Friday, May 30, 2014

Teaser Interview with Jessie Humphries

Today, at Unicorn Bell, we have author Jessie Humphries in the HOUSE! Don't forget to stop by and check out her full interview as well as enter to win her new book and a really cool prize! (I won't tell you what it is, you'll have to stop by and find out for yourself!)

Here is a sneak peek of the interview...

About the Author: Jessie Humphries was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She received a BA from San Diego State University, where she cultivated her love of the beach, then lived in France, where she cultivated her weakness for shoes, and finally earned a law degree from UNLV, where she cultivated her interest in justice. After practicing law for several years she began writing, and, appropriately, her debut novel Killing Ruby Rose is a thriller about vigilante justice set in sunny southern California with a shoe-obsessed protagonist. Jessie currently writes and practices law in Las Vegas, where she lives with her husband and children.


In sunny southern California, Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died six months ago, she’s also got a few killer secrets.

To cope with her father’s death, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Mahnolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal), but after months of therapy and more than a few months of pathetic parenting by her mom, District Attorney Jane Rose, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.

But when Ruby ends up killing a murderer in defense of another, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up changing Valentino red for prison orange.

With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?


Teaser Interview with Jessie Humphries

Your YA novel, Killing Ruby Rose, was recently released. What are some of the thoughts and emotions you’ve experienced since its debut?

Since I love bullet points, I’ve got a few for this question ;) 

Some of the things that I experienced leading up to my debut are:
• Nausea
• Ligament pain
• Shortness of breath
• Dizziness
• Insomnia
• Increased appetite
• Decreased appetite
• Irregular libido
• Excessive loud-mouthia
Among other treatable side effects. My treatment consists of scalding hot baths, pick-me-up Coke Zero beverages, and intermittent counseling sessions with friends. 

What inspired you to write Killing Ruby Rose?

I have a secret. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but this book (about a 17 year old serial killer) is actually a tell-all memoir about myself!

Just kidding. I was inspired by two particular stories:

• DEXTER by Jeff Lindsey (which is a book turned into a hit Showtime TV series, about a sociopathic killer who only kills bad dudes); and
• HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter (which is a book about a young girl who is a thief but only steals things for the right reasons). 

I sort of melded these stories together, and voila…Ruby Rose. 

You’re a busy mom, how do you balance all the pieces of your life and still find time for writing?

I find the only time of day that I can focus on writing is at the break of dawn. I swear that my kids can hear creative thoughts forming in my head and will then awake to crush them. So I go to Starbucks around 5:30 or 6:00 am.

If you could have been told one thing that you weren’t told when you were a teenager, what would you like to have heard?

“Stay away from Nick, Corey, Seth, and Dominic (last names are omitted for legal reasons). They are going to break your heart.”

To read more of Jessie's interview or enter to win her Giveaway, please visit Unicorn Bell.

Also, Mark Noce's short story "Meet Me at the Waterfront" is out at Every Day Fiction. Be sure to check it out and leave a comment or stars. It's a great story with an unexpected ending!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sneak Peek -- Author Interview with Stephanie Faris

This is my week to host on Unicorn Bell, the writing and critique blog. I am doing author interviews over there, so here is another teaser to get you to stop by UB today. If you've already done so, thank you!!

                     Teaser Interview with Stephanie Faris:

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing. When she isn’t crafting fiction, Stephanie is indulging her gadget geek side by writing for online technology sites. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

You can follow Stephanie on her blog HERE, or check out her website HERE.


Can a middle school gossip queen change her ways, or will she lose her BFF for good? Find out in this M!X original novel.
Maddie Evans prides herself on being the gossip queen of Troy Middle School. She is the first person her classmates go to when they need the latest news on the ins-and-outs of TMS—and Maddie never disappoints.

Her best friend since birth, Vi, isn’t crazy about Maddie’s penchant for passing on rumors, but it’s never been an issue in their friendship. Until the day Maddie lets slip who Vi is crushing on—in front of her crush.

Vi is furious, and she confronts Maddie with an ultimatum: no gossip for 30 days, or twelve years of sisterhood goes down the drain. Maddie agrees, but only a week into the challenge, she gets one of the juiciest pieces of gossip EVER—something that could affect the future of the school. Will she be able to keep her mouth shut and tame her ways? Or will she be left standing alone with no one to hear her stories?

Interested in reading the book? You can find it HERE.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

For me, I think it was a gradual process. I wanted to be a writer from the first time I picked
up a book, but I think I realized, even at a young age, that writing wasn’t something you
did because you wanted to. Like singing or acting or dancing, it was a talent you either
possessed or didn’t.

It was only once I got to college that I began to feel confident about my writing. I wrote
news stories for the campus TV station every day. I didn’t have an English teacher
standing over me, asking me to diagram sentences or avoid split infinitives. There was a
different structure to a news story. That confidence stayed with me as I left college, which
soon led me to the decision to write my first novel.

Have many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I laughed when I read this question. I started writing in the mid­90s and lost count around
book number 20. My favorite book is always the one I’m currently working on, but I still
have a special place in my heart for the book series that landed my agent. It was called
Ghost Patrol and it was about tween ghost hunters. We came close to getting it published
a couple of times, but by the time we’d shopped it around for years, the idea had already
been done to death by other authors.

If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life again, which year would you choose and why?

I think I’ll stay in 2014! This is the first year I’ve been able to be a full­time writer, so I’m
doing what I love all day. I can’t think of a year in my life that’s more perfect than this.

To read more of the interview with Stephanie and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win an autographed copy of her book, click HERE. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Week on Unicorn Bell!

Well, this is my week on Unicorn Bell, the writing and critique blog. 

I have some amazing authors I've interviewed for this week, and I'd love for you to drop by and find out more about each one of them. I decided to give you a sneak peek of what awaits you over at UB today...

Author Bio:

Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house, and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house...though all things in life are negotiable ;)

You can find her here - Blog // Facebook // Twitter

Mini Blurbs:

Past Due: When Jenna comes nose to well-formed chest with her past, this single mom realizes her happily ever may only come after a painful journey down memory lane. Once love is lost, can it ever be found again?

Healing Summer: The middle child and bad boy of the Coulter line, Craig, swore off women to live the hermit life in Montana. His plan was working until quarter flips at cross roads brought the sweet, suffering, ditched-at-the-altar Mollie to his town and his heart.

Fate Intended: The final Coulter brother, Trip, trades a boring job for a place on a black ops team. He swaps a bitchy girlfriend for a sweet cleaning lady...who may be a Russian mafia princess on the lamb for murder. No matter. Whoever or whatever she is, Jane has Trip's heart in her cross hairs.

Teaser Interview With Elizabeth Seckman 

What books or authors have most influenced your writing?

I wouldn't be writing if it weren't for Dixie Browning. She's a fabulous lady and
prolific author who took the time to offer me a critique and pointers when I was still
head hopping and writing in passive voice. And she gave me the very best advice
ever: READ. Then read some more. Then just tell the story.

How do you receive inspiration for your novels?

Honestly, it's simply a “what if” that grows. For my next novel, a historical, I had
to wonder­ what if there was a character who had the heart of Melanie Wilkes and
spunk of Scarlet O'Hara? From that, Bella's Point was born.

If you were a professional wrestler, what would your ring name be and why?

MomDre the Giant. Why? My son thought it was hilarious.

To read more of Elizabeth's interview and to enter her awesome Giveaway, click Here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Liebster Award

I'm excited (and a bit surprised) to announce that my blog was nominated for a Liebster Award! This award allows fellow bloggers to spotlight blogs that haven’t yet built up a large following. Lori Maclaughlin of Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams nominated me for this award. Lori blogs about her self-publishing journey, and she did a really cool theme for A to Z titled Fictional Favorites where she highlighted some of her favorite fictional characters.

The current rules for accepting this award are:

1. List 11 random facts about myself.
2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated me.
3. Nominate 11 more blogs who have less than 200 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated.
4. Post 11 new questions for those bloggers to answer (if they wish to accept the award — it’s completely optional).

So, here we go!

11 Random Facts About Myself (the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Truth):

  1. I would rather clean the bathroom than clean the kitchen.
  2. I was told by the ultrasound tech that my first child was a girl. Lo and behold, it wasn't a girl, but a bouncing baby boy! Four others followed him. I've often wondered, where did my girl go?
  3. I play the piano and compose music (for fun) on the side. 
  4. It is a dream of mine to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. 
  5. I despise cooking, but I do it so my family won't starve (usually). 
  6. My husband is a better cook than I am. 
  7. I used to dream about being an actress, dancer, or singer (basically anything to get me on TV and in the spotlight). 
  8. I played soccer in high school, which is why I'm forcing encouraging my boys to play also. 
  9. I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed cheerleader in high school. And yes! Cheerleading IS a sport! Trust me, it ain't easy lifting and throwing a 120 pound girl into the air. I got hurt more cheerleading than I ever did playing soccer! 
  10. I'm a baby when it comes to swallowing pills. Anything larger than an Advil and it's not going down! 
  11. I once completed a triathlon and felt like a SUPERSTAR!

