Great book! Twists in plot were well thought out & timed perfectly - just when you thought you knew where you were going, a twist comes into play… by Clare Bruno
- Mr. Cronin writes on several levels successfully: from the detailed lives of a myriad of characters to the larger economic & political powers at play in a full world, complex and dangerous. And that's not even counting the star that's about to go supernova!... by Debauched Sloth
- The author's characters are varied, both in personality and trait, which makes them all interesting…. Hegira augurs well for Jim Cronin's future books. I look forward to reading more from him. .. by Tracy Black
- Of obvious appeal to sci-fi fans but the strong story-line gives this book universal appeal. So I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good, well-written story…. By Maria
- Wow! It's been a long time since I read good science fiction. Cronin's writing is superb and his world building abilities are impressive. At times, I had to slow down and take it all in. But he put the story together nicely. The twists throughout were well-placed and the story itself had a great flow.
Hegira offers so much to readers: mystery, adventure, and even some romance! … by Carissa Beckherms
- This is a new author to me and I completely enjoyed the wild ride. From the outset the reader knew that Karm was sent from the future to save his race when his world’s sun supernovas. You even know how the last mission went wrong so when you are reading and see the same pattern developing you turn the pages with despair. History is doomed to repeat itself, yet you are compelled to keep turning pages. The book has built in plot twists which makes reading until the end very rewarding. Thank you for the wonderful story…. By Kestrel watcher
Social Media Contacts:
Twitter: @authorjimcronin

Author Biography:
I worked for thirty five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty seven years to the love of my life, Diane. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have a beautiful granddaughter to spoil rotten.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.
While I have always enjoyed reading science fiction stories, actually writing one never seemed possible. Just ask any of my former Language Arts co-teachers. They will confirm my complete mystification by the English language. However, on a lark, and at the urging of my brother, I labored to learn to write. It only took three years of editing, rewriting, and regular rejections to finally produce this book. It has proved to be a fascinating and incredible journey.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Thought About Reviews

About reviews: 

As authors we have to understand that it's not a requirement of a reader to leave a review. 

Think about it for a minute. Put yourself in the readers place. You have a limited "entertainment" budget for the month. Maybe you buy a book to read for your enjoyment. You aren't a writer. You simply want to leave reality for an hour or so and get lost in a book. Why are you then expected to feel like you are back in highschool or college and get out your pen and paper and write and essay on it. Ok how did I feel when I read the book? How did the character make me feel? OMG was there any typos in this book? Should I mention the typo I saw in this book? Ok now their nice little get away for an hour or so turned into a stressful not fun event. 

And as authors we like to think it's just a sentence or two. It would only take them a minute or two to write it down. But why should they? Every time you go to say Wal-mart and buy something do you run to the computer and post a review about it. I bought a dvd. After my kids watched it did we run online and post a review about it? No. After we played a board game did we run online and go to Amazon and post how much we liked it? No? Did we try and contact the creator of the game and tell them how much we liked it? LOL No. I'm betting that you don't either. 

So the anger we feel as authors for the lack of reviews we get should be turned into thankfulness that somebody took their time and money to buy our book and we should appreciate them for that and not have anger issues about not getting a review for it. Just my two cents smile emoticon

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Reader's Favorite gave "Winter Romance" 4 stars!


Reviewed by  for Readers' Favorite

Is it love or is it lust? If it’s love, do you know it when you see it? Can you tell when you meet that special someone? Winter Romance by Lizzy Stevens is a great love story between Jennifer and Jeffrey. The connection between them is Mandy. Mandy is Jennifer’s best friend and Jeffrey’s cousin who set them up on a blind date one winter's day. Jennifer and Jeffrey cannot get enough of each other, but one day it was all abruptly cut short. Jennifer never saw Jeffrey again until ten years later she received a call that Mandy was in the hospital and that a child was involved. That child was left to the care of Jennifer. What is Jennifer to do? How can she leave her new life so abruptly and take on the care of a young child? Her loyalty to her friend changes that entirely and she goes back to her hometown to begin caring for the child. As Jennifer is making the adjustments back home, a series of whirlwind adventures begin. 

