Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blog Tour/Guest Post: Author Lori MacLaughlin

I am super excited to have Lori MacLaughlin on my blog today talking about her writing space. Since Lori knows how much I love design and decorating, she thought it would be cool to tell us a little about where she writes. Lori's debut novel LADY, THY NAME IS TROUBLE released in February, and I just love the cover. Isn't it amazing?


And now, here's Lori to tell us about her writing space. And if you're a sucker for bookshelves and the "library feel" like I am, you're gonna love it! :)

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My Writing Space!
Today on Kristin's blog, I'm revealing my mini-library / writing space! Thank you, Kristin, for having me here!

When I write, I hide away in my little space where I can focus on my stories without a lot of distractions... other than the antics of the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks out the window.


This has to be the cleanest my desk has been in years, which is a good thing since I work better in an uncluttered space. Knowing what a good interior designer Kristin is, I'm sure she could give me some decorating tips. I'm obviously obsessed with partial to The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I tend to surround myself with things that inspire me.


My writing space used to be a small bedroom, until I had the good fortune to walk into a Borders bookstore when they were going out of business and discovered they were selling their six-foot bookshelves for a ridiculously cheap price. Six of them found their way to my house, and my mini-library was born.


As you can see, bookshelves can hold many things — like toys! My Lego Hobbit sets are starting to take over...


This is my kids' side of the room. It used to be a closet, but we had the closet doors and wall taken out to expand the space a bit more. I think they have more books than I do. That's my old fried computer on the floor. I'm trying to resurrect it with a new hard drive. It's an ongoing project.

The most important thing about my space is that it has good vibes. I can go in there and relax and lose myself in my stories. What more could a writer ask for?

Thanks for visiting my writing space! What's your special writing space like?

Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @LLMacL


Lady, THY NAME IS TROUBLE


Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos... and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.

Available at:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring into Projects

With spring right around the corner and warmer days ahead, it's that time of year when people turn to yard work, spring cleaning, and fun DIY projects. I've been busy with a few projects of my own!

For starters, I spent days trying to give my blog a "new look." It's so different from what I had before that I'm still trying to decide if I love it. What do you think?

Also, over the weekend I FINALLY hung pictures I've been meaning to hang for over two years, ever since we moved into our new house. I knew I wanted to create a picture wall, so I found the box of pictures, grabbed a few other wall decorations I've been saving, and spent Saturday afternoon creating it. I still need to update the pictures, but I figure I have at least another two years before I start to feel guilty! :)

Here's how it turned out.


BEFORE:


AFTER: 

To achieve this look, buy lots of frames (I found most of mine at Michael's and Home Goods), print off your favorite pics (I decided to use black and white because I love how they look with the black and white frames), add a few other wall decor items (ampersand, giant 'S', clock, quote blocks, etc), and Voila! 

I think the key is to lay it out on the ground first, exactly like you want it. Make sure you measure the wall you want to put it on as well as the actual display on the ground. I quickly realized that my arrangement was a lot larger than some of the walls I considered putting it on. That's how it ended up in the hall at the top of the stairs, which turned out to be the perfect place for it. :)

And the great thing about a picture wall is that it doesn't have to be perfect! If you look closely (er, don't, actually) you'll see that mine isn't perfectly symmetrical. And that's okay. At least, that's what I tell myself. :)

So, that's it for me. What have you been up to? Are you working on any fun projects? Are you ready for spring?

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Darkness Within Trailer Reveal

I'm excited to be able to reveal Kelly Hashway's trailer for her latest novel, THE DARKNESS WITHIN. And check out what people are saying about the first novel in this series—THE MONSTER WITHIN.


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The Darkness Within:
After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 

Magic. 

Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

Title: The Darkness Within (The Monster Within #2)
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN:  9781633920217
Release Date: 6/2/2015
Formats: Paper, e-book 



And here's the first book in the series:

The Monster Within


The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.
     She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.
     But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Title: The Monster Within
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN:  978-1-937053-85-7
Release Date: 6/17/2014
Formats: Paper, e-book 





What people are saying about The Monster Within:
"An intense read and original plot. Kelly Hashway's THE MONSTER WITHIN carries a noir vibe that will leave you in chills." ~Jen Murgia, author of Forest of Whispers

"Hashway does a great job creating characters that stir your emotions and a mystery you want to unravel."  Cherie Colyer, author of the EMBRACE and HOLD TIGHT

“Witches, lies, black magic, murder…and the ultimate act of selfless love. Kelly Hashway has a spellbinding hit with “The Monster Within…” ~Michelle Pickett, Bestselling author of “PODs”



"Resurrection has a dark price. The Monster Within is a fast paced and twisted read that will keep you guessing to the end." ~Heather Reid, author of Pretty Dark Nothing


About Kelly Hashway:
Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. 

Find Kelly Online:
Website: www.kellyhashway.com
Blog: http://kellyhashway.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyhashway 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kellyhashway
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KellyHashway 

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kellyhashway/ 


And if you get a minute, be sure to stop by Unicorn Bell and read my interview with Lori MacLaughlin, author of LADY, THY NAME IS TROUBLE. Lori shares a quirky habit she has and what she would most like to do if she wasn't afraid. Stop by to find out what she said! 

Oh, and what do you think of my new blog design? Tell me, tell me please!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March IWSG and Teaser Interview with Megan Miranda

Today is the day for an IWSG posting but it also happens to be the day I'm posting a teaser interview, so I decided to mesh the two posts and see how it turns out! :)

Hosted by the amazing ninja himself—Alex Cavanaugh—the IWSG is where we post our insecurities, fears, triumphs, etc. It's never too late to join the IWSG, and if you're interested, you can go HERE.



Today on Unicorn Bell, I'm featuring my interview with acclaimed YA author Megan Miranda. I'm super excited because Megan happens to be one of my favorite YA authors! Some of her books include: FRACTURE (which I LOVED), VENGEANCE (another great one), HYSTERIA (in my TBR pile), and her latest release, SOULPRINT (currently reading).























I met Megan a few months ago at the SCBWI writer's conference in Charlotte, and when I realized she and I lived not too far from one another, I was ecstatic. We recently met and chatted over coffee and hot cocoa, and through sharing her stories and experiences, she inspired me to keep on this writing, querying, and publishing journey.

Everyone's journey is different. And I have to accept that. I truly believe (and hope) that if I don't lose sight of my dream, one day I can call myself a published author. Especially with wonderful people like Megan (And all of you!) in my cheering corner.

So, without further ado, enjoy the teaser interview and don't forget to stop by Unicorn Bell to read the rest!

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I absolutely love the premise for SOULPRINT. What inspired you to write the novel?

Thank you! The idea for Soulprint came from a question I had years ago, when I was studying science in school. We had been learning about the human genome project—where scientists were mapping each section of our DNA to what it coded for—and I wondered: what if scientists found the soul? What would that look like? What would that mean? How could we use that….and, in the case of this story, how might that be used against us?



Tell us something nobody knows about you.

Oh man, that nobody knows? Okay. *I* am the one who ate all that missing Halloween candy, kids.



List five adjectives to describe yourself.

Type-A. Caffeinated (at the moment). Uncoordinated. Short. Not-a-morning-person.



If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

Well, not to be totally creepy, but…. Pretend to be a ghost? Levitate objects? Move things around and freak people out? All in the name of book research, of course!



To read the rest of my interview with Megan, please visit Unicorn Bell! Thanks!



Book Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned on a secluded island—not for a crime she committed in this lifetime, but one done by her past self. Her very soul is like a fingerprint, carried from one life to the next—and Alina is sick of being guilty.

Aided by three teens with their own ulterior motives, Alina manages to escape. Although she’s not sure she can trust any of them, she soon finds herself drawn to Cameron, the most enigmatic and alluring of the trio. But when she uncovers clues from her past life, secrets begin to unravel and Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat history.

This stunning “new world” romance from acclaimed author Megan Miranda will leave readers wondering how far they would go to escape the past.