11 Questions Asked by the Person Who Nominated Me

1) What is the best place you’ve visited?

Belize. Absolutely beautiful. The lush jungles, combined with the Mayan ruins, combined with the turquoise waters and beautiful beaches made for an exciting, adventurous, as well as relaxing vacation.

2) What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done?

I don't know if this is all that unusual, but I tend to be a "thrill-seeker," so I convinced my husband to take me parasailing during a trip to Key West. Way cool.

3) What’s your favorite movie?

Hmmm, this is a hard one. Titanic? Or maybe, You've Got Mail? Although, I do love The Notebook...I love romantic comedies, and even though Titanic isn't a romantic comedy, it is a classic.

4) What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

It's a toss-up between Mint Chocolate Oreo and Chocolate Moose Tracks. Both are YUM!

5) What fictional character do you like best?

Katniss from The Hunger Games. She is strong, intelligent, devoted, and she doesn't take crap from anyone. And it would be cool to be able to shoot a bow as well as she does. Just saying.

6) What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Divergent by Veronica Roth. I've talked about this already in my What's Up Wednesday post, but her books have inspired me.

7) Why should people read and follow your blog?

Because it's AWESOME! No, really, I think there's something for everyone here. If you're a parent, you can relate to the joys, triumphs, and frustrations of parenthood. If you're a writer, you can relate to the joys, triumphs, and frustrations of being a writer. If you're a published author, you can offer encouragement and advice! :)

8) Morning person or night owl?

Definitely, a night owl! I find I do my best writing after all my kids are asleep, in between the hours of 9:00 pm and 1:00 am. I can't give up that time -- my time -- when no one is calling "Mom!" or needing food, or wanting my attention, no matter how tired I am the next day!

9) What’s at the top of your bucket list?

To become a published author.

10) What do you consider your most important personality trait?

I think I'm a really good listener, which is probably why random people I meet in the grocery store tell me their life story. Throughout my life, I've found this to be true. I'm not a "fixer", meaning I don't try to help fix the problem, but I am good at listening. Don't we all need a good listener from time to time?

11) Have you ever performed or been the recipient of a random act of kindness and what was it?

Yes! I have been the recipient of many random acts of kindness but the one that comes to mind happened not too long ago in our local grocery store. I had my two youngest boys with me (I think I've told this story on here before, so sorry!) and they were seated in those carts that look like race cars with two little steering wheels so the kids can pretend to drive. Well...The two-year-old bit the four-year-old and started a chain reaction of hitting and screaming. They were both crying as I hurried through the store to get the last items on my list, when an older woman (grandmotherly type) came up to me and asked if they could have these cookies she had bought. The cookies were wrapped, character cookies from the bakery. The boys immediately stopped crying and I was able to finish my shopping before they were done with their cookies! I was so thankful for that sweet woman who went out of her way to make my life easier, and my day better.

Now for the nominations of other great blogs!

  1. Melanie Crouse -- Melanie is the co-author of Alchemy, the first book in the Prophecy Breakers series. I met Melanie during all the A to Z craziness and turns out she and I have a lot in common! Melanie blogs about life, family, and writing.
  2. Heather Belle --Heather is a busy mom and wife who writes AMAZING 5 minute prompts on her blog Belle's Bazaar.
  3. Heather Holden -- Heather is an amazingly talented artist and creator of the insanely cool comic Echo Effect featuring Coco and Nicholas. 
  4. S.K. Anthony -- S.K. is a mother, writer, and an official "make-stuff-up-er." She wrote a hilarious A to Z where she came up with her own words she titled S.K.-isms. 
  5. Liz Blocker -- Liz is a talented writer whose A to Z posts gave us an inside look into her current WIP. I was blown away -- both by the writing and how she is able to weave the story through six different lifetimes. So cool!
  6. Le&ndra Wallace -- Leandra is a YA writer with a super fun blog where she talks about books and writing, and often highlights other authors. 
  7. Madeline Mora-Summonte -- Madeline is a very talented writer who specializes in flash fiction. Her A to Z short stories were the highlight of my A to Z experience, and many of them gave me the chills. Truly wonderful writing!
  8. Erin Funk -- Erin and her sister Jaime Morrow are the creators of the awesome weekly blog hop What's Up Wednesday where writers can connect with one another, spread encouragement, and offer words of wisdom.
  9. Jaime Morrow -- For the same reason as above, Jaime rocks for creating such a cool blog hop and the adorable badges to go with it.
  10. Chrys Fey -- Chrys writes a blog about writing a novel and has great tips and advice for doing it RIGHT! 
  11. Lynda Dietz -- Lynda is an editor with a fantastic blog about books and editing.
Last, but not least, the 11 Questions for the Nominees to Answer (Should you choose to accept):

  1. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
  2. Who is your favorite superhero?
  3. If your house were burning down, what would you take and why?
  4. If you had a time machine, what year would you travel to and why?
  5. What are you afraid of?
  6. What's the best book you've read in the past year?
  7. What is the best vacation you've ever had?
  8. What's your biggest pet peeve?
  9. What's your favorite love story? (movie or book)
  10. What is the best thing you've done in your life?
  11. List five adjectives to describe yourself.

Congrats to the nominees! Looking forward to reading your answers, should you choose to accept!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's Up Wednesday & An Announcement


I've been a bit of a lame blogger lately. I apologize if I haven't visited your blog in a while, I will try to remedy that ASAP!! With summer coming and my current manuscript sucking my spare time, I find myself less on the blogging scene. But, I am glad that I have WUW to keep me accountable with my blogging, writing, and reading.

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by sisters Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers connect on this writing journey.

I am currently reading Insurgent, the second book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series. I seriously love these books and the world she created. I find myself saying out loud, "That was a good line. A really good line." I love it when a writer makes me think like that!

I crossed genre's and am working on the first draft of my own Divergent series. Just kidding. But it is a YA dystopian novel (with romantic elements--of course!) Even though I'm at 70,000 words, I still have a long way to go to get it in the right shape.

Truthfully? The Divergent series. I love it when a book draws me in and I'm lost in the story. When I stay up too late at night because I can't put it down. That's what Veronica's books have done to me, and I feel inspired because that's the kind of writer I want to be. I don't just want to write a good story. I want to write a story that pulls the reader in and makes them think about it long after the last page is read. It's an art. It's a talent, and I'm struggling to find it, develop it, and strap it to my back.

Well, I know what I haven't been doing...Sleeping! I find myself to be most productive in my writing AFTER the kids are asleep, in between the hours of 9:00 pm -1:00 am. I love having a few interrupted hours where it is just me, my laptop, my music, my characters, and my ideas (it's a nighttime party!) Although, I have been known to nod off from time to time, but then again, a little power nap never hurts!

Also, I'm excited to announce that the amazing Lori Maclaughlin nominated me for a Liebster Award! Hoo-Rah!! Be sure to stop back on Friday where I post all the details, answer some questions about myself, and nominate a few others. Hmm, will you be one of them...

Have a wonderful week! See you Friday! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

I recently joined a weekly blog hop created by sisters Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers connect on this writing journey. I thought What's Up Wednesday would be a good way for me to review my progress during the week and stay motivated to read and write (especially now that I have some accountability!)

So, here goes...

I'm almost done reading Killing Ruby Rose, the debut novel by Jessie Humphries. I love the main character, Ruby Rose, and her saucy personality. I've laughed out loud several times because she is just so dang funny, and this is a YA Contemporary thriller! Jessie has done a great job of weaving in the danger, romance, and teenage humor.

I am neck-deep in my YA dystopian novel (part one of a Trilogy). I told my hubs I only wanted two things for Mother's Day -- a clean house and time to write. Thankfully, he let me do that most of the day on Saturday while he and the boys mopped the floor. Win win!!

My children. I just want to create something they would be excited to read. I want them to think, "I have the coolest mom, ever." So I'm taking it easy on the romance and leaning more towards exciting elements and a fast-paced plot. We'll see what happens.

Oh, boy. Where to begin...I have baseball games coming out the ying yang. We are in our final week of regular season baseball before playoffs begin, and I am about to vomit baseballs. If I have to sit and watch another baseball game, I might scream. Literally. Unfortunately, we've had a game every night this week and will continue to have one every night except Friday. Ahhh! Can't wait for the season to be over!

Also, my little man is turning 5 and wants a Frozen party. If you've checked out my blog at all, you might have noticed I have a page dedicated to Parties. I LOVE planning and throwing parties, so I've got to get crackin' on this Frozen bash. I'll keep you updated on how it turns out. 

Mostly, I'm ready for school to be over. I'm tired of driving kids back and forth to school, I'm sick of the homework and projects, and I'm done with baseball! (Did I mention that already?)

