Monday, April 24, 2017

Author Stop: Jessie Sima

1. Kelp is beyond adorable! Has he changed any from when you first envisioned him, or is the Kelp we see now, the same Kelp that galloped into your imagination from the beginning?

When I first imagined Kelp, he was just a nameless unicorn who lived with narwhals. He was always small and stubby, and he always had a helmet, but the original version went all the way around his horn. Eventually I realized that it made more sense for his horn to just pop through!

Early in the writing process there was a whole back story where Kelp was dropped into the ocean by a stork and was adopted by a narwhal couple. After many drafts, I realized that all of that wasn’t necessary, and I enjoyed the ambiguity of him just being born in the ocean somehow.

2. What is a food that unicorns detest? 

Unicorns have very sensitive tastebuds that can taste colors. They prefer to eat colorful, flavorful foods and don’t really enjoy dull, bland cuisine. Here are some examples of food you should not offer a unicorn:
-Mashed potatoes
-Vanilla ice cream
-Rice cakes

3. What medium do you use to create your illustrations?

I make all of my illustrations digitally using Adobe Photoshop and a Wacom drawing tablet.

4. If a narwhal could become a land animal for a day, where would it visit?

Stonehenge. They’ve heard a lot of speculation about what the stones mean, and the narwhals think they might know the truth.

5. Are there any other mythical creatures you would like to tell a story about? (for the sake of unicorn privacy, I'm just pretending they don't exist..sshh!) 

What mythological creature wouldn’t I like to tell a story about?! One creature that I’d love to write about - but that I can’t figure out how to make work - is the majestic centaur! They’re such interesting creatures, and I wonder what kind of mischief some modern day centaurs could get into.

6. What is a favorite line(s) from Not Quite Narwhal?

One of my favorite lines is, “They took it quite well.”
To give some spoiler-free context, “they” refers to the Narwhals that Kelp grew up with, and “it” refers to a bit of news that Kelp shares with them. This line sums up the conversation in a way that makes me laugh.


Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City.

She grew up in a small town in Southern New Jersey, unaware that she was a storyteller. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well.

Not Quite Narwhal (Simon & Schuster BFYR) is Jessie's debut picture book.

Kelp doesn't mind being a little different from the other narwhals. But when a strong current carries him away, Kelp encounters some mysterious, sparkling creatures who leave him wondering if maybe he isn't a narwhal at all.

Join Kelp on his journey across land and sea as he tries to figure out where he belongs, and what it means for him to be not quite narwhal. 

Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | BAM


And just for fun, the kidlet and I 'made' and decorated unicorn horns! 

Lastly, if you're as enamored by Kelp as I am, then definitely check out You can take a quiz to find out if you're a sea unicorn or a land narwhal, print out coloring pages, or download an activity kit. Lots of good stuff!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

FORGOTTEN Release Day: Excerpt, Guest Post, & Giveaway!

GUEST POST by Kristin Smith:
THE DECEPTION GAME Series Dream Cast of Actors

I've had many fans and readers ask me, after reading CATALYST, if I think the book will be made into a movie. My answer is always something like this:

I'm sure every author dreams of their book making it to the big screen. I mean, who wouldn't want to see their characters come to life like that? But with that thought comes the question: Who would play my main characters?

Well, I've thought about it, and today I'm going to share with you MY dream cast of actors for THE DECEPTION GAME series. You ready for this? :)

1) Sienna: Her personality matches her hair. Fiery. She's strong, sassy, and defiant, and rides an antique Harley she found and restored after her father's death. Although she would disagree, Sienna is naturally beautiful, even if she's the only one of her female peers who isn't genetically modified. I picture Emma Stone as Sienna.

2) Zane: He's the genetically modified poster boy for Chromo 120, his father's genetic modification company. He's kind, thoughtful, and an all-around good guy. It's no wonder Sienna is drawn to him, despite the fact that he has been betrothed since birth to his perfect genetic match. With his strong jaw and hair-you-just-want-to-run-your-hands-through, Alex Pettyfer would be my choice for Zane.

3) Trey: He's the leader of an extremist group called the Fringe, and he's a bit of a bad boy. However, his reputation is misleading. He's strong, loyal, and intelligent, and will do anything to protect those he cares about, especially Sienna. With his dark hair and blue eyes, Brant Daugherty from Pretty Little Liars would make a great Trey.

4) Colonel Radcliffe: This is the man who intercepted the exchange of a stolen computer chip and is now hell-bent on making Sienna suffer. Neal McDonough does an outstanding job as a villain on Arrow. He would be the perfect actor to play my villain, Radcliffe.

5) Chaz: Sienna's best friend is an all-star hacker, helping her break into the most secure locations. Kenan Thompson from SNL would make a perfect Chaz, especially with that smile of his! Such a cutie!

6) Curly (aka Jeb): Curly is a member of the Fringe and provides some great comic relief at times. He has dark curls that flop in his face, earning him the nickname Curly (thanks to Sienna). Nick Jonas (the younger version sporting the curls) would be perfect to play the role of Curly.

7) Trina: Once Sienna joins the Fringe, Trina helps look out for her, thus creating Sienna's first true friendship with another girl. Trina is fun, daring, and not afraid to use her "assets" to get what she wants. Lauren Cohan from The Walking Dead would be an awesome Trina.

So what do you think? Does it sound like an all-star cast of characters? Do you agree with my choices? 

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.
Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.
The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.
When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.

Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


You like to go fast, dont you?I ask with a grin.

She rolls her eyes. I own a motorcycle. What do you think?

I look pointedly at her seat belt. Then youd better buckle up.

Once her belt is snapped into place, I put the car in gear and take off down the Gateway. Its such a long, straight strip of road that its perfect for gaining high speeds. Sienna squeals and throws her head back, and for a second, I get a glimpse of the carefree girl she probably once was. Before her father died, before all that crap went down with Radcliffe, before she met Trey.

Im not too worried about Enforcers, mostly because they dont come around the Gateway until their nightly round up. We have the entire street to ourselves. We speed past towering casinos and tiny chapels. The faster I drive, the wind whipping through Siennas short hair, the deeper her smile, and the lighter her laugh.

Its only the two of us. And a car fast enough to make her forget. As I drive, my only hope is that if she wants to remember, shell try to remember this. Me. Us.

When we get to the end of the Gateway, she turns to me and says with a wide smile, Lets do it again.

So we do.

Author Bio:
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

AT FIRST BLUSH Launch Video!!!

Today is the day!! Beth Ellyn's wonderful book, AT FIRST BLUSH, is now out in the wild. I did a video of a celebration table I made, and I hope you all enjoy! Though please ignore the terrible lighting, as I can never seem to get that right (grumble grumble). 

And if videos aren't your thing, then check out my Instagram account for pictures!

And to Beth: Congratulations on being an officially published author. You've worked hard and long to get here, and now that your wonderfully delightful book has arrived, you deserve every bit of celebration & confetti that today brings with it. Party hard! ;) xoxo!

Finding the perfect lip gloss? Easy.
Finding your way in the world? A whole lot harder . . .

Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can't wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.

But sometimes your dream job isn't all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine's feature subject, musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?

Fans of Zoella's Girl Online will fall right into the world of this YA The Devil Wears Prada and stay hooked from the first blush to the last glossy kiss.


Beth Ellyn Summer writes contemporary young adult fiction that somehow always includes the following elements: fame, makeup, and television. She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in Print and Electronic Journalism. Interning for Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon was the highlight of her college years. When she’s not writing, Beth can be found swatching eyeshadows, solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles, and playing with her adorable cat, Penny Belle. Beth lives on Long Island

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