Monday, October 17, 2016

Author Stop: Imani Josey & The Blazing Star

1. The Blazing Star appears to have a strong sister theme. Do you have a sister? Or (like me) did you always wish for one?

So great of you to notice! I gravitate towards sisterhood in my writing as I’m one of three girls (no brothers, though I always wanted one). I’m in the middle (even though my little sister is significantly younger than my older sister and me, making her experience more like growing up as an only child). I had Portia and Alex (Portia is the protagonist of this story, and Alex is her genius twin) in my head for awhile before I started writing, but when I realized they were sisters, the words started to come. It was like, Oh, I get this relationship.

I also like exploring sibling relationships because in many YA stories, the protagonist is an orphan or any only child, or is much older than their siblings so they’re more like a substitute parent. I thought that was interesting, because so many people have siblings and outside of your parents, it’s the first relationship you’re navigating. No one knows you like your siblings. My older sister told me literally yesterday, “You’re the longest relationship I’ve ever had.”

2. What is your favorite weekend activity?

My favorite weekend activity is inactivity. My life can get hectic some (all of the) time, so when I get time to do nothing, I savor it.

3. Can you share some interesting things about Egypt (part of the TBS's setting) with us?

I find ancient Egypt fascinating! The Blazing Star is a semi-historical fantasy set in present day Chicago and ancient Waset (Thebes/Luxor). In the book, Portia has an encounter with a scarab beetle ornament in her history class (our inciting incident). Scarabs were sacred to the ancient Egyptians, represented in amulets and jewelry. The ancients were intrigued by the beetles as they seemed to emerge from the burrow from where they were born. The ancients called them kheprer and associated them with the sun/creator god Khepri. Portia wears her blue scarab throughout the book.

4. How does your writing process work? Do you stick to a certain formula, or does it vary from book to book?

The Blazing Star is my first book, so I had to discover my book-writing process. I’d written articles, short stories, plays, and novellas for my friends, but learning how to write a book was a different animal. When it comes to writing, I see the scenes first. The first scene I wrote in The Blazing Star is now Chapter 28-Swordplay. For awhile I was stringing scenes together (yep, pantser) and then after a lot of editing, I learned I had to start outlining. Even if the outline’s points change (AND THEY WILL), you need to have SOME idea of where you’re going. I also like to write in the morning (6 am-10am), and preferably away from home (and on a desktop).

5. Quick! Which is cuter: baby pandas or baby otters?

Baby otters! Have you seen the otter snacking video????

6. Please share a favorite line(s) from TBS.

Hahaha! I shouldn’t laugh but oh well, here are a few:

· “As expected, a dumb freshman had strayed and they batted her around like maniacal kittens with a ball of yarn.”

· “I didn’t know if she won the Academic Decathlon or the Miss America Pageant.”

· “You are like the sun.”


Imani Josey is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. In her previous life, she was a cheerleader for the Chicago Bulls and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Her one-act play, Grace, was produced by Pegasus Players Theatre Chicago after winning the 19th Annual Young Playwrights Festival. In recent years, she has turned her sights to long-form fiction. She now spends the majority of her time working on backstory, teaching dance fitness classes, and cuddling with her American bulldog, Thor. The Blazing Star is her debut novel.

Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius.

But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?

She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.


Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.

As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Everyone Loves Cupcakes (Ain't that the Truth) Review

Goodreads | Amazon

I am just pleased as punch over this cute picture book. If you're a foodie, read it! The nods to food references all through out the book were just the best. 

Such as: "I'm an early riser." Said by a loaf of bread
And: "I would love to, but I have to take a bath". Said by a tea bag.
And too: "I don't really like New York." Said by a piece of cheesecake.

Plus, we have Angel Food Cake loving everyone, Muffin blowing his top (snicker), and a cookie that happens to be smart. The illustrations were delightful and made me wish I could be transported to a bakery as soon as I got to the end. 

And I'm for sure going to be picking up Everyone Loves Bacon (yup!) by the author Kelly DiPucchio, and illustrator, Eric Wight. Which reminds me, when I was at my local bakery a few weeks ago, they had Maple Bacon Cupcakes. It's like Everyone Loves Cupcake and Eveyone One Loves Bacon had a baby! =)

What about you? Do you love cupcakes and/or bacon?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Beyond the Ever Reach

Beyond the Ever Reach by Everly Frost
Genre: YA science-fiction

In a world where nobody can be killed, one girl will change it all.

In an alternate version of today’s Earth, everyone is invincible. Since the beginning, people have been able to heal so fast that nobody can be killed. The normal lifespan ranges hundreds of years. Despite all that, Ava Holland is afraid of death. When the unthinkable happens, her only ally is the boy she should fear the most. Michael Bradley is the strongest, fastest healer anyone’s ever seen. But Michael has secrets too.Together, they run from a society that rejects them. Michael seeks redemption and Ava seeks safety, but when the truth is revealed, it’s up to Ava to save them both.

