Are Ya Looking For the Next Summer Read? Introducing Debut Novelist Teshelle Combs!!!

Tessie, Tess, Tessa, T . . . no matter what you call her, Teshelle Combs is just one huge batch of awesomesauce! She’s a UCF graduate like me (except she wasn’t afraid to take a chance and actually majored in English/Creative Writing), a soul singer with goosebump inducing abilities, a brutally honest Beta reader, a super nanny, and frequent volunteer for all things at our local church.

Now she can add published author at the ripe old age of 24! Add having a baby to the midst of all this, and well, you can see why I named one of my new characters in 18 Truths after her! Not even sure if she knows this, since it’s after page 100 where she left off in Beta reading. She might totally be creeped out now while reading this, but too late! I already got my interview *shakes fist in the air* Haha, sucker! Oh, and you can stalk her too at her new official FB author page!

Tessa's photo

Thanks for joining us today, T! Help me introduce you to my 5 fans (heehee, inside joke from last week’s blog). Give us 3 words to describe your personality

T: Happy. Loving. Kind. –I actually just cheated and asked my husband for the answer for this one. Apparently, he likes me or something.

*mutters*Not as much as I like you!

T: What’s that Jaim-O?

Oh, nothing! Nothing at all *coughs* Can you give us a sneak peek into what it’s like to be a debut novelist? Any insights about self-publishing?

T: I am very, very new at authorship. My debut novel, Core, was just released on June 1st. So far, my favorite part is being able to hold it in my hands. That tied with my very first sale. I did my crazyhappy dance for about ten minutes, which is pretty impressive at 7 months pregnant.

Self-publishing –or indie publishing, which is what I call it because it makes feel all cool –is a lot of fun and a lot of work. The fun part is designing everything, choosing exactly what I want to say, setting my own royalty prices, and involving a team of people I love to help me. The hard work part is the marketing, the ordering of three proof copies because you can’t figure out how to set the margins just right, the hiccups that you have to figure out to fix everything all on your own.

I was afraid I wouldn’t feel like a “real” author if I indie published, but honestly, I was wrong. I feel accomplished, like I worked hard for what I have.

You should! The world of publishing is constantly changing, and wise is the author who changes with it!  Tell us about what you write.

T: I write contemporary YA fantasy and sci-fi. Core falls into the fantasy genre. The story is about an emotionally calloused boxer, Ava, who is catapulted into the world of dragons, sirens (nightfolk and werefolk), and danger. She’s chosen to be the rider of an honest, caring red dragon, and life-wrecking mayhem ensues.

Besides boxing, there are a slew of combat scenes, utilizing dragon abilities and swordplay, which makes for action-packed reading. (I like to run these scenes by my brother, who’s great at all things action).

I love bad guys, so I have quite a few villains in my novel, and–rather disturbingly–they are some of my favorite characters. The more twisted, the better.

What else? I also like to travel to places (even if it’s through research and imagination), so my characters start out in Miami, and get to visit Peru and Ireland in this story.


Oh, I’ve been to Ireland! One of my top 5 moments on my life list! *Shameless plug: If you like life lists, you should check out my debut novel too, 18 Things* Speaking of books, what’s your favorite craft book? Favorite fiction book?

T: My favorite craft book is probably Research in Writing. I love to include interesting facts in my work and before I wrote Core, I probably typed up about 30 pages of research on dragons, Chimbote, Peru, Ireland, sirens, and some other secret little tidbits.

My favorite fiction book? If we’re going fancy-pancy literary, it’d be Beloved by Toni Morrison. But if I’m thinking all-time favorite, changed-my-literary-life, pee-my-pants-it’s-so-good? THE HUNGER GAMES. I love kick-butt female protagonists, I love dystopias, and I love the dryness of it all, the reality woven through the make believe.

I also have a problem peeing my pants while reading books. Started 13 years ago . . . well, you’ll see after you give childbirth! Oh, I see you’re doing the potty dance yourself, so I’ll just ask one closing questions. Tell us anything FUN about yourself, related or unrelated to writing.

T: I have these special powers: my toes can swell to remarkable sizes in just a few minutes. I can smell anything unpleasant, even if it’s miles away. I can go to the bathroom 15 times a day. I can use my belly as a portable reading desk. I’ve evolved past the need to remember anything, even details that would be significant to other people, like what the current month or where we parked the car.

Jealous yet? Well go incubate your own baby! This one’s mine!

