#IndieFallFest: Rae Hachton

Happy Halloween! Today's Indie Fall Fest author is the amazing Rae Hachton!
Don't forget to stop by the kick-off post and enter the huge giveaway!

Over on Kira Adams' blog today, she's featuring T.C. McKee!

by Rae Hachton
When I decided to create this musical playlist post, I was like Oh Yeah, I'm totally gonna bring the creepy. But then....I realized, Yeah...only one problem with that.

I almost forgot that it's Halloween and not Valentine's Day. Sometimes I get those two confused. Most of my music is Death + Love themed (just like my books) but I suppose Halloween can be for Lovers too.

I chose a total of 12 songs from my music collection. I had plenty to choose from, but I selected the ones that currently appear on my book soundtracks.


This is one of the most gorgeous songs I've ever heard in my life. You must go listen to it. From what I understand, a woman is singing about how a vampire shows up at her wedding and pulls her away from it, hypnotizes her, takes her with him, and makes her immortal. She's so entranced by him that I don't think she understands what's really happening.

I carry a mandrake in my bouquet
And I shiver when it screams

A Mandrake is a plant from the Nightshade family, rumored to scream when it's pulled from the ground. Which, in this song basically means, she is the one screaming (is she so entranced that she doesn't know it though?) as he's biting her. It's like her mind is in two places at once. She's able to narrate (sing about) what's happening to her from a detached point-of-view.

If the Mandrake was already in her bouquet, it wouldn't be screaming, as it already would've when it was pulled from the ground.

Oh, I feel it being drawn out
The blood flowing steadily into your mouth

I would dance at my wedding to this song.

This song is definitely on the Evermore (Pretty in Black #4) Soundtrack.

Sank my teeth in your porcelain skin
I'm home again, alive in you.

Yes, Please.

D Composure is an amazing band (who needs to finish their Blood Songs so I can get them already!) and they are my new MUSE (The band and my invisible inspiration). Seriously, listen to them. They sound sorta like MUSE. Almost all of their songs appear on the Evermore soundtrack because of that.

This song is available for FREE (legal) download on their website, by them, if you follow the link.

You're probably already familiar with this song. I used to be a fan of MM when I was a teen, but not so much anymore. But this song is still one of the ones I like. Why? Because...vampires. And because a vampire and a human have their faces pressed to each other in a tomb somewhere early Christmas morning. SO. MUCH. YES.


This song is on the Eternally soundtrack and it was the one which inspired the series. I'm not going to quote lyrics because the song is made of only two paragraphs which repeat in intervals, but it's basically about two people dying together, and then realizing they aren't really dead at all, and now they're zombies and are going to be together forever, well...until they decay, that is.

Another Zombie favorite—a girl sings about being a zombie and how she's alone and no one loves her. She promises the guy (who hasn't appeared yet) that she'll love him forever and take care of him if he'll just love her for what she is. I dig it.

A zombie guy lamenting his grotesque love for the girl he's with, and talking about how he's a zombie...for her...

Wait...that's wrong. I don't even think it's a love song at all. He's talking about how he's decaying. (But it sounds like one though.)


This is my favorite song, and incidentally, it is Heath's favorite song too. If you don't know who Heath is, he's the character (and narrator) of my new book Eternally. This song is on the soundtrack and also inspired the book.

There are a few different covers of this song, originally by The Blue Oyster Cult, but I prefer HIM's version of it way better than all the rest.

It's a Love Song. About Dying. Go figure, huh?

This song is mostly instrumental, but it sounds really cool. And I like it.


We can't go without mentioning Classic Love Poetry from Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde, now can we? But instead of reading it, you can now Listen to it. Also check out William Control's other music. Because WC=Awesome.


Now, to put the tombstone on the grave, (or not!) these last two songs are about someone dying and their lover simply not accepting death as the end of their romantic relationship. So, yeah. The solution? To dig up the body and have them anyway, or stay in a relationship with them even though they are dead, and refuse to accept that they're gone.

The first song is sung by a female, the last one by a male. More sadly so, the last song is based on true events, from what I gather. His girlfriend died and he never got over her. All of the songs he made are for her and about her.

I relate to his story, (in ways I wish I couldn't) and feel his pain. Maybe one day I'll talk about that.

(This one is more gorgeous. I love Electric Corpse.)

And yes, I did say these two songs are on my book soundtracks.
So you know what that means.
Look out for another creepy book in the future along the same theme.


Ellie and Marcus are making out in a cemetery on a grave.
Pretty in Black
Heath and Catherine are trying not to get ran over by a hearse and die.
And Johnny is battling against himself not to eat Francesca's Heart.
Frankie's Monster

I haven’t mentally cast all of the characters because I still can’t get over how perfect Stacey Farber (from Degrassi) and Ben Barnes (Dorian Gray/Narnia) would be for the leading roles of Eleanor Piper and Marcus Marble from Pretty in Black. If it ever did become a movie, those two would be my choices. They are incredible actors and Stacey Farber is exactly how I picture Eleanor, attitude, looks, and all.

