News and Books

It’s the end of the school year, which explains why I’m a day late in posting my blog this week. Such a busy time as we wrap things up! I’m looking forward to sleeping in a little bit in just two weeks!

I hope all my friends who are Mom’s out there enjoyed your Mother’s Day weekend. Mine was fabulous! On Saturday, my 10-year-old spawn had her first piano/singing recital, a big milestone for my super shy girl. Then we went to Captiva Beach and ate at a fun place on the island called The Bubble Room, which is decorated like Christmas all year round and has the B*E*S*T cakes in the world!

All of that was enough to make my Mother’s Day complete, but then hubs and kids also bought me a box of my favorite Norman Love Chocolates, a book (the Official Illustrated Movie Companion guide to Divergent so I can drool over Theo James some more),  a Grumpy Cat shirt, and a new Huffy bike! I felt rather spoiled . . . not sure what I did to deserve all that as dinner rarely gets cooked and the house seldom cleaned between writing my 18 Things trilogy and teaching middle school, but I’ll take it 🙂

Mothers Day

On to the book portion of today’s blog . . .  I’d like to feature a novel from my publishing sister, Ayden Morgen. I finally got around to reading Fall, the second New Adult book in her Ragnarok Prophesies series.  The first book, Fade, I read as soon as it was out in 2012 as a way of checking out books Curiosity Quills Press had already published. I wasn’t disappointed . . . read it in twenty-four hours! To be honest, many times sequels fall flat for me, but this one doesn’t! Ayden did an excellent job with her second installment . . . the characters were compelling, the myths and the world she created around them were awesome, and I had all the right feels along the way. A few times I wished there was more dialogue and that the pacing moved along a bit faster, but that’s just my ADHD talking 🙂 Overall, I really enjoyed this story and suggest ya’ll add Fall to your summer reading list! Check out the synopsis below if you still need more convincing!

fall cover

How do you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren’t strong enough to stop it.

Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.

It’s up to Arionna to stop him before it’s too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn’t sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?

Also, two of my blogger buddies recently released the covers to their sequels . . . be sure to watch for these good reads!

champion in flight cover

Coming June 2nd!!

And PK Hrezo will release her sequel to Butterman Time Travel on August 31st! But you can add it to your Goodreads today!

induction day cover

So that’s what I’ve been up to . . . how has your week been? Wish me luck–tomorrow I chaperone a trip to the local waterpark for our 6th and 7th grade students. I only hope no pictures of me in a bathing suit end up on Instagram *shudders*

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Songs of Destruction and Dating Nerds

Today I’m so excited to let one of my favorite publishing sistas from Curiosity Quills take over my blog to promote her new release!

TeamApoBadge

Let me just say that I LOOOVED her first book, Fade, and recommended it to anyone looking for a paranormal read.

Let me also say that Ayden has been served a pretty large cup of suffering as of late, and she could really use our help promoting her new book right now. You can visit her blog if you’d like the full story. But as always, Ayden is keeping strong and carrying on . . . . so take it away, Ayden!

Songs of Destruction:  FALL’s Playlist by @AKMorgen

Music is such a big source of inspiration for me. Nothing invokes a certain emotion, memory, or frame of mind quite like the perfect song. Naturally, one of the first things I do when I sit down to write is to create a playlist that reminds me of the story in some way.

In my new release, FALL (The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two), we see this struggle unfolding between Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews, our apocalypse stopping heroine and hero, where they both have their own ideas on what’s best for everyone. They end up clashing over those differences of opinion and reacting to this added element of angst in their relationship in some pretty intense ways at times. As a result, this created a sort of dark, melancholy tone for FALL in places.

I’m not exactly a dark and melancholy kind of person, so it was critical that I found music that captured that feeling or it simply wouldn’t have worked. But because FALL took over a year to write, I often reached this point where I literally could not listen to a specific song again without wanting to scream. I had to switch things up for my sanity, so the playlist for FALL evolved and changed a lot while I wrote.