Hahaha! You’re a hoot, T! I love you . . . in a completely sisterly way, I promise! *watches T bolt from the room and shrugs*

Well now that it’s just the eight of us (last week proved I have at least 7 fans!), I want to thank you all for your encouraging comments after sharing my pity party publicly. If you missed the blog, you can find it here. My family cheered me up by taking me to Disney. We hit Hollywood Studios the first half of the day for Star Wars weekend, then moved on to Magic Kingdom!



Also, thanks for giving me some easy questions! Cheryl wanted to know what kind of coffee she should drink. I’m still scratching my head at the fact she’s never drank a cup! If you invest in a Keurig machine,


which you should because it’ll allow to try hundreds of flavors any time of the day whenever you want within seconds with just the press of a button . . . even though it may cause you to be all hyper and write really long-winded sentences, you could also drink tea and hot chocolate if you end up not liking coffee, but I think you will love it. I have a sweet tooth, so I love the Cape Escapes, especially the caramel. So sweet you don’t even need cream and sugar! When I’m not using the Keurig, I’m slightly less squirrely and like Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas with some Baileys coffee creamer. But I’m a coffee snob and Barnie’s can be damn hard to find, so Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla will also do the trick. I do love Starbucks, but their coffee is rather bold, so you may need to ease yourself into it.

Now for Marisa’s question . . . what movie should she rent? This is sooo easy since Oz the Great and Powerful just released today on DVD! Saw this one in the theatre and it quickly became a family favorite 🙂

What about you guys? Any good picks for coffee virgins? Any other movies we should rent from that big red box? Interested in reading Core? Hope you’ll all join me next Wednesday for the tale of one amazing squirrel–it’s gonna be nuts!!!

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! 


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 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;-) 


18 Things List for Clara from Champion in the Darkness!!

Hi,  ya’ll! And Happy Over-the-Hump Day! I have a very special treat for you! You may recall my cover reveal for Tyrean Martinson’s Champion In The Darkness a couple of weeks ago. I’m not exactly sure on what blog Tyrean and I first met, but I LOVE her! And today, she’s baaack, with a very creative list of 18 Things. Her tie-in made me smile . . . Enjoy!

*Thanks, Jamie*

Inspired by Jamie’s book 18 Things, I thought it would be fun to create an 18 Things list for my main character, Clara, from Champion In the Darkness. I imagine that these are Clara’s 18 Things from the beginning of her story. Unlike Olga, I think this is Clara’s lifetime list. She doesn’t necessarily get to fulfill all of them in the book, but she gets in a little less than half of them. (I won’t say which ones)

Clara’s 18 Things:

1. Enter the Chamber of Swords, and choose a blade of power, the kind only carried by Sword Masters in the land of Septily.

2. Become a Sword Guard like her mom, or a Sword Scout like her unofficial mentor, Stelia.

3. Sneak into the castle and gather information about the King’s Shadow Guards, a mercenary group he hired to replace his Sword Guards.

4. Spar with her friend Salene nearly every day of her life.

5. Be the best Sword Master she can be.

6. Learn how to play an instrument like her dad.

7. Find out about her mom’s secretive past.

8. Protect her country from any outside attack, especially from the Drinaii army and the Dark Sisterhood led by Kalidess.

9. Travel to all seven districts of Septily to complete her training.

10. Go sailing.

11. Travel to the Far Isles, to Destiny Island, and the Trader’s Cove.

12. Swim in the ocean by the Far Isles.

13. Visit Aerland, the country of the griffins and the griffin riders.

14. Fly on a griffin.

15. Haggle with a Trader from Trader’s Cove.

16. Go on a quest.

17. Play the most memorable prank in Septily, ever, but not something that would get her in trouble or cause any damage.

18. Fall in love.

If you want to know more about Clara and which of these 18 things she gets to do, check out Champion In the Darkness.

And I highly encourage you to read Jamie Ayres’ 18 Things. It’s an inspiring book!

*Awww, thanks girlfriend!! And I highly encourage YOU to read Champion In the Darkness!! Can I just say that my favorites from Clara’s list were: #18, #17, #16, and #10! Thanks for sharing, Clara!*

Champion in the Darkness Cover

The Blurb:

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master’s blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness.

*Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy, and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy*

Tyrean Martinson

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, encouraged by her multi-talented husband and daughters. She likes to write, read, teach, ski, bicycle, walk, and sometimes she likes to sing and dance in the rain.

Using her degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English, Tyrean homeschools her two daughters and teaches writing and literature classes at a homeschool co-op.

