Monday, June 9, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Special thanks go out to

for roping me into this blog tour today. :) We were both involved in a fun book fair last week with a bunch of other cool authors. I have downloaded a copy of her novel and placed it in my queue of books I need to read!

A lot of the writing process goes on "behind the scenes," so today I'm giving a little backstage tour. Along with authors all over the world, I am answering the following questions about my writing methods:

1) What are you working on?

I'm in the outlining stage of a YA futuristic steampunk. While I'm sure the premise will change as I actually write the book, here's my elevator pitch so far:

Avilene is the Academy's brightest and best, on the fast track to becoming a world leader in the commonwealth that governs the solar system. When she protects her best friend from being kidnapped by a renegade airship crew, she is taken instead by the enemy. But the enemy is not as vicious as she has been led to believe. As Avilene uncovers the Starpathia's mission to free children from government tyranny, she is faced with a choice: stand with the freedom fighters, or betray them and return to the arms of the commonwealth that raised her.

To see some of the images that inspire me for this novel, check out my Pinterest boards.

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I like to mash things up, mix genres in ways that are uncommon. Most steampunk is historical in nature, but my novel will take steampunk into the future, so there will be a mixture of technological style. The commonwealth has glitzy, futuristic toys, and the crew of the airship Starpathia is covered in coal dust.

3) Why do you write what you do?

At heart, I think I'm still a kid myself, because I've never gotten over the wonder that science fiction and fantasy create. I want to believe in dragons and wizards and airships and laser guns. Because I can't actually step onto the deck of the Starpathia, I do the next best thing: I write a story about it.

4) How does your writing process work?

Historically, I've dived right into writing when I got a good idea, battling my way through the entanglements that always appear in the plot and characters as I try to fight my way to the ending. But I'm in the process of changing it up, because I believe that using an outline will make my writing faster and better. So, I've counseled my muse to be patient while I come up with detailed plot points and work on world building. My muse isn't very happy about this, but I've told her she simply must wait her turn.

Some of the resources that have really helped me shape a process for outlining that I can live with include the following:

Dan Wells' Story Structure (a video on YouTube in 5 parts)
2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron

And now we come to the point where you realize how dismally connected I am, because I was never able to find bloggers (not already participating) to pass this tour along to. (I'm still open to suggestions. Anyone?  Anyone...?)

So, the "buck stops here," as they say. But you can visit the other author I'm aware of that is hosting the tour this week, C. Michelle Jefferies.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wrapping Up the Blog Tour

After meeting some totally awesome authors at our Family Fun Night with Authors (see older posts), my kids and I spent the week relaxing with family and friends in the Salt Lake/Utah Valley area. We toured Salt Lake Temple Square and took the kids to a new children's museum. It was a blast!

My blog tour wraps up in the next couple of days. The full schedule is on the May 29th entry, but here are the stops that are left:

DateBlog to Visit
FRIDAY, June 6Peering Into...
SATURDAY, June 7Inside Stone
SUNDAY, June 8The Zappa Buzz
MONDAY, June 9Sweet N Sassy Book A Holics

Thanks so much to all of the blogger hosts who made this tour come alive! You've been awesome!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Blast

Do you love middle grade books? Here are some amazing deals. Check them out and spread the word.

The Case of the Exploding Loo by Rachel Hamilton

Buy it on Amazon

Quirky twelve year old Noelle Hawkins may be one of the brightest girls in her class but even she can't explain how her dad, wacky scientist Big Brain Brian, spontaneously combusted while sitting in a portaloo. It's true that he was working on a new top secret Brain Ray machine and was on the point of a great break-through - could this have had something to do with his disappearance? Know-All is sure all is not as it seems and with the help of her sister Holly she is determined to find out what really happened to her dad!

Trusted by Krista Wayment

Get it FREE on

Renick, the fifth son of a dragon breeder, crashes into an unexpected adventure that challenges everything he thought he knew about dragons, history, and himself.

Stranded in the massive Helath forest, Renick meets two other passengers: Thane, a noble training to be a dragon knight, and Lainey, the orphaned niece of a healer. Together they survive an attack by vicious wolves, rescue a baby dragon with a broken wing, and escape from a band of dragon hunters as they make a perilous climb into the mountains. What they discover there will change everything.

The Dreamstone by Mikey Brooks

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“There is a world inside our own, but we can’t see it when we are awake—only when we sleep. It is then we find ourselves in Dreams.”

When Parker’s mom is dreamnapped by the wicked Mab, it is up to him and Kaelyn to save her. When they return to Dreams, they discover Mab isn’t their only problem. Gladamyr has lost his powers and the only way to get them back is to become what he fears the most—a nightmare.

Alvor by Laura Bingham

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Adarae jolted as the feeling surged through her. She looked carefully at not one, but two little faces and felt the warm power within them. No one suspected it could be two, but the strength pulsing from them was undeniable. They stared back into her eyes.

Fifteen-year-old Erin and her twin brother, Bain, had never seen the secluded cabin in the woods by their home. Upon entering, they discover a magical world where pegasi, dragons and fairies are a reality.

The siblings soon find themselves with super-human powers, being taught the art of magic and sword play by mystical beings. It isn't long before they are struck with a realization they are training to become elves.

Faced with the decision to leave the life they have always known for a world of fantasy, Erin and Bain confront certain demons that threaten to tear them apart.

Alvor is a spellbinding blend of magic and mystery, enchantment and fairy tale, that asks the age-old question: Do you believe in magic?

Wings of Light by Laura Bingham

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Sixteen-year-old Erin and her twin brother, Bain, have recently become immortal elves - but the search for their mother has just begun. With new information that their mother may be alive, Erin desperately seeks to bring her back home. But when old enemies threaten her quest, Erin must turn to new friends for help and learn that some magic is better left unexplored.

The Serpent in the Glass by D.M. Andrews

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On his eleventh birthday Thomas Farrell is informed that the deceased father he never knew has provided for his education at Darkledun Manor, a school for gifted children. Thomas, however, feels he's just an ordinary boy, but Darkledun Manor proves to be anything but an ordinary school…

In this work of fiction the reader is transported into a world of myth as the young protagonist, Thomas Farrell, seeks to understand who his mysterious father was, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent. As the story progresses, Thomas and his friends become increasing caught up in a world they never knew existed – a world beyond the standing stones.

You can review a short audio sample from the book, read by the author, at A video trailer can also be accessed by viewing D.M. Andrews’ Amazon author page. Cover design by Alex Hausch.

Trouble Blows West by Monique Bucheger

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Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong.

She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Pierce likes being knocked down by one. When Pierce seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Pierce’s house.

Sadly, Ginnie learns that Pierce has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll with one awful blow to the chest. Realizing he's a boy in big trouble, Ginnie switches gears and decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.

Fury of the Storm Wizard by Shauna E. Black

Buy it on Amazon

A storm is brewing in Silver Valley, where an unusual string of mining accidents has locals whispering of dark magic. When the marshal sent to investigate goes missing, his young assistant Boone turns to Jesse and Eliza for help. But Jesse is a new mage with raw magic, and Eliza is hiding a secret. The three must learn to trust each other before the valley is destroyed and they are ripped away from everything they hold dear.

Prelude to a Hero by Jaime Buckley

Get it FREE at

Wendell is a young man who learns what his potential is while on a strange, enchanted world with a funny old wizard and ugly troll to mentor and guide him. Prelude to a Hero, the debut book about how Wendell came to be the one expected to save an entire world. . . by accident.