Hope you're having a good week! What are you up to?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG and Tagged: My Writing Process

I decided to cheat a little and combine the IWSG post and My Writing Process tag in one long post, so please, bear with me!


The Insecure Writer's Support Group posts the first Wednesday of every month. It is an opportunity to air our concerns, insecurities, triumphs, and failures as a writer. It has been a wonderful support group for me so far as a new member. You can find other member's posts here.

Tagged: My Writing Process

YA author, Sheri Larsen tagged me in this blog tour where I'm to share my method for generating ideas, mapping out those ideas, and eventually writing those ideas down.

Represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary, Sheri's vineyard-set YA novel is currently on submission to publishers and she's working on a middle grade novel titled Motley Education:The Urd Saga. To find out more about Sheri, you can visit her blog here.

My Writing Process:

What am I working on now?

Where to begin...I am all over the place right now. I'm working on getting my first novel, a contemporary romance novel titled Letting Go, published. I'm also in the process of revising my second contemporary romance novel tentatively titled, Jaunt in Jasper. In addition, I have a YA novel set partly in South Africa that I'm finishing/revising/editing, and another YA novel I am rewriting with the hopes of making it into a trilogy. I decided to go a completely different direction with this novel and while I am excited about doing something totally different, it will be a bit of a challenge for me, but a welcome one at the same time.

How does my book differ from others within its genre?

I'll talk mostly about my completed manuscript, Letting Go. It is a sweet romance with inspirational undertones, elements of suspense, bits of humor, tear-jerker moments, and themes of hope and forgiveness. It is a story of a young mother struggling to raise her four small children after the death of her husband. Hope comes in the form of a handsome stranger who takes a keen interest in her and her children. As he weaves his way into her heart and life, this young mother dreams about a new future filled with love and possibilities. Problem is, the man she's fallen for harbors a past and a shameful secret that will tear them apart.

Why do I write what I do?

I think I'm drawn to writing romance because I love being in love. I love the feeling, the thoughts, the emotions, and I LOVE to hear others romantic stories. There's nothing better than the onset of a sweet, tender romance or the battle for an unattainable love. As the mother of five boys, I'm surrounded by all things boy related: swords (plastic, of course), frogs, Matchbox cars, trucks, dirt, and messes. In this world of boys, I'm drawn to the feminine part of me that wants to read and write about sweet romance. I think that's why I lean towards contemporary romance or YA with romantic elements. There will probably ALWAYS be some sort of romance somewhere in my books. Gotta have it! :)

How does my writing process work?

An idea forms in my mind, sometimes in the most random places. I can be inspired by a movie, a song, a conversation, a dream. Then I see scenes in my mind like a movie reel. When I see the scenes, I run to my computer and begin typing. I don't always go in order while writing the book. If a scene or dialogue pops in my brain and it's nowhere near where I left off in my writing, I'll just write it and save it until I get to that part of the book. I don't usually outline. I love that sometimes I start writing a book and think it will go in one direction and the next thing I know, it is heading down a completely different path. I let the ideas flow and see where it takes me. Sometimes it evolves and takes on a life of its own and I'm just the tool to get it on paper.

With this latest YA novel I'm working on, it's pretty intense so I'm trying to do an outline. The problem is I have two different versions of the same book going on, one on paper and the other in my brain. Still trying to figure out how to mesh the two...

What's your writing process like?

Continue following the Process of Writing Tour and see how others hammer out their stories.


Stephanie Faris, Liz Blocker, Melanie Crouse

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cover Reveal: 25 Roses by Stephanie Faris

It's Cover Reveal time for Stephanie Faris' latest novel, 25 Roses. And here's the beautiful cover!

 Valentine's Day means one thing at Stanton Middle School: students will send each other chocolate roses. Each year, Mia Hartley watches while the same group of students gets roses and everyone else is left out. This year, she decides things will be different. As the student assigned to write names on the cards, Mia purchases 25 roses and writes her own cards, designating them to 25 people she's personally chosen. But she soon learns that playing matchmaker is much more complicated than she thought it would be.

About the Author:

My first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, is now available from Simon & Schuster's Aladdin M!x, with my second book, 25 Roses, coming out in 2015. I am represented by Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary Agency. I live in Nashville with my husband. Visit my website: 

You can also follow Stephanie on her blog HERE.

Congratulations to Stephanie!! Doesn't her cover look AWESOME! Have you read her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip?

This is a Blog Hop/ Blog Party so be sure to check out the others in this fun hop HERE.