I enjoyed reading Winter Romance by Lizzy Stevens because it is not only a love story but a life story as well. As a life story, it talks about the challenges, choices, decisions and encounters that we all face on a daily basis. Everything that we do and how we handle it determines its outcome. I enjoyed how Lizzy interwove the elements of life and love through each chapter. Each chapter was written as if it was a movie scene. If you want to experience a story about love, life and tough decisions, and enjoy the ride, getting a copy of Winter Romance by Lizzy Stevens is a great choice.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Guest Blogger: Elle Marlow


What do you get from an Elle Marlow story? It’s any one’s guess what you’ll find when you dive in.  Romance for sure, but what kind?
High on the Mountain isn’t typical, but that’s typically Marlow.  This story is set in Alaska in a small town full of eccentric town folk that one way or another influence our couple and help drive the romance. 
Marlow played with some role reversal here.  Missy Monroe is the state trooper while Pepper Lawson is the town trouble maker.  That alone creates an interesting conflict, but when you also toss in a mystery involving donut digging bears and moose wearing Iron Dog caps, well, that keeps you happily turning the page. 
Is it funny? Yes. The story as reviewers wrote, is “Northern Exposure on steroids and Viagra.” “It’s funny and gets hot enough to melt some snow.”  “Elle Marlow never disappoints.” Is the mantra these days involving Marlow’s stories. 
 High on the Mountain is a fast paced novella. Mature content. Offered by Solstice Publishing. www.solsticepublishing.com
Here’s the blurb;
“The animals aren’t the only thing getting wild in Timer Valley…”
Missy Monroe and Pepper Lawson have a problem.  She traded his engagement ring for a badge. She might patrol the town, but Pepper’s wealth and charm rules it. So when wildlife begins to disrupt the quirky residents of Timber Valley, Missy thinks there’s more to it than hungry bears in search of baked goods. Their trail of bread crumbs lead her straight to Pepper’s Christmas Tree Farm and right into his arms.  She always wanted to cuff the man—but not arrest him.  As their intimacy heats up, so does the odd behavior of the bears, and it’s her job to find out why.
To get close, to find the answers, Missy might have to get High on the Mountain.

 You can find more about Elle Marlow and her work at www.ElleMarlow.Blogspot.com

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tips to help you understand Twitter better

Are you new to Twitter and can’t quite figure it out?  Here’s some helpful tips.

First  thing: When you  first set up your account don’t go in and follow every celebrity you like. Most won’t follow back and then you will hit your Twitter limit. You won’t be able to follow any more followers until the ratio gets a little more balanced.

Uh Oh you already did that. Now what? It’s okay. Don’t worry. All you need to do is go in and unfollow some of the people not following you back.

A fast way to see who isn’t following you back is to go to http://www.crowdfireapp.com/  You have to allow it to link to your Twitter account but it’s FREE. You can only unfollow 100 people a day. So if you have your account really messed up it might take you some time to get it all fixed. But just log in and each day unfollow 100 people who are not following you back. You will be back on track in a week or two. Then your Twitter limit will be lifted and you can follow people who do follow back.

I’m not saying don’t follow your favorite celebrities. I follow lots of celebrities. I’m saying it’s a balancing act. After you have 2000 followers the limits slack up a little bit. So I would wait until then before following people that you think may not follow you back. And you don't have to follow every one back that follows you. We'll talk a later about some accounts that you don't want to waste your follow on. Spam accounts and things like that.

Next: If you want to thank somebody for a Retweet or a Favorite or for following you then do it publicly as a tweet. Don’t send them a private message that nobody can see. If you tweet it then your followers can see it and they can follow that person if they want to. If you send them a private message nobody else will ever see it. Cross promotion can be your friend.

