Friday, September 30, 2011

What's New in October?


Note the chatroom is open tonight (Oct 1st) from 8-10PM EST. See the left-hand sidebar for Chatroom. Drop in to win door prizes. TONS of door prizes!


MuseItUp Publishing celebrates their first year anniversary with a WOWZA 50% off Weekend Special. That's right, as of today until midnight on Sunday, MuseItUp would like to thank everyone for their support this past year by offering you 50% off any purchase. Just add the following code in the discount box in our bookstore's cart before you move on to Paypal:  MFAS2011

* You can buy my mystery, "Missing, Assumed Dead" for half-price with the code. Just sayin'.

And the MuseItUp On-Line Conference will be held (where else?) on-line on Oct 3-6. You'll find the chat room in the same place as the conference.

Nancy Bell is visiting me on 10/2 about her new release, "Laurel's Miracle." A donation will be made to a horse rescue facility for each book sold. Read all about it tomorrow.

A big Halloween blogarama runs all month long on Brynna Curry's website. Brynna is hosting a galaxy of spooky goodness, including yours truly on October 27th.

Introducing BAD SPELLING, Book 1 of the Witches of Galdorheim Series. I'll be the guest at a few blogs, and I'll be posting fun material here as well. Check my schedule page on this blog for the up to the minute links to my beloved hosts and the articles I'm including here. The "tour" runs from October 14th to October 30th.

A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse,
a quest to save her family.
Can Kat find her magic in time?

Beginning on 10/14/11 here and on host blogs.

If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home.

Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, Rune, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way. Andy, one of a set of troll triplets, reveals his true identity.

Rebecca Russell - Top 10 Things About the Seraphym Wars

by Rebecca Ryals Russell

Note: The Seraphym Wars is a series with several books. The first one, "Odessa," was published a few months ago. The second book in the series, "Prophecy," is scheduled for release from MuseItUp Publishing this month.

Bio: Rebecca Ryals Russell writes MG and YA Dark Fantasy and Horror while living with her family in a Victorian house on five acres of North Florida countryside. She also runs a Vacation Rental Log House on the property: Florida Black Bear Cabin. ( )

She is a fourth generation Floridian. She was born in Gainesville, grew up in Sunrise, lived in Orlando and Jacksonville before moving outside Lake City to care for ailing parents.

The daughter of an Elementary-school principal and secretary, for fourteen years she taught Middle Grades, preferring English and Creative Writing. She had several students’ works published in anthologies as well as her own poetry, photography and stories. Her main interests are her four children ages 22, 19, 16, 11 and Irish hubby of 35 years. She enjoys spending her time writing, drawing, going to movies, reading, discussing philosophy with her 17-year-old son.

Over the course of the next few years she has several books being published.

Be sure to check out the special interactive Middle Grade Reader website for tons of information about Stardust Warriors as well as the other projects Rebecca has in the works.

Prophecy Description

For centuries the residents of Solsyl lived in peace and harmony with the planet. Then the dragon-demons arrived, causing the Great Shuddering. Majikals from everywhere scurried to find shelter from the evil while humans hid. Laud regretted his rash decision of exiling the demons on Solsyl and asked one of his advisors, a member of The Conscientia, to protect his people. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of Revrum Natura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. But Narciss, ruler of Tartarus and King of the demons, desperately wants what Jeremiah has sworn to protect—a Prophecy of Narciss’s future doom. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible.

But forever is a long time to protect something without ever letting down one’s guard.

Top ten things I want readers to know about the Seraphym Wars Series

1-Incidents of violence appearing in dreams/visions or seen while traveling were ALL taken from actual news accounts. I couldn’t even make up stuff like these.

2-Place names were determined using Latin bases. For example, anything containing volcanoes has ‘Cauld’ in the name; or green areas contain ‘verde’.

3-Character names were determined based on personality, role in the story, physical properties. For example, the main character Myrna Ashlin Watts means ‘high-spirited’ + ‘vision(s)’ + ’ruler of army’; Conall Sean Wyman, a demon-warrior, means ‘strong wolf’ + ‘God’s precious gift’ + ‘warrior/fighter’.

4-Mythology played a huge role in the story through Characters like Griffen Oisin Gilmore and Aurora Neave Hubert who develop a very close relationship. In Celtic Mythology Oisin and Neave were lovers. I also used many Mythological creatures/monsters, such as: Harpies, Graes, Griffins (I called them Andergryphs), Phoenix and more. My names for Heaven=Asgard and Hell=Tartarus came from Viking Mythology.

5-My choice to make the demons able to shapeshift into dragons came from Revelations, in the Bible. According to Revelations, when Satan and his followers were tossed from Heaven, it was in dragon form which they had assumed during the battle. Since I enjoy dragons I chose to keep that aspect and work it with the demon nature.

6-The creation of the Dracwald world maintains geographical logic found on Earth. Effects of geology on climate and establishment of civilizations closely resembles that of Earth as well. This helps the reader understand the nature of the world while introducing alien ideas.

7-Book 3, Majikals, will introduce a whole new series of civilizations via the Faeries, Elves, Dwarfs and other creatures found on Caldelub, the island where the Vigorios receive training. These Majikals will introduce the Vigorios to Celtic Druidic lifestyle, with some Wicca thrown in, as they learn to trust in themselves and the Elements.