Writes Dark Romanticism-sometimes with gears and clockwork. Has cemetery obsession. Misses Victorian London and ancient Rome. Believes in vampires and magic. If imaginary, she would be an automaton fairy. Corvidophile. Content.

"My Primary goal is to Scare you/Haunt you, but make you fall in love at the same time. I'm a Monster Lover who writes Dark Fantasy and Gritty Contemporary. Also a believer in dark and twisted fairytales and Scarily-Ever Afters."

Happy 2nd Birthday, Month9Books!

Welcome to Month9Books Birthday Bash! We’re so excited you’re all stopping by!
This is going to be an awesome event with many tour stops featuring our authors! The full schedule is below and make sure to stick around for the EPIC Giveaway taking place!

Here’s a quick note from Georgia McBride, owner of Month9Books!

“Month9Books is turning 2 this year and I could not be happier. We are living proof that if you have a dream to write, create and inspire, you should follow that dream and let nothing keep you from realizing it. Thank you to all the readers, writers, agents, partners and friends who have made this possible. We write for you.

--Georgia McBride, Publisher and Owner of Month9Books”

While all of the posts are from our authors that have books out already we also want to look forward to some of the 2015 titles we can’t wait to share with you!

Here’s a slide show of some our 2015 books!

We have a ton of sequels coming as well as new books from awesome debut authors and we’re so excited to share them all with you! We have something for everyine from every genre from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Paranormal and Horror!

A Whispered Darkness 
by Vanessa Barger

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Pages: 300
Publisher: Month9Books
Formats: Paperback, eBook

When Claire Mallory's father leaves, her mom moves
them to a new town and into a dilapidated Victorian
house. The old house creaks and whistles, and smells . . . well, like it's been abandoned for years. But as the nights grow longer and the shadows take on substance, Claire wonders if the strange sounds and occurrences might be more than the house showing its age. Just as things start to pick up in Claire's love life, her mother becomes possessed. In an attempt to save her mother and their new home, Claire enlists the help of two boys, each of whom is interested in Claire for very different reasons. As she chooses one boy over the other, something dangerous is unleashed, and the spirits make their move. They aren’t content to moan and scream inside Claire’s house, or even control her mom. They want a taste of freedom, and they'll use Claire to get it. But is Claire strong enough to fight off the evil spirits, or will they claim her and her mom before it's all over?
What I Wish I Would Have Known Before Becoming an Author
by Vanessa Barger
Hello! Thank you for hosting me today and Happy Birthday to Month9Books!

I was asked for this guest blog to write about what I wish I would have known before becoming an author. At first I thought this would be a piece of cake. Then I really thought about it and realized that this is a little more involved than I thought.

First, I’ve been writing stories all my life. Mostly, they were for just me. They were fun. They could have anything I wanted in them. They could (and were) melodramatic and silly and I enjoyed them. And then I decided I wanted to be an author.

I had visions of a great life where I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, bent over my keyboard and tapping furiously at the keys while sipping tea and eating chocolate. (I was also skinny and gorgeous, despite that) Then I would wake up and go to a book signing with adoring fans and lunch with my publisher or agent.

Reality isn’t quite so glamorous. So here’s my list of what I wish I’d known:
  • The chocolate still has calories. Never forget that. Lol.
  • You will still probably be up until the wee hours writing (or getting up in them to write), but it will be because you will have a day job to pay the bills.
  • Once you get published, there’s MORE work, not less. Blog posts, emails, contacts with appearances (if you have any), and new books.
  • You have DEADLINES and publishers mean for you to keep them. Writing for fun means you can write a paragraph or twelve pages, whatever you feel like, and then wander off for an hour, three, or a few days. When you have a deadline, you have to sit down and get it done. You can’t do whatever you feel like until you have your editing/word count/etc done for the day.
  • Its hard to put yourself out there. Even when you get used to the rejection letters, get an agent, or whatever, rejections hurt. You just have to brush yourself off and try again.
  • You will still have moments where you feel inadequate. Every writer does. I think it is the nature of the beast. You spend a lot of time alone, with the characters in your head. Its easy for doubt to creep in. Ignore it. As long as writing makes you happy, you’re okay.
  • You will probably not strike it rich. Throw out that theory now. Most authors will never be able to quit their dayjob. Maybe you’ll strike it rich – and that’s great! But don’t count on it. Do it because you love it, not because you expect to be a millionaire.
  • You will meet amazing people. One of the best parts of being an author is that you are suddenly part of a club you didn’t even know existed, and all the members are pretty fabulous. They are supportive, and they love to write and read. Make friends. Enjoy it! Enjoy your readers too – they are also an amazing bunch, and they love your work almost as much as you do!

There are probably more things. But why destroy all the mystery, right?

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and after several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and the Virginia Writer’s Club. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

#IndieFallFest: Friday Favorites #1

All of the authors who are a part of Indie Fall Fest were asked to answer this question!
Here are their answers.