Send out Follow tweets. Shoutouts to other people. Tell your followers to follow a list of people using their Twitter ID’s and they may retweet your tweet to their followers which might get you a few more followers.  Even if they don’t retweet it they will appreciate the shoutout anyway.

For all you authors out there. Don’t expect people to Retweet and mention your book if you don’t plan on returning the favor. Like I said Cross promotion is your friend. But don’t be a one sided friend LOL Don’t expect other people to tweet things for you if you don’t plan on returning the favor.

Ok next thing to talk about. Spam accounts. You are wondering why in the world am I being followed by accounts that want to sell me followers, or sell me ray ban sun glasses, or the worst of all they only post naked pictures or barely clothed. It happens. Don’t think too much of it. Just block them or mute them. All you have to do is click on your followers. Then at each one you want to block scroll over to the little gear looking thing and click on it. It will give you the option to block or mute them. Or just ignore it completely. If you aren’t following them back you won’t see their posts anyway.

That’s probably enough for now. I don’t want to write a book here LOL I'll give more tips later on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Guest Blogger: Adele Carter

A single woman goes on the adventure of a lifetime through the city of Marbella, Spain, in the new novel from author Adele Carter, "Single in Marbs" (published by AuthorHouse UK). new novel from author Adele Carter, "Single in Marbs" (published by AuthorHouse UK).
Inspired by the author's personal experiences living the high life in one of Spain's hottest party spots, "Single in Marbs" carries readers through main character Adele's life as a single woman on a hunt for everlasting love.
When Adele arrives in Marbella – affectionately called "Marbs" by tourists – she finds herself bombarded by beautiful people, champagne parties, multi-million-dollar soirees and loads of laughter. As she and her friends navigate the party scene the city offers them, Adele comes across the handsome Luuk Janssen, who injects even more excitement into her already chaotic experience.
With erotic passages describing the lovemaking and sensual nature of her relationship with Luuk, Carter's book offers readers a touch of romance to balance the pandemonium of the city's nightlife.
"My book is totally relevant to what goes on in Marbella today," Carter says. "In England, everyone is talking about 'Marbs,' as it is the place for the rich and famous and people of all ages to come and party and enjoy life. My book gives insight into the crazy party world of Marbella."
Carter hopes her book will gain as much popularity as the show "The Only Way is Essex," and the eagerly awaited, new reality show "Life on Marbs", which is currently being filmed in the party centric town of Marbella.
"Single in Marbs" 
By Adele Carter 
An excerpt from the book:
My heart was pounding. I was about to combust. He leaned into me, kissing me hard again as he gathered the back of my hair with his left hand. He twisted my hair into the nape of my neck, tilting my head back slightly. Oh, how I loved it when he did that. I felt helpless. I was relinquishing all control.
A great insight into one woman’s single life, this book provides all the crazy and exciting stories of partying, having fun and sensual escapades in Marbella. With its vibrant characters and steamy plot, the story also evokes strong emotions as Adele goes through the motions of falling in love, having her heart broken and starting anew.
“Single in Marbs”
By Adele Carter
Hardcover | 6x9in | 206 pages | ISBN 9781504942225
Softcover | 6x9in | 206 pages | ISBN 9781504942232
E-Book | 206 pages | ISBN 9781504942331
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tips And Thoughts For New Authors

Tip and thoughts for  new authors:

1. First lesson to learn. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean anyone will buy it. So many authors get disappointed because they thought that they finished writing a book and either got a contract on it or self- published it so now the money should be flooding in. That’s not the case. New unknown authors will be lucky if they sell 100 copies of their book and the majority doesn’t even come close to that. High expectations can ruin your dreams fast.