8-A spin-off series for Middle Graders called Stardust Warriors reduces the story to smaller novels minus the love story and violence. It brings the epic journey nature of the story out for MG readers to enjoy. The first in this series, Zarena, comes out July 2011.

9-I’m also working on a series of Picture Books based on the Majikals found on Caldelub.

10-Lastly, I want readers to sit back and enjoy the ride. With aspects of Lord of the Rings, Mythology, Revelations, dragon lore, creative use of new monsters, a Steampunk civilization, Fairy Tales, Celtic Mythology and more, I hope readers will become immersed in the world I created and fall in love with the characters as they battle for their very survival.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MG/YA Blogathon Final Two Days

We're heading into the last few days for the MG/YA Blogathon tour. I try to keep all the links up to date on the Schedule page and on these periodic reminders of the schedule.

C.K. Volnek - “Ghost Dog of Roanoke” on Barbara Bockman
Marva Dasef - “Bad Spelling” on Meradeth Houston
Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on C.K. Volnek

Meradeth Houston - “Colors Like Memories” on Kim Baccellia
Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on Marva Dasef
Marva Dasef - “Bad Spelling” on Barbara Ehrentreu
C.K. Volnek - “Ghost Dog of Roanoke” on Lawna Mackie

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Keeping Secrets with Barbara Ehrentreu

If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor
by Barbara Ehrentreu
Buy at MuseItUp Publishing

Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too heavy for fashion body and not being a cheerleader. Hyperventilating when she gets nervous doesn’t help. When she is paired for a math project with the girl who tormented her in middle school, Jennifer Taylor, she is sure it is going to be another year of pain.

With Carolyn’s crush on Jennifer’s hunky junior quarterback, Brad her freshman year in high school looks like a rerun of middle school. When Jennifer is the only student who knows why she fell in gym class, Carolyn is blackmailed into doing her math homework in return for Jennifer’s silence. Jennifer takes on Carolyn as a pity project since she can’t be seen with someone who dresses in jeans and sweatshirts. When Jennifer invites Carolyn to spend the night to make her over and teach her to tumble, Carolyn learns Jennifer’s secret and lies to her own friends to cover it up. Will Carolyn become a cheerleader and popular? Does she continue to keep Jennifer’s secret? Or will she be a target of this mean girl again?

Barbara, a retired teacher with a Masters degree in Reading and Writing K-12 and seventeen years of teaching experience lives with her family in Stamford, Connecticut. When she received her Masters degree she began writing seriously. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara’s first YA novel, was inspired by Paula Danziger. Barbara is a NY Literature Examiner for with several articles for them. Her blog, Barbara’s Meanderings,, is networked on both Facebook and Blog Catalog. She hosts Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children's story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online She has written book reviews for and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity Café. She is a member of SCBWI. Writing is her life!


In the YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, the main character, Carolyn Samuels, has to keep a lot of secrets from her friends and family. Have you ever had to keep a secret? What was the reason?

Carolyn finds herself in the middle of a very bad situation. She learns a terrible secret about the mean girl who has been bullying her since middle school and she doesn’t know what to do about it. Jennifer Taylor, the mean girl, is no one to cross. So Carolyn starts doing things she would never do. She winds up doing things for Jennifer and she lies to her parents and her best friends. Yet she keeps the secret.

Should she have kept Jennifer’s secret? Maybe she should have told someone. If you find a person who has a serious problem, when is it right to tell on them so they can get help? Are you being helpful by keeping that person’s secret or are you hurting them by keeping the secret?

As the author I felt I had a responsibility to write this story as true to life as possible. In my own life I have had to keep secrets. Sometimes these secrets were very painful, yet my friend or relative depended upon me keeping that secret for them. I felt I could not let them down. Carolyn goes through a lot of soul searching about the secret and in the process of keeping the secret winds up needing to cover up more and more of her own activities to protect the secret. In other words, needing to keep the secret caused a series of events associated with the secret. None of the things that happen to Carolyn happened to me, and also I was a little older than she. But she does have some pretty tempting moments when all she needed to do was reveal Jennifer’s secret and her life would go back to normal.

Does she give Jennifer’s secret away and face the consequences or does she keep it? All the answers are in If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor released by MuseItUp Publishing and available at The Muse Bookstore.


Mom works at Warner, Biddle, Biddle, and Boone, an advertising agency in the city. We live about a half hour away from New York City in a small town in Westchester. I’m used to her working long hours when she has a big job to do. It would have been better to have her home, especially tonight. I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing copying the homework for Jennifer, but Dad is too sleepy tonight for rational answers. So, I’ve kind of put myself at the wrong end of a wet floor, and the space is too great to cross. I’ve got to go through with it.

“Goodnight sweetheart. Oh, I almost forgot, as a special treat, I bought a pint of rocky road ice cream for you.” He gives me a kiss on the cheek as I hug him; then he shuffles upstairs one- step at a time. I follow him upstairs, too. It’s time to do the homework.

The math homework, which is a review test in our book, is easy stuff, and I think I’ve aced it. Anyway, I make two copies, and then I do the rest of my homework. I know this isn’t middle school. We have homework the first night of school.

