Friday, November 22, 2013

Sally Ember and This Changes Everything

Who is Sally Ember ?

Sally Ember, Ed.D., is a published, nonfiction author and produced playwright (children's theatre, Crystal Dreams; Grading System for adults) whose sci-fi romance/speculative fiction, YA, New Adult and adult series, The Spanners, starts with Volume I, The Changes Everything, uploaded in e-book format by Smashwords and for sale December 20, 2013 at ebook retailers worldwide. Volumes II - X are planned. Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is coming out in Spring, 2014, and the others are in various draft stages.

Sally also has short stories and articles published in Out of the Kitchen, a journal available in the 1980s in print format only. She has co-written, edited, and proofread many nonfiction books and worked for a some magazines in the early 2000's.

Sally, what inspired you to start writing?

I've been writing since I was in 2nd grade: stories, songs, articles, plays, in my journal, letters, emails, posts online; nonfiction and fiction. My first story, "Princess Why," was published in the school newspaper and I believed I would be world famous from that. I sat on the couch by our picture window that overlooked our busy street and had a view of the school parking lot day after day for months, reading, looking out the window regularly. I was waiting for the news trucks and reporters to arrive. They never did....
Well, I may become world-famous...just a lot later than that, and not from that!  Help me get world-famous!  That 7-year-old is waiting for her tiara!

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!):

Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land was pivotal in my life as a reader and a writer. Read it when I was 15; re-read a few times since. Not knowing that, one of my reviewers, Alexander Crommich, compared TCE to that and just about made me fall off my chair in delight!

Your favourite genre and why?:

I love well-written, uplifting, inspiring sci fi, sci-fi/romance, and speculative fiction veering into fantasy (but without a lot of techno-speak, gnomes, elves, and dragons and definitely not a lot of battles). I like to visit other worlds, other versions of this world, and other universes that are written so well as to be captivating, seemingly "right here" in my life. Thanks to every author who has that gift, which I strongly aspire to acquire.

Tell us about This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series:

After several millennia of mostly secret visits and contact with Earthers, members of the Many Worlds Collective (MWC) Council decide that a liaison, dubbed the Chief Communicator (CC) must be contacted and that this contact must be made public in order to avert multiple types of disasters on Earth. The visiting members of the MWC come in hologram form to the selected CC (Clara Branon, 58, living in northern California) for the first time on December 21, 2012.
As a “Spanner,” Branon is one of millions of “Baby Boomers” who survive across two centuries and bridge the divide (hence, “Spanners”) between nonpublic and public contact with the MWC and many other major changes that occur during these decades.
This Changes Everything is the first of The Spanners series, which chronicles the public contact between the CC and the MWC and the impact of these contacts on Earthers and the MWC over the over 30 years that Branon is the CC.

Can you share a favourite snippet from your book:

From Chapter One,  This Changes Everything, Volume I,  The Spanners Series,in which Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., first meets the visitors from the Many World Collective:
my mind is racing through possibilities. They are aliens! I am feeling excited and intensely interested. I assume that if they meant to harm me, Id be harmed, already, so I am rapidly becoming less scared. Brimming with questions and curiosity, I go right over to them.
My upbringing kicks in, maybe because they are around my dining table, and I ask them kind of automatically,"Would you like some tea or something cold to drink? Are you hungry? Then, I laugh, and they make some noises that must be their ways of showing amusement; they arent here; they are holograms. They cant eat or drink anything. Duh.
I sit down in my chair which they seem to know is mine because it isnt blocked or occupied. I look towards them, expectantly, and realize I dont know where to look. Only one of them has anything resembling eyes, and the other four do not even really have anything I would call a face. Still, reflexively, I guess, I keep my focus on their upper bodies uppermost sections and on the zeppelins middle.
I ask, How may I be of service? Why have you come to see me?

Does your book try to convey any message for the reader?

