Flake-out Friday (the 13th!!! Eeep!)–Author Shout Out

A dear friend, Author Rachel Firasek, has a NEW NOVELLA out and I wanted to give her a shout out in celebration!! It’s titled, CREATING FATE, and is part of the UNSPUN SERIES of 3 novellas by 3 authors.

It’s a super fun read, filled with action, lively characters, and LOVE.

Here’s the blurb (from Amazon):

She gave away her heart…
Giving her heart to a mortal wasn’t something the First Fate planned. Losing him nearly shattered her soul. Upon his death, Clotho swore never to love—or weave life—again. Hoping she’ll change her mind before it’s too late, Zeus commands the spinner of life to take a much needed vacation from her immortal responsibilities.

He had to hide his…
Dane is close to cracking the drug ring he’s spent the last two years infiltrating, but needs to perform one last heist to meet the head man and prevent an impending war. An undercover agent, he’s now on the run from drug lords, thieves and with the very woman whose tears make him forget his purpose.

Together they’ll find a way back from the dark.
Chloe will have to put her trust a man she believes is like the ones that killed her fiance, or face an eternity on Earth. Without the desire for life, hope could slip through the cracks of time if he doesn’t love away her sorrow.

I’d like to give away a copy of CREATING FATE to one lucky commenter. 🙂

Considering I’m also hosting a giveaway to celebrate my second novel getting published, let’s close both contests at the same time so I can announce winners for both on the same day.

SO, that means you have until 11:59 EST, Tuesday, July 24, friends.

Spread the word, please, and do give Rachel a congrats! 😉

You can visit her Amazon Author Page to see her other novels–she’s on FIRE!

I’m SO Excited SQUEE!!!!

Hey gang,

Guess what?

My Young Adult Paranormal Romance, SHIFTING PRIDE, is going to be PUBLISHED!!!!!!!

That’s right, the wonderful folks at Etopia Press are making this happen.

I just signed the contract a few days ago. Right now, I’m working on blurbs, taglines, and gearing up for edits.


Here’s my initial pitch for SHIFTING PRIDE (to give you an idea of what it’s about):

Sixteen-year-old Nickie Leone has proof that her missing (presumed dead) father is still alive. Receiving his watch in the mail is the first in a line of clues bringing her closer to discovering his whereabouts. But clues aren’t the only new thing in Nickie’s life. There’s the Memorial Banquet her mother insists she help prepare for, there’s the new kid/hottie, Xavian, and…well, the growth of whiskers and a tail!

Filled with secrets and a new love of tuna fish, Nickie must partner up with Xavian (don’t you know he’s a shapeshifter too?) to rescue her dad before she loses him forever. Oh, and she needs to figure out how to be a cat, too.

To spread the joy, I’d like to host a giveaway.

All you have to do is leave a comment–AND I’ll count your name TWICE if you help spread the word (by Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc) (just let me know if you’ve done it).

How about I announce WINNERS in TWO WEEKS to give peeps time to stop by. 🙂

WINNERS will be chosen at random. THREE lucky commenters will receive a book of their choice AND a three chapter crit from ME!

Flake-out Friday–WINNERS!

Whee! Boy I had fun last Friday announcing my pub contract for ENDURE. THANKS to all you guys for your support and retweeting and facebooking, etc.

Now, to announce the WINNERS!

1st place (winner of a novel of your choice):


2nd place (winner of the necklace and earrings set symbolizing ENDURE):





Seventeen-year-old Justin’s anemic blood is a blessing. Or a curse. It all depends on who you ask.

In the Post-Collapse world where the immortal Vie lord over the rapidly diminishing mortals, Anemies like Justin and his sister are rabidly sought after. Their blood causes the Vie to age, a powerful threat, and yet a priceless hope for the Earth’s downtrodden humans.

When Justin’s sister is kidnapped by the Vie, he vows to rescue her. He strikes a deal with the human resistance, but they’re nothing but a cult with delusions that a messianic Anemie will free them all. They think that person is Justin; whereas Justin thinks they’ll need someone stronger than a teenage boy who gets dizzy after running twenty feet.

In a race to find his sister before she dies, Justin learns that not all Vie are evil, and not all humans have his best interests at heart. Trapped with choosing between saving what’s left of humanity and saving his sister Justin can’t decide which option is going to get him killed first.


Flake-out Friday: It’s My Berfday and I’m Giving Away a Present!