2. You have to be thick skinned. If you can’t take the heat then you need to stay out of the kitchen. Once you get out there and negative people see you they will attack. LOL. A prime example of this is; my books are on Goodreads and I have one person who goes by the username of Nikky and this person has went to every one of my books and given it a low rating. No review because obviously this person has never read my books. I mean if you truly read and hated the first book ok then maybe you would try a second one and not like it as well but you are not going to buy book after book of this author just so you can go in and give the book a negative rating. I have apparently made somebody mad and that’s the way they want to take out their revenge. So you have to deal with those kind of people that just want to get back at you. But then you also have to deal with true negative reviews. Not everyone is going to love your book. Just because you think it’s the best thing written doesn’t mean other people will like it. You have to be thick skinned. You have to take the good reviews with the bad reviews. It’s all part of the job.

3. Learn social media – Twitter, Facebook, etc. Interact with your readers. They don’t want to hear buy my book all the time. Your readers have taken their time and money to buy your book and read it. You can take a little bit of your time to talk to them.

4. Learn to market your book. There are millions of books up for sale. Hundreds of new ones uploaded daily. Why should people buy yours? You as the author have to sell it. Sure it’s easy to try and make yourself feel better by blaming other people for your low or lack of sales. I’ve heard tons of excuses over the years by fellow authors. Some of my favorites are:

* "I was reading through my book and found some typos. No wonder nobody is buying it." Um ok if nobody is buying the book then they have no clue that there are typos in it. LOL.
* "My publisher isn’t doing their job." Um ok back to my earlier statement hundreds of books a day are uploaded for sale. The competition is fierce and the author has to do their part. You don’t get to write a book and then sit back and enjoy the money flooding in. If it worked that way, everyone would be an author. LOL.

Main tips to remember: Be thicked skinned. Don’t let bad reviews get you down. Don’t blame other people for your low sales.

See you on Twitter @lizzystevens123

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Guest Blogger: KateMarie Collins

The Moreja Sisterhood exists to rescue boys from abuse and arranged marriages. Arine’s on assignment, bringing Cavon back to her home in Sanctuary, when she discovers something terrifying. 
He can do magic. 
When the chance comes up for her to go back out and rescue her own brother, sold off by her mother ten years earlier, Arine eagerly takes the chance. But can she talk him into coming home to Sanctuary with her? And can they get there before the Domine’s army, bent on controlling the magic? 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Guest Blogger: KC Sprayberry


What can we expect from you in the future?

Ah, the future, always in motion, but I do have not one but two contemporary young adult books either completed or nearing completion.

The first is Take Chances, a story with school violence as the theme. There is a love angle, isn't there always a love angle for teenage girls? I don't think things have changed that much since I was in high school. Take Chances is the story of Julie Bond, a military brat who has moved with her mom to her parents' hometown, four years before the story begins. For the first time in her life, Julie has attended the same school from start to finish, if she manages to get through the last few days before graduation. However, there are problems. Oh boy, are there problems, like her BFF bailing on summer plans, to spend time with her mom, divorced from her dad, and having to sneak around to see her daughter. Or maybe Julie's "boyfriend," who is gay and she's helping protect him from the backlash if their conservative Southern town discovers the well-loved quarterback prefers guys to girls, who wants to announce his preferences at the senior class picnic the day before graduation. Or maybe a guy friend who lives with a verbally and physically abusive stepfather and can't take it anymore. Then there are two adults who are narcissistic and so into themselves, they believe anyone who doesn't adore them and what they do is out to get them, one of whom is Julie's mom.

The warning signs are there, but no one sees them until after the fact, when a small town is reeling from the loss of a beloved teacher, and two students. But that is only the beginning for Julie, who is grappling with anger and grief. She has to make decisions about her future, about how to stop the vilification of another friend, and what to do about the pirate hottie she's secretly loved since her sophomore year. She is also doing a lot of growing up, from military brat who only wants a single place to call home, to a woman willing to take on the world and change things.