Didn’t eat my usual two and a half portions at dinner, so I feel hungry, but I’m sick of being too heavy for fashion. I want to look like a lean, sexy dancer in a music video. After my homework is done, I go looking for food. Downstairs the container of rocky road in the freezer is calling me. I ignore it and grab an apple instead. What would it be like to be the right size? Could I be popular? Maybe Jennifer could show me how to be popular. Maybe she could help me learn to tumble so I can try out for cheerleading, my secret passion. The little demon in my head, which won't rest says, Right Carolyn, and maybe tomorrow you’ll be a size four. Jennifer showing me how to be popular is as likely to happen as Brad becoming my boyfriend. Also, what would Becky and Janie think if I started hanging out with Jennifer? I’d lose my two best friends; no, better to stay in my own tight circle. I get into bed and wonder if tomorrow will be the same as today or worse.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Charlotte Volnek - Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island

by C.K. Volnek

Twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren must face his fears to save his family from the ancient evil curse haunting Roanoke Island.

(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Marva. Readers can find me in a multitude of places on-line.

e-mail: ckvolnek at
Muse Author Page
Facebook: C.K. Volnek
Twitter: CKVolnek
YouTube: CK Volnek

I’m also on GoodReads and JacketFlap.

Buy links will be coming soon! Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island will be available on Amazon, MuseItUp book store, and many other e-book store sites on September 1, 2011.

Before we get too far, I’d also like to tell everyone I’m offering a FREE copy of my new book, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island to one lucky reader who leaves me a comment. So just say hi and you might win!

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island buy link (September 26th Release)
Amazon Buy Link (now available)

(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books.

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island is a Tween book revolving around the true story of the mysterious disappearance of 117 colonists from Roanoke Island, NC. Add to the mix, a twist of Native American folklore, a terrifying monster and a hurricane and you have a fast-paced story full of action and adventure, along with a lesson of tolerance and forgiveness.

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island came about as I was reading a news article about how divers thought they might have found a relic of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. The mystery intrigued me. Whatever did happen to the lost colonists? My main character, Jack Dahlgren, popped into my head and decided we should come up with our own version of what happened to them. I let Jack have the reins and the story flowed from my fingers.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

I’m not an extremely fast writer. Unfortunately, I have a wicked self-editor in my head that likes to have things tidied up. I battle with her constantly. Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island took me about two years before it was polished enough to pass around to publishers.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

There are so many great authors. It’s hard to even pick a handful of whom I enjoy the most. Every book I read, I am gleaning not only the story but the writer’s style, picking out what I like and don’t like, hoping to better my writing. I can only hope someday someone will glean ‘good’ writing style tips from my books.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

When I’m not tethered to my laptop I love to spend time with my family and friends, travel, watch movies, hike, make jewelry or take long walks with my four Papillons.

(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

My muse pops in in the most unusual of places. I try to keep notebooks in almost every room in the house because I never know when she is going to demand me to take a note or two. I’m a night owl, so most times my muse will find me sitting in my comfortable chair in the living room. But she will also visit me when I travel or go other places. Luckily my laptop goes just about anywhere with me. As for music, I love to listen to Yanni while I write. Intoxicating, invigorating and inspirational.

(Q) Answer the following personal questions:

- Plotter or pantser? – I’ve found I’m a bit of both, though most times the pantser comes out. If my characters aren’t talking to me, it doesn’t matter how much plotting I’ve done, the story is not going to go anywhere. I can’t force my muse.

- What are your writing strengths? Weaknesses?

I believe my writing strength is my imaginative muse. I have more stories to work on than I can count. But my strength is also my greatest weakness. I need to learn how to lasso my muse and make her finish one story before she jumps on to the next.

- Coffee or tea?

Diet Coke actually. Never liked coffee after tasting it when I was 7. I do like a nice glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day, but would still prefer my diet coke. I think the coke has a bigger punch of caffeine to get me motivated.

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they? (optional if you don't have a WIP to talk about)

I have three distinct projects I’m working on. The Secret of the Wood is the second book to series titled The Lost Diaries of Northumberland. The first book, The Secret of the Stones, comes out in April 2012. It’s a MG series centering around magic and mayhem, a Harry Potter meets Merlin kind of story.

Then I’m also working on two YA books. One is titled the Sleepers and is a paranormal romance. The other is called The Three O’Clock Hour and is a fictional story based on the true story of the school bus accident from my home town that claimed three students and one parent. That one is extremely hard to write. But there were so many miracles that came from it, the story needs to be shared, even if it has a fiction undertone.

…See what I mean about lassoing my muse in to finish just one story?

(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

I’ve found Marketing to be a wild and crazy beast. I’m taking baby-steps each and every day. I built my web page and introduced myself, my characters and my stories. I created a blog page and post weekly to it. I’ve also branched out to build my face book and twitter platforms. I’ve joined countless groups. I’m anxious and excited to meet many new writer and reader friends and have been lucky to be hosted on many blogs. But I’m learning more and more each and every new day.

(Q) If you'd like to add anything, please do so.

I’d like to say thank you so much for hosting me today. I have learned an even greater lesson to life as I’ve embarked on my marketing adventure…that one cannot have enough friends, and that life is 80 percent doing for others and 20 percent doing for yourself. At first I struggled with that notion. I’m too busy to do so much for everyone else, am I not? But it is oh so necessary and the 80 percent of doing for others is even more fulfilling to me than the 20 percent doing for myself. I’m humbled to have gained so many great new friends, just like you Marva.

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?