Author bio:

Megan Miranda is the author of the young adult novels Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, and Soulprint (all from Bloomsbury). Her debut adult suspense novel will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2016. Megan has a degree in Biology from MIT and currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two children.


You can find Megan here: Website

You can buy SOULPRINT here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble







Monday, March 2, 2015

Teaser Interview with Lisa Buie-Collard

It's that time again! It's my week to host Unicorn Bell, and I had the opportunity to interview some amazing authors. Sooo, here's a little sneak peek of my interview with Lisa Buie-Collard. Lisa's novel The Seventh Man released in January, and she was kind enough to answer some of my crazy questions!

Here's your teaser...



What was your inspiration for the story?

First it was my infatuations for the actors Sean Bean and John Hannah. If it ever made it to the big screen, it seemed like a movie they might actually do. Second, I read a story about the amount of CCTV (over 1 million) cameras used in the UK, more than in any other country thanks in part to the IRA. Here is one article similar to what I read:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/02/cctv-cameras-watching-surveillance  Third, I love mysteries. I love London. I love York. I wanted to write a mystery tied to those places.

What are some books in your TBR (To Be Read) pile?


Oh boy, sure you want to open that pandora’s box?
I want to read some YA like
Woven, co-authored by David P. King and Michael Jensen
Sudden Secrets and The Great Timelock Disaster by C. Lee McKenzie
The second in the series about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Sci Fi; Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Romances like,
Indiscreet by Mary Balogh
Laughing Hawk by Linda Katmarian
Anything by Kristi Gold

And we haven’t even gotten to the suspense or mysteries, of which there are more than too many.


What makes you unique?

My DNA? Ha ha. Seriously, I think if there is one thing that makes me unique, it might be my take on life and emotions. I’ve been called na├»ve before and probably will be again, but I pay attention to my “emotional” intelligence more, sometimes, than my brain. Besides that? You’d have to ask my husband, my kids and my mom.


If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?


Hmmm… “That 70s Girl?” or 80s or 90s? I don’t know. I find it hard to think in terms of my entire life. I think the times we live in do define us to a point. I’ve just finished watching a program done in the UK that started in 1964 and follows 14 seven year-old children right up to present day. It’s called the “Up Series” and I found it fascinating. In the last installment they were 56. The next installment doesn’t come out for another three or four years. I’ll be looking for it.


To read more of my interview with Lisa, please visit Unicorn Bell.



When a young writer is kidnapped by a man who can't be seen, her only hope of escape rests on the one London cop who believes in ghosts.

On a cold, white, before-Christmas day, an assassin completes a job only to be pursued by police. Dodging through crowded city streets, the assassin nabs a young woman for cover.
Celia Wight, a reclusive American writer is shopping between engagements during a book tour. When a knife is pressed against her back, she loses her tenuous grasp on her carefully controlled existence.
Assigned to the homicide case, Detective Alban Thain, of the Metropolitan Police, suspects an assassin he calls the Wraith. The problem is, only Thain believes the assassin exists. Disregarding the consequences, Thain, who is the only one who believes there is a connection between the murder and the kidnapping, will do whatever it takes to exploit the Wraith’s first and only mistake: the kidnapping of an innocent bystander—if she is innocent.

Available now in EBook and TreeBook (soft cover) on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RUE8GOG

About the Author:
Lisa is a mother, wife, sister, and daughter, has waited tables, been a dental assistant, teacher, journalist, gardener and architectural administrative assistant. She's traveled in Europe, New Zealand, and the US. French and English are her languages of preference, with a little Spanish on the side. She grew up in Florida, lived four years in Georgia before moving to Texas for eighteen years. For the moment, she once again lives in Georgia. She writes full time and has completed six novels.

Review: This gripping story of revenge, passion, and longing is no mere police procedural but an exciting page turner that will have you wondering, to the end, who will outwit whom. Not to be missed! Linda Ellis, The Editing Place

Photo credit: Steven Heddon

Links:
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