Then there is my work-in-progress, Where U @, which is a novel dealing with texting and driving. This is a work so in progress, I have to get to the climax and end it, but it's going well. Trea Jones is from the wrong side of the tracks, and no one in Landry, Georgia likes her family. They blame her for the choices of her parents, and all she wants is for her daddy to come back, but as she starts her senior year of high school, and he does return, she changes her mind, wanting him gone. Why? Trea has finally come to the understanding her parents are only interested in themselves, in their own pleasures, and don't want her. She has a great guy, and is on track to be accepted to some of the top colleges in the country, if she can get a scholarship. Trea's also in the band, a band invited to play at Disney World, but she has no clue if she can afford the trip. All this happens around several teen girls giving her a hard time for where she lives, her clothes, her family, anything they can do to embarrass Trea, so there is a bit of overcoming bullying in this story.

    Why did you decide to write romance novels?

I've always loved a good romance novel, and most of my teen work has a romance involved. Teen romance is fun. There are no happily ever after forevers on their minds. Teens are looking to find out who they are, where they fit in the world, and a romance is a very big part of that. The special guy they want, whether or not he's part of her life at the moment, is a goal to reach for, a future she might have, or just a fun time. Unlike adult romances, my teens don't go any further than a kids – but it might be a "Roll your socks up tight and shoot them to the moon" kiss. I love being able to craft a book about teens not jumping into bed to prove they love each other, but focusing more on the reality of a strong, steady relationship built on more important factors.

   What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

Both. LOL! There are moments when my family, those at home who are my husband of almost twenty years and our teenager, knows they absolutely can't interrupt me. Those moments are defined by muttering, some swearing, and long periods of staring at the ceiling, followed by even longer periods of pounding on the keyboard. Then there are moments when my men walk into my office and start talking without looking to see what I'm doing. They will say "Oops!" and back out once I stop typing and just stare at them.

   Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?

I would love to write in another genre, or sub-genre and I do now. I have work for teens in mystery format, or suspense. I also have several adult romantic suspense novels/novellas in the works. Then there is my historical and western work. These help me stretch my writing muscles, to improve them so I don't become stale.

   What do you think of critique groups in general?

This is a loaded question, but I truly believe critique groups can help a writer clean up important points in their work. This is a way for you to have other eyes on your story as it progresses, so you aren't sitting there at the end wondering why it doesn't work. I am the owner/manager of two online critique groups – Flying Wagons (strictly children's writing from picture books to young adult work) and The Path We Follow (middle grade through adult works). Both have the same proviso – no overt sex or cursing. During the time when I was in critique groups without running them, I often ran into writers who swore you had to use profanity, to the point where the profanity was more important than the story. That bothered me, especially when the writer would defend the use of profanity as being part of the world as we know it today. They claimed the "working class" or "poverty class" used profanity on a regular basis, and you couldn't tell a story of those people without swearing. I thought you could, and I resigned from those groups. The same thing goes with sex. Honestly, do we need to know every little move, every little action taken? Not to say there isn't sex in teen novels, but I believe all writers who consider using it in their work check out how it's done. There's no titillation. The characters, as a young writer participating in NaNoWriMo (the annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days) said, "We get what sex is. We know what we do. Don't bother describing it, that's a total turn off." Great advice for anyone to follow.

     Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?

Of course, I've experienced writer's block. I don't know of a writer who hasn't. It's probably the most frustrating thing you can go through if you're on a roll with a story. How do I work through it? Read a book totally unrelated to my current work. Or chat with friends. Or just write things that will never, ever see the light of day. Eventually, the writer's block works itself out, usually with a very vivid dream of where to go next on my current project. The last time that happened, the dream was so vivid, so detailed, I climbed out of bed at one-thirty in the morning and spent several hours blocking the scene out. Despite being so tired my eyes needed toothpicks, I was able to continue with the novella until I finished it. This particular novella, Starlight, placed as one of the top three romantic suspense novellas in the Vanilla Heart Publishing Contest earlier this year, but unfortunately, it didn't win. Is it languishing in didn't make it Purgatory? Not hardly. I'm in the process of fleshing out some of the chapters, and revising so I can submit elsewhere.

