Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Writer Wednesday: A Year of New Adventures

2017 is quickly becoming the year of new things for me. I've made some decisions to do things differently. I'm participating in boxed sets, one for Kelly in March and one for Ashelyn in September. I've rebranded two Ashelyn covers to more properly reflect the heat level in the romances. I'm trying new promotional opportunities. The list goes on. 

The reason why I'm sharing this is because this is new to me and quite honestly, it's a little scary. But my thought process is this: I have to try new things to find out what works. So that's what this year is going to be about for me. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. Why not, right?

Is 2017 bringing you out of your comfort zone?

In case you missed my new Ashelyn covers, here they are. And yes, they are up and available for purchase.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Mishmash 2/20/17

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My daughter's Birthday  My daughter is turning ten this weekend. How did that happen?
  2. Editing  I'm finishing up two client edits this week.
  3. Exciting News  I'll have some exciting news to share very soon.
  4. Campus Crush Gets A New Cover!  I'm waiting for the retailers to update their information, but Campus Crush got a makeover, too. Check out the new cover by Redbird Designs.
  5. Securing The Handyman's Heart By Katie Clark  I had the privilege of reading this book, and it's fantastic. Check out the gorgeous cover and blurb.
    Local cupcake queen Kayla Dobbs is feeling the heat—just as her bakery is finally taking off, her retired parents start pressuring her to move to Florida. Determined to prove her success, she takes on extra work at the bakery and fibs a little about the depth of her love life. When her mother announces an upcoming visit to meet the lucky guy, Kayla makes a pact with her friends to get a proposal from George Marks, town handyman extraordinaire. The problem is, George seems totally indifferent.

    George Marks has enough on his plate with running his business, taking care of an ailing but feisty grandmother, and the possibility of a new business venture on the horizon. But when bumping into Kayla becomes a strangely routine thing, he’s surprised to realize it has also become the highlight of his days. As business spirals out of control and Granny takes a turn for the worse, he’s sure he made one too many commitments. 

    With a dash of matchmaking granny and a pinch of secret cupcake recipe, Kayla and George find themselves in one messy kitchen. But will they find themselves in love?

    Grab it on Amazon.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Feature: Ghost Touch by LA Dragoni

 For fifteen minutes each night a portal opens in Tamara’s barn and a horde of ghosts spills into her yard. She and Dex work together to find a way to help Cal and the thousands of spirits stuck in the void to cross over. When she learns she has the ghost touch—the ability to touch the ghosts as if they were corporeal—and she accidentally helps a little boy cross, she believes it might be possible. But not all the spirits play nice and when they learn they can sip energy from her ghost touch, they become greedy putting her life at risk.

Each time Cal has to pull her from the mass of ghosts, her touch restores him more and more until he is at danger of being stuck on earth—forever, which is very enticing to Tamara the better she knows him. Will she and Dex figure out how to help the spirits cross and if they do, will she be able to let Cal go?

Available in print, ebook, and audiobook from Amazon,
Also available on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and other e-tailers.


The knot of ghosts hissed and shrieked as they chased her. Seeing they’d already changed direction, she dug her fingers into the grass to pull herself away from them. Her legs were as shaky as a newborn foal and even crawling was too much effort. Ruff stood next to her, barking, but she knew he’d have no effect. He couldn’t even touch the ghouls.
Then they were on her. Petting and pulling, stroking and grabbing at her arms, legs, clothes, hair. Their chatter became excited, reminding her of a pack of hyenas. She buried her head under her arms wishing…praying they’d go away.
“Get off her!”
Was that Cal? Tamara raised her head as much as she could, but was still buried in spirits. She got a glance at a familiar face before the writhing group closed in again. Was that the drowned ghost? She looked less bloated.
“Leave her. This will not help. Get away.”
Slowly the weight lifted from her until she felt only one pair of hands grasping her upper arms. Gentle and caring, not demanding.
“Cal,” she croaked, struggling to raise her head and open her eyes.
“Come on, Tamara. You need to get up.”
Her eyelids were so heavy. She couldn’t hold them open. Couldn’t make her neck cooperate so she could look at Cal.
“Tamara, you need to move him. I can’t touch him.”
“Let go of me Cal. You’re making it worse. I think.” Even speaking drained her of energy. It took all she had just to force the words out, but when Cal let go of her, she felt a difference immediately. It was as if her strength no longer leaked out of her extremities. Unfortunately her tank didn’t seem to be refilling very fast. “I…it’s…it’s better. Give me a minute.”
“We don’t really have a minute, Tamara.”


LA Dragoni's GHOST TOUCH got me out of my paranormal romance funk in which I felt like I was reading the same book over and over again. The ghost part with the portal opening in Tamara's barn was vividly described and equal parts cool and terrifying, but it was really Tamara's poignant emotional journey that spoke to me.


About the author: LA Dragoni isn’t too particular about who falls in love or where they fall in love. She simply considers it her job to capture the story about their love. Whether it’s paranormal, mythical, or time travel, LA will be there to divine their story for you. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband and children, but haunts ghost towns and cemeteries up and down the west, in search of the next adventure to sift through her storytelling brain. Follow LA on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to her mailing list and learn more about LA and her work at

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Titling Your Book

Two weeks ago, Mirka Breen asked me how I come up with the titles of my books. The question actually took me by surprise because I'm the first to admit I'm terrible at coming up with titles. My flash drive consists of manuscripts with the following file names:

New Idea

Aren't those just so imaginative and gripping? ;)

Fun fact for you: After I wrote The Monster Within, I had no idea what to call the book. It took me longer to title it than it did to write it. I got the title from a line in the book that mentioned a monster within the MC. So my first tip is to search your manuscript for a phrase that really hits on the tone and plot. Then play around with it to see if you can make that phrase work as a title.

When I wrote my Into the Fire trilogy, I knew my characters would be phoenixes. Using "fire" in my title seemed appropriate, and since my MC was about to be reborn for the first time, I felt Into the Fire suited the book. So there I used the story itself to dictate the title.

For my upcoming suspense, Lies We Tell, I have a main character who is living a lie. She spends every day telling the same lie, so this title was actually pretty obvious to me. 

After Loving You was one of the books that I titled before I started writing because my idea was to write about a couple trying to figure out how to live after losing their first loves. 

I like to jot down possible titles and play around with them to see what sounds the best. Then I go on Amazon and search for books with that title. You don't want a title that's been used so much that your book will be lost in a long list of search results.

I hope that helps a little, Mirka. If anyone else has any tricks for selecting titles, please share them in the comments.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Mishmash 2/13/17

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. After Loving You Has a New Cover!  After careful consideration, I realized the previous cover of After Loving You didn't convey the story well, so I hired Redbird Designs to create this beautiful cover! I couldn't love it more.
  2. Sign Up For My Newsletter and Get A FREE Book!  If you like the new cover of After Loving You and want to see it on your Kindle, sign up for my newsletter. New subscribers will get the ebook for FREE! Sign up here.
  3. Editing  I bet you could have guessed I'm editing for a client this week. ;)
  4. Thank you!  Huge thanks to everyone who shared the cover of Lies We Tell last week. The book is now available for preorder on Nook, Kobo, and iTunes. It will be available for preorder on Amazon closer to the release date.
  5. Revisions  I'm finishing up revisions on my YA paranormal Unseen Evil releasing later this year. As always, my editor had some great feedback for me.
  6. Valentine's Day  Happy Valentine's Day!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Feature: Lies We Tell Cover Reveal

It's cover reveal time! Check out the cover of my adult suspense coming out April 10, 2017!

Madison Kramer thought her past was behind her. With a new name and a career as a best-selling author, what could go wrong?
She never expected Trevor Lockhardt to walk into her book signing, offering his services as her publicist, or that she’d end up falling for him. But what she really didn’t expect was a stalker sending her messages, both written and in the form of dead bodies.
Madison can’t escape her parents’ murder any longer. But is it their killer coming to finish what he started fifteen years ago? How long can she keep her past a secret before her lies come back to get her?

You can add the book on Goodreads.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Building a New Platform

Last Wednesday, the lovely Kai Strand asked me about building a new platform for a genre or age group you are branching out into writing. When I started writing romance as Ashelyn Drake, I did so without telling anyone I was Ashelyn. The reason is that I wanted to make sure Ashelyn could stand on her own two feet. To be honest, Ashelyn blew Kelly out of the water in sales! Romance is like that, though.

I set up accounts on social media for Ashelyn and started following romance authors I loved, interacting when them as often as possible. I also looked at their followers because those people could potentially be Ashelyn's fans. I followed those readers and tried to interact with them, too. I joined Facebook groups for romance authors and readers as well. I also promoted Ashelyn on my Kelly accounts (still not telling anyone I was both authors).

Well, last year I decided it was too much to have two separate platforms, and after seeing so many other authors who use pen names joining their accounts, I made the decision to do the same. This is tricky, though. I have one street team for both names, which means some members are only there for my Ashelyn titles or only there for my Kelly titles. The same goes for my newsletter.

You have to decide if you want to keep your names separate, join them completely, or link them but have separate accounts. Whatever you decide to do, check out what your favorite authors in those genres/age levels are doing and who they're following. Don't be a copycat, but learn from them.

I hope that answers your question, Kai. If anyone else has some helpful advice, please feel free to leave it in the comments.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.