Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Author Interview—Ashlee Willis

Hey everyone! I’m bringing you another author interview today! This time it’s with Ashlee Willis in celebration of the release of her new fantasy novella, A Wish Made of Glass! (By the way, isn’t this a gorgeous cover?!)


Amazon Buy Link:

Book Description:

Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.
Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.


1. What was the first story you ever wrote?

One of the very first was a story called The Moon’s Test, a fairy tale about King Moon, who had to travel beneath the ocean to rescue his fallen wife, Queen Star, from a sea dragon. It was so much fun to write. I still have that story stashed away in a drawer somewhere. Maybe one day I’ll get it out and make it into something publishable.

2. What inspired you to start writing?

Both of my parents love to write, and I’ve always loved reading as well. One of our good family friends was an author and he constantly encouraged my meager little efforts when I was a child, which was so heartening for me. I grew up in an environment where it seemed natural to extend my love of reading into actually creating my own stories and poems and books. Once I started writing stories – probably around the age of 8 or 9 – I just never stopped.

3. What is the most interesting experience you’ve had while writing?

I’m afraid my answer for this one would be rather boring, really. Most of the interesting experiences I have while writing are internal, not external. Such as when I discover something about a character I never knew before. Or when the plot takes a turn that is so, so much better than anything I could have ever planned. Or when a character says something that resonates with so much truth that I find myself thinking, “Why haven’t I ever realized that?” only to know in the next moment that, of course, I DO know that… But as far as externally interesting experiences, I haven’t got much more exciting than one of my cats deleting a paragraph or two.

4. Do you have a special spot or time you like to write?

Not a particular spot, no. But I do like to write in the mornings. It’s when my mind is the clearest. If I don’t begin writing fairly quickly during the day, most of the time it won’t get done at all. Too many other things begin vying for my time and energy.

5. What do you typically turn to for the most inspiration?

It depends on what I’m seeking inspiration for. But most times I just need to be alone in Creation somewhere. I take a lot of walks in the woods and through the rolling hills of Missouri where I live. I’m a person with a very one-track mind – I’m horrible at multi-tasking – and when I get out with just the sounds of nature and the wind and the sunshine, I can slough off the things that were clattering around in my mind at home. That’s when story ideas begin coming to the surface.

6. If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would it be and what would you like to do?

There are so many great ones to choose from, so I’m going to choose a random one, even if it’s not necessarily my top pick. I’ve always had a strange fascination with Eleanor of Aquitaine. The things she went through, the brave and bold person she was. I’d love to just spend the day talking to her and seeing her way of life, meeting her people and kingdom and learning more about what exactly it takes to make a person so fiercely courageous as she must have been.

7. What is your dream vacation?

Oh, I have several dream vacations J One of them has been to stay way up in the mountains, the Swiss Alps or somewhere similar, in a little cottage near a lake or a river, and of course with a spectacular view, and simply disconnect from the world for a while. I picture myself doing dreadfully primitive things like eating out of wooden bowls and cooking from scratch (if you know me, you know just how primitive this would be for me…!) and washing my clothes in the river. Haha. I might not make it very long doing that – but it’s a great thought anyway. I do truly long for that idea of simplicity, even for a little while.

Author Bio:

AshleeWillisAshlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy forest rambles, crocheting, and playing the piano. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her family.



5-Star Review Excerpt:

"A story of wonder, beauty, heartbreak, healing, a story to remind us that we are not made for this world.  This story is a beautifully written, descriptive fairy tale." - Clare Farrelly, excerpt from a Goodreads review 

Twitter Page:

Facebook Page:

Author Website:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hymns of the West Novellas Blog Tour—Author Interview + Giveaway!

Novella Blog TourToday I’m taking part in Faith Blum’s blog tour for her three new Hymns of the West novellas! Check out the info about each story and then read the fun interview with Faith. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

I Love Thee

I Love Thee (1)Mom and Dad dead STOP Please come STOP Gage

When his sister dies, leaving him with four children ages 8 and under, Cole Baxter gets desperate. He decides he needs a wife. He writes to a mail order bride before realizing he almost through away the best woman he could have. Approximately 18,000 words





Pass Me Not

Pass Me Not (2) (1)Let me at Thy throne of mercy/Find a sweet relief/Kneeling there in deep contrition/Help my unbelief Timothy is at his wit's end. His twelve year old half-sister has run off five housekeepers in almost a year. Since their parents died, she has grown wilder than ever. What can he do? As he looks for a new housekeeper, his eye catches sight of a mail order bride advertisement. One young lady has a younger sister and sounds like a God-fearing woman. Could this be the answer to his dilemma or will Louise run her off, too? Approximately 18,000 words



RedeemedMail Order bride seeks wealthy Western man. Write Mona Sommers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Alexander Granger is tired of his father’s lectures and sermons. It’s time for payback. His plan is to pretend to marry a woman and scandalize his father when he finds out they aren’t really married. Will Mona accept his offer? Can Alex get away with his plan?