Ok, so my birthday is tomorrow, but since I don’t blog on Saturday, I’m celebrating early and I’m sharing the lurve with all y’all!

I’ll gift TWO lucky commenters with things I enjoy, namely all things Halloween or vampire-ish and all things book-ish.

That’s right. All you have to do is comment on this post (I’d also appreciate some chatter via Twitter, Facebook, etc) and you’ll be entered to win one of two prizes.

The first name chosen by random.org will win:

A copy of The Near Witch by Victoria Scwab. This book is a DELIGHTFUL read. The prose is SO beautiful I savored every page. Every. Page. For realz.

The second name chosen by random.org will win:

This super fun vampiress wine glass complete with fangs and boobies. *grin*

(the other side of the glass reads: Who wants a kiss?)

You have ONE WEEK to enter. The contest closes Friday, October 21, 2011 at MIDNIGHT EST. I’ll announce the winner the week after.


Wasteland Blog Tour Beka and Justin Style


Hi all! I interrupt this regularly scheduled Mental Health Monday post to feature an interview with Beka, from WASTELAND by Lynn Rush, and Justin, the main character in my YA Dystopian ENDURE.

Take it away, Justin and Beka!

Hi Beka, I’m Justin. Sorry we had to meet in the underground, but since dusk is coming, I thought it best we go into hiding so we don’t get interrupted by the Vie, the immortal overlords. I hope the flashlight is enough for you to see. Er, not that there’s much to see here. We have a few supplies and stuff, but we keep on the move and travel light most of the time to avoid detection.

Laura tells me you’ve dealt with a lot of demons since you’re a Guardian. That’s awesome because I need some tips from you. You see, I have to find a way to get my sister back and the Vie are so strong that I can’t possibly do it without a plan.

First of all, what kind of special powers do you have, if any?

Well, I have this internal demon meter. I get this little feeling when a demon is near. It’s a subtle hum in my ears, raised hairs on my neck. It’s constant if I’m near a demon. The closer I get I can zero in on exactly who is the demon.

Another is that I hear the Archangel, Michael’s, whispers. That’s how I know whom I’m supposed to guard. We call them our Charges.

The third is, I’m immortal. I’ve been around a long, long time. And I’m difficult to kill. The only way I’ll cease to exist is if they take my head.

Wow. I can’t do any of those things. I just have weird blood that makes the Vie age. So, what’s your favorite strategy for fighting demons? Do you ambush them or do you think “offense is the best defense?”

It really depends on the situation. For example, if a demon comes into a crowded place, I’ll be more strategic. Follow him or her to a more remote location. Then I’ll attack. I can’t risk injuring any humans, and I must keep our supernatural abilities hidden. Humans just aren’t ready to grasp the fact that there are serious supernatural beings interacting with them on a daily basis.

Your world sounds cool, like there’s more humans than demons. We have a lot of Vie here…they’re pretty much like demons, I guess. Hey, do the demons you encounter have trancing abilities? I mean, can they control you with their thoughts or voice or anything? 

I haven’t come across one who could do any such thing—so far. Evil runs deep and long as does it’s wicked magic, though, so I would not put it past them to learn how to do that, or evolve into that ability.

[A crash sounds in the corner near the door. Justin scans room with flashlight.]

Sorry, must be a rat. What happens if you, I don’t know, are weaponless or something?

A good Guardian always carries a blade. A sword is better, but with all the security and trying to be discreet, a blade—or three—tucked in various spots is a must.

But, if I am caught without a weapon, I can still hold my own. Always look at your surroundings to see what you can use as a weapon. Anything that will enable me to take their head, I will use. And as long as I “keep my head,” I’ll survive the encounter.

I like tasers. They work pretty good against the human slave-goons that the Vie use to police the rest of us.

[Justin sighs and scratches his head.]

Um, have you ever had to work with a demon to kill another demon? I’m kind of facing that right now and I don’t know whether or not to believe him.

Funny you should ask that. I’m having to entertain that concept right now, too. I’m torn. Protecting humans and vanquishing demons is why I was created. But I’m learning there are different types of demons out there. Ones thrown into the life not because they chose it. I won’t rule it out, just yet. But you must be cautious. Always cautious.

[A siren sounds in the distance. Justin stiffens.]

Must be another raid. Don’t worry. They don’t check the underground…much. Do you have anybody helping you?