Here is an excerpt from chapter one of Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island:

Jack rushed to the front door and reached for the doorknob. His hand stopped in midair as the door shuddered violently, shaking on its hinges. A deafening howl roared on the other side. The boards covering the windows shook, the nails screeching as though giant hands were trying to rip them from the house. The lights flickered and went out, leaving the house pitch dark.

Sweat broke out on Jack’s forehead. His heart drummed in his ears. Turning, he fumbled with the dials of the battery-operated radio on the end table. The announcer’s voice sputtered between static crackles. “Hurricane Da...earlier than expec...winds reaching...residents on Roanoke Island…take cover immediately. Stay…”

Jack leaned against the door, his mind whirling. Regret twisted inside as the argument with his dad hammered in his head…

* * * *

“Why can’t I stay home? I don’t need—”

Dad rushed around the front room, putting on his rubber boots and black slicker. “No. Get your coat on. I can’t trust—”

“Come on, Dad. I’ll be fine. It wasn’t my fault Kimmy—”

“Enough! Don’t argue with me, Jackie.”

Jack stiffened at the name. “I’m not a baby anymore. I’m almost thirteen, you know.”

Dad spun around, eyes flashing. “Then why don’t you act like it?” He let out a long breath. “Fine. Stay here. But don’t do anything stupid. I’ll be back before the storm—”

Jack bristled, his jaw twitching. “I’m not stupid.”

“That’s not what I meant—”

Jack didn’t let him finish. “Just leave! And I hope you never come back!” He stomped to his bedroom, slamming his door behind him.

* * * *

Jack swallowed. But, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get the beach ball-sized lump out of his throat. “I didn’t mean it, Dad.”

Something banged against the porch, scraping along the boards. Jack jumped and listened. Was someone calling for help? Yanking the front door open, he stepped outside.

“Dad?” His voice was lost in the storm.

He strained to hear, something—anything. The boards of the long walkway leading into the water creaked and groaned. Someone was on the dock.


Ducking back inside the door, he grabbed his yellow slicker off the hook, slipped it on, and charged down the steps. A gust of wind shoved him back. Clenching his teeth with determination, he leaned against it, forcing his eyes to stay focused on the wild ocean. Dad would need his help getting the boat secured in this storm.

Jack staggered down the sloppy trail leading to the dock. The storm howled in his ears. A heavy sheet of rain tore loose from the sky. Dime-sized raindrops pelted his body, plastering his hair against his scalp. He pulled his hood up over his head and clutched it tight with one hand, but the wind tore it off again.

Bracing himself on one leg, Jack leaned over the railing and stared down the long wooden walkway bouncing on the water. Dad’s green runabout was nowhere to be seen. He scanned the choppy waves beyond the pier. Nothing. No one.

Jack shuddered and gazed back at the house; the run-down beach house they’d moved into two months ago.

Had it only been two months? It felt like two years.

Dad spent every free minute cleaning and fixing it up, even drafting Jack to help paint it, though Jack couldn’t seem to do anything right by his standards. Slowly, it had started looking like a normal house. Now, boarded up it looked haunted…like Tyler Johnson said it was.

Jack huffed, a sour taste filling his mouth. That was stupid. Tyler was stupid.

Jack closed his eyes. For a moment he was back in Ohio. In Ohio he had friends. He was on the baseball team, lead archer in boy scouts, and point leader in math wars at school. Here, there was no math wars, no boy scouts, and no teammates. No one wanted to be his friend. Tyler had made sure of that. No one wanted to get close to the kid who lived in the creepy old Ellis place.

The sound of splintering wood crashed behind him. Jack jolted and turned around. Waves heaved the wooden pier upward; smashing it into a hundred pieces.

Something moved alongside the detached garage at the far edge of the yard, sliding past the darkened yard-light. The light’s rusted frame hung in a half salute, a dejected soldier of metal. Jack blinked against the rain as a light-brown figure crept slowly, deliberately following the slope that led to the bluff at the back of the building. It stopped and opened it black mouth, a sad howl drifting on the wind. It was a dog. A Mastiff. Like the one he’d seen at the baseball field in Ohio last summer.

Jack stared. What was a dog doing out in the hurricane? He glanced around the large yard, expecting the dog’s master to appear. But, there was no one.

How could anyone leave a dog out in this?

The Mastiff turned and loped up a trail leading to the top of the bluff, his v-shaped ears flopping, long tan tail swinging.

Where was the dog going?

Jack gazed up at the vine-covered ridge and swiped at the water smearing his face. The bluff wasn’t really that high. Not a mile high cliff or anything. Why was Dad so worked up over it? Jack bit his lip. He knew why.

The Mastiff stopped midway up and looked back, his black eyes drilling into Jack’s. With a quick shake, the dog charged again to the top.

Jack felt dwarfed by the ridge. At the top a massive dead oak towered into the sky. A white sentry; its brittle, leafless branches reached so high they seemed to spear the dark clouds. Since Kimmy’s fall, Dad had forbidden him from ever going up there again. His stomach knotted. He had to save the Mastiff.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pembroke Sinclair - Life After the Undead

by Pembroke Sinclair

Pembroke (female) presents us with an apocalyptic future replete with zombies. Nothing like a good zombie fest to keep you up all night.

(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.

I have a blog at and I’m on Facebook.

(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.

My first book, Coming from Nowhere, is a sci fi story that centers on JD, who does not have a past--at least not one that she can remember--and that makes living life on Mars challenging.