Tyrean has been published in e-zines like Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction and Mindflights, and a few print anthologies like The Best of Every Day Poets and Sunday Snaps: The Stories. Champion in the Darkness is her first book, but she plans to write many more.

Champion in the Darkness can be found at these links:

Amazon for paperback and kindle  





Tyrean Martinson can be found at these links:




Thanks so much, Tyrean! And now, completely off subject . . . I know this video has been going around the web for the past month, but I just got the chance to watch it today and wanted to share the Pep Talk from Kid President (AKA Soulpancake).

WHat ARe yOUr 18 THiNGs? Blogfest (kinda) Signup! Not just for bloggers anymore!

Amazon links are live to purchase 18 Things! Yay–Thanks for your support!

Update: This just in! Tyrean, Laila, Penny, and Tonja Drecker  are my Thursday and Friday winners! Pk Hrezo and Sharon Bayliss are Saturday’s winners! Danielle Bailey and Carrie-Anne are Sunday’s winners! Tangent Shell and Lynn Lovegreen are Monday’s winners! Darlene Steelman and L.G. Keltner are Tuesday’s winners! Julie Myers and Vicki Trask are Wednesday’s winners! Stephen Tremps, Morgan Katz, Kirsten, and Lencre are Release Day Winners!

YAHOO! You helped bring 18 Things to a place of influence today–#3 in paranormal fantasy hot releases, #9 in Coming of Age hot releases, and #36 overall!!! 

Winners, just use the contact button above ^ and tell me which one of the fabulous 18 prizes you’d like:-) If it’s crossed out, that prize is taken (duh! LOL) and Congrats!!!

18 Things  releases in ten days. Can you believe it? You may have to pinch me! It’s been 7 months since I signed my contract, and it really is scary how time flies! But we’re back from our FREE Disney cruise (yes, feel free to slap me out of jealousy), and feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to do this thang!

So, I have a one week blogfest planned with lots of giveaways and then blog tour posts planned from January 21st through the end of February! (Full tour info to come, and contest giveaways list is at the bottom of this post.)

Beginning January 17th until release day, January 24th–I’ll be hosting the What Are Your 18 Things Blogfest. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in.


All you have to do is blog about things on your bucket list.  If you don’t have a bucket list, you should, and now is the perfect time to start! If you’re not sure what a bucket list is (blasphemy!), it’s something completely personal that each person should do (IMHO). It’s a great reminder that gives an extra boost to live life to the fullest and keep us looking forward, even when life wants to drag us down sometimes. Finish a marathon? Read the top 100 books?  I’m looking for fun, heart-pumping, poignant, or inspirational things that you want to want to do, or maybe already crossed off your list. And it doesn’t have to be 18 Things . . . it can be anywhere from 1-18 things (I just needed my title to get out there. Marketing trolls said so!)

Anyone who posts their 18 Things between January 17th-24th can enter to win a number of prizes, including:

*$10 Amazon card from Lindsey Loucks

*$10 Starbucks gift card from Marisa Cleveland

*Signed paperback copy of 18 Things, donated by Marisa Clevleland

*Contemporary Thriller Book, Dead Witness, from Joylene Nowell Butler

*YA Urban Fantasy book, Reaper’s Novice, from Cecilia Robert (2 copies to give away)

*a set of bookmarks, also from Cecilia

*First page critique from Nancy S. Thompson

*ebook copy of Nancy S. Thompson’s contemporary thriller book, The Mistaken

*First page critique from Tonya Kuper, agent intern for The Seymour Agency

*Krystal Wade’s signed copy of Wilde’s Fire

*Jessa Russo’s ebook of her YA Paranormal Romance novel, Ever

*First page or query critique from PK Hrezo

*An 18 page document on Inspirational Tips and Advice for Creative Writing by Taylnn (A.K.A. Ink in the Book)

*A set of inspirational bookmarks (donated by moi)

*an ebook copy of 18 Things

*First page, query, or synopsis (up to 3 pages) critique from Jamie Ayres

*Critique of first 20 pages of W.I.P. from Jamie Ayres

Yes, there are 18 terrific prizes! This is just my way of saying THANK YOU to all you wonderful peeps out there:-) I will use RANDOM.ORG to pick 2 winners each day (4 winners on January 24th–release day!), and winners, you get to choose your prize. So, early bird gets the worm, my friends!

I can’t wait to visit each blog and read your “18 Things.”