I strongly believe that Earth is in serious trouble, politically, economically, environmentally, socially: in every way. I do wish we could be rescued by stronger, more intelligent, compassionate, capable beings! How would things change if Earthers are certain that we are not "alone"?
Fascinated by physics, multiple timelines/multiverse concepts, alien life and psi phenomena, family relationships, world affairs and the environment, and unrequited/requited love, I have incorporated all of these themes and topics into my sci-fi novels.
I also believe in the inherent intelligence and value of all species, so interspecies communication between equals both on Earth and off-planet becomes central to the Series. 

What inspired you to write this series?
I'm not sure exactly what "inspired" me to write this series. One night in February, 2012, I was awakened by a very clear voice that said: WRITE. I went to the computer, hearing sentences and seeing scenes in my mind. Five hours later, most of the first Chapter, all of the summaries for all the Volumes, and the Chapter outline for Volume I were drafted. I kept going from there and finished the first draft of Volume I, over 80,000 words, in 8 weeks.
I feel very driven. Part of the reason is that I identify a lot with Clara. The line between fiction and nonfiction is very blurred in these Volumes, intentionally, and my life seems that way sometimes as well. I'm curious as to what the readers will decide is "real".

Who are your target readers?
I place these novels in the sci-fi romance/speculative fiction genres, targeting adult, YA and New Adult audiences. Buddhist, physicists, sci-fi/speculative fiction readers, paranormal romance readers, aspiring/actual UFO-logists will all like this series.
The narrative is unique in that it includes history, poetry, literature, music/lyrics, science and technological advances, paranormal skills, law and government, Buddhism and other religions, meditation, social-emotional intelligence, time and space travel, interspecies communication, and social/futuristic depictions of the Earth, post-MWC public contact.

Any tips for aspiring authors?:

I still consider myself an "aspiring author," I suppose! The tips I provide and use myself are usually having to do with the types of perspectives I bring to first drafts vs. subsequent drafts and revision, and each requires a different point of view, in my opinion. 

Being wide open, allowing it all to flow and not self-censoring for first drafts work best for me. Except for typos or wrong words, I just write and do not revise. Then, I usually let is sit for a little while and write other things before returning to it for a first look at the first draft from a revision point of view.

I tend to write backwards a lot, meaning, the best or most importart of a sentence or section, or even the book, are not written first or initially placed at the beginning. I am now in the habit of "flipping" sentence pieces, chapter sections, entire chapters, until I find the right sequence.

My drafts go through many revisions,as I said,but some are very minor. Some are major. At several points, I re-arranged almost all the chapters: working with multiple narrators, timelines and topics allows me to do that. 

Another tip: if you know your grammar, sentence structure and/or spelling are not up to professional standards, you HAVE to get a professional editor. I can't tell you how many uploaded excerpts, even titles and blurbs, I stop reading because of typos, poor grammar and just bad writing, even though I enjoy or think I would like the topic, plot or characters. 
Important: Don't use sexist, racist or outdated language

Upcoming news and plans for the future?

Volume I, The Changes Everything, has been uploaded in e-book format via Smashwords and is available there and on iBooks, nook and Kobo for pre-orders 11/5- 12/19 at half-price ($1.99). Release date at full price ($3.99), to all retailers, is 12/20/13. Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, narrated by young adults and new adults exclusively, is in the final revision stages and set to release Spring, 2014. Volumes III - X are in various draft stages.

I change my books based on readers' suggestions! Also, I would be delighted to visit your Book Club or class if you are using one or more of the books in The Spanners Series. Ask me to co-develop curricula, projects and activities for your group/class members!

I am experimenting with CROWDCREATING sections or entire upcoming Volumes of The Spanners Series. If you'd like to participate, please email and tell me a little about what Volume or portion you'd like to help create! Put "CROWDCREATOR" in the subject line.