Approximately 14,000 words.






1. What was the first story you ever wrote?

Oh my. I don’t remember for sure. The first one I remember is about twins who were really good at throwing Frisbee and competed. They also solved mysteries and solved a mystery while also make it to the national Frisbee competition and meeting the President. It was fun, but I wouldn’t want anyone else reading it right now. :P

What inspired you to start writing?

Writing or getting published. For writing, I just liked to write, so I did. Getting published, I found out about a contest and decided to enter it. I ended up not winning, but it gave me the push to publish them myself.

What is the most interesting experience you’ve had while writing?

Writing a fanfiction story. First because it’s a fantasy which is a genre I have never written in before. Second, it’s a fairy tale retelling. And third, I wrote it for fun rather than to share and publish. I think what was most interesting about it was that I didn’t have to be quite so uptight about how well it was written, but I still tried to write it well.

If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would it be and what would you like to do?

Kate Warne. She was the first woman to become a Pinkerton Detective. She sounds like a fascinating individual. I would love to have followed her around while she worked on a case.

Do you prefer to write novels or novellas?

Yes. It depends. I like novellas because they are shorter and you can get more written, edited, and published more quickly. But, I like novels because you can get more story and character development in them.

Do you have a special spot where you like to write?

My bedroom. Specifically at my desk. It’s where I do most of my writing. Although, when I’m writing by hand, I can do my writing anywhere and usually prefer laying on my bed.


About the Author

Faith with Rikki-cropped

Faith Blum is a 24 year old home school graduate who enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, writing, and playing piano. Her favorite genre to read and write is Historical Fiction, more specifically, Westerns. In the Hymns of the West series, she has endeavored to create clean, fun, and challenging Western stories for the whole family. She currently has three novels and one novella published or available for preorder. Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest



Faith is giving away prizes to two people. First prize The first prize winner will receive: ~A paperback of the novel that started the novellas, Amazing Grace (or novel of choice) ~One handpainted bookmark (painted by the author’s sister) ~A silver pen nib bookmark Second Prize The second prize winner will receive: ~An ebook copy of Amazing Grace (or ebook of choice) ~Two handpainted bookmarks (painted by the author’s sister)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


From August 24-28 only, I Love Thee will be free! Also on sale during the blog tour are A Mighty Fortress which will be$0.99 from August 23-30 and Be Thou My Vision which will be $0.99 from August 30-September 6.


Tour Schedule

Monday, August 24 Tuesday, August 25 Wednesday, August 26-RELEASE DAY! Thursday, August 27 Friday, August 28 Saturday, August 29 Sunday, August 30 Monday, August 31

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Spotlight—Space Kitties

Hey! Today I’m sharing a book spotlight for the anthology, Space Kitties! I have not read any of these stories, but if you love kitties as much as I do, you should check it out. ;)


Amazon Buy Link:

Space Kitties:

Book Description:

"Close your eyes. Imagine kitties were in space. Open your eyes. Read"

Light-hearted tales of feline adventure from across the cosmos, by a collection of authors from across the country. Many sci-fi fans have noticed the lack of an animal element in their fare for a long time.. and now we have changed that! Eleven far thinking spec-fic authors banded together for a collection of fun, unique and suspenseful stories about kitties in space. What could be better?

Subtly humor-slanted focus, to be in keeping with the cute and fuzzy kitty on the cover. A variety of styles... and varying lengths: from 300 words to 10k... and a wide range of subjects & themes.... all with a cat involved with outer space in some way.

Join this twelve pack of literary entries as kitties take to the stars amid the cosmos of your imagination... 

5-Star Review Excerpt:

"If you like cats and if you like science fiction, you will get a kick out of this delightful little book. There are stories with serious points and there are stories that are just plain fun." - Steve Mathisen, excerpt from an Amazon review 

E. Kaiser Writes' Facebook Page:

Author Website:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Where Shadows Lie Blog Tour—Guest Post + Giveaway!


Hey everyone! I’ve got a special guest post to share today celebrating the release of Tialla Rising’s new novel, Where Shadows Lie! But, before we get to the guest post, here’s a bit about this intriguing book.

Where Shadows Lie front cover5 FINAL

Genre: Christian New Adult Suspense

Release Date: June 14th 2015
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him. 

After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.

But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.

Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.

Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.

An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?

A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.

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10 Things Aspiring Writers Shouldn’t Stress Over

by Tialla Rising

Hello everyone!  Before I jump into this post, I just want to say that I am very honored to be posting here today.  Thank you, Jaye, for letting me ramble a bit!