[Beka slides a blade out from her ankle holster]

Don’t worry. I’m ready if there’s trouble.

I do have help. My brother, Russell. At least we let everyone around us think we’re related. We are in a sense, considering we’re both Guardians, but I trust him like a brother, so it fits. He’s strong and noble. Also keeps me in check sometimes when my mind—or heart—wanders to places it shouldn’t.

Man, I wish we had Guardians here. One last question, then I think we should go. Anybody trying to take advantage of you? Like, do people think you have more powers than you really do and they want to use you for their own greedy plans? I’m dealing with that too, so any tips would be great.

Actually, very few people know we exist. Some select people, those who serve the Light, help us blend in, assimilate. They are very special people we call Familiars. But no, none of them have ever tried to take advantage of me. It’s just not in their nature.

Beka, you’re awesome. I totally learned a lot—I owe you. I hope we meet again…preferably after all the demons are dead and after I rescue my sister. Follow this tunnel and you’ll end up near the bridge. Good luck.


Thanks, Justin. You certainly run a great interview! Thanks, Beka, for stopping by, despite the dark and dank underground setting. Glad you’re safe and the Vie didn’t interrupt you guys.

Lynn’s awesome enough to give away a signed copy of WASTELAND to one of you guys! It’s totally worth it. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down!

All you have to do is comment here. You’ll earn extra entries if you Tweet or Facebook. Just let me know what you do when you leave a comment.

You have until Monday, September 26, 2011 MIDNIGHT EST to enter, then I’ll announce a winner on Wednesday, September 28!



Lynn Rush began her writing career in 2008. She has both an undergraduate and graduate degree in the mental health field and has enjoyed applying that unique knowledge to developing unique characters.

A former inline speed skater and mountain biker, Lynn has been known to test the limits of her athletic endurance. So, when she’s not writing, she spends time enjoying the Arizona sunshine by road biking nearly 100 miles per week with her husband of fifteen years and going on jogs with her loveable Shetland Sheep dogs.

Catch the Rush: www.lynnrush.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LynnRushWrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LynnRush

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/k6NAZa

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/pavzwE

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/pbigOg

All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/nujjjp

You Tube Trailer:  http://youtu.be/k-KRE1yMiNk

Book Blurb:

Bound by the blood contract his human mother signed four centuries ago, half-demon, David Sadler, must obey his demonic Master’s order to capture fifteen-year-old Jessica Hanks. But as he learns more about her, he realizes she may be the key to freedom from his demonic enslavement.

The only obstacle—Jessica’s distractingly beautiful Guardian, Rebeka Abbott. He must not give in to their steamy chemistry, or he will lose his humanity. But fresh off a quarter millennia of sensory deprivation as punishment for not retrieving his last target, he may not be able to resist temptation long enough to save what’s left of his human soul.

Flake-out Friday–Contest Winners and A Tribute to a Co-worker

Hey gang! The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here. That’s right. It’s time to announce the WINNERS of my 300/500 followers contest!

First, I’d like to thank everyone who participated and spread the word. You guys and gals are AWESOME!!!! (I totally felt the love.)

The FIRST winner of a 20 page critique and a novel of your choice:


The SECOND winner of a 10 page critique and a novel of your choice:


The THIRD winner of a novel of your choice:


CONGRATS to the winners!!!! You can DM me via Twitter or give your email address in the comments section and we’ll get the prizes distributed.

Now, a tribute.

So, I’ve been working on the inpatient psychiatric unit for about a month now and I’m really enjoying it. I have kept my outpatient load and hours at the HIV clinic, so my time is divided, but so far so good.

One of the nice things about working on the inpatient unit is the sense of teamwork. And the members of my team are all talented, caring, knowledgeable, funny, hard-working, and supportive people. I really feel fortunate working with them.

One of the most treasured members of our team is Mayor. He’s a seeing-eye dog and offers me pet therapy every Friday afternoon when he’s allowed to be out of harness (AKA on a break) for a few minutes.

Isn’t he CUTE!!!!!!

Flake-out Friday–Query Tips

*****Don’t forget to enter my 300/500 followers contest to win a crit and book of your choice! The deadline is July 31, 2011 Midnight EST, so please spread the word!*****

One of the many reasons I freak out during querying time has to do with perfecting my query letter. I’ve written seven novels and therefore drafted seven query letters. Some of them never saw the light of day (because I never ended up querying the project), but I still felt the angst of shrinking a 75-85,000 word manuscript down to a measly 250 words…all while keeping the voice, tension, conflict, and world-building essentials.