Luckily, there is an endless supply of music out there that really captures the more angsty parts of FALL, so I had a lot of good choices. 🙂

Here are some of my favorite angst-ridden songs from FALL’s playlists:

  • Letters      From The Sky – The Civil Wars      – This song so perfectly captures Ari and Dace’s relationship, and the      whole hopeful yet melancholy apocalypse theme of the series, I added it to      the list the first time I heard it.
  • Closer      – Burn Season –      This song reminds me so much of Dace at times. He’s so screwed up, and yet      so amazingly good at the same time, I always feel a little sad for him.
  • Maybe      Tomorrow – Stereophonics – I      can’t think of any other song that says so much with so little. It’s sad,      it’s hopeful, and just all around powerful.
  • All      Falls Down – Adelitas Way – This song was an early favorite.      I love it for Ronan, who we see a lot more of in FALL, and really start      getting to know. It also perfectly captures some of the darkest points of      the entire Ragnarök series.
  • Radioactive      – Imagination Dragons – This      song has such a great feel to it. There’s that apocalyptic vibe, and then      that self-loathing vibe, and then underneath all of that is the story of      an awakening or desire to change. We see a little of each in FALL.
  • Always      – Saliva – This is      one of my all time favorite pissed off songs. It’s so spot on when it      comes to that “breaking point” of relationship angst. I rocked      it a time or five.
  • One      More Night – Maroon 5      – This is another great dysfunctional relationship song. Plus, I don’t      know anyone who can make dysfunction sound as hot as Adam Levine does.
  • Hold      it Against Me –      Sam Tsui – Speaking of hot, I love, love, love Sam Tsui’s cover of this      song. It’s so raw and lovely at the same time. There’s a specific scene in      FALL where this song fit perfectly.
  • Tears      of an Angel – Ryandan      – If I had to pick a single song to listen to while writing the entire      Ragnarök Prophesies series, this song would be it. It’s haunting,      beautiful, sad, hopeful, and just all around amazing.

You can listen to this playlist, as well as a few bonus tracks, here.

About the Author:

A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three dogs, and demonic cat. She has a graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Law, and plans to save the world some day. When she’s not writing, she spends her time teaching her niece and nephews how to cause mischief. You can also find her dancing in the grocery store, building a spork army, and fundraising for nonprofits close to her heart.

You can learn more about Ayden at http://akmorgen.com or by following her on Twitter, GoodReads, or Facebook.

FALL – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two (summary)

RagnarokProphesies1

How do you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren’t strong enough to stop it.

Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.

It’s up to Arionna to stop him before it’s too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn’t sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?

You can read the official prologue to FALL here.

FALL – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two will be available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble on October 5, 2013 from Curiosity Quills Press.  FADE – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One is available now at Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

*Thanks for visiting, Ayden! You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers! I loved your playlist! Maroon 5 and The Civil Wars are two of my favs!

What song is at the top of your playlist right now? I don’t know why, but I’m loving Royals by Lorde. I heard it for the first time on the way to my retreat last weekend when I was in the car with teenagers, and now it’s stuck in my head. Sooo catchy . . . .

Last but not least, I’d also like to give a shout out to the hilarious Cassie Mae! Happy Book Birthday, chica! Be sure to pick up her new release on Kindle today for only $2.99!

how to date a nerd Blog banner

The Leprechaun Strikes One More Time!

Today is the last day for the Curiosity Quills Press 99 cent Kindle promotion for 40 of their titles. If you haven’t checked out 18 Things, now is your last chance to do so for under a buck! A girl on Facebook told me she read it in one day and it was the best 99 cents she ever spent, lol. Another book I want to highlight that’s part of the sale is Fade by A.K. Morgen. I read her NA Urban Fantasy book in one day too! 

Fade

Book Blurb:

What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don’t understand what’s happening to them or why, and they’re running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

 

FADE is available from Curiosity Quills Press at Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo. You can learn more at http://akmorgen.com or by following Ayden on Twitter or Facebook.

 

*Also, don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter on Sharon Bayliss’s site for your chance at winning a $75 Amazon gift card! And on that note, I’m outta here! Today is the official start of my spring break with my daughters and hubby, and I promised them I’d take a break from social media as well. See you on April 1st, and that’s no joke;-) 

 

Getting Lucky in a Wormhole and then Fading Away

Happy Wednesday ladies and gents! I love Wednesdays because Friday is on the horizon, it’s my blogging day, and I get to help lead youth group at my wonderful awesome church!! Oh, did my blog title seem random today? Wellll, that’s because today’s post is full of random fun! I have three special announcements: ANNOUNCEMENT? ANNOUNCEMENT! What a horrible way to die, a horrible way to die, a horrible way to start the day, a horrible way to die. *sorry, can’t say ‘announcement’ without that Scout song popping into my head. My squirrel moment is over . . . for now*
 
Okay, first things first! My publisher, Curiosity Quills, will be running a 99 cent ebook sale starting St. Patrick’s Day!
 
99 cent Lucky Book Sale
 
Here’s a list of the participating books:
 
18 Things by Jamie Ayres *YAHOOOO!!!*
The Charge by Sharon Bayliss
Ever by Jessa Russo
Blow up the Roses by Randy Attwood
Theocracide by James Wymore
Fade by Ayden Morgan
The Green Man and Other Short Stories by Rand Lee
The Gathering Darkness by Lisa Collicutt
Sanity Vacuum by Thea Gregory
Legasea by Krystalyn Drown
The Devil You Know (Nick Englebrecht Trilogy Book 1) by K.H. Koehler
Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish by Andrew Buckley
Nefertiti’s Heart by AW Exley
Paradise Earth: Day Zero by Anthony Mathenia
Death by Chocolate by Johanna Pitcairn
Bone Wires by Michael Shean
Shadow of a Dead Star by Michael Shean
The Green Eyed Monster by Mike Robinson
The Prince of Earth by Mike Robinson
Danger in Cat World by Nina Post
One Ghost per Serving by Nina Post
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse by Nina Post
The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse by Nina Post
Wilde’s Fire (Darkness Falls Series Book 1) by Krystal Wade
Wilde’s Army (Darkness Falls Series Book 2) by Krystal Wade
World’s Burn Through (Chronicles of Nowhere Book 1) by Vicki Keire
Shadowed Ground (Chronicles of Nowhere Book 2) by Vicki Keire
Wet Dream by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
The God Particle by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
The Department of Magic by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
Christmas in the Morgue by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
Family Cursemas (The Megamillionaire Murders, Vol 1) by Rod Kierkegaard, Jr.
 
I’m pretty jacked up about this since sales for 18 Things have been down, and who couldn’t use some luck of the Irish, right?! I’ve read a number of the books on the list already, and one of them was Fade by A.K. Morgen. And she’s here today to interrupt my regular scheduled programming and give you a special message in honor of Fade‘s six month book birthday, so put on your party hats people, and give it up for my publishing sister!!
 

I don’t know about you, but I love birthdays, and not just because cake is involved (though cake is rather important). I love the companionship involved in birthdays. Friends and family gathering to celebrate one another is never a bad thing. And presents don’t suck either. 🙂 Some of my favorite people and I have put together a great big squishy collection of gifts just for you. Yes, you! Entering is easy as cake. All you have to do is pull up a chair, turn up the music, and click on that pretty little Rafflecopter on my blog. Winners will be announced on March 23rd. Don’t forget to spread the word so all of your friends can join the celebration, too.

Fade

YAY! Happy 6 month birthday to Fade! Now for Numero Tres.  

National Wormhole Day Blog Hop: March 14th Albert Einstein’s Birthday. Brought to you by Laura Eno and Luanne Smith at Bards and Prophets. And mucho thanks to author Stephen Tremp for posting it on his blog, and then sending me an email reminder (because if you don’t know me, I suck at remembering things).
 
National Wormhole Day
 
Here’s the question for the blog hop:
 
What would you do or where would you go if you could traverse a wormhole through space or time just once? One safe round trip passage.
 

I think I’d put on my foil hat and head over to the other side of the universe where the aliens hang out. I’d convince them to give me their super powers like superior intellect and the power to live a thousand years like humans did in Biblical times. How would I convince them? Not sure . . . I’m a writer, so hopefully I could make up some crap. Maybe I could agree to be their human minion. It’d be totally worth it because then I would be smart enough to find cures for all the incurable diseases and create world peace, ect . . .  and would have plenty of time to do it!

WHat*abOUt*You? What the heck would you do if you had a two-way ticket to traverse a wormhole and safely return?

Taking the New Adult Journey

Today I’m super excited to welcome a guest post by my Curiosity Quills sister, Ayden Morgen. Her New Adult novel, Fade, was just released. It’s downloaded onto my Kindle and as soon as I finish my edits I plan on devoting my weekend to reading it! Check out the book description:

What do you do when you realize that nothing in your life is what you’ve always believed it to be?

The death of Arionna Jacobs’ mother has devastated her, and Dace Matthews is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral animal caged in his mind. When they meet, Dace tumbles into Arionna’s mind as if he belongs there, and everything they thought they knew about themselves and the world around them begins to fall apart. Neither of them understands what is happening to them or why and they’re running out of time to figure it out.

An ancient Norse prophesy of destruction has been set into motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. The end is coming, and unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never unravel the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

 

Doesn’t that sound A*W*E*S*O*M*E?!?! That’s a rhetorical question folks because yes, yes it most certainly does:-) Now without further delay, here’s Ayden in her own words about taking the journey into the world of New Adult novels:

Like many in my generation, I grew up reading Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series. I discovered the books in the fourth grade, and quickly fell in love. Our local library had a seemingly endless selection of the books for me to choose from. When I made it through those, I eagerly saved my allowance to grab the newest addition to the series each time one hit the shelves.

My love for reading and writing young adult began there, and so did my adoration of the romantic side of the series as a whole. Elizabeth and Todd’s relationship left me swooning, as did Jessica’s passionate, but often brief love affairs with the boys of SweetValley. By the time I made it to high school, I’d added historical and contemporary romance to my reading list. And as with the SVH books, I fell in love.

Naturally, I soon decided to try my hand at writing historical and contemporary romance too, but discovered I had no clue what I was doing. As a high school student, I had no personal experience to dwell on. I imagined I understood what it must have been like to fall in love in the days of lavish parties for the nobility and abject poverty for the lower classes. I also imagined I had a clue what it was like to juggle a career or children with a budding romance in current times. But the truth was, I didn’t know.

By the time I finished high school, I’d grown frustrated with the poorly written and never completed manuscripts piling up in the corner. I yearned for a return to those early days when I could get inside a characters head and tell their stories well. And so I returned to my first love. Unlike with my attempts at historical and contemporary, I knew these characters. I passed them in the halls every day in high school, hung out with them in my bedroom, and spent countless hours on the phone with them. I was one of these characters, and writing their stories came naturally to me.

In college, my life changed rapidly. I struggled to juggle being a newlywed with being a full-time college student, a full-time volunteer, and a full-time home health aide. Even more challenging was the unexpected, early arrival of my critically ill nephew. He required frequent, long-term hospitalizations and around the clock skilled-care. My entire life turned upside down as we fought for his life, and I realized that I wasn’t the only one dealing with huge, frightening changes, either.

There were, literally, thousands of college kids my age facing the same sorts of challenges, but no one was writing about those kids. New adults like me were overlooked or outright ignored in the publishing industry, leaving us reading novels that no longer fit quite well, or with those still years beyond where we were in their lives. I didn’t have any grand plan to change that, but I did decide I didn’t want to be stuck writing characters that didn’t always reach far enough just because that’s the way it’d always been done.

And so my quest to write those characters I could relate to began in earnest. As with young adult, the new adult genre fit me. I knew those characters, because I was one of those characters. At twenty-eight, in many ways, I’m still one of those characters. I don’t know what it’s like to be thirty-five and at the height of a very successful career, but I do know what it’s like to be a newbie in the career field, or any of a thousand things new adults deal with daily. And I remember what it’s like to be that college student whose life changed overnight, too.

Unlike when I was that kid though, new adult novels have begun to find their place in the publishing industry, and to give an entire generation of twenty-somethings like me a voice we lacked then. We can skim the list of upcoming titles and find characters we can relate to, whether they’re high school seniors, college freshman, or nearing the end of those crazy years when everything changes, and we don’t always deal as gracefully as we might wish.

The journey here hasn’t been easy. There were times while writing Fade when I felt like, literally, the only one in the world starting out with a nineteen year old heroine. I had so many questions, but six years ago, finding someone who knew the answers to those questions was no easy feat. That’s changed drastically since Fade first began taking shape, and so has the willingness of publishers to take a chance on those of us who mix young and new adult characters and situations in our works. Personally, I couldn’t be happier about that!

xoxo,

A.K.M. 

A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, and three crazy pets. Her debut young adult novel, Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One) is available now from Curiosity Quills Press. You can learn more about Ayden and her writing at: http://akmorgen.com. You can also find Ayden on Twitter (http://twitter.com/akmorgen), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AKMorgen1), and on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/AKMorgen).