I'm being interviewed LIVE on BlogTalkRadio's SciFi station, by Will Wilson, 11 AM EDT, 12/27/13, and available in the archives after that:

Please write a review and give This Changes Everything a rating on SMASHWORDS, iBooks, Kobo, nook, whatever retailer you use for ebooks, as well as many other sites that bring readers to this book:,

Many thanks to Sally for sharing with us. For more info on Sally and her writing, check out the links below.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ashley Matthews and Pausing Apocalypse

On this chilly Canadian morning, I would like you all to meet Ashley Matthews, author and member of the CIR group. I really love sharing my page with other authors, and with you. Hope you find his interview as interesting as I did! Enjoy :o)


Born in Sussex in the mid 60’s, he grew up and went to school on the coast of the south of England in the UK. Following that and a move to Kent, writing was just a personal hobby only seen by a few. Various job roles including - gardener, porter, nursing, shop assistant and office assistant kept it that way. A family of two sons left little time for much else. When a period of unemployment and family break up followed, the thought of writing became more than just a dream. Having completed two novels and self published one of them, he is currently looking towards writing full time.

I had the pleasure of interviewing him recently, this is what he had to say:

Could you share a little about yourself and what led you to become a writer?

I guess it would be a bit of a cliché to say I had always wanted to be a writer but one of my earliest memories of it comes from an English lesson. School in the 1970’s was a very different place to schools now a days and would never really think of myself as the academic type - unlike my two sons who have succeeded very well.

It was never my favourite place, but there was one small light in that very dark tunnel. An English teacher I had a bit of a crush on.

I remember she set us homework to write a short story from an opening line she gave us. In fact it turned into a bit of a competition between my friend Mark and me to see who could write the longest story. By the time we handed them in, I had filled three exercise books. I wouldn’t say it was any good - actually I can’t even remember the story, but my teacher being very diplomatic gave us both ‘A’s.

Various girlfriends after leaving school prompted the usual flow of poetry. Stories though eluded me. I would start something then have another idea and move on to that. So nothing ever got finished.

A family and two children put everything on a permanent hold as life’s priorities changed and it wasn’t until after that relationship had broken, that writing rose its little head again.

I began writing ‘Pausing Apocalypse’ with the encouragement of a friend. My main aim was just to finish it and two years later I completed the last page. Initially, I sent it out to three agents - though only got two replies, while I moved on to my next novel ‘The Postbox’.

Not having enough self-confidence to line a matchbox, Pausing Apocalypse got forgotten about until I ended up talking to a girl on the bus who asked to read it. So I dug it out and started editing. A year later I had my first novel on Amazon.

Do you write full time? How much of your life is set aside for writing?

Living in the UK, I am currently classed as unemployed so can’t officially spend more than 16 hours a week writing. I received my first payment from Amazon this week and will have the job centre take most of that off me. I want to write full time and am in the process of trying to become self-employed. Then I plan on spending 30 hours + on writing and marketing.

Could you tell us a little about your novel?

Pausing Apocalypse tells the story of two children, Jen and Luke who’s lives are falling apart around them. Although ultimately aimed to be epic in scale within the trilogy, the story opens on a more personal level as the two children discover they possess the souls needed to save humankind from destruction.

Jen, bullied at school and hating her home life, is handed a letter that may have the address of her real father. Following a violent confrontation with her step father, she decides her only option is to run away. But nothing ever goes to plan.

Luke also finds himself in the middle of an argument that has fatal consequences and leaves him lost and alone. An old man who calls himself Barak finds him wandering in the woods and spins tales of destiny, souls and a deadly darkness that threatens to consume all in its path. The only thing that can save the world are three souls. Luke possesses one, Jen the next, but the third is lost.

Luke has to save Jen before they can hope to save the world.

Would you take us on a brief tour of your novel and the world you’ve created?

Planned as an epic trilogy under the title ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’, Pausing Apocalypse is set in a modern contemporary world that is slowly being distorted by an approaching darkness. The sequel, Standing At The Edge Of The World planned for a 2014 release will expand that world into the past, while the final book will stretch out into the near future and a final confrontation with the darkness that threatens to consume everything in its path.

Where does the inspiration for your main character and story come from?

Inspiration for the overall story stems from many sources. I would say a big guiding light for me would have been ‘His Dark Materials’ by Phillip Pullman. Like his story, I wanted to write something set within an epic background, but from an individual and personal perspective.

The initial idea was also to have a mini cliff-hanger at the end of each chapter much like the old Saturday morning children’s TV shows. Successive edits and rewrites may have lost some of those, but hopefully the need to read the next chapter remains.

I would say the basis of the main character Jen - although a girl - was initially based on myself, while Luke’s character was designed as a foil for her. Much like the story, they each grew as it developed.

What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life?

I watch a lot of films as well as reading books and the message a film contains will to some extent govern how much I like it. For example, one of my favourite movies is ‘Magnolia’ and the message I feel that contains is - How much can someone do and still be forgiven for?

With my book I would like to think the message would be - How far are you prepared to go to save those you love?

Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow? If you use an outline, how detailed is it?

My stories tend to evolve on their own which can be a very scary thought as I never know where they are heading or where they will end up. They can also start from very unlikely sources.

One of my more recent projects ‘Not Every Cloud’ took just a girls name to spark it. My son posted something on Facebook, this particular girl I don’t even know ‘liked’ it and from just seeing her name, a story evolved.

It’s not always as easy as that, but generally I’ll start with a title or opening line. Next, I usually come up with an ending and writing the story becomes a journey from one to the other.

What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years? How much research went into it?

Pausing Apocalypse began many years ago as more of a hobby than anything and was a personal test to see if I had it in me to write a whole book. I think in that I succeeded.

Research wise, not a lot was really needed. Mainly just the origins of a couple of names I used within the book. With the sequel being set mainly in 1941, that will need a lot more and I am looking forward to doing that part.

How does this book differ from what you have written in the past?

I have completed three novels so far, two of which are Young Adult. I enjoy writing for that age group and have three other stories, including the sequel to Pausing Apocalypse, in some form of written progress at the moment.

My other novel ‘The Postbox’, I would class as adult drama. I am probably going to release that in the new year as a series of novellas.

How have the changes in present day publishing impacted your schedule as a writer?

Although newly introduced to Amazon’s self-publishing service, it has definitely given me the inspiration and urge to write more. Previously only ever having something I had written being read by someone I know, getting positive feedback from total strangers is the best feeling to someone like myself with low self-confidence.

How do you handle marketing? Do you have a plan, a publicist or just take one day at a time?

I think a plan for marketing is definitely the best way of going about it, unfortunately that escapes me at the moment. I tend to just wing it - as you say, take one day at a time. That can be a bad thing, as other commitments and setbacks will distract from the constant need to sell yourself to who ever will listen - and even those who won’t.

Social media is these days the main marketing tool, but I am trying also to raise a local profile to with plans to donate copies of my book to local libraries and schools.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I would say to ‘read, write, read, learn and lose yourself.’
Writing is more than just putting words together into sentences. You have to be able to attach a little emotion and a tiny part of yourself to each of them.

Could you tell us what you’re working on now?

I have a few projects in the pipeline that I am really excited about.

‘Not Every Cloud’ is a young adult novel about a 10 year old boy struggling with everything life throws at him, until a girl moves in next door who appears to hold the answers for him. But in his hour of need, is she all she seems to be?
Due for release in January.

‘The Postbox’ is about a family struggling to survive following a tragic accident. Told in 8 separate novellas from the individual perspectives of those left behind.
The first is due to be released in January.

‘Meg Knows’ is also a young adult novel I am currently writing and tells the extraordinary life of a 14 year old girl. Told through her unique voice, you will meet all the important people in her life that made her who she was. Because without them, she would never have been able to do what was needed in the heart-wrenching climax.
Due for release February/March

‘Standing At The Edge Of The World’. The highly anticipated sequel to Pausing Apocalypse is due for release summer 2014.

I have other ideas and stories rolling around in my head, so as long as the words keep flowing, so should the novels.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, it was quite interesting to read what you had to say. 

Pausing Apocalypse

How far would you go to save the ones you love?
Would you be prepared to do whatever it takes?
For 13 year old Jen and Luke life couldn’t get any worse 
- then destiny shows its hand and the world tumbles around them.
Before they can save anyone, they have to save each other, but would either of them be prepared to make that ultimate sacrifice?

“How can something so important be just down to me … to us? We aren’t anything special.”

The first thirteen years of Jen’s life have not been happy, so how could anything get any worse? Then the appearance of a letter lead events spiralling way beyond her control.
Luke is also thirteen, but holds a secret that won’t stay hidden. One moment of a fateful evening changes everything for him.
Then there is the old man Barak, who seems to hold answers to questions they didn’t even know existed.
They are just two children that seem to have been abandoned by life itself, until they discover they have a destiny that could not only save their lives, but change the world forever.
So with the world on the brink of destruction from forces beyond imagining, events out of their control are about to lead them to a point even destiny hides away from.

from chapter 21

Jen was a little girl again running down the stairs in her Winnie-the-Pooh pyjamas. She came like a whirlwind into the living room only to be halted instantly by the sight before her. The lights, the sparkling tinsel. The wonder and awe of the Christmas tree with all the brightly wrapped boxes spread out underneath. But mainly the colours. Lots of colours.

She could see the smiling faces of her mother and father together. Her sister looking so young and excited. A special day in so many ways. She could smell the pine mixing delicately with her mother’s perfume and the remnant aroma of last night’s dinner.

Then she was moving again towards the sparkling bows and ribbons and glittering paper. One big box caught her eye and as she went to grab it, her mother’s voice rang out.

“That’s my girl, that’s my little Jennifer. You open that one.”

Within moments she was ripping off the wrapping. The small scraps of shiny paper danced about her as she tore and threw the bits off until all she was left with was a plain white box. There were no pictures or writing on it to give a clue to the wonders she knew would be inside. After all, this was Christmas and every parcel contained something special, didn’t it?

Unable to resist the temptation and desire to open it, she pulled off the tape that held down the lid and prepared herself to extract the treasures inside. But all she found was emptiness and her enormous disappointment. Jen’s smile disappeared and she thought about trying another parcel, but found herself unable to put down the one in her hands.

“What you got then?” Liz asked with unknowing enthusiasm.

But Jen couldn’t answer. She just stared at the nothingness inside until it appeared to burst out like a Jack-in-the-box and consume all around her. The tinsel and baubles, the lights on the tree, the smiling faces. They all faded away until she was left with just the voice of her mother in the darkness.

“Wake up, please wake up!”

Jen was no longer that little girl with Christmas in her eyes. She was older, knew things she didn’t know back then. Like the fact her mother was dead. She had put flowers on her grave, got angry, wept in secret so no one would see. She couldn’t be here.

“Wake up, please wake up!”

How could it be her voice?


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Casey Bond and Winter Shadows

As promised, we're back to share some of the amazing authors from the CIR group (Clean Indie Reads). Why am I excited about this? Well for one, this is a great group of authors, and another, they have some pretty interesting books. Books that can be handed over to your family and children without worrying about inappropriate content. 

So, let's get started. I would like you to meet Casey Bond, author of Winter Shadows. 

Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and two beautiful daughters. She received her Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Legal Studies in 2003 from Marshall University. Winter Shadows is her first published novel, but another is currently in production with Tate Publishing and expected to be released in the Spring of 2014!


Could you share a little about yourself and what led you to become a writer? 
I am a stay-at-home mom. I write when my littlest naps and oldest is at school, or after they both go to bed.  I have always had a love of reading and writing. My degree from Marshall University (Go Herd) is in Criminal Justice, which has nothing to do with either. But, I fell in love with the subject matter and went with it. I wrote Winter Shadows, my debut novel , while in the last trimester of pregnancy with my youngest daughter. I was miserable, uncomfortable and unable to sleep, so I began to type!

Wow, I wish I could have written during my last trimester. My brain refused to function, I just couldn't think! My daughter is now 2 months old, and I am finally settling back into the final edits of my YA novel and sequel to AMethyst Eyes.

OK, so you obviously do not have the luxury of writing whenever you want. How much of your life is set aside for writing?
I do not write full-time. In fact, I’m lucky to squeak out a chapter or so a week. Things are slow going in the writing department. I want to stay home with my kids while they are young. When they both get into school, I will have more free time to write. For now, I am happy writing when I can and enjoying my babies while they are little.
I agree...our babies grow up too fast and I wouldn't want to miss a thing.

Could you tell us a little about your novel? 

Winter Shadows is a young adult dystopian novel packed with suspense and a little romance. It is clean and family-friendly, but filled with twists and turns. The government tells citizens that there is a pandemic and at first, opens quarantine encampments to those who volunteer to go into them. Soon, it is mandated that all must enter the camps. On her nineteenth birthday, Claire and her father, along with some other members of their Church and community, go into hiding in a rural system of caves. They choose freedom, not trusting the government’s word that the pandemic is even real.
Claire is uprooted from her home. She misses her mother, who had passed away from cancer. She is depressed and angry at God. Ethan, her best friend, comforts her. Loves her. He wants to be more than friends. She meets an outsider, Colin, whom she keeps secret from her family. But that secret isn’t meant to be kept and soon, she finds that not all is as it should be. She has to choose between infatuation and love and learn the difference between the two.
Claire must learn to stand on her own two feet, so to speak. She learns to fish, shoot a bow and arrow, hunt, raise a vegetable garden. She becomes confident and finds strength in her own abilities and in God once again.  Living beneath the government’s radar provides its own challenges. Follow Claire as she learns to live again, re-establishes her faith and finds true love. Definitely a lot to keep the reader busy going on here. 

Where does the inspiration for you main character and story come from? 
The story is set in my home state of West Virginia, in coal country. The beauty of the region was a huge influence for the setting and feel of the book.  Claire is an embodiment of most women. At times we question ourselves. Sometimes we get depressed and angry. But, we are resilient creatures--beautiful and strong. She makes mistakes, dusts herself off and gets back up.

What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life?
I didn’t have a specific message in mind as I typed, but have since found three important messages within the writing. The first is that human beings are survivors. Knock us down and we will get back up swinging. We are smart and resourceful and given the opportunity, we will survive in any instance. The second is from Claire. She suffers a crisis in faith. I read a quote from Joyce Meyer once that said, “Get angry with God. He can take it.” I firmly believe that. He can take it. He can take your anger and make it into something better and more beautiful than before. Losing faith completely and turning our backs on Him is what puts us in danger. Thirdly, no one, no matter how bad or how far gone is outside of God’s saving grace. And, that is one of the most beautiful things about our Creator’s love. Sounds amazing.

Now I'm going to hit you with the technical side of writing. Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow? If you use an outline, how detailed is it? 
Honestly, I wish I could outline the novel and type it out as I go. But, I can’t. I just don’t work that way. Or my brain doesn’t, anyway. I have a very general idea of beginning, middle and end and type along toward those ideas. The characters themselves lead me. Yes! That's my favorite part about being an author...when the characters come to life and you follow, pen in hand.

What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years? How much research went into it?
I literally wrote the first draft in a couple of months. I spent another editing and then started to submit it. I researched generally online, but most of the book came from my imagination.

How do you handle marketing? Do you have a plan, a publicist or just take one day at a time? 
I am active on social media sites and promote myself as much as time allows. I do have a publicist as well. Winter Shadows just released October 29, 2013. I have had a few book signings in my local area with great success and support from residents of West Virginia. I’ve had one radio interview as well! I hope to have more signings to announce soon. I always post those on my facebook author page and on my website. It sounds like you're off and running. That's wonderful!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 
Yes. I see a lot of advice online. The number one thing I read tells budding authors to write every day or write X number of words per day. I disagree wholeheartedly. If you love writing, it cannot be made into a chore. Write when you feel inspired to do so, it will be so much better. It will be more fun for you, too. Don’t give up if you don’t find an agent or publisher. This is a difficult industry. Keep your chin up. Bad reviews are reviews. Learn from them. Enjoy the good ones! Celebrate them! If you choose to self-publish, hire a really good editor, formatter and someone to make a great cover.  It may cost a bit up front. But, the cover is the first thing people see and they do judge a book by its cover.  If a book isn’t formatted well, people will turn away from it. I have a few typos in mine, unfortunately. They aren’t anything major and to my knowledge there are three. I had it edited twice and went through it myself at least a dozen times before publication and they still slipped through. Those few mistakes have cost me a star on a couple of reviews. The reviewers stated they would have given me five instead of four if it hadn’t been for the few grammatical errors. So, that’s my advice, in a nutshell! Good Luck! Truly sound advice.

Could you tell us what you’re working on now?
Sure! I have a YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy in production with Tate Publishing now. It is projected to be released in the Spring of 2014! I have a New Adult manuscript finished and am editing it and have submitted it to a few agents and publishers (fingers  are crossed)! We're rooting for you! Let us know how it works out. I also am writing a new YA Dystopian for NaNoWriMo! I have completed 38,400 words and have 11,600 to go to meet the goal set by NaNo of 50,000. The book will be more in the 65-75,000 range though when finished.  
I have Pinterest boards of all my books and works in progress! Follow me and see how I envision my characters and settings!

Thank you for joining us here, Casey. It was a pleasure to get to know you.
I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read this interview and/or my book! Writing is my passion and I love to share it with those whose passion is reading! J

Here is an EXCERPT from the book: 
I was almost to the hill’s summit and the unforgiving creature wouldn’t stop coming toward me. It sniffed around, but left the bucket, fish and all, down below. Then, it started to pick up its pace. There was no way I could outrun it. I knew I had no choice but to try to shoot it. I grabbed an arrow and nocked it, pulling the bowstring in a taught line that grazed my right cheek. My hands were shaking and I was so scared my teeth were chatting. This is it. I shut my eyes and winced, not wanting to kill
the animal. Then, I heard the beast let out a painful sounding scream and thump to the ground as it fell backwards. I looked in my hands and the arrow was still there. I hadn’t let it go. What had happened? 

I looked above and behind me to the top of the hill and that’s when I saw him. He was standing there with his bow still in his hand. It had been his arrow that pierced the bear. Though he had saved me, I was more afraid of him than I had been of the bear. I just stood there and stared at him, my mouth hanging open in disbelief. A million questions flooded my mind. Who was he? Where had he come from? How long had he been watching me?

This is what people are saying about Winter Shadows: 
“I really enjoyed this book, even more so than I did The Hunger Games. Where The Hunger Games seemed overly sensationalistic to me, Winter Shadows feels more down-to-earth, the characters and the scenarios that play out felt more relatable and meaningful.”  –Author Paul Yoder
“Parents would enjoy this book and have nothing to be concerned with even a very young YA reading it. It is totally ‘Family’ oriented. “– L.A. Worley
“I feel in love with all three of the main characters. SO MANY EMOTIONS! It was rough, heartbreaking and beautiful. Overall, if you enjoy dystopians, mystery and sweet guys then you need this book!”--JANNA Horlick
“This dystopian book is a great story of survival, friendship, becoming self-reliant and discovering love.”—Amy
“A captivating Apocalyptic and Christian suspense tale with surprising twists and turns, Winter Shadows will not disappoint readers who enjoy either genre.”—Pauline Creeden, Author
“Winter Shadows is absolutely incredible. From page one, readers are absolutely intrigued and it just keeps getting better.”—Author Brittany Oldroyd
“I would recommend this to any avid reader who enjoys sleepless nights followed by pot of coffee before work the next day. It was that hard to put down.”—Author Rachael Brownell

“I enjoyed watching Claire develop her sense of community and following the romance elements to unexpected fruition. It was a really interesting story and a nice clean alternative to some of the edgier dystopian stories out there.”—Kasey Giard

If you want to contact Casey or get a copy of her book, you can look here:
You can reach her at her website/blog at
Twitter @authorcaseybond,   
Like her FB author page  
Winter Shadows page  Pinterest
Find her on Goodreads at

Links to Purchase Winter Shadows:
Barnes & Noble—
Author Website

Our author has a playlist to offer you to go with her novel: 

Radioactive—Imagine Dragons                                  
Safe and Sound—Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars     
See You Again—Carrie Underwood                
Just A Kiss—Lady Antebellum                                   
Kingdom Come—The Civil Wars        
Innocence—Avril Lavigne                              
Contagious—Avril Lavigne                            
I Will Possess Your Heart—Death Cab for Cutie        
Devil’s Backbone—The Civil Wars                              
Rainy Season—Hunter Hayes                         
I Am Woman—Jordin Sparks                         
Demons—Imagine Dragons                            
Everything has Changed—Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran    
Last Kiss—Taylor Swift                                               
Better Than a Hallelujah—Amy Grant                       
Cosmic Love—Florence and the Machines     
Whom Shall I Fear—Chris Tomblin

OK, a final taste of this wonderful novel:

Excerpt 2:
Slashed in differing directions, the sky bled bright orange, contrasting against the pale blue behind it. White paint peeled up from the worn sill and curled toward my fingers. I could feel the cool draft flowing in from around the window, sneaking into the room around me. Dad threw open my door, which ricocheted off the wall behind it. Taking a deep breath, he calmly but directly said, “It’s time. Get your things.” The deep-set lines on his furrowed brow and the urgency in his warm brown eyes indicated the seriousness of the situation. Would this really happen today? My nineteenth birthday?

Months ago, he made me pack a bag just for this occasion. Reluctantly and with both eyes rolling in defiance, I succumbed, and tossed some clothes into my black duffel and threw it in the bottom of my closet. Discarded clothing now heaped on top of it. Shirts and jeans flew over my shoulders as I tried to unearth the bag before Dad returned. I could almost hear him sigh in disappointment at my reluctance to take his warning seriously. I ran into my bathroom and began to stuff the side pockets with toiletries and make-up. Dad would disapprove of anything unnecessary. But, I didn’t care. I just wanted the familiar to travel with me to the unfamiliar. The reflection in the mirror stared back at me, revealing an empty shell of a person that I no longer even recognized.

“Claire!” his voice, agitated, urged me to hurry. My hand grasped the cold doorknob. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Back on Track

Good Morning!

OK, baby Savannah is now 2 months old,
Savannah and big sister, Zoey
and my brief political career has come to an end. Military responsibilities are all up to date and I am wrapping up the sequel to Amethyst Eyes. Oh, and GMTA Publishing has picked up Amethyst Eyes. Here is a sneak peek at the new cover.
All good things, don't you agree?

But this is what I wanted to share with you in this brief post...
Do you remember Lia London from Clean Indie Reads? Well, we will be hosting authors from the group. What a great thing to be able to share with you, and I am truly excited to do so.

Love that picture of Lia, and she looks excited too!

So, just a heads up, we will be beginning shortly....
Have a great day, all. Be seeing you shortly with some great new authors, books and interviews.