With nowhere to go, she is sent to the local military academy where she is trained to become a member of the elite secret police. While there, she becomes a pawn in Roger’s struggle for military dominance and Chris’s rebellion to overthrow the military regime.

She supposedly holds a secret that will change the face of the soldier, but, unfortunately, she doesn’t know what that secret is. Her only desire is to find the truth of her existence, and finds herself thrust into a realm where the truth of her past and present is more horrific than she ever imagined.

You can purchase the book at ETreasures Publishing

My second book, Life After the Undead, a YA zombie novel, is about the zombie apocalypse.

The world has come to an end. It doesn’t go out with a bang, or even a whimper. It goes out in an orgy of blood and the dead rising from their graves to feast on living flesh. As democracy crumples and the world melts into anarchy, five families in the U.S. rise to protect the survivors. The undead hate a humid environment, so they are migrating westward to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors are constructing a wall in North Platte to keep the zombie threat to the west, while tyranny rules among the humans to the east. Capable but naïve Krista is 15 when the first attacks occur, and she loses her family and barely escapes with her life. She makes her way to the wall and begins a new life. But, as the undead threat grows and dictators brainwash those she cares about, Krista must fight not only to survive but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately those she loves.

You can purchase it at ETreasures Publishing.

I also have several short stories available from different places. Check out my blog for a list of those.

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

The concept for Life After the Undead started as a dream. From there, I wrote a short story, then a novel. After sending it to various agents, one suggested I transform it into a YA novel, and that’s how I have this version.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

Close to 18 months. The original story took 3 months for the first draft, then the rest of the time was spent editing.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

Several authors have influenced my writing, including Piers Anthony, Christopher Pike, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Robert A. Heinlein.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

I don’t have a lot of spare time, so most of my fun is entertaining my 4 year old and 2 year old.

(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

Not really. My Muse hits me when she hits me. I used to listen to music when I wrote, but now I find it distracting. I like to have absolute silence, something I don’t get often! Usually, though, the TV is my background noise.

(Q) Do you secretly want to write another genre, but don't think you can do it?

I secretly want to write romance, and have made a couple of attempts at it, but I’m not very good. I might continue to make attempts, but who knows!

(Q) Plotter or pantser?

I’m both. I like to have a general idea of what my characters are going to do, but I also like to let them take me where they want to go.

(Q) What are your writing strengths? Weaknesses?

I think I’m good at writing dialogue. I pay a lot of attention to how people talk and interact with one another, and I try to portray that on the page.

I’m a passive writer. I don’t know why, but I constantly have to go back and fix my passive writing. Sometimes, I don’t catch it, then the editor has to fix it. I don’t think that make them very happy!

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they? (optional if you don't have a WIP to talk about)

Currently, I’m doing edits to a religious zombie novella that is scheduled for publication at the end of November beginning of December. I’m working on a short zombie story, and anxiously awaiting edits on my nonfiction book. Some time in there, I would like to finish the sequel to Life After the Undead, too.

(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

I have a pretty good idea of how to market. I do blog tours, post on my own blog, have a presence on Facebook, and have reviewers look at my work. I’ve networked with others in my genres (and sometimes outside), and try to give reviews of friends books, hoping they will repay the favor. I go to conferences and workshops, and try to set up readings/signings. I also create key chains and brochures to hand out to people wherever I am. I’ve also had the local paper do a story about me.

I learned to market by reading about what others have done. Even with limited time and a meager budget, I’m able to do some things!

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?


I will never understand peoples’ fascination with the apocalypse. Why would you waste so much time and energy worrying about something you can’t change? Besides, most of the time, it never comes to fruition anyway. Remember Y2K? What a hullabaloo that was. People were so afraid computers were going to fail and throw society back into the Dark Ages that they were stockpiling supplies and moving into the wilderness so they could get away from technology. Why would they move to the wilderness? If technology was going to fail, wouldn’t they be just as safe in a city? I guess they were afraid when technology failed, everyone would go crazy and start killing each other. Either way, it didn’t happen. I wonder how those people felt afterward.

Then, there was the whole 2012 scare. This one was supposedly based on ancient prediction, so you know it was reliable. Are you kidding? Even the Mayans didn’t believe their own ancestors’ “vision.” What happened was there had been a tablet that had the Mayan calendar carved into it. The end was broken and faded, so no one knew what it said. Our culture, being the pessimistic lot that we are, automatically assumed it was an end-of-the-world warning. But, again, nothing happened on December 21, 2012. Christmas came and went, and I think everyone, everywhere, even the skeptics, had a little something more to be thankful for. Life went on as usual, and all those doomsayers faded into obscurity.

The day the world did end was pretty nondescript. By that I mean there was no nuclear explosion or asteroid or monumental natural disaster. There weren’t even any horseman or plagues to announce the end was coming. The world ended fairly quietly. I couldn’t even give you a date because it happened at different times depending on where you were. It was never predicted, and I’m sure a scenario that no one even considered. Who really thinks the dead are going to rise from the grave and destroy the majority of the population? No one but Hollywood, and we all know those are just movies. But that is exactly what happened. Those of us that survived were left wide-eyed, mouth agape, trying to figure out what to do next.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yes, I Do Have Published Books

In Q-and-As for guesting on others' blogs, occasionally I'm asked if I have any other published books. Well, you can click on the Published Books tab above on this blog to find out. But I know that much of a blog doesn't show up if you're reading posts through a feed. I use Google Reader myself to keep up on new posts. So, if you're using such a read, I thought it worth a post to reiterate my published work. I'm using the Amazon links because it's a neat way to show titles and covers. So here are the Kindle links:

Missing, Assumed Dead
Amazon Kindle
MuseItUp Publishing

Mixed Bag II: Supersized

Mixed Bag

The Tales of Abu Nuwas

Ultimate Duty
Eternal Press, November 7, 2010

Tales of a Texas Boy

First Duty

Quest for the Simurgh

Eagle Quest

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kim Baccellia - Crossed Out

by Kim Baccellia

About the author:

Kim Baccellia has always been a sucker for the paranormal. She blames it on her families' love for such things such as having picnics at cemeteries, visiting psychics, and reading her mother's copies of the daily horoscope. She even had her own horoscope column in middle school, which was a big hit!

Kim's YA multicultural fantasy, Earrings of Ixtumea, will be re-released March 2012 with Muse It Up publishing. Her lighter YA fantasy No Goddesses Allowed will be released early 2012 with Zumaya Publishing.

A member of SCBWI, Kim is currently writing the sequel to Crossed Out. She's also putting the finishing touches on a YA multicultural dystopia. She lives in Southern California with her husband and son.
Crossed Out is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Fictionwise  and Lachesis Publishing:

I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off. I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of paints and Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.

Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.

But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.

Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.

And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?

I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFF anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I’d been stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.

According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.

When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a counselor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.

And, I hate to say this, but his anti-anxiety and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.

Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?

A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez, did Dad forget to close the back door again?

I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

I dropped my black Sharpie.

Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.

A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.


The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I’d spent my summers.


Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the “other” side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn’t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled.


Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi-transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they’d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn’t deal with this. Not now.


The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she’d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what’s it like to be...?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer.

And just as quickly, Allison left.

I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape. What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Barbara Bockman - Wounds

 A young teen boy struggles with his guilt and the ostracization his actions bring on.
by Barbara Bockman
MuseItUp Publishing

Hello Marva,

It’s nice to see how well the Muse young authors’ blogathon is moving along. I’m happy to be your guest today. Your readers can find me at my blog: http://barbarabockman.wordpress/ and on
Twitter @ babs22582. The buy link to my middle grade novel is:

I have been writing stories and articles for children’s magazines, both print and online, for about seven years. I have taken three courses with The Institute of Children’s Literature and I belong to three critique groups. I love to sit at my computer and type away, but even more than that I love spending time with my children and their children. “Family” tops my list of most important things in this world. This past weekend was especially joyful because we were celebrating the birth of Wounds.

I think you can tell by the books listed below who my influences are.

I would like to tell you and your readers about the way I chose the names of my characters for my middle grade novel, Wounds, published by MuseItUp Publishing.

Since there is a strong environmental angle to the story, I decided to use the names of prominent environmentalists for my characters; I mixed up given names and surnames. That applies to most but not to all of them. Mr. Bentley Ark is named for my elementary school principal, Mr. Bentley.

The main character, Craig, the boy who tries to cut down the huge oak tree, is named in honor of one of my favorite children’s authors, Jean Craighead George. I loved her My Side of the Mountain and most especially Who Really Killed Cock Robin?

The girl who starts out not liking Craig is named Carson. She is named for Rachel Carson, the lady who virtually started the ecology movement in the early 60s with Silent Spring, exposing the dangers of the insect killer, DDT. Silent Spring is both beautifully written and alarming.

This is the blurb in my library’s online catalog: "Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations ... Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters" (Peter Matthiessen, for Time's "100 Most Influential People of the Century").

The Ahhochee Hill Sanctuary in North Florida consists of 270 acres of land bequeathed to the Audubon of Florida in 2002 from the late Lisa von Borowsky an advocate for the environment. As the long-time steward of the property, Lisa believed that nature should be left alone to take its own course, resulting in many mature and old growth habitats. Lisa von Borosky is the inspiration for Mrs. Lisa Ark and also for Judge Borosky.

Mr. and Mrs. Ark’s son, Nelson, the sometime-friend of Craig, is named in honor of Gaylord Nelson, the Founder of Earth Day.

Dayton Hyde, the author of Sandy, is the namesake of my representative of the Florida Division of Children and Families, Mrs. Marjorie Dayton. Sandy, The Sandhill Crane Who Joined Our Family is one of the first (maybe, the first) look at how birds imprint and learn to fly by being taught by its “parent.” In Sandy’s case, the parent was Dayton.

On Amazon a fan said: “This is perhaps the best-written book I have ever read.”

Another reviewer said: “What a marvelous book! I laughed out loud when I saw the photographs of the author showing the cranes how to fly. A book for all nature lovers by a most gifted story teller. A book to read and savored and then read aloud. And to think it is nonfiction!”

The “Marjorie” part of her name is derived from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, a journalist, writer, feminist, and environmentalist known for her staunch defense of the Everglades against efforts to drain it and reclaim land for development.

Mr. Bartram, the hardware store owner, is named for William Bartram who was one of the earliest naturalists when we were still a colony. He wrote an account of his botanical travels through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, Travels of William Bartram. One reviewer on Amazon said: “This book was a great achievement in that it was really the first work of American nature writing, and Bartram made a lot of great botanical discoveries during his journeys through the American Southeast.”

Marva, I could go on through almost my whole cast. But that might get tedious. I challenge your readers to guess the inspiration for the arborist, Logan Raxter. And remember, I will give away a PDF copy of Wounds to a lucky commenter when the tour is over.

Thanks again for hosting me on this blog tour and also for getting us started.


The youth group, K’BeTs, stands for “Kids for a Better Tomorrow.” One of the members is a cute, spunky girl named Carson. In the first excerpt below, the K’BeTs get permission from the forester to help with the tree. The second excerpt takes place after a shelter has been erected around the trunk of the tree, called the ICU.

“That’s a great idea you have there, Nelson,” Carson said.

“You convinced me,” Jean said.

“Yeah,” Shaquan said. “I wish I had thought of it myself. We can build a skateboard ramp for our next service project.”

“Hey,” Carson said, “aren’t you getting ahead of yourself, Shaquan?”

“Now, we’re through arguing,” Jean said. “We’ve all agreed that the tree should be our service project. Let’s go talk it over with Mr. Raxter.”

The K’BeTs rushed down the steps and sprinted over to talk to the tree man. “Hi, Mr. Raxter,” they each said.

“Hello, there, K’BeTs.”

“Mr. Raxter, we want to ask you something,” Shaquan said. “Can we help you with the tree?”

“What he means is,” Carson said, “we want the tree to be our service project.”

“That is,” Jean said, “if there is anything we can do.”

“I’m sure we can find something for you to do. You were a big help to me after Hurricane Daisy.”

Craig was astounded. That bunch had a lot of nerve! The tree was his project. Who invited them? He hobbled over to the tree.

Mr. Raxter seemed pleased with the offer of help from the club. “We’re going to have extra help, Craig,” he said. “And believe me, we’re going to need it.” He didn’t even give Craig a say in the matter. The prospect of working with that bunch of do-gooders put Craig in a glum mood for the rest of the day.

After walking around the tree several times, Mr. Raxter said, “I’ll let you guys know what to do as soon as I figure it out myself. Right now, I need to go to town to get some supplies.”

Mrs. Ark called the young people into the kitchen for lunch. Afterward, she insisted Craig get some rest before any more activity. Craig whistled for Siegfried, and as the two headed for the stairs, Craig heard Carson say, “I can’t see why Siegfried wants to hang around that Craig.”


The day after the ICU was completed, the heater arrived. The utility crew laid a special electrical hookup from the road and one of the electricians installed the heat pump. Everyone crowded into the greenhouse to watch Raxter throw the switch--Craig and Siegfried, Mr. and Mrs. Ark, Nelson and Carson. Lately, Carson often came home from school with the boys.

“That heater’s humming like a ’57 Thunderbird crusin’ down the highway,” said Mr. Ark. Everyone laughed.

“Now we’ll see if we can make the tree believe it’s spring,” said Raxter.

After Raxter left, Mrs. Ark called everyone to dinner, inviting Carson along. Craig stayed behind. “I’ll turn out the light,” he said. He wanted to be alone with the tree. It was hard to say what he was feeling, because there were so many thoughts jumbled up in his head. Everyone had big hopes for the tree to survive the trauma. But why had they been put in this position? Why was everyone forced to work so hard? It’s because of me, Craig thought. Oh, I wish I could go back and undo all the damage. And he walked to the tree and put his hands on it the way he had seen Raxter do that first day. He let out a long, loud sigh.

When he turned to go in to dinner, he saw Carson standing in the doorway of the ICU. Her animosity toward him had blown away, and now her eyes held a softness he had not seen before. They exchanged a brief but understanding look before Craig reached up and pulled the chain on the hanging light bulb. Then they walked silently into the house.

Monday, September 19, 2011

MG/YA Blogathon Schedule 9/19-21

EXTRA! My murder mystery is featured at Blackwood's Forest. Though a bit more adult, it's quite suitable for the YA audience.

Barbara Ehrentreu - “If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor” on Barbara Bockman
Barbara Bockman - “Wounds” on Barbara Ehrentreu
Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on Pembroke Sinclair
Shellie Neumeier - “Driven” on C.K. Volnek

Shellie Neumeier - “Driven” on Barbara Bockman
Barbara Ehrentreu - “If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor” on Shellie Neumeier
Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on Sue Perkins
Sue Perkins - “Spirit Stealer” on Meradeth Houston
Lawna Mackie - “Enchantment” on C.K. Volnek

Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on Barbara Bockman
Barbara Bockman - “Wounds” on Marva Dasef
Shellie Neumeier - “Driven” on Pembroke Sinclair
C.K. Volnek - “Ghost Dog of Roanoke” on Chris Verstraete
Barbara Ehrentreu - "If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor" on Sue Perkins

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sue Perkins - Spirit Stealer


Today, I interview Sue Perkins about her upcoming release from MuseItUp Publishing.


Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Marva. I'm having great fun with the MuseItUp MG/YA blog tour.

(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.

I can be found mainly on my blog but information for individual books are on my website

(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.

Links to my books can be found on my website. Unfortunately the link for my MuseItUp Publishing release Spirit Stealer isn't up yet. Spirit Stealer will be released in October and is for Middle Grade readers.

Fader, an orphan, takes refuge from the weather and sleeps in the library. As the weeks pass he begins to hear noises. Playful phantoms emerge from the bookshelves, but then the Spirit Stealer takes over the nighttime library, stealing the spirits of all who stay after the library has closed.