     What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Writing the story. For years, I had people tell me to forget this obsession, to stop writing down interesting things I saw. But the images wouldn't go away; the voices demanding they be heard had risen to a screaming pitch in my head. So, I had two choices – visit a doctor and spend the rest of my life drugged out and probably diagnosed with some mental illness, or write. I picked writing – it was a whole lot more fun than forcing myself to take pills – which I hate to do.

    Where do your ideas come from?

Lots of places. I do have a teenager, and like all teens, he loves talking. Little does he realize how much of what he tells me makes its way into a book or short story. Then there is the news, which is very helpful for coming up with ideas for young adult books. I also cast an evaluating eye on those around me, no matter where I am. You never know when an idea will blossom watching life evolve around you.

     How do we find out about you and your books?

You can find me on the web here:

Twitter: @kcsowriter
Note – JacketFlap is a social media group for children's writers. It's a great place to highlight your work.

   Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Never quit submitting your work, but ensure it's as polished and publication ready as possible. Always read, and read outside your comfort zone. Discover new genres, review work, and brand your name so publishers can see what you're all about.

Friday, June 26, 2015

New Release: Pretty Little Liars: Caleb's Whole World

The town of Rosewood changed the day Alison DiLaurentis disappeared. Not only did it change the lives of her best friends Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields, and Spencer Hastings but it also changed the lives of the men who loved them. 

Caleb Rivers would do anything to protect his girlfriend, Hanna. The problem was; how was he supposed to protect her from a monster he couldn’t even see? Every time he thought they were a step closer to finding out who ‘A’ really was they would get pushed back several steps. Hanna was his whole world and protecting her was all he wanted to do. 

Will he be enough to protect her? Will he be able to stop ‘A’? 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chapter One: Deadly Secrets: The Lesson


Skylar Madison wasn’t like every other girl about to turn eighteen. Her family had secrets; too many secrets. As her birthday approached, she grew more and more anxious. They were going to make her be part of the family business soon, even if she didn’t want any part of it. She needed to find a way out.
Having a job in a family business would be any young adults dream. However; when your family business was to be a paid assassin it wasn’t exactly Skylar’s dream job. 
She had to spend her senior year learning how to shoot a gun at the gun range with her trainer, Anthony. She only had a few weeks before her birthday. At eighteen she would be given her first job. She had a short amount of time to try and convince her grandfather to let her out of the business or she would have to kill somebody for the first time. 
Time is running out. What will Skylar do?

Chapter One
            Skylar Madison curled up in her favorite corner of her room. Once again, alone. Her family had too many secrets to keep, even in Haywood. As her birthday approached, she grew more and more anxious. They were going to make her part of the family business soon, even if she didn’t want any part of it. She needed to find a way out.”
As she walked into the kitchen, where her mom was making breakfast, she glanced out the window and saw a moving truck next door. “New neighbors I see.”
            Her mom rolled her eyes. “I’m sure they won’t stay any longer than the last ones did. After breakfast I want to take you shopping for everything we need for your birthday party.”
            “Mom. I don’t want a big party.” Skylar poured her orange juice into a small glass. “I don’t want a bunch of people that I hardly even know coming and gawking at me. ‘Oh she’s eighteen now. When does she start work?’ I mean really, I get it. I have to start working in the family business, but you know it’s not normal right?”
            “Oh Skylar stop being so overly dramatic.”
“Well Mom. Most girls who turn eighteen get to pick out colleges not pick out which gun they want to kill their first mark with.”
“Skylar! That’s enough. Finish your juice. We have your party this weekend and we need to get everything ready. There will be a lot of people here.”
“Fine.” Skylar said as she let out a big sigh. She set her glass down on the counter. “I’ll go get dressed. Give me just a minute.” She hurried up the stairs to her bedroom. She opened the door to her closet and got out some designer jeans and one of her favorite red t-shirts. It didn’t take long for her to get ready. She brushed her long brown hair quickly and left it hanging down her back.  Skylar hurried back to the kitchen to her mom. “So is my party a work thing or are my friends invited.” She pushed a strand of hair out of her face that kept falling in front of her eyes.”
Her mom gave her that look. The one mom’s give you when they have had enough of your attitude. “Skylar you know that this party is a private party.”
“Oh private. That’s what we’re calling it. Private. Yeah. I like that.”
“Very funny. Stop acting out. You are an adult in just a few days. Try acting like one. Friday night, we’ll have a small party for you and your friends. How does that sound? Will that work?”
Skylar smiled. “Yes. That would be great.” She grabbed a hair tie off the counter and pulled her hair back into a ponytail so it would quit falling in her eyes.
She spent the day going from place to place with her mom getting supplies and making orders at the restaurants who would cater the big event. When they got back home Skylar helped carry everything in and laid it all on the counter.
“Ok now that my work is done I’m going to get changed and go for a run. Unless you have something else?”
Her mom waved her hand. “No. Go ahead. You need to stay on track with your work out. Don’t want to get out of shape.”
Skylar rolled her eyes as she ran upstairs to change into her running suit. She grabbed her iPod and ran to the door. She would run five miles every day to stay in shape.  As she went out the door she saw a somewhat good looking guy across the street carrying a box. She could see his muscles through his white t-shirt. Definitely a guy who stays in shape she thought. Sandy blond hair. As he caught a glimpse of her she waved and then put her ear phones in and started her run.  She did it more to get away from reality than to stay in shape. Her senior year was almost over and she would be eighteen in a few days. Reality was about to set in.
Skylar walked in the door and up to her bathroom to take a quick shower before meeting her friends at their favorite pizza hangout. It was nice to pretend to have a normal life even if she knew it wasn’t going to last much longer.
Her friends were all laughing and joking in their favorite corner booth in the back. “Got room for one more.” She laughed as she plopped down in the seat beside Tammy, the girl with black curly hair that went about halfway down her back. Skylar had known her since grade school.
“Where have you been?” Tammy asked.
“Running errands with my mom all day. What fun. But she is planning on giving me a birthday party on Friday and you are all invited of course. It’s my reward for putting up with the family only party she is throwing next Saturday. She knows I hate those get togethers.”
They sat there until closing time and then they had to leave. It was a school night anyway.
Skylar pulled into her drive in her little red convertible mustang she got when she was sixteen. When she got out of the car she saw the cute neighbor guy putting trash bags in the can by the sidewalk. She walked over to him. “Hi. I’m Skylar.”
“Hi. I’m Nate. I just moved in. Uh okay that was stupid. Obviously I just moved in.”
Skylar laughed. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m having a party Friday night if you want to come. A bunch of my friends will be there. It will be a good way for you to meet people. If you want to.”
“Yeah sure. That sounds like fun.”
“Great. I better go. I’ll see you later.” She turned and walked away.
The minute she walked in the door her father was waiting for her. “ Who were you talking to out there?”
“Hi Daddy. That’s the new neighbor. Don’t really know anything about him, but I thought I would be nice and invite him to my party on Friday night.”
“Okay I guess. Just be careful.”
“Of course. I’m going to go on to bed now.” Skylar turned and walked away. They didn’t really have the type of father daughter relationship where they said I love you and gave each other a kiss. She knew he loved her and it wasn’t needed to be said.
Skylar remembered being fifteen years old and learning that her father was not only a hit man but a very powerful one who controlled several other men under him. Her father was in line to take over the entire business when his father passes away. Skylar knew that her family was wealthy and she knew that it somehow stemmed from her grandfather, who just by looking at his house you could tell he had money. When she turned apparently the age of all grown up, she learned what her family does and that she is meant to start doing her part at eighteen. She had no say in the matter. You did what you were told in this family. How could she go up against a family of hit men anyway? She wouldn’t stand a chance so it was best for her to do as she was told. She wasn’t looking forward to her first mark as they were called. Sometime after her birthday she would be given her first assignment. She wasn’t excited about it at all.
Not wanting to think about it anymore, Skylar went to bed.