Now to the (Kinda) part of this post: Don’t blog? Put the cover of 18 Things or the bucket badge ^ from above up on your FB wall and post your bucket list item under the photo, or pin it on Pinterest with your bucket list item in the comments, or tweet one of your 18 Things. Use the words “18 Things” somewhere to go with the picture and link back to this blog wherever you decide to post. All non-blog entries will still be available for the awesome prizes! Just remember to link to me so I know you participated!!

Bloggers, sign up NOW for the blogfest in the LinkyTool below (and make sure you grab the 18 Things badge to put on your blog). Let’s get this party started!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Election Day Treat Better Than All The Starbucks and Chocolate in the World Combined!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update: It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! It happens the first Wednesday of each month–a time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. With everything happening right now in my life, I don’t have time for a long post, so please enjoy the interview I did yesterday with my editor and fellow author (below). Rest assured I am feeling quite insecure as I go through massive edits of my debut novel, 18 Things, fixing mistakes I thought I had moved beyond in my writing (passive voice, anyone?). I’m striving towards a release date for the end of January so please keep your fingers crossed for me! If you leave a comment, I promise to return the favor:-)
HaPPy*Election*dAY. Yeah, that is 13 exclamation points in honor of our 13 original colonies because, I dunno, I like the number 13 and that’s the patriotic connection my brain made. Also probably the longest blog title ever. Any who, you’re probably whining about what a total time suck these long lines are in order to cast your vote (unless you’re dorky like me and actually enjoy waiting in loooong lines and shooting the poop with your fellow Americans because let’s face it . . . .where else can I find such a captive audience? They’re not gonna leave and throw away their vote just to get away from little ole me)
But like I was saying, if you’ve followed my blog at all since June, then you’ve probably heard of my editor and author extraordinaire, Krystal Wade. And she’s here ya’ll! On my blog for the first time! *squeeeeeeeeeeeee* It’s so fitting she’s visiting today because
1) her trilogy is all about uniting clashing people and forming an army prepared to fight in order to defeat Darkness (hmm, sounds like Election Day stuff to me!)
2) she also works in Washington DC as a . . . . well, I’m not sure exactly because it’s probably classified, as most things with politics are. The only thing you need to know is she leads a very glamorized life, right Krystal?
Krystal? Um, she seems to be away from Trellian right now. Don’t ask me what that means though. I just know it pops up a lot when I’m trying to Google Stalk, I mean, Chat. I can’t imagine why because I’m definitely not the demanding writerly type at all. But the point is, even though her life may not be all dinner parties and ball gowns, she is for sure the most busiest gal I know. Oh, you caught that little grammar mistake, did you? Well, I happen to be going through massive edits right now and it’s my way of dealing with them in a passive aggressive manner. Hahaha, look at all that passive language while I am being passive aggressive. *Just joking, Krystal. I shall never take thy name of the BEE in vain~big hugs!*
JA: What draws you to read and write New Adult?
KW: I don’t primarily read NA. I enjoy a wide variety of books–middle grade, young adult, upper young adult, new adult, *but Jamie Ayres debut YA novel, 18 Things, is by far the best thing I’ve ever read* Are you laughing yet? All these distinctions. When I set out to write Wilde’s Fire, I had no idea what category the book would fall into. Frankly, there’s a part of me that still doesn’t know what category my works fall into. Katriona is 20, but a lot of her trials and tribulations are things many people younger than her can relate to; she’s just been a bit more sheltered in life.
Back on track here . . . I’m such a rambler! I love firsts. First loves, first kisses, first awkward moment when you realize you like a boy–or girl, first date, first time driving a car, first time you venture away from home. This is when people truly discover who they are, and this is what sells the “MG-YA-NA” literature for me: there are so many firsts.
Wait, I don’t remember mentioning 18 Things in my . . . .
JA: Oh, moving on! It’s election day and your release day for Wilde’s Meadow was yesterday, you don’t have time to dillydally. So tell us, how did you get to where you are now?
KW: I once told someone that if someone wrote a book about my life, they’d title it: From There to Here: How She Did It. But I can sum my life up in one word (and this applies to everything: my teen years, my early twenties, my writing career): DETERMINATION.
You can overcome many obstacles, achieve amazing goals, and live a wonderful life . . . if you’re determined.
JA: Sooo true! Writing is not a parade of peppermint puppies. It is work. I’d love to claim that quote but it’s Chuck Wendig’s. Can you tell us about your triumphs?
KW: Let’s see . . . triumphs? I’ve been seriously writing for shy of two years, published three books, am a major player inside a growing publishing house, and do not plan on stopping any time soon. 🙂
JA: Okay, seriously, with 3 books published within 6 months you are busier than a president running an election campaign! Any time I go to open my mouth to complain about something, I’m gonna think of you. You ‘re the meaning of my life. You’re my inspiration. You bring feeling to my life . . . . hang on a sec, someone is at the door.
Oh, hey folks. I’m back. Sorry for our interruption. Just a little matter about a restraining order and not being allowed within 3 states of Krystal Wade. I know that’s just Krystal’s way of saying she’s thinking about me. She cracks me up. Krystal, why don’t you tell us about some of your failures while I sign this paperwork for the nice officer?
KW: Sometimes I get so tired, so overwhelmed with all the things I have going on in my life, that I stress and freak out over everything. There are times I want to go into a shell and shut off the world. So my failure is my ability to manage my stress. With a full time job fifty miles from home, three kids, writing, editing, playing my part in the publishing industry, there are so many things to stress over.
JA: I hear ya, sista! You know what I heard helps? Reading books to unwind, books like Wilde’s Fire, Wilde’s Army, and Wilde’s Meadow, and 18 Things. I’m not just saying that to be self-serving. *coughs* How did you ever overcome the odds?
JA: Oh, yeah, duh! As you know, Krystal, you have to tell me things 50 times before I get it.
Well, that about does it for me. Did we keep you entertained during your long line?
Oh wait, before I forget, beginning the second week of November–that’s the 12-16–Krystal will be hosting the Wildest Moments Blogfest. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in. She’s asking people to write about their wildest moment, then she’s going to read and choose a winner (Kindle Fire!) on December 5th. I’m participating, so that should be reason enough to join;-) Just visit her website link at the bottom, and you can also grab her badge on my site to the right>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Wilde’s Meadow Blurb:
Happy endings are hard to find, and even though Katriona is in the middle of a war with someone who’s already stolen more than she can replace, she aches for a positive future with her Draíochtans.
Armed with hope, confidence in her abilities, and a strange new gift from her mother, Kate ventures into the Darkness to defeat a fallen god.Losses add up, and new obstacles rise to stand in the way. Is the one determined to bring Encardia light strong enough to keep fighting, or will all the sacrifices to stop those who seek domination be for nothing?
About the Author: Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers–who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas–sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?
Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.

