Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Double Negative by C.Lee McKenzie

Title: Double Negative
Author: C. Lee McKenzie

Author Bio:C. Lee McKenzie is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets. She writes most of the time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can.

She takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Her short story, Premeditated Cat, appears in the anthology, The First Time, and her Into the Sea of Dew is part of a collection, Two and Twenty Dark Tales. In 2012, her first middle grade novel, Alligators Overhead, came out.

Summary: Hutchison Mc Queen is a sixteen-year-old smart kid who screws up regularly. He’s a member of Larkston High’s loser clique, the boy who’s on his way to nowhere—unless juvenile hall counts as a destination. He squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. When that doesn’t work, he goes to Fat Nyla, the one some mean girls are out to get and a person who’s in on his secret—he can barely read. And then Maggie happens. For twenty-five years she’s saved boys from their own bad choices. But she may not have time to save Hutch. Alzheimer’s disease is steadily stealing her keen mind.

Genre: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Category: Young Adult
Available: July 25 from Evernight Teen

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Journey of the Personal Essay

I started giving a summer class for high school seniors on writing the personal essay for college applications and/or scholarships. I had six young people show up and was impressed by the dynamics in the room. Some were shy, others more outspoken, but all of them had no clue about the college admission process.

They are first generation college bound students.

As I'm a sucker for quotes, I pulled out some in the beginning of class.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” Stephen King

“Make up a new voice that will inspire you, a voice that will say whatever you need to hear and will drown out all the other negative voices, both real and imaginary.”-Courage & Craft

“One reason to write is to own, literally and figuratively, the moments of your life.”  Barbara Abercrombie

“We go into the self to escape the prison of self. We are aware of the perils—but we wish to love the world; and the world is terrible for those who do not know themselves.” –Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

The journey of the self is continuous. We are always in motion.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The importance of a family vacation

I'm back!

After visiting family, driving up narrow mountain roads, exploring caves with bats and cockroaches! eww..., and swimming in clear water beaches I've learned the importance of a family vacation.

With no internet, no Xbox, and no cable I loved watching my boys talk to each other, play games, explore the caves and look for exotic fish. Not once did they complain about their Xbox, or fight for the TV. Not once did they complain about having to sleep in one room. They were even nice with their little sister. I missed spending quality time with them. I missed watching them act as brothers and sister. These are the memories I will cherish, and I hope they will too.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Summer!

I haven't taken a family vacation since this picture was taken! 
And off I go!
Catch y'all in three weeks!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Edge of Truth Celebrates 1 and a giveaway!