Over the almost three years I’ve been writing, I have accumulated many tips that I find are ESSENTIAL, so I’ve decided to list them for you.


  • Address the letter to Dear Agent
  • Alternatively, use their first name
  • Don’t bother giving the word count or genre; the agent will figure that out based on your letter
  • BEG them to read your work–bribing with chocolate or money helps
  • Use fancy, hard to read fonts and bright colors
  • Attach your full manuscript to the equery
  • Send your letter to ten agents at a time as a group email
  • Don’t worry about typos–they’re not that big a deal
  • Give a detailed resume, especially of non-writing related things so the agent knows you’re well-rounded
  • Be as vague as possible–it creates mystery
  • Tell them the ending so there are no surprises
  • Write the query letter as if it’s the main character talking

Did I miss any?


WIP Wednesday–The Love Triangle

*****Don’t forget to enter my 300/500 followers contest to win a crit and book of your choice! The deadline is July 31, 2011 Midnight EST, so please spread the word!*****

I’m about 1/3 of the way done with the first draft and I’m still quite ecstatic with my new WIP. I’m particularly stoked about the love triangle that’s forming between my main character, a long time friend, and the mysterious hottie she’s just met.

Okay, so the love triangle concept isn’t new, BUT it IS new for me. I don’t generally go heavy on the romance angle. I mean, it’s there, but it’s not the main focus of my novels. I tend to go for much more action oriented stuff. So I’m treading new ground here.

Anyway, I bring it up because I see a lot of love triangles in YA fiction (need I mention Twilight? Yeah, didn’t think so). As with all things, I suspect there are people who like the  love triangle and people who abhor it.

So tell me, friends, are you PRO or ANTI love triangle and WHY? Do you write love triangles? Why or why not?

Don’t forget to check out Deb’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of maintaining patience during the query process!

Every Wednesday

300/500 Followers Contest!

Whee!!!! I’m so excited that I am approaching the 300 follower mark on my blog and I’ve now surpassed the 500 follower mark on Twitter!

To share the love, I’m going to host a contest. It’s super easy, I promise. All you have to do is:

  • Follow my blog (click on the subscription button on the right)
  • Leave a comment on this post 

You will get an extra point each for:

  • Tweeting about the contest
  • Facebooking (is that a real word? 😉 ) about the contest
  • Blogging about the contest
The prizes:
  1. A book of your choice + a 20 page critique
  2. A book of your choice + a 10 page critique
  3. A book of your choice
The contest will close on July 31, 2011 at MIDNIGHT Eastern Standard Time.
Super cool, right? So get goin’ and spread the word, dear followers!  😉
Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog update: It’s Wednesday, so be sure to check out Sarah’s strategy for maintaining patience while querying!

First Page Contest at Shelley Watters’ Blog, Yo!

Hey gang! Author Shelley Watters is hosting an agent judged first page contest. Participants post the first 250 words of their YA or MG novel today, June 25, visit other blogs for critique on the 25th and 26th, and post the “final version” on her blog on the 27th.

The winner gets a full manuscript request from Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency!

Good luck to all the participants!

Here’s my entry:


GENRE: Young Adult Dystopian

WORD COUNT: 75,000


I hated afternoons the most. Why? Because darkness followed—the time when death could literally snatch you out of bed and drain all the blood from your body. Amazing that any of us survived with all the raids and extermination campaigns to rid the world of us red blood cell deficient freaks.

I rubbed my shoulder as we walked, still sore from the last fight. Some dude tried to scrimp on my fair share of the rations we snatched from the distribution truck. I wished Sammie didn’t have to watch me pummel the guy, but he started it. If I hadn’t ended it, he would’ve left us starving.

“Justin, I’m hungry.” Sammie tugged at my shirttail, her small voice squeaky.

“Me too.” I was always hungry. Whoever came up with the idea of food pellets and water tablets must have enjoyed making people suffer. Really, how could eating a sawdust-flavored pill make you feel full? But the Vie didn’t need food, only blood. So, the pellets kept their prey alive. We did the same with chickens…when we lived in the forest.

That was before. Before Dad blew it and got us kicked out of the community. Everybody told him peace with the Vie was impossible. But he didn’t listen. Now he was dead and Sammie and I were on our own.