What Are Your Genre Favs?

Oh, I love a good blogfest, and today, Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting one! *Squee*
(P.S. I’m sure you guys are tired of me squee-ing all over my blog, but I’m just an excitable person!)
One blogfest, four favorites!
List your favorite genre of:
And a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories!
Movie: Good-hearted Fun
Not sure if that’s an actual genre, if not, then I’m making it up (we’re writers, it’s what we do, hahaha).
Most of my favs probably border on stupid funny. Give me flicks like The Princess Bride, Nacho Libre, Napoleon Dynamite, Baby Mama, Spaceballs, The Jerk, Mystery Men (pretty much anything with Ben Stiler in it), and Elf (totally should’ve won an Oscar IMHO).
Music: Christian Rock
Okay, go ahead and poke fun at me! This one was a bit harder since I really listen to everything, but mainly the local Christian station because as their slogan states, “It’s safe for the little ears in your family,” and well, I like to shelter my children! As a teacher, I can tell  you that we don’t have enough innocence and wonder left in kids these days. There are no more mysteries, they know it all. Okay, I’ll stop preaching. Some of my favs I like to rock out to are: Building 429, Barlow Girl, Need to Breathe, Newsboys (seen them so many times in concert I feel like they’re my distant cousins), Third Day, Skillet, and Superchick.
Books: Everything YA
Especially paranormal and fantasy. If you need some good picks, I recommend The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices Series, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter (obviously), The Cambion Chronicles, Soul Screamers books, The Sweet Trilogy, Divergent Trilogy, Halflings Series, and The Kane Chronicles (and yes, all of those have at least a wee-bit of romance in them–every good book does!)
Okay, now for a guilty pleasure from any of these categories.
Johnny Stecchino
Johnny Stecchino is a 1991 Italian comedy film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni (the guy who won an Oscar for Life is Beautiful and stood on the back of the chairs and applauded. He’s one wild & crazy guy!)
Johnny Stecchino is about a kindhearted but bumbling idiot who likes to steal bananas.
I recommend inviting your friends over for banana splits and watching the movie.
Trust me, you’ll be ROTFL:-)
So, dear friends, what are your favorites?