My topic is all about debunking the silly things that aspiring writers usually stress over.  When you’re new to writing and you really have no idea what you’re doing, it’s easy to get caught up in the little details.  (Okay, let’s face it—even when you’ve published more than one book, it’s still easy to get caught up in the little details!)  However, some beginning writers might not realize these little things don’t matter while you’re writing the first draft.  They are just distractions keeping you from getting that full story written.

Please note that while these don’t matter when writing your first draft, once you get into editing and revisions, those details do need to be taken into consideration.  Without further ado, here are ten things aspiring writers shouldn’t stress over in their first draft.

bigstock-Burglar-Hand-Holding-Crowbar-B-25233641quote1. A messy first draft.  Your first draft is going to be messy.  It’s going to be ridiculous.  Some of it will even make you blush to think you ever thought that was acceptable to write.  You’re going to cut extras and fill in plot holes.  You’ll wonder how you ever missed something that was so important (and how you could write certain scenes that don’t make any sense).  This is normal.  Don’t try to make your first draft perfect, and don’t stress over it being messy.  No author in history has had a perfect first draft.  Stephen King?  Nope.  J.K. Rowling?  Nada.  Every author has to edit and revise.  That’s the beauty of the first draft—you can be messy and it doesn’t matter, because the point is to just get the story on the paper.

2. Editing while writing.  Don’t do it.  Editing what you’ve already written before you’ve finished writing the first draft is not recommended for a couple of reasons.  First, you interrupt the flow of your writing.  Second, you slow yourself down.  Third, if you keep editing while writing, there’s a good chance that you won’t finish the manuscript.  Fourth, once the book is done, you’ll have to go back and edit it anyway.  You’ll more than likely change what you’re trying to perfect right now.  Don’t worry about it.

3. The title.  If you don’t have a title while you’re writing the first draft, it’s not a big deal.  A lot of writers don’t come up with their titles until after they finish their manuscripts.  It’ll come to you.  It’s not something to stress over.

bigstock-Urban-Alley-At-Night-303831324. Whether readers will like it.  That is way down the road.  Don’t worry about whether they’ll like it or if it will sell well and you’ll be the next Suzanne Collins with Hunger Games.  While that would be nice, don’t let it influence how you’re writing your story now.  Write the story how you want it written.  Marketing comes later.  And let me just say: if you’re in this for the money, you’re in the wrong business.

5. Developing your writing style.  I’ve heard of amateur writers who find themselves unable to finish their first draft because they are so concerned about finding their style, or a style that works well.  I’ve even known some to try copying best-selling authors, because “Hey, if it worked for them….”  Don’t stress over your style and definitely don’t try to copy someone else.  Write with a style that feels comfortable for you and works for you.  And even if it’s still hard and stiff, write anyway.  Part of editing includes smoothing out sentence flow and softening stiff writing.

6. Dialogue tags.  Even though creating/cutting dialogue tags are definitely an important part of editing, this is not something you should stress over while writing the first draft.  Just write whatever comes to your mind first, whether it is a tag like “she whispered” or “she said.”  Don’t let the choice of tags distract you with stress when you should be focusing on just getting the story down.  You will edit and refine this later.

7. Adverbs.  There is a constant debate in the writing world over adverbs.  Whether you decide you are for or against them (or somewhere in-between), don’t worry about it while writing your first draft.  That’s what editing is for.  The adverb battle is just one more thing that can distract you from writing.

8. Passive voice.  If you’ve been around the writing-o-sphere for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard it preached to use active voice, not passive (with the exception of certain circumstances).  You may suddenly become much slower as you write paragraphs, picking apart your language to make sure you aren’t using passive voice.  My word of advice?  Don’t.  Just write, and clean up the passive voice in the editing if it bothers you.

9. Waiting for inspiration/writer’s block. Oh, the bane of writer’s block!  …Right?  Not quite.  While it can be frustrating, there are numerous ways of getting past writer’s block.  If you keep waiting for inspiration, it may or may not come.  Often, you just have to sit down and write anyway, even when you don’t feel like it, or the story seems stuck.  As Stephen King says, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”  Don’t wait for the right moment or feeling.  Here’s another quote, this time from William Faulkner: “I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.”

10. Incorporating a theme.  Don’t stress over having to incorporate a specific theme or message into your story.  Just write the story as it needs to be told and the theme will unfold naturally.  If you force a theme into the story, the plot and characters will suffer.  So don’t worry about it. ;)  Just write the story.

Bottom line?  Just write.  Everything else comes later in editing.

Thank you again, Jaye, for letting me post today!  If any of you are interested in connecting with me further, feel free to check out my website or blog.

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TIALLARISINGTialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will passionately spend hours long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla fills her spare time with reading from her favorite fantasy and mystery genres. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments. | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour!