Private Internship Launch Week Special 2 for 1 book deal & plus cool Rafflecopter prizes!

Time to toss confetti and do a happy dance. Private Internship, book two of my Art of Love series launches!
In huge appreciation of my readers, bloggers and fellow authors I’m offering a special limited launch deal! For the first 50 people who buy Private Internship, you will get Model Position absolutely free with an emailed proof of purchase! Email me at kitsy84557 (AT) gmail (DOT) com and let me know which ereading format & ebook you’d like. (If you’ve already read Model Position, choose one of my YA futuristic thrillers Fireseed One or Ruby’s Fire, or even the new writers’ cookbook, Bake, Love, Write, where I share a recipe & advice on love & writing)

Get Private Internship: Amazon, B&N
All Romance Ebooks, Kobo

*Caz is the most entertaining bada@s book boyfriend yet, with the most fireworks relationship, and I’m pretty sure you’ll get a kick out of his hijinks. The lowdown:

Sugar’s not so sweet and secrets can be deadly … especially with matters of the heart


Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna get the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—sweaty and practically shirtless and swinging from chains while he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish testing Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.


She knows she should get away fast. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and begins to unearth his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz.

You’re also invited to my Facebook party on Oct 2, from 6 to 11 pm (EST). We’ll have games, author visits and giveaway prizes! Click here to see who’s dropping by and join the fun.

To read about the inspiration for PI’s unique setting on the Inkspell blog, click here.

Finally, here’s a lineup of bloggers helping me celebrate this week. Thank you, wonderful book bloggers and readers! I couldn’t do it without you. (links go live on the day of posting)
Also, scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter for great swag and books!!!
September 29
Old Victorian Quill, Books and Fandom, Reviewing in Chaos, The Reading Diaries, The Fantastical World of Wonders, Lisa Voisin, Stephanie Keyes, Ashelyn Drake, JM’s Meanderings, Flutey Words, SA Larsen, Meradeth Houston, Brinda Berry, Ellie Garratt, C. Lee McKenzie, Sydney Aaliyah Michelle, Juliana Haygert, Cecilia Robert, Chandara Writes, Angie Sandro, The Warrior Muse, SM JohnstonBook Boyfriend Junkies

September 30
My Book Filled LifeMegpie93’s Book blog

October 1
Tome Tender, Pretty Little Pages, The Lusty Literate, Share my Destiny, Dimensions in Fiction

October 2
Just Booked, Read it Woman, Scandalous Book Blog, Sweet and Spicy Books, Books, books and more books, The Book Lovers Codex, Kitty Kats Crazy About Books, Underneath the Covers, Not Everyone’s Mama, Sassy Book Lovers, Haloangel Reads

October 3
jordansbookblog, Once upon a Twilight, Girls With Books, We Stole Your Book Boyfriend, So Many Books, So Little Time, True Story Book Blog, Books Direct, Kimber Leigh Writes, Naughty Book Eden, Escape into a Book, SunShy Book Reviews, My Secret Book Spot, Meleth Bookaddicted, Two Ends of the Pen, 101 Ways to Make Love to a Spoon, Paola’s Bookshelf, Dalene’s Book Reviews, My Favorite Things

May post anytime during blitz
Margay Leah Justice, Reading Addict, mamas secret book obsession, The Phantom Paragrapher, Mythical Books, LibriAmoriMie, Obsessed by Books, Talk Books to Me, Sue Cover Reveals, Books and Friendz, Becca Anne’s Book Reviews, Worth Reading It, End of Story, Next Book, Wicked Woman’s Book blog, Renee Entress’s blog, Tattoogirl Reads, Confessions of a Y.A. and N.A. Book Addict, Oops, I Read a Book Again, Between the Lines

Private Internship Launch Day! Special 2 for 1 deal & Book Blitz Lineup & cool Rafflecopter prizes!

Time to toss confetti and do a happy dance. Private Internship, book two of my Art of Love series launches today!
In huge appreciation of my readers, bloggers and fellow authors I’m offering a special limited launch deal! For the first 50 people who buy Private Internship, you will get Model Position absolutely free with an emailed proof of purchase! Email me at kitsy84557 (AT) gmail (DOT) com and let me know which ereading format & ebook you’d like. (If you’ve already read Model Position, choose one of my YA futuristic thrillers Fireseed One or Ruby’s Fire, or even the new writers’ cookbook, Bake, Love, Write, where I share a recipe & advice on love & writing)

Get Private Internship: Amazon, B&N
All Romance Ebooks, Kobo

*Caz is the most entertaining bada@s book boyfriend yet, with the most fireworks relationship, and I’m pretty sure you’ll get a kick out of his hijinks. The lowdown:

Sugar’s not so sweet and secrets can be deadly … especially with matters of the heart


Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna get the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—sweaty and practically shirtless and swinging from chains while he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish testing Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.


She knows she should get away fast. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and begins to unearth his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz.

You are also invited to the PI Facebook party on Oct 2, from 6 to 11 pm (EST). We’ll have games, multiple author visits and giveaway prizes! Click here to see who’s dropping by and join the fun.

To read about the inspiration for PI’s unique setting on the Inkspell blog, click here.

Finally, here’s a lineup of blitz book tour sites helping me celebrate this week. Thank you to all of the wonderful book bloggers! I couldn’t do it all without you. (links go live on the day of posting)
And scroll down to enter the Rafflecopter for great swag and books!!!
September 29
Old Victorian Quill, Mythical Books, Book Boyfriend Junkies, Sue Cover Reveals, Books and Fandom, Megpie93’s Book blog, Talk Books to Me, Books and Friendz, Becca Anne’s Book Reviews, Worth Reading It, Reviewing in Chaos, End of Story, next Book, Wicked Woman’s Book blog, The Reading Diaries, The Fantastical World of Wonders, Renee Entress’s blog, Oops, I Read a Book Again, Lisa Voisin, Stephanie Keyes, Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake, JM Bray, Aubrie Dionne, SA Larsen, Meradeth Houston, Brinda Berry

September 30
My Book Filled Life, LibriAmoriMiei, Obsessed by Books

October 1
Between the Lines, Tattoogirl Reads, Tome Tender, Pretty Little Pages, The Lusty Literate, Share my Destiny, Confessions of a Y.A. and N.A. Book Addict

October 2
Just Booked, Read it Woman, Scandalous Book Blog, Sweet and Spicy Books, Books, books and more books, The Book Lovers Codex, Kitty Kats Crazy About Books, Underneath the Covers, Not Everyone’s Mama, Sassy Book Lovers, Haloangel Reads

October 3
jordansbookblog, Once upon a Twilight, Girls With Books, We Stole Your Book Boyfriend, So Many Books, So Little Time, True Story Book Blog, Books Direct, Kimber Leigh Writes, Naughty Book Eden, Escape into a Book, SunShy Book Reviews, My Secret Book Spot, Meleth Bookaddicted, Two Ends of the Pen, 101 Ways to Make Love to a Spoon, Paola’s Bookshelf, Dalene’s Book Reviews, My Favorite Things

May post anytime during blitz
Margay Leah Justice, Reading Addict, mamas secret book obsession, The Phantom Paragrapher

Transformation Thursday with Lisa Brown Roberts for YA Reader Appreciation Week

Today, for the YA Reader Appreciation Blog fest Lisa Brown Roberts is talking about how she became a writer. (And today, I’m on her blog chatting about the same thing!) See the entire week’s lineup here. Lisa’s HOW TO DROP A CLASS (AND FALL IN LOVE) releases in February 2015 from Entangled Teen. Take it away, Lisa!

I always knew I wanted to be a writer, starting in the second grade with my riveting story of a family of coffee cups living under the sea. Don’t ask…
So many books impacted me, it’s hard to know where to start but here are a few YA classics I loved back in the day: HARRIET THE SPY by Louise Fitzhugh, FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWATER, by E.L. Konigsburg, everything by Judy Blume, PARDON ME, YOU’RE STEPPING ON MY EYEBALL (and everything else by Paul Zindel), THE CAT ATE MY GYMSUIT by Paula Danziger, and THE CHOCOLATE WAR by Robert Cormier.

My elementary and high school teachers always encouraged me as a writer, and one of my favorite high school memories was meeting Robert Cormier. My language arts teacher won a contest and the prize was him coming to speak at our school. I’ll never forget her introducing me to him as a “budding author.” He was gracious and kind, treating the introduction quite seriously.
Over the years, I stuttered and stopped with writing, starting lots of manuscripts but never finishing them, while job-hopping from one boring job to the next, dissatisfied with my life’s direction but crippled by self-doubt, that killer of dreams.

J.K. Rowling is the reason I finally got serious about writing again. After reading the first Harry Potter book, I remembered what it was like to fall madly in love with a fictional world. I remembered the passionate way I’d loved books when I was younger and I wanted to feel that book love again. I wanted to create that book love, so I joined SCBWI, thinking I wanted to write middle grade novels.
During a regional SCBWI conference, I participated in a “writers’ studio” workshop in which we submitted pages for a critique with the amazing Julie Anne Peters. It was a fantastic experience, and after the conference she invited me to join her critique group.

Joining my critique group changed my life as a writer. I always tell people I’ve gained the equivalent of an MFA from my critique partners. We critique entire books, at least four a year, often more, in all genres including mystery, fantasy, romance, mainstream, nonfiction, YA, middle-grade, picture book and adult. We learn from each other, cheer for each other, and have an honorary member named Whiney Writer, whom we’ve all been known to channel.
Once I truly decided to take myself seriously as a writer, everything changed. I believe that when you ignite your passion and feed it regularly with care and attention, you connect with the creative force powering the universe. I’m sure plenty of people roll their eyes when I talk like this but I’ve lived it, so I believe it.

My critique partners helped me figure out that my natural voice is YA, and that I love writing romance, especially between two people voted least likely to hook up. It’s an enduring and endearing trope, and one I never tire of. In fact, I think I hear an argument brewing right now between two people who keep waking me up at 3:00 a.m. to tell their story…
HOW TO DROP A CLASS (AND FALL IN LOVE) by Lisa Brown Roberts releases in February 2015 from Entangled Teen.
Darcy Covington is completely unprepared when her car is repossessed from her elite private school and her new nickname, Repo Girl, goes viral. Used to hiding in the shadows of her larger-than-life infomercial king dad and drama queen best friend, Darcy’s forced into the spotlight when her dad goes AWOL. Can Darcy make a new life for herself and her family on the run-down side of town, decipher the cryptic clues to find her missing dad, and even fall in love along the way?

In celebration of YA Reader Appreciation Week, from September 22-26, 2014, follow Lisa on Twitter and you might win free books and swag!

Pre-order Links: iBooksAmazonBarnes & Noble, Kobo

LBR-color-headshot-200x300-1Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both of her eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write and read YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way. Catch up with Lisa at lisabrownroberts.com, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.
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YA Reader Appreciation Week Continues with Woman Crush Wednesday & author, Tiffany Truitt

Today for YA Reader Appreciation Week blog hop we have Evernight Teen author, Tiffany Truitt talking about Women Crush Wednesday. (BTW, Sasha Hibbs hosts me today) BTW, here’s the entire week’s lineup, and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter when you’re there, to win some very cool reads. Okay, now take it away, Tiff!

I would like to start off by thanking Catherine for hosting me today! I am so excited she agreed to be a part of the YA Reader Week Blog Hop ☺ Now, let’s get to Women Crush Wednesday.
As part of my post for Man Crush Monday, I followed my male protagonist, Ed, through some of my novel’s twists on the contemporary love story (i.e all those classic romantic tropes turned on their head). I thought, since my YA Contemporary / Mystery, The Language of Silence, was told by dual narrators that I would do the same… this time focusing on my female protagonist, Brett.

The Meet: Typically, the meeting of the two lovers is done in some highly convenient but seemingly random aligning of the stars way. But in The Language of Silence, my couple already knows each other. Using the famous, “I have a crush on my best friend’s sister,” element, I added my own twist. Brett and Ed, while always attracted to each other in an almost ungovernable way, are brought together when Brett’s brother, Tristan, dies under mysterious circumstances. With Tristan no longer there to keep them apart combined with the magnetic pull of their own grief, they are doomed to collide.

Here’s the excerpt, in Brett’s Words:
   The cold air causes my skin to erupt in goosebumps. I pull the towel tighter. I only glance at Ed. He’s still sleeping, the blanket pulled over his head, and only his arm pushes out from the covers as if he is reaching for something.
   I pull open his closet door and begin to go through his collection of t-shirts. I hear him stir, but ignore him.
   “What the hell, Brett?” he yells groggily.
   “Good morning, sunshine,” I reply, refusing to turn around.
   I hear the bed creak as he moves to sit up. “What…what…what are you doing, Brett?” he asks. His anger suddenly diminishes. I know it’s the shock setting in.
   “I need something to wear.”
   “Obviously. Your lack of clothing tells me that much,” he snaps. It’s almost funny to see his emotions go so unchecked, unregulated.
   I turn around to face him, one hand clutching my towel and one hand on my hip. “Calm down, sugar plum. It’s not like I’m standing here naked. I have a towel on.”
   “Just put some fucking clothes on, Brett.”
   I sigh. “F-ing clothes? Huh? And here I was thinking no clothes was the way to go about that.”
   He closes his eyes and runs his hands through his hair. “Brett,” he warns.

The First Kiss: The first time a literary couple kisses is usually filled with fireworks, shooting stars, and gentle, sweet caresses. Mine involves trash, a shower, and a bit of cursing.


A short excerpt, in Brett’s Words: 
   “Do you regret it?” I wish my voice wasn’t so shaky.
   “The truth?”
   “Always.”
   “No. I don’t regret it. I just fear I will later.”
   I take a deep breath. Not the answer I dreamed of, but one I can accept.
   “Can I kiss you again?”

Get The Language of Silence! Amazon, B&N, Evernight Teen

Tiffany Truitt received her MA in literature from Old Dominion University. Her debut Chosen Ones, first in the Lost Souls trilogy, is a searing look at what it means to be other and how we define humanity, as well as a celebration of the dangerously wonderful feeling of falling in love.

Who’s one of your fave fictional heroines?

Transformation Tuesday with author Meradeth Houston & a Smokin’ Sci-Fi Boxed Set, Moonbeams and Magic

Thanks so much for hosting me! It’s always so fun to get to visit my favorite places around the web :) Today we’re supposed to be talking about the transformation from an unpublished to published author. Or, basically, how we all ended up finding our way into the publishing world. I know I can’t wait to read about everyone’s journeys!

The ideas behind my novels have come from all over the place. Colors Like Memories, my first published novel, actually first came to me while listening to a song on the radio while driving. I came home, opened a Word file, and got to work! My second novel, The Chemistry of Fate, came to me while writing in my journal (something I do daily–it’s almost compulsive for me), and the “what if?” question of someone revealing a life-altering question that was found by a grandchild. Ideas area all around, and I regularly have a hard time limiting myself to just one or two!

So, while putting this post together, I thought about looking back to see how many rejection letters I received on the two books I queried before I got my first offer. Then, I decided that that would probably be incredibly depressing :) Anyhow, as I said, I wrote, edited, and queried two books before the release of Colors Like Memories. While that was definitely not an easy process, it taught me a ton about writing, my writing, and learning how to sell my work. And it definitely made the offer I finally received that much sweeter!

There are so many options for authors these days for how to publish a novel. My choice to go with small houses is one I have really enjoyed: I get the help I want with editing, copyediting, covers, and some promotion, without having to pay the upfront costs that I can’t afford. I also have some flexibility with the pricing and that’s definitely helpful. Plus, there’s such an awesome community with my houses that the people I’ve met really make all the difference! Hit me up if you have questions! And where do your writing ideas come from?

Meradeth Houston is the author of the Sary Society series: Colors Like Memories, The Chemistry of Fate, and Surrender the Sky. Catch the first two books for just 99 pennies! Soon to be released will be a sci-fi novel with killer aliens: Absence of Light. When she’s not writing, she’s an anthropology professor who talks a whole lot about dead people’s DNA!

Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.comFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and of course her blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now…

All about the Moonbeams and Magic Boxed Set
Four inventive sci-fi novels for only $1.99 from Inkspell, releasing on Sept 23 but available for preorder now! Preorder yours from Amazon or B&N

Antithesis by Kacey Vanderkarr
My name is Gavyn. Liam doesn’t care that I only have one arm. He actually likes my red hair and freckles. I might forgive him for kidnapping me. My name is Gavyn. I lost my Liam. I’ve lost them all. And now it’s my job to make sure they don’t show up again. My name is Gavyn. I had a life with Liam, but he couldn’t give me what I need. Then I killed his father. I don’t expect he’ll forgive me for that.

Bewitched by Mark Jay Harris
Is it love or is it witchcraft? He’ll never find out if he kills her first.

The first time Darren saw Samantha, she was floating above his high school gymnasium during a basketball game, invisible to everyone but him. Next time he sees her, she’s sitting in front of him in class, wowing his friends and causing unexplainable things to happen that only he seems to notice. But things really get strange (and complicated) when his dying grandfather tells him that he is part of an ancient order, the “Pessum Ire,” whose duty is to destroy witches. What does he do now, since he’s almost positive Samantha is a witch…and he’s crushing on her pretty hard?

Colonization by Aubrie Dionne
Finding a new home has never been so dangerous.
Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer
assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius’s ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.
Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn’t expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes
The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.
Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. When the sudden death of his Gran takes him from the East coast to the rugged cliffs of Western Ireland, all that changes. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning
tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?
             ***
Praise for The Star Child:
“Stephanie Keyes is a wonderful voice for a new generation of YA readers. She has skillfully blended mythology and faerie-tale into an original and enthralling story. Pure magick! I’m looking forward to more. – Helen Hart, author, The Black Banner


Praise for Colonization:
Best of 2013 by Paranormal Sisters “Wow, this dystopian kicks butt. Like action packed nonstop and I was hooked from the very first page.”


Praise for Bewitched:
“This is an amazing story. Full of Magic and twist and turns, full of action, and secrets and many surprises. It sure left me wanting more. It’s very well written too.” Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books 


Praise for Antithesis
“I just want to say, I loved this book. It’s nonstop action from page one, Gavyn is awesome and Liam is hotter than a tin roof in august. Nothing got done yesterday, because I had to read this book.” Goodreads Reviewer. 

Are you a sci-fi lover? And what’s an aspect of your own transformation you are proud of?

YA Reader Appreciation Week’s Man Crush Monday AND Underrated Treasures Blogfests!

Today on Idea City I have two amazing features. The first is YA Reader Appreciation’s Man Crush Monday, the brainchild of Tiffany Truitt, where each day for a week authors chat about interesting details of their books and characters. See the week’s lineup here. Today I feature author Kate Jarvik Birch. (And Shannon Lee Alexander hosts me).
The second feature is Alex C. Cavanaugh’s Underrated Treasures blogfest. The idea? Everyone has a favorite movie, book or band that no one’s heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure! So let’s get to them both, shall we?

Excerpt from Kate’s futuristic YA novel Perfection with Entangled:    


   I hovered at the edge of the party near the pool house and watched as the guests orbited one another.
  “They really went all out, didn’t they?” Penn walked up next to me wearing a crisp black tuxedo.
  I stared. He looked handsome in this change of clothes, polished and refined. His father would be happy to see his son blending in so well with his colleagues. But this new version of him made me nervous.  It wasn’t until I looked up at his tousled hair and warm eyes that I relaxed, grateful that his new clothes couldn’t hide the real him.
  In each of his hands he carried a long fluted glass. “I guess they don’t really get the concept of excess,” he said, handing one of the glasses to me.
  I cradled the glass in my hand and took a tiny sip. The drink was utterly foreign. A million bubbles fizzed in my mouth. “It’s magical,” I said, looking out at the sparkling lights.
  Penn smiled and stared at me before he turned to look out at the crowds of elegant people. Finally he looked back down into his own drink, where the bubbles climbed up the side of the glass like tiny strands of lights. “Sorry for being so cynical. Sometimes my parents bring out the worst in me.”
  We stood silent for a minute, listening to the sounds of the other guests. Their voices were a soft hum, punctuated every now and again by the sound of laughter and clinking glasses.
  After a minute Penn turned back to me. “You look different tonight. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you at first… when I came over. You’re really… beautiful. I guess I’m so used to seeing your hair down, but it’s really nice up like that.”
  “Thank you,” I said, reaching up to touch the thick braid that wrapped around the top of my head. It was the same way I’d worn my hair for years in the training center, but it did feel different tonight.
  “Do you want to go see the dance floor?”
  “I promised your mother that I would stay toward the edge of things. She asked me not to draw too much attention to myself.”
Penn shook his head, as if he should have expected this from his mother. “It’s impossible for you not to draw attention.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the grass. In front of us, the tent was alive with light and noise. A wide wooden dance floor had been laid over the grass at the other end of the tent, and past it, the band stood on top of a small stage pouring music out into the night.
   “I really wanted to dance with you,” Penn said, frowning as he looked out over the crowded floor where his father stood talking with a large group of men.
  The ceiling inside was covered with large lanterns, which reflected off of the glossy wood, and as much as I wanted to stand beneath them , I didn’t want to disobey the congressman’s wife.
  I shook my head. “I’m sorry, Penn. I can’t.” Watching the sweet way his face fell in disappointment made me laugh.
   “Oh, you think hurting my feelings is funny?” he asked.
   “No.” I smiled, covering my face with my hands.
  Penn turned his head away from me, but his smile was impossible to disguise. “Good thing I don’t give up easily,” he said. He pulled me around the corner of the tent and down the dark hill into the shadows. “We’ll just have to dance out here.”
With a quick flick of the wrist, he grabbed me again by the hand and drew me into his chest. My breath caught in my throat. After all the Dance lessons we’d been given at the training center, this was my first time dancing with a man.
   A wild tingling spread through my chest, as if all those tiny bubbles in my drink had begun exploding inside me the moment he began to move me across the grass in a slow waltz. He wasn’t a great dancer, but his arms were firm, his hand warm and strong against my back. I leaned my head on his chest, letting myself breathe in the clean smell of his starched shirt and the lingering fragrance of the bubbly drink on his breath.

Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. Visit her website, her Facebook page, Twitter
Also, check out her YA novel Deliver Me!

Underrated Treasures 

Blogfest is next! 


I pick the book DINOTOPIA! I bought my copy of this lushly illustrated fantasy way back in 1992. It supposes that humans and dinos lived at the same time, and that we domesticated them, using them to ride on and help us do our work. Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“When James Gurney’s Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time first appeared in 1992, it was immediately hailed as a fully imagined world of the caliber of J. R. R. Tolkien’s. Gurney’s premise — of an undiscovered island where a race of mystical humans co-exists in harmony with intelligent dinosaurs — has been since reiterated over and over in numerous films and by scores of other writers. Now, Calla Editions brings Gurney’s spectacular artistry to a new generation in this 20th anniversary edition. Digitally re-rendered from the original transparencies, Gurney’s dramatic panoramas of Dinotopia and close-up character studies of its inhabitants — both human and saurian — take on new vitality. And as a tale of high adventure and discovery told as entries and sketches in journal form, Dinotopia presents a shipwrecked visitor’s glimpse into an imagined social order, a culture, and even a cooperative interspecies technology that will satisfy lovers of fantasy and science fiction of all persuasions. This edition includes a new Afterword written by author James Gurney as well as a special section of behind-the-scenes studies and maquettes he used in developing his paintings.”

Cool, huh? See all of the Dinotopia books here. Then click here and scroll down to the fest links to read other posts about underrated treasures. 
But first, answer me this: what’s your fave underrated treasure? (book, film, band?)

Transformation Tuesday with author Meradeth Houston & a Smokin’ Sci-Fi Boxed Set, Moonbeams and Magic

Thanks so much for hosting me! It’s always so fun to get to visit my favorite places around the web :) Today we’re supposed to be talking about the transformation from an unpublished to published author. Or, basically, how we all ended up finding our way into the publishing world. I know I can’t wait to read about everyone’s journeys!

The ideas behind my novels have come from all over the place. Colors Like Memories, my first published novel, actually first came to me while listening to a song on the radio while driving. I came home, opened a Word file, and got to work! My second novel, The Chemistry of Fate, came to me while writing in my journal (something I do daily–it’s almost compulsive for me), and the “what if?” question of someone revealing a life-altering question that was found by a grandchild. Ideas area all around, and I regularly have a hard time limiting myself to just one or two!

So, while putting this post together, I thought about looking back to see how many rejection letters I received on the two books I queried before I got my first offer. Then, I decided that that would probably be incredibly depressing :) Anyhow, as I said, I wrote, edited, and queried two books before the release of Colors Like Memories. While that was definitely not an easy process, it taught me a ton about writing, my writing, and learning how to sell my work. And it definitely made the offer I finally received that much sweeter!

There are so many options for authors these days for how to publish a novel. My choice to go with small houses is one I have really enjoyed: I get the help I want with editing, copyediting, covers, and some promotion, without having to pay the upfront costs that I can’t afford. I also have some flexibility with the pricing and that’s definitely helpful. Plus, there’s such an awesome community with my houses that the people I’ve met really make all the difference! Hit me up if you have questions! And where do your writing ideas come from?

Meradeth Houston is the author of the Sary Society series: Colors Like Memories, The Chemistry of Fate, and Surrender the Sky. Catch the first two books for just 99 pennies! Soon to be released will be a sci-fi novel with killer aliens: Absence of Light. When she’s not writing, she’s an anthropology professor who talks a whole lot about dead people’s DNA!

Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.comFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and of course her blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now…

All about the Moonbeams and Magic Boxed Set
Four inventive sci-fi novels for only $1.99 from Inkspell, releasing on Sept 23 but available for preorder now! Preorder yours from Amazon or B&N

Antithesis by Kacey Vanderkarr
My name is Gavyn. Liam doesn’t care that I only have one arm. He actually likes my red hair and freckles. I might forgive him for kidnapping me. My name is Gavyn. I lost my Liam. I’ve lost them all. And now it’s my job to make sure they don’t show up again. My name is Gavyn. I had a life with Liam, but he couldn’t give me what I need. Then I killed his father. I don’t expect he’ll forgive me for that.

Bewitched by Mark Jay Harris
Is it love or is it witchcraft? He’ll never find out if he kills her first.

The first time Darren saw Samantha, she was floating above his high school gymnasium during a basketball game, invisible to everyone but him. Next time he sees her, she’s sitting in front of him in class, wowing his friends and causing unexplainable things to happen that only he seems to notice. But things really get strange (and complicated) when his dying grandfather tells him that he is part of an ancient order, the “Pessum Ire,” whose duty is to destroy witches. What does he do now, since he’s almost positive Samantha is a witch…and he’s crushing on her pretty hard?

Colonization by Aubrie Dionne
Finding a new home has never been so dangerous.
Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer
assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius’s ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.
Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn’t expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes
The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.
Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. When the sudden death of his Gran takes him from the East coast to the rugged cliffs of Western Ireland, all that changes. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning
tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?
             ***
Praise for The Star Child:
“Stephanie Keyes is a wonderful voice for a new generation of YA readers. She has skillfully blended mythology and faerie-tale into an original and enthralling story. Pure magick! I’m looking forward to more. – Helen Hart, author, The Black Banner


Praise for Colonization:
Best of 2013 by Paranormal Sisters “Wow, this dystopian kicks butt. Like action packed nonstop and I was hooked from the very first page.”


Praise for Bewitched:
“This is an amazing story. Full of Magic and twist and turns, full of action, and secrets and many surprises. It sure left me wanting more. It’s very well written too.” Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books 


Praise for Antithesis
“I just want to say, I loved this book. It’s nonstop action from page one, Gavyn is awesome and Liam is hotter than a tin roof in august. Nothing got done yesterday, because I had to read this book.” Goodreads Reviewer. 

Are you a sci-fi lover? And what’s an aspect of your own transformation you are proud of?

YA Reader Appreciation Week’s Man Crush Monday AND Underrated Treasures Blogfests!

Today on Idea City I have two amazing features. The first is YA Reader Appreciation’s Man Crush Monday, the brainchild of Tiffany Truitt, where each day for a week authors chat about interesting details of their books and characters. See the week’s lineup here. Today I feature author Kate Jarvik Birch. (And Shannon Lee Alexander hosts me).
The second feature is Alex C. Cavanaugh’s Underrated Treasures blogfest. The idea? Everyone has a favorite movie, book or band that no one’s heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure! So let’s get to them both, shall we?

Excerpt from Kate’s futuristic YA novel Perfection with Entangled:    


   I hovered at the edge of the party near the pool house and watched as the guests orbited one another.
  “They really went all out, didn’t they?” Penn walked up next to me wearing a crisp black tuxedo.
  I stared. He looked handsome in this change of clothes, polished and refined. His father would be happy to see his son blending in so well with his colleagues. But this new version of him made me nervous.  It wasn’t until I looked up at his tousled hair and warm eyes that I relaxed, grateful that his new clothes couldn’t hide the real him.
  In each of his hands he carried a long fluted glass. “I guess they don’t really get the concept of excess,” he said, handing one of the glasses to me.
  I cradled the glass in my hand and took a tiny sip. The drink was utterly foreign. A million bubbles fizzed in my mouth. “It’s magical,” I said, looking out at the sparkling lights.
  Penn smiled and stared at me before he turned to look out at the crowds of elegant people. Finally he looked back down into his own drink, where the bubbles climbed up the side of the glass like tiny strands of lights. “Sorry for being so cynical. Sometimes my parents bring out the worst in me.”
  We stood silent for a minute, listening to the sounds of the other guests. Their voices were a soft hum, punctuated every now and again by the sound of laughter and clinking glasses.
  After a minute Penn turned back to me. “You look different tonight. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you at first… when I came over. You’re really… beautiful. I guess I’m so used to seeing your hair down, but it’s really nice up like that.”
  “Thank you,” I said, reaching up to touch the thick braid that wrapped around the top of my head. It was the same way I’d worn my hair for years in the training center, but it did feel different tonight.
  “Do you want to go see the dance floor?”
  “I promised your mother that I would stay toward the edge of things. She asked me not to draw too much attention to myself.”
Penn shook his head, as if he should have expected this from his mother. “It’s impossible for you not to draw attention.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the grass. In front of us, the tent was alive with light and noise. A wide wooden dance floor had been laid over the grass at the other end of the tent, and past it, the band stood on top of a small stage pouring music out into the night.
   “I really wanted to dance with you,” Penn said, frowning as he looked out over the crowded floor where his father stood talking with a large group of men.
  The ceiling inside was covered with large lanterns, which reflected off of the glossy wood, and as much as I wanted to stand beneath them , I didn’t want to disobey the congressman’s wife.
  I shook my head. “I’m sorry, Penn. I can’t.” Watching the sweet way his face fell in disappointment made me laugh.
   “Oh, you think hurting my feelings is funny?” he asked.
   “No.” I smiled, covering my face with my hands.
  Penn turned his head away from me, but his smile was impossible to disguise. “Good thing I don’t give up easily,” he said. He pulled me around the corner of the tent and down the dark hill into the shadows. “We’ll just have to dance out here.”
With a quick flick of the wrist, he grabbed me again by the hand and drew me into his chest. My breath caught in my throat. After all the Dance lessons we’d been given at the training center, this was my first time dancing with a man.
   A wild tingling spread through my chest, as if all those tiny bubbles in my drink had begun exploding inside me the moment he began to move me across the grass in a slow waltz. He wasn’t a great dancer, but his arms were firm, his hand warm and strong against my back. I leaned my head on his chest, letting myself breathe in the clean smell of his starched shirt and the lingering fragrance of the bubbly drink on his breath.

Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. Visit her website, her Facebook page, Twitter
Also, check out her YA novel Deliver Me!

Underrated Treasures 

Blogfest is next! 


I pick the book DINOTOPIA! I bought my copy of this lushly illustrated fantasy way back in 1992. It supposes that humans and dinos lived at the same time, and that we domesticated them, using them to ride on and help us do our work. Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“When James Gurney’s Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time first appeared in 1992, it was immediately hailed as a fully imagined world of the caliber of J. R. R. Tolkien’s. Gurney’s premise — of an undiscovered island where a race of mystical humans co-exists in harmony with intelligent dinosaurs — has been since reiterated over and over in numerous films and by scores of other writers. Now, Calla Editions brings Gurney’s spectacular artistry to a new generation in this 20th anniversary edition. Digitally re-rendered from the original transparencies, Gurney’s dramatic panoramas of Dinotopia and close-up character studies of its inhabitants — both human and saurian — take on new vitality. And as a tale of high adventure and discovery told as entries and sketches in journal form, Dinotopia presents a shipwrecked visitor’s glimpse into an imagined social order, a culture, and even a cooperative interspecies technology that will satisfy lovers of fantasy and science fiction of all persuasions. This edition includes a new Afterword written by author James Gurney as well as a special section of behind-the-scenes studies and maquettes he used in developing his paintings.”

Cool, huh? See all of the Dinotopia books here. Then click here and scroll down to the fest links to read other posts about underrated treasures. 
But first, answer me this: what’s your fave underrated treasure? (book, film, band?)

Transformation Tuesday with author Meradeth Houston & a Smokin’ Sci-Fi Boxed Set, Moonbeams and Magic

Thanks so much for hosting me! It’s always so fun to get to visit my favorite places around the web :) Today we’re supposed to be talking about the transformation from an unpublished to published author. Or, basically, how we all ended up finding our way into the publishing world. I know I can’t wait to read about everyone’s journeys!

The ideas behind my novels have come from all over the place. Colors Like Memories, my first published novel, actually first came to me while listening to a song on the radio while driving. I came home, opened a Word file, and got to work! My second novel, The Chemistry of Fate, came to me while writing in my journal (something I do daily–it’s almost compulsive for me), and the “what if?” question of someone revealing a life-altering question that was found by a grandchild. Ideas area all around, and I regularly have a hard time limiting myself to just one or two!

So, while putting this post together, I thought about looking back to see how many rejection letters I received on the two books I queried before I got my first offer. Then, I decided that that would probably be incredibly depressing :) Anyhow, as I said, I wrote, edited, and queried two books before the release of Colors Like Memories. While that was definitely not an easy process, it taught me a ton about writing, my writing, and learning how to sell my work. And it definitely made the offer I finally received that much sweeter!

There are so many options for authors these days for how to publish a novel. My choice to go with small houses is one I have really enjoyed: I get the help I want with editing, copyediting, covers, and some promotion, without having to pay the upfront costs that I can’t afford. I also have some flexibility with the pricing and that’s definitely helpful. Plus, there’s such an awesome community with my houses that the people I’ve met really make all the difference! Hit me up if you have questions! And where do your writing ideas come from?

Meradeth Houston is the author of the Sary Society series: Colors Like Memories, The Chemistry of Fate, and Surrender the Sky. Catch the first two books for just 99 pennies! Soon to be released will be a sci-fi novel with killer aliens: Absence of Light. When she’s not writing, she’s an anthropology professor who talks a whole lot about dead people’s DNA!

Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.comFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and of course her blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now…

All about the Moonbeams and Magic Boxed Set
Four inventive sci-fi novels for only $1.99 from Inkspell, releasing on Sept 23 but available for preorder now! Preorder yours from Amazon or B&N

Antithesis by Kacey Vanderkarr
My name is Gavyn. Liam doesn’t care that I only have one arm. He actually likes my red hair and freckles. I might forgive him for kidnapping me. My name is Gavyn. I lost my Liam. I’ve lost them all. And now it’s my job to make sure they don’t show up again. My name is Gavyn. I had a life with Liam, but he couldn’t give me what I need. Then I killed his father. I don’t expect he’ll forgive me for that.

Bewitched by Mark Jay Harris
Is it love or is it witchcraft? He’ll never find out if he kills her first.

The first time Darren saw Samantha, she was floating above his high school gymnasium during a basketball game, invisible to everyone but him. Next time he sees her, she’s sitting in front of him in class, wowing his friends and causing unexplainable things to happen that only he seems to notice. But things really get strange (and complicated) when his dying grandfather tells him that he is part of an ancient order, the “Pessum Ire,” whose duty is to destroy witches. What does he do now, since he’s almost positive Samantha is a witch…and he’s crushing on her pretty hard?

Colonization by Aubrie Dionne
Finding a new home has never been so dangerous.
Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer
assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius’s ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.
Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn’t expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes
The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.
Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. When the sudden death of his Gran takes him from the East coast to the rugged cliffs of Western Ireland, all that changes. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning
tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?
             ***
Praise for The Star Child:
“Stephanie Keyes is a wonderful voice for a new generation of YA readers. She has skillfully blended mythology and faerie-tale into an original and enthralling story. Pure magick! I’m looking forward to more. – Helen Hart, author, The Black Banner


Praise for Colonization:
Best of 2013 by Paranormal Sisters “Wow, this dystopian kicks butt. Like action packed nonstop and I was hooked from the very first page.”


Praise for Bewitched:
“This is an amazing story. Full of Magic and twist and turns, full of action, and secrets and many surprises. It sure left me wanting more. It’s very well written too.” Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books 


Praise for Antithesis
“I just want to say, I loved this book. It’s nonstop action from page one, Gavyn is awesome and Liam is hotter than a tin roof in august. Nothing got done yesterday, because I had to read this book.” Goodreads Reviewer. 

Are you a sci-fi lover? And what’s an aspect of your own transformation you are proud of?