Edge of Truth (YA Dystopian) is officially 1-year old today!
In celebration, Natasha Hanova is hosting a big giveaway with book contributions from multiple authors. Since June 6, 2013, Edge of Truth has landed a spot on Amazon's Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction and Dystopian Top 100 List, earned an average review rating of 4+ stars, got facelift a.k.a. new cover, and now has bonus content. Please be sure to enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win chocolate, an Amazon Gift card, or free books.
First, enjoy this short excerpt of Rena watching Nevan perform on stage. In addition to her ability to trigger earthquakes, Rena can sense the tiniest ground vibrations.
As Rena approached the stage, the drums’ pulse crawled up through the bottom of her feet, though it didn’t make her nauseous like earthquakes did. It tickled her soles and delighted her heart. She pushed her way through the crowd, eager for a spot close enough to catch sight of Nevan. The band members took turns playing solo, but the current one didn’t play like Nevan. Even with the steady beat, some onlookers couldn’t catch the rhythm and their sporadic movements raked her nerves. She stood on her toes, attempting to see more of the stage, but was still too far away.
The music changed, the tempo intensified. She recognized Nevan’s style and felt torn between continuing to search for Blaze and watching him. If she didn’t take this opportunity to see his solo, she’d have to wait a whole year. He looked good, now and every other time she saw him. Watching him perform on stage was different. It made her feel like a musical thread tethered them.
She wanted less space between her and that thread. Remembering the boulders ringing the stage, she made her way to the first one she spotted. She slipped off her shoes and stashed them in her backpack, before she climbed up.
Rena connected with the sound waves flowing through the rock seconds before she spotted Nevan. He wore a pair of blue jean shorts and a saffron gold V-neck shirt. The short sleeves of the fitted material hugged his biceps. Her lips parted as sudden warmth surged through her body.
Nevan played with abandoned fervor, eyes closed and lower lip between his teeth, his hands thumped away at the drumheads. Somehow, he managed to keep hold of the bongos while he danced on his seat. Even his dreadlocks rollicked as his head bopped to the rhythm. Joy flowed from him and spread through the crowd. Soon, almost everyone danced along. Like back-up singers, a number of people infused the music with their fingers snapping, hands clapping, and scat singing.
Rena swelled with pride she had no right to claim as his song morphed into something so emotionally raw, it gripped the very essence of her. Right there on that boulder, she danced. And didn’t care who saw. Her body dipped and swayed in perfect time as if she knew his improvised song by heart, as if he’d written it for her alone. She wrapped herself in the thought, that she was Nevan’s muse, and everyone else, everything else disappeared.
The powerful beat pulled her deeper into his song. Exquisite vibrations rolled from the stage as if their only purpose was to delight her soles. She closed her eyes, gave into the pleasure, and settled her feet against the rough grain of the boulder. The sound climbed up her calves, liquefied her knees, and continued to her stomach. It grew warm, tingly. She wanted to laugh with joy.
Nevan picked up the tempo, making her want to sink to the ground and more thoroughly tighten the tether between them. She opened her eyes, willing herself to remain upright, and barely succeeded. The crowd erupted with applause as his solo slowed. The next drummer would take over soon. By the look on the guy’s face, he was upset about following that performance. Eyes still closed, and a triumphant smile on his face, Nevan’s thumps softened. His eyes finally opened to half-slits, dazed and fierce at the same time.
They focused on her.
And that was the sad thing about one-way crushes. She could fantasize all she wanted, but in the end, him looking at her was probably only a coincidence. On the boulder, she stood elevated above most people. Humiliating herself in front of him once, was enough. With the rhythm of his song etched into her soles, she took a step back and fell.
A nearby woman gasped. Her floral scented hair brushed Rena’s hand when she bent to help her to her feet. “Are you hurt?”
“Nothing but my dignity,” Rena grumbled as she dusted off the back of her dress and straightened her necklace.
NatashaHanovaAbout the Author Natasha Hanova is an award-winning author of young adult and adult dark fantasy/paranormal fiction. Edge of Truth (June 2013) is her debut novel. Her short stories appear in multiple anthologies. She loves nibbling Peanut M&Ms while reading paranormal, dark fantasy, and/or dystopian books with heavy doses of romance. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and children. Find her blog at  
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Click here to check out the website.

I'm going the indie route! I keep saying that and the more I do the more nervous I get. Sending out submissions is pie (pie is hard to make, by the way), publishing with a small press...I'm good. But going at it alone?  I'm freaking out.

I have an editor.
Cover designer.
I learned how to format.
on and on...but everything falls on me. Me, me, and me. And that is terrifying. When should I finally let it go into the world?  I have no clue. I'm going through the motions, but do I have the nerve to upload. I don't know. 

I keep finding excuses.

I have a full out with an agent for another project. Should I wait?
Summer is a bad time to publish. Should I wait?


Okay, I know this is what I want to do. I am going to do it. But it doesn't stop the insecurities I feel.

Any advice?

Friday, May 30, 2014

OTHERBORN New Cover Reveal

Otherborn Synopsis, short:

Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London keeps an impossible secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. Her friends are seeing themselves in “night pictures” too, as beings from another world. Together they uncover the story of their avatars, astral shamans they call Otherborn.

When one Otherborn is murdered and another goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their Otherborn to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them?

Author Blurbs:

"Anna Silver weaves a dark new world full of taut suspense and characters that leap off the page." –Sophie Jordan, NYT bestselling author of the Firelight trilogy

"Travel to a world where dreaming is a radical act that can save the world… Anna Silver’s post-apocalyptic vision is rich with imagery and metaphysical ideas, grounded by vivid, three-dimensional characters. A truly fresh take on dystopian." –Nina Berry, author of the OTHERKIN series

“Silver built the right amount of conflict and tension to draw readers into her dystopian world, and created characters who are leery, yet determined to embrace New.” –Natasha Hanova, author of Edge of Truth
Author Bio:

Anna Silver is an author and artist living in the greater Houston area with her family, pets, and overactive imagination. Her art has been featured in the Houston gallery Las Manos Magicas. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. She's freelanced for private clients and small publications like the Hill Country Current. OTHERBORN, her first published novel, has been featured on 2 of Amazon's "Bestsellers" lists. ASTRAL TIDE is her second published novel.


Buy links:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Other works by author:

Congrats Anna!