About the Author:

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Everly Frost grew up in a country town, lived for a little while in Japan, and worked for several years in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Now, Everly lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Friday, October 7, 2016

New Release: The Impending Possession of Scarlet Wakebridge- Rose

S.L. Saboviec's latest release is just in time for Halloween, with a tale of supernatural menance, strained family ties, and unavoidable destiny:

Scarlet Wakebridge-Rosé, busy executive and less-than-stellar mother and wife, has a problem that only an exorcist can solve. Except she’s not precisely a devout Catholic parishioner any longer, and to gain assistance from the Church means telling a whopping lie of omission.

Fortunately, she discovers Father Angelo Ambrosio, whose commitment to helping the afflicted means he’s willing to overlook the things Scarlet prefers to keep hidden. Unfortunately, his sordid past keeps him under a microscope with the bishop, who’s not so liberal in his views.

But the demon harassing Scarlet is relentless. It makes its motives clear: in a previous life, she struck a bargain, promising it her body on her fiftieth birthday. Now, she and Angelo must unravel the mystery surrounding her forgotten past in order to stop the possession by next week or risk losing her to the depths of Hell forever.

This stand-alone novel set in the Fallen Redemption universe extends the series to modern day. Enter a world where humans reincarnate, demons interfere in daily life, and the currents of fate carry us all to our destinies.

99 cent Sale!

Until the end of release week, The Impending Possession of Scarlet Wakebridge-Rosé is 99 cents through Kindle and free through Kindle Unlimited! Don’t wait – the price goes up to next Monday.

About the Author

Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but became an expat for her Canadian husband, whom she met in the Massive Multi-player Online Role-Playing Game Star Wars: Galaxies (before the NGE, of course). She holds a B.S. in Physics, which qualifies her to B.S. about physics and occasionally do some math for the sci-fi stories she concocts. Her dark, thought-provoking science fiction & fantasy contains flawed, relatable characters and themes that challenge the status quo.

Her short fiction has appeared in AE and Grievous Angel, and her debut novel received an honorable mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG: Can I Just Be Done Already?

The IWSG is a community where writers can share their fears and insecurities about the writing life. To learn more, check out their website here.

Well, all, there's not much new with me. I'm still drafting, still going slooowly, and becoming a bit frustrated with myself. I wanted to write this book in 3 months (my personal best so far). Then I saw that wasn't going to happen, so I decided 5 months would be my new deadline. 

5 months has come and gone, and now I'm determined to finish by the end of October, which will have me completing the first draft in 7 months. Which I know is still good, and that I shouldn't be hard on myself when I have a day job and a kidlet and things like trash that needs taking out, and clean clothes that need worn and floors that don't crunch underfoot. 

That aside, I'm anxious to get into revisions and start making this book into something more than a hot mess. So I just need to use October to get it DONE. I've already decided I'm going to go buy myself a new shirt when that happens too. And maybe drink a glass of sparkling grape juice (what I like to do to feel fancy). ;) 


And! In other news, my cp, Kristin Smith, has a fun contest going on. To find out how to win this:

Oooh, the pretty!!

Just go here. (Kristin's Instagram page)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Release: Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain

Congrats to L.X. Cain on her newest release! Sounds like a perfectly creepy read for the season we're in (which is fall in these parts, which means...Halloween!). =)

Lightning flashes. Another child disappears…

When Zorka Circus performs, its big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, there are fewer children in the European towns it leaves behind.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the international performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. Nevertheless, he's determined to find the culprit and stop them before anyone else dies and the only place he can call home is ripped apart by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravediggers and ghoulish bloodwalkers. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict rules, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable.

“YA horror novelist Cain (Soul Cutter) steps right up to the center ring in this captivating shocker of children disappearing after the circus comes to town.” ~ Publishers Weekly


L.X. Cain was born in the U.S. but now lives on the Red Sea and busily taps away at a laptop, coming up with stories to thrill and entertain readers.

Contact L.X. Cain at:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

CIRCUITS & SLIPPERS Release Day Celebration!!!

Today is the day, hurray!! 

Click here to visit my Pinterest page for Prina and the Pea.

And now...time for cupcakes!! 

These are strawberry cupcakes (box b/c sometimes easy is best) with vanilla buttercream frosting (homemade b/c it tastes so much better than store-bought!). And to keep with the theme of the fairy tale I retold, it made perfect sense to go with:

The Princess and the Pea Cupcakes

Do my fabric-wrapped books look like mattresses? ;)


A collection of retold fairy tales with a science fiction twist.

Rapunzel is a soldier, the last remaining member of the human race, locked in a zoological tower on an alien planet. Doctor Belle must remain in quarantine with a powerful politician who has contracted a beastly disease. Jack sells his arm for a chance up the Stalk, the space elevator he hopes will take him to his fortune.

These twenty stories will take you across the galaxy, exploring new technology alongside aliens and cyborgs, princes and evil stepmothers, and telling your favorite classic tales like you've never seen them before.

Goodreads | Amazon

And finally a huge thank you to the editor of Circuits & Slippers, Jaylee James!! Without J's vision and drive, this anthology would never have happened. I very much appreciate your hard work, and the opportunity to have Prina and the Pea included with so many amazing stories. Thank you!!!