Top Three Favorite Authors (Indie or not)

Stephanie Perkins, Emily Gale, Lauren Barnholdt
-Bridie Hall

Tolstoy, Clavell, Follett
-T.A. Uner

John Green, Cassandra Clare, and Suzanne Collins
-Ruth Silver

Rick Riordan, George R. R. Martin, Deek Rhew
-Erin Albert Rhew

K.G. McAbee, Philippa Gregory, Edgar Allan Poe
-Cynthia Witherspoon

Julianna Baggott, Lydia Davis, Nick Hornby
-Tasha Cotter

Rae Hachton, Kelly Creagh, Susan Dennard
-Shane Morgan

Jennifer Crusie, Wally Lamb, Jane Graves
-Ann Everett

Nicole Quigley, Lauren Oliver, Jodi Picoult
-Heather Letto

Chloe Neill, Abbi Glines, HM Ward
-Stacey Mosteller

Diana Gabaldon, Jennifer Armentrout, Maggie Stiefvater. Wait. Just three?
-T.C. McKee

Stephen King, Paulo Coelho, & Neil Gaiman
-Amy Bartelloni

Dean Koontz, J.K. Rowling, R.L. Stine
-A.G. Porter

Rachel Gibson, Abbi Glines, and Richelle Mead
-Sarah Darlington

Peter S. Beagle and Lois Lowry are my current non-indie favorites. I'm impressed by Intisar Khanani's work. She's an indie to watch for sure!
-Chess Desalls

Ray Bradbury. Kurt Vonnegut. Diana Gabaldon.
-Sarah Buhl

Nora Roberts, HK Carlton (especially her historical fiction)
-Mary Waibel

Brandon Sanderson, Jacqueline Carey, Peter Meredith
-James D. Horton

Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë
-Joy Penny

J.R. Ward, Cindy Gerard, Diana Gabaldon (It was very hard to pick just three!)
-Karen Gordon

Jane Austen, Tarryn Fisher, Stephen King
-Whitney Barbetti

Brittainy Cherry, Teresa Mummert, Cassia Leo
-Kristen Hope Mazzola

There is no way I can keep it to three!!! Jennifer Armentrout, Jay Crownover, Monica Murphy, Sylvia Day, Penelope Douglas, Abbi Glines, Tracy Wolff, Kristen Ashley, Penelope Ward, Chelsea Fine, Jaime McGuire, and the list goes on…
-J. Nathan

J. Kirsch, J.A. Johnson, Cynthia D. Witherspoon (the fact that they're all my co-writers is strictly immaterial!)
-K.G. McAbee

Chelsea Handler, Veronica Roth and Leah Raeder.
-K.B. Nelson

Jennifer Armentrout, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah Maas
-K.R. Conway

Tracy Wolff, Rachel van Dyken, Jay Crownover
-Crystal Perkins

Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Gill McKnight
-Amy Dunne

Favorite writers because they're awesome people: Blake Crouch, Tess Gerritsen, Elizabeth Engstrom.
-Zane Sachs

Mitch Albom, Colleen Hoover, Suzanne Collins
-Kira Adams

Juliet Marillier, Marian Keyes, Philip Pullman *That's my list today. It's like asking a parent to pick a favorite child—my answer will change tomorrow. I love so many different genres, so many authors...it is impossible to choose!

Colleen Hoover, Mia Sheridan and Sophie Kinsella.
-Heather Topham Wood

Maggie Stiefvater, Cassandra Clare, Rainbow Rowell
-Kai Strand

#IndieFallFest: Kristen Hope Mazzola

It's the day of the Kristens! I'm really stoked to have Kristen Hope Mazzola on for Indie Fall Fest today! Don't forget to drop by the kick-off post and enter our huge giveaway!

On Kira Adams' blog, she's featuring Zoe Dawson today!

1. Describe Crashing Back Down in one word.

2. Crashing Back Down deals with the very tough subject of losing a spouse from combat. How hard was it to put yourself in Mags’ place?
Extremely. I will never pretend to know what people in Mags’ position go through. I just did a lot of research and tried to do Mags character justice throughout the entire story.

3. I’ve yet to see a bad review or someone who didn’t love your Crashing series. Why do you think readers connect so well with Mags’ story?
I think the main reason readers have enjoyed the Crashing Series is because it’s real. I tried to write a realistic story with believable and somewhat likeable characters. The Crashing Series is raw and emotional.

4. When you were a kid, did you ever imagine that you would be a published author?
Not at all. If I had been asked this question 3 years ago I would have laughed and said, “Yeah, right!”

5. Your next release, The Hysterics, involves music. Do you listen to music when you write or do you prefer quiet and solitude?
I wish I could listen to music when I wrote, but it distracts me too much. The TV can be on in the background if Mike (my boyfriend) is watching it, but other than that I prefer peace and quiet.

6. If you could have the career of any author as your own, which author would you pick?
I don’t think I would trade my career for anyone else’s. I mean being as famous a J.K Rowling is a dream, but it’s something to aspire to, not envy.

7. Coffee or tea?
Both. Depending on my mood, but coffee mostly

8. What’s coming up next for you? Any new releases?
The Hysterics will be coming on sometime in January of 2015 and I have a TOP SECRET project I am working on that will be released sometime in early 2015. Keep an eye out, it’s going to be totally different from anything I have written yet and I am pretty excited about it!

You want to know more about me? Well, let's see...

I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time "day job" and by night I am author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.

Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I'd like or just to shoot the, well you know.

A portion of all my royalties are donated to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.

Blitz & Giveaway: The Fighter by Kira Adams

The Fighter (Foundation #2)
by Kira Adams 
Release Date: 10/28/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Junior year was supposed to be some of the best times of his life. Instead, Jace Austin lost not only his mother, but also his identical twin brother. After time to heal and grieve, Jace was able to confront his inner demons, and open himself up to love.

Senior year is shaping up to be more of the same; another day, another roller coaster. His father believes Jace is to blame for the deaths in their family; drinking himself numb. He can’t play the hero all the time, and one day soon Jace is going to come face to face with that reality—and let’s face it, it won’t be pretty.

Buy Links:

Pieces of Me
by Kira Adams 
Release Date: 08/11/14

Summary from Goodreads:
For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton. 

Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own.

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw emotions. This is Pieces of Me.

Buy Links:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Createspace

My reflexes had never been sharper. My heart was racing a mile a minute. I gulped loudly then glanced back at the wall which had just been assaulted by our former toaster. In fact, the wall may have lost, judging by the gaping hole staring back at me.
He was drunk again. Not surprising. What was surprising is that he hadn’t drank himself to oblivion yet—and was still conscious. Normally I could slip out unnoticed in the mornings. The nights were more challenging. After Jax passed away my father went full on looney toons. Ape shit. Lost his job and everything else. Now, he could be found spending his days drowning his sorrows in a bottle of Jack and blaming me for his troubles.
It didn’t help that I was the identical resemblance to the son he lost. I got punished almost daily for it.
“You worthless piece of shit,” he snarled at me, slurring his words. That was his favorite insult, other than the obvious, ‘why wasn’t it you’ bit.

About the Author
Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer. From the first time she opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams.

She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the Darkness Falls series, and the Looking Glass series.

Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

#IndieFallFest: T.A. Uner

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Today's author is a friend of mine that I'm so glad to feature, T.A. Uner!
Don't forget to stop by the kick-off post and enter our huge giveaway!

On Kira Adams' blog today, she's featuring Stacey Mosteller!

1. Describe The Leopard Stratagem in one word.

2. I’m so excited that you’re breaking into the SciFi world. What inspired Doctor Mars?
Well with all the talk about humans travelling to Mars in 2020, I felt now was the time to branch out into a new series.

3. Which book do you wish you would have written?
I wish I had written a book that sold a lot so I could move out of my basement apartment room.

4. If you could recommend on book to the entire world, which book would you choose?
War & Peace.

5. It’s a zombie apocalypse! You can only take three things with you to survive on the run; what do you take?
Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

6. Coffee or tea?

7. What’s up next for you? Any new releases?
I’m working on a new YA series called “American Legends”, and I hope to have the first book of the trilogy out in 2015.

The Pursuit of Perfection
by T.A. Uner
It’s been some time since I wrote a blog post aimed at helping writers worldwide, so I've written this post on editing, and how it affects writers.

I would say that for writers, especially indies, editing is the most critical aspect of writing. Why? Because poor editing, or no editing, is the sign of an amateur.

When I first got started as an indie writer over a year ago, it amazed me how difficult editing was. It can be a frustrating process, and have diminishing returns on every pass. That’s why having the right mindset during the editing stage is important.

First, realize that it is impossible to correct all the grammar, punctuation and typos on your own. That is why a good editor is critical. I know that an editor can be pricey, but, in this day and age of independent writing, there are plenty of affordable editors out there.

Next, you must realize that typos will be your biggest enemy. There really is no way around them. I hate to be negative but this is the truth. A good editor can weed out most of them, but some may still be lurking in your manuscript.

I believe that in order to be an excellent writer, you must be vigilant with typos. The best practice in the war against these fiends is to re-read your manuscript every few months, even after publication. I’ve spent lots of money on editing and re-editing, and it’s worth every penny. The last thing you want are negative reviews from your readers because of typos.

Will your manuscript ever be perfect? Never. Even traditionally published books have typos. But you can strive for excellence. This should be the goal of every writer, whether you’re a traditionally published bestseller, or an independent writer embarking on their first literary project.

T.A. Uner is a former Management Professional who spent over 15 years working for various fortune 50 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He is also a graduate of George Mason University, and holds a Bachelors degree in Speech Communication and History.

A finalist in The 2010 Moonlight Mesa short fiction contest, his first short story, “The Banker’s Wife,” was published internationally in an anthology titled, Award Winning Tales. Mr. Uner lives in Virginia. He is the author of the Leopard King Saga and other works.

Tour: The Empress Chronicles by Suzy Vitello

Published by Diversion Books

In this dazzling first book in the EMPRESS CHRONICLES series by the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…

When city girl Liz is banished to a rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control.  She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval.  The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons.  But all of this changes in one historical instant.
One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own.  Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love.  But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.
When Liz finds a timeworn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria. It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…
Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES

   What an enjoyable book with some twists and turns that I didn't see coming. The Empress Chronicles is told in alternating points of view; one present day, one historical 1800s. This brought a unique edge to the story that I rather enjoyed. I could definitely see people on the younger end of Young Adult loving this book.

  The one thing that got me was the pacing. Though Suzy Vitello is a wonderful and inventive writer, I struggled a bit at the beginning to get into this story. Regardless, both characters are very intriguing. The Empress Chronicles is one of a kind, and I know historical fiction fans will flock to it!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).

#IndieFallFest: Heather Letto

Today I am beyond excited to have my girl, Heather Letto, on for Indie Fall Fest.
Don't forget to drop by the kick-off post and enter the HUGE giveaway!

Be sure to stop by Kira Adams' blog today where she's featuring K.B. Nelson.

Describe Impervious in one word.

Okay, Heather. We all know that I’m a HUGE fan of Impervious. Where did you get the idea for it from?
Truth be told, I’m a Christian truly devoted to my walk with Christ. I wanted to write a book which allegorically set up heaven/earth in a way that would appeal to folks like me… not preachy or pushy, just insightful (And dystopia…) so I prayed about it, and low and behold, Impervious was birthed. To be honest, this story wasn’t even outlined… I just wrote and wrote and wrote and… well, you know the rest!

If you could be best friends with any author, who would you pick to be your best friend?
Oh that’s a tough one, because I’ve met so many authors over the past year who I think are awesome-sauce. I think the best scenario would be to gather together a gaggle of my fav’s and a couple of latte’s. We could sob over our failures and frustrations together, and then tell each other to “suck it up, Buttercup.” We’d snort and guffaw and brainstorm our ideas until the afternoon withered into twilight. (Wait, did I just describe a writer’s conference?) A historical author I’d love to sit across from might be C.S. Lewis, but you know, there is that language barrier to overcome. (LOL) And, if I had to pick a super-famous modern author, whom I truly admire, it would be Veronica Roth. No explanation needed…

How similar are Fran’s personality and yours?
I’m a reformed snark, so in many ways, Fran’s character is very much like my (B.C.) personality. (Truth be told, I sometimes relapse into snarkdom even today.) Releasing that repressed snark into her character was quite liberating.

You were so thorough with your world building. What’s your process?
I’d love to give some great, professional insight, but as a rookie author, my technique is still being hewn. The whole city of Impervious was really already built in my mind’s eye. Therefore, I just moved Fran through the city and tried my best to describe what she saw.

Bookmarks or dog-eared pages?
Oh my goodness. Total bookmark! (I am a lady, after all!)

What’s one thing you want your readers to know about Impervious?
There is so much more to come! Impervious is setting the stage for some very big revelations.

What’s up next for you? What projects should we be looking out for?
IMPLANTED (working title of the sequel to IMPERVIOUS) is complete and awaiting publication. So keep an eye out for that. And, I’m in the process (Squeee! Like right now) of outlining an entirely new, (and stand-alone) novel. I’m super giddy with excitement and my fingers can’t seem to move fast enough as I build these new characters and world. Is it speculative fiction? Dystopian? Fantasy? A love story? A heartbreaker? The answer to all of those questions is… yes! (And, of course, it’s also YA)

The residents of Impervious are the remnant—the
survivors of the War of Annihilation. And though the
city is chockfull of pleasures to tantalize and entertain, a beast lurks in the corners, haunting the residents with its presence.

The Beast—a mysterious and terminal illness killed off most of Generations One, Two, and Three. And as Gen-Four prepares to take the stage, a provocative, yet questionable, new method to avoid an untimely death incites a cultural rage.

But Fran lives counter-culture, off the grid in true rebel fashion. With a life far from opulent, she scurries through dark tunnels, searching for hot meals with Pete while ditching the holographic security team. To her, it’s a healthy trade-off. Unaccountability means The Council can’t steal her sliver of hope―a belief that she’ll see The Epoch arrive before The Beast can pull her into its fetid embrace.

After losing her mother and then her Rebel mentor, Fran stumbles upon a miraculous discovery that may save the residents of Impervious. That is, if she can outrun The Beast…

Imagine if the world as we know it was rendered unlivable due to a great war and the only way to survive was to lock yourself in a vast underground bunker that was as big as a city. That was what first generation people (those who escaped the war) were forced to do in order have a chance at life. When we meet our main character, Fran, four generations have past. The people of Impervious are still living underground and due to the Beast, a disease that kills at a young age, their days are numbered.
Fran is a rebel, someone who is Unaccountable, and lives in the ventilation system of Impervious. We met her after she loses her mother and her mentor to the Beast and her brother to marriage. Fran sees through the charade of social status and the silly rules of The Council, which is why she chooses to live off the grid. She and her friend Pete, one that she has strong feelings for, live day-to-day stealing food and other items, waiting for the Beast to take them. That is until Fran finds her mentor's, Chan, reader (tablet) and learns that The Council has been hiding something that could bring down their kingdom and it's something that she can't keep to herself.

Fran is a very strong female character. She is independent, strong and sassy, but also has a tender heart. The story begins with her attitude being brash and standoffish, but it was her way of coping with all that she has lost. Her character grows a lot in this book and she realizes that it's OK to show her feelings, especially to Pete. That is if she can get the chance. I really liked how snarky she was. She was witty and very intelligent. I wish I had her memorization skills.

The world of Impervious was fascinating! It was a contained future since they were in this metal bubble under the ground. Some of their technology is impressive. For example, their security system was top-notch; the rebels get zapped if caught! However, it also made me feel claustrophobic. They are underground and there is only so much room for people in such tighter corners. Knowing that there is a great big world out there hard my head reeling with how they were packed in that giant soda can.
There are a few supporting characters, but Fran really carries the story and that's OK. However, I really hope to see more of Pete and her brother in future books.

All in all, this was a great dystopian book. It's clean, well written and with a fast-paced plot. I can't wait to see more of this futuristic world from Heather Letto.

By: Heather Letto
A cacophony of tweets and twitters poured through my window. With a groan I rolled over, refusing to open my eyes. The daily wake-up call from these winged annoyances typically clocked in around six a.m., and I had no intention of getting out of bed any time before eight. The smell of breakfast wafted past my nose, and I smiled as I nuzzled into the depths of my cotton cocoon. I sighed right before my brain registered the thought. Breakfast?
I was fairly certain today wasn’t my birthday or Mother’s Day. I say ‘fairly’ because in this fifth decade of life, I’ve discovered I can be a bit forgetful. Clearly someone was tempting me with the aroma of bacon and eggs. I yawned, rubbed my eyes, and flopped my hand onto the nightstand for my glasses. When I didn’t find them in their usual spot, I lifted my lids just enough to squint through the folds.
Islands of bright yellow blobs floated from the depths of a midnight blue background. I opened my eyes to get a better view, and it all came into focus. I gasped and re-sealed the lids. The scene around me was strangely child-esque and all-too familiar. While hiding under the blanket, I whispered, “Holly Hobbie curtains?” and stole a peek for confirmation. Images of the iconic vintage rag dress and bonnet fluttered in the morning breeze, as Holly smiled down from my curtains. My mouth went dry. My heart hammered.
I sat up and looked around. A fashionable, yellow, shelving unit sat atop an equally fashionable, yellow, shag throw-rug. Dark blue walls trimmed in the brightest of yellow (yet to be found in the color wheel) stared at me, daring me to question my whereabouts.
I stumbled out of bed and ran to the mirror. The fact that I could see clearly without my glasses didn’t even dawn on me as I gawked at the teenage girl who gawked back in return. She sported no wrinkles nor one gray hair. As a matter of fact, the only mar in her perfect complexion lie in the ginormous pimple attempting to nose its way past the flesh of her chin.
“Heathie,” A very familiar voice rang out. “Are you coming down or should I just make you a Carnation Instant Breakfast?”
I swallowed hard and whispered, “Mom?”
My bedroom door flew open and my brother stood with a book tucked under his arm. “I’m not going to wait for you. If you’re not ready in twenty, you’re taking the bus.”
I stared slack jawed.
“Are you high?” He laughed.
“No.” I whispered.
“Sure,” he scoffed, and headed down the stairs.
I rummaged through my closet, aghast at the row of ripped jeans and flannels that made up my wardrobe, before finding a single pair of decent looking pants which fit like a glove and rose all the way up to my belly button. I tossed on a polo, zipped myself up to the waist, and ran to the bathroom to wash up.
As I dragged a cloth across my face, my heart beat like a baby jackrabbit. This couldn’t be possible. I’m married. Well, actually, divorced and re-married. I’ve birthed and raised two sons. I’ve climbed corporate ladders and… oh my gosh! I’m a published author.
But the face that stared back at me wasn’t one of accomplishments and wisdom. Instead I was met with the unnaturally, natural scowl which spoke of rebellion. As I assessed my image, I lifted a brow. It was as if the reflection challenged me to question any further.
I laughed at her.
“What are you fighting?” I asked the reflection.
She remained stoic, but as I looked deeper into her eyes, I began to remember. She was lost. She’d already made some mistakes and thought she’d never bounce back. Nobody understood her. She had secrets. A chill ran up my spine. Somehow the memories I’d squashed over the years were as fresh as my new skin.
But wait a minute! I now had an advantage. I’ve seen the future. I knew she’d make even more mistakes. Some real doosies as a matter of fact. I knew what ticked her off. I knew what made her cry. I knew she felt unsure of herself. I had mental flashes of mountains she still had to climb and crises she would survive. It hadn’t been easy. But I also knew, she’d win the fight.
I silently urged the reflection to smile. Today, I had come back to help her. Maybe this time, we could walk a little better. Stand a little straighter. I laughed as I thought about the implication. It was like winning the Life Lotto. A chance to do it all over again. I felt giddy with the prospect of what lie ahead for her… er…us. No mistakes this time. And… wooaahhh... we could write Harry Potter! J.K. move out of the way! The euphoria lasted for a breath before I was struck with grievous longing… for my kids and husband.
I couldn’t see them. I couldn’t even call them. (Heck, I wouldn’t even have a cell phone for another fifteen years!) I still had six years to walk through before I held my firstborn again. I thought back to how all of the events in my life—the good the bad and the ugly—had actually led me my greatest loves. And, unfortunately for her—me—to get back to them, she’d have to walk the exact path all over again. No deviations. No shortcuts. The same life rebellion, anger, mistakes, and failures.
After all, if she deviated even a tiny bit, I’d lose too much.
I sighed and squeezed the toothpaste onto my toothbrush.
Mom’s voice rang out from the lower level. “Heathie. Let’s get a move on!”
I rolled my eyes, blew out an exasperated breath, and muttered, “Like... I’m so sure.”
Yeah. It was going to be a long road.

Heather has a long history of freelance writing projects beginning in the early 1990’s. Her first published articles appeared when she worked as a Stringer for the Daily Herald, a daily newspaper covering the Chicago-suburban area. Since then, as well as IMPERVIOUS, she’s published articles for The Fit Christian, WHOAwoman Magazine, Devotion Magazine as well as Tween Girls and God. Besides writing, she’s the wife of a brilliant computer programmer, mom of two strapping young men and although originally from the Chicago area, she and hubby now travel full time around the United States in an RV… just doing their thang.

#IndieFallFest: Cynthia Witherspoon

Today we're highlight Cynthia Witherspoon for the Indie Fall Fest!
Don't forget to drop by the kick-off post and enter our HUGE giveaway!

Over on Kira Adams' blog, she's hosting Sarah Darlington today! So don't forget to stop by!

1. Describe The Sibyl in one word.

2. You’ve written both by yourself and with a co-writer. Do you have a preference between the two?
I really don’t. Gail (K.G. McAbee) and I work so well together that even when we are writing solo, we can still bounce ideas off one another. It’s really nice to have that support system. When we are writing together, it’s dynamite. We work out a plan and if our characters decide to take us elsewhere, we just let the other one know so they can adjust accordingly.

3. If you could have the career of any author, self or traditionally published, who would you pick?
Back when I started writing professionally, I would have said traditional publishing. But that was ten years ago, and the market has changed so much since then. Now, I am a self-published author. I love the freedom I have over when, where, and how my books are presented to the world. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

4. I love the concept behind The Sibyl combining reality television and paranormal. What inspired you to take that direction?
When I first started writing The Sibyl, I wanted to explore how real paranormal experiences can change even the most stubborn of minds. I decided to use reality television as a background for this story because there is an ironic parallel with the whole genre. Eva McRayne doesn’t want to believe in the paranormal. But by doing the reality show, she is forced to accept that her former beliefs were nothing more than fiction.

5. How old were you when you realized you loved to write?
I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been able to read. I would read a story, not like the ending, then write down how I thought the story should have finished. But I discovered my passion for writing when I was in college. I loved to read, so I was an English minor. I took a creative writing intro course and got hooked. There is something so addictive about seeing your worlds come alive. It’s pure magic.

6. ZOMBIE APOCOLYPSE! You only have time to grab one book from your shelf before you have to flee the zombies. Which one are you taking? 
A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

7. Bookmarks or dog-eared pages?
Dog-eared pages filled with notes on what I liked, what I loved, and what I want to read more about.

8. What’s next for you?
I am currently working on The Fanatic, which is book two in the Oracle Series. Then at the beginning of next year, Gail and I will start writing book two in the Gilded Cages saga.
As for releases, the second book in our The Witchfinder Wars series, Deception, is coming out November 1st, with the third book slated for December. This winter is going to be a little crazy, but I can’t wait to get started!

Already Damned
I had turned into my own twisted version of Nancy Drew when I found the watch on my husband's nightstand three weeks ago. As I held the thin gold band, I remembered his sudden cancellations. I thought of all the nights he came in after midnight full of excuses.
Now I knew his excuses were hollow. Gerald Johnston was cheating on me. I should have expected it. My husband had always had a wandering eye.
Tonight he called to tell me he was working late. But I knew better. I'd followed him to an abandoned house on Villa Avenue. The same one said to be haunted by the family who had died there when a drunk had plowed his car through the front door. I could see my husband through the dirty window and he wasn't alone.
"Reverend Johnston, are we ready?"
A tall man stepped into view. Then another. Then another.
"We are." Gerald smiled as he rubbed his hands together. "Reverend Willard, light the candles. The Dark One has graced us with a most worthy gift this time."
Reverend? I leaned as close to the glass as I could get. Gerald wasn't a reverend. He was an accountant.
"What in the world is going on?" I murmured as I watched the room get brighter with each candle lit. "Is this a joke?"
There were five of them total; each dressed in long black robes except for Gerald. His was a rich red. I wondered where he had been hiding it.
Even through the dust, I could see large pentagram painted on the floor. The men had started chanting to themselves as Gerald moved to stand behind a large table set up in the middle. After a few minutes, my husband gestured towards the door. Two of the men disappeared from my sight.
"Lucifer, the most earthly angel, has demanded blood. He seeks a soul as proof of our devotion and we will not disappoint him."
I was so focused on trying to understand the scene playing out before me that I cried out when two sets of hands grabbed my arms. I struggled as they pulled me inside.
"Let me go!"
The strangers took me to the middle of a blood red circle. I stopped struggling to face the man I'd sworn my life to.
A man I thought I knew.
"Gerald, what is going on here? Tell them to let me go."
"No, Diana." Gerald sighed as he approached us. Even in the candlelight, I could see the large knife in his right hand. "You see, our dark god has called for a sacrifice. The last one was...unsatisfactory."
"Damn you, Gerald, stop it! This is not funny!"
I felt my blood turn to ice as he raised the blade and spoke the last words I would ever hear.
"It is far too late for curses, Diana. We are already damned."

Some tragedies are best left forgotten.

Eva McRayne wanted a steady paycheck, not a television show. But when Elliot Lancaster hands her the opportunity to discredit his paranormal findings on camera, she finds it impossible to turn him down. Her life changes in more ways than one after she goes to New York to learn more about the theories she will be shooting down on television. Eva McRayne encounters a Sibyl desperate to be free of the shackles which bind her to Apollo.

Shackles she binds onto Eva - a disbeliever who learns the hard way just how real the paranormal can be.

  I was really intrigued in the premise behind The Sibyl. As a skeptic myself, I thought that the idea of combining skepticism with reality television in a novel was so unique and refreshing. Eva was a very well developed character that was easy to follow. Along with her and the pacing of this book, I was immediately swept up in the world that Cynthia Witherspoon had created.

  There are so many elements to this book, and I enjoyed every single one of them. There are several parts to the plot, but I found the author's writing to make this an enjoyable read. She showed so much talent for story telling and I cannot wait to dive into more of her works!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

Breaking Through the Block: Why Does Music Inspire Us?
by Cynthia Witherspoon

Hello, my name is Cynthia and I'm currently recovering from writer's block.

Yes, I know. Writer's block is the bane to every writer's existence. You get your creative space just perfect. You go through your pre-writing ritual, sit down at the keyboard ready to type out the best book to hit the shelves in years, and what do you get?

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

So you check Facebook, the news, anything in an attempt to get the creative juices flowing. But when your words refuse to come out, or you're stuck on a particular scene, what can you do to get past it? How can you break the writer's block?

Ask any writer out there what inspires them to write and I'll guarantee that you'll get the same answer: everything. Inspiration comes from in the form of any media, experience, or conversation overheard from the darkest corners of a coffee shop.

I know this answer well enough because I've used it time and time again. Even when I couldn't find my muse to save my life.

It is certainly true that inspiration can come from anywhere. I've written stories based on pictures, conversations, even the location used in a Ghost Adventures episode once. But we all have our triggers - our muses if you will - that get the creative juices flowing like no other.

For me, it was music which finally broke through my writer's block. Each of my stories have a soundtrack because when I'm writing them, I'm listening to a song that mirrors the emotions I am trying to capture through a particular scene. For example, my chapters in Gilded Cages (my collaboration with the great K.G. McAbee) were written while listening to Taylor Swift's Red album. The Sibyl? Matchbox Twenty's North.

And I am not alone. There are numerous articles throughout the internet about how to use music as a trigger to recover from writer's block. According to a paper published in Scientific American, studies have found that humans respond to music as a stimulus because it makes us feel. "Music is exquisitely emotionally evocative..."[source]

So what does this mean for those of us trying to recover from writer's block? Simple. Music in itself is a trigger for emotional response, which we try to immolate on the page. If you are working on a fight scene, listening to a song which triggers images of violence could help you work out the action sequences. If you are writing a love scene, then songs about lovers could help you focus on that aspect of your dialogue.

So yes, it is perfectly ok - normal even - to suffer from writer's block. It can be frustrating. Heart wrenching. Devastating. But there are ways to get around your dilemma.

Get your writing space ready and put on some music. Listen, think, but make sure you do the most important thing of all.

Put those feelings down on paper. Work through your scene and move on. Break the block and keep writing!

You'll be grateful that you did.

Cynthia D. Witherspoon is an award winning writer of Southern Gothic, Paranormal Romance, and Urban Fantasy. She currently resides in South Carolina, but spent three years in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Always an avid reader, she began writing short stories in college. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in History from Converse College, and earned a Masters in Forensic Science at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

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