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

On a way to a friend who lived in the country, I got lost. The night was pitch black, no streetlights out in the wilds of New Zealand. I began to think of what the darkness could hide. By the time I reached my friend's house I had the first chapter of the book worked out in my mind.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

Some years. I wrote the middle part and sent it off to a competition. The response came back - too short. Other projects took up my time but eventually I came back to Spirit Stealer and wrote a beginning and an end. I looked around for a publisher and found MuseItUp. I knew from the start it was the home for my book. Lucky for me the submissions editor agreed with me.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

Several fantasy authors have influenced me. I love books about dragons so Anne McCaffrey is definitely a favorite. Others are David Eddings and Terry Pratchett. I do like the Harry Potter books but more as an enjoyable read rather than an influence.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

I love Zumba. Fitness and fun has got to be good, right? Other hobbies are reading and family history. My family history research has had to take a back seat this year due to writing commitments.

Sue Perkins
 (Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?

I have a Stressless chair which is my place to write. I can write without being distracted by the things around me. I don't particularly like music playing in the background. The only thing that irritates me when I'm writing is when someone talks to me, usually when the words are flowing. Trouble is they expect an answer.

(Q)  Do you secretly want to write another genre, but don't think you can do it?

I'd love to write Regency, but there's a lot of research involved and that isn't my strong point. I like to get on with the story, not keep stopping to check things. That's why I think I can't write this genre.

(Q) Plotter or pantser?

Oh definitely a pantser. I find if I plot a story it loses it's sparkle. Plus I'm never sure where the story is going. My characters usually take over and steer the direction of the story.

(Q) Coffee or tea?

Coffee. I cannot stand tea which is strange as I come originally from England where tea is the main drink. I don't drink a lot of coffee, maybe one or two cups a day, plus it's usually decaffeinated so I believe that's not too bad.

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they? (optional if you don't have a WIP to talk about)

I have several at the moment. Two adult fantasies, a Middle Grade fantasy and a Young Adult fantasy. The YA is about dragons and is a sequel to a novel that's being released in January 2012. The Middle Grade is a similar style to Spirit Stealer but a different setting. The two adult fantasies are set in worlds of my own making.
(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

I find marketing difficult. Not the actual process, but the time it takes. My writing has taken a back seat over the last few months due to editing and marketing. I try to get my name recognized by taking part in blog tours, and several writing lists on Yahoo. My blog stats reflect when I've done a promotion. I recently did an advert in the trade paper I work for and people visiting my blog trebled for about a week. Advertising seems to work for me.

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?

Fader ran. Panic lent speed to his feet, but a glance over his shoulder showed the spirit stealer reaching for him. Could he outrun the phantom now it had become so strong?

He slowed down as he felt a touch on his back. A pain began in his chest, and he knew the phantom pulled at his spirit. He tried to tear himself away. The harder he struggled, the stronger the pain. Fader closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. He gathered all his strength and lunged forward. A loud snap echoed in his head as he shot forward, released at last.

Praying the spirit stealer still couldn’t get to the front of the library, Fader fled. He arrived at the storeroom and hid, not daring to move or sleep. Hunched up in a corner, he stayed there for the rest of the night.

Next morning, Fader stretched up to the window. He’d made up his mind. Books or no books, he couldn’t face the danger of the library. He wouldn’t be back. His calmness transformed into horror as he groped for the latch. His hand went straight through the metal!

Here are links to Sue's books on Amazon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September MG/YA Blogathon 9/16-9/18

Note: I'm guesting on Lydia Kang's blog today (9/16). Please visit The Word is My Oyster.
I'm guesting on S.B. Knight's blog tomorrow (9/17). Please visit The New Author Blogspot. I answer questions about "Missing, Assumed Dead," my murder mystery set in the eastern Oregon High Desert.

September 16th is book release day for three of our authors. All our MuseItUp releases. Special congratulations to:

Barbara Bockman - Wounds
Barbara Ehrentreu - If I Could Be like Jennifer Taylor
Rebecca Ryals Russell - Prophecy

Lawna Mackie - “Enchantment” on Barbara Bockman
Shellie Neumeier - “Driven” on Barbara Ehrentreu
Chris Verstraete - “Killer Valentine Ball” on Rebecca Ryals Russell
Sue Perkins - “Spirit Stealer” on Pembroke Sinclair
Rebecca Ryals Russell - “Prophecy” on Meradeth Houston
Kim Baccellia - “Crossed Out” on C.K. Volnek

Pembroke Sinclair - “Life After the Undead” on Barbara Bockman
Marva Dasef - “Bad Spelling” on Sue Perkins
Shellie Neumeier - “Driven” on Chris Verstraete

Sue Perkins - “Spirit Stealer” on Marva Dasef
Marva Dasef - “Bad Spelling” on Shellie Neumeier
Shellie Neumeier - “Driven” on Rebecca Ryals Russell
Barbara Ehrentreu - “If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor” on Pembroke Sinclair

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shellie Neumeier - Driven

by Shellie Neumeier

Robyn can’t help but notice the handsome new guy at her school. She ignores, however, the arrival of another being at Brookfield Central High School—a demon assigned to destroy her.

FREE E-GIFTS FROM THE AUTHOR (offered for this blog tour only)—Purchase Driven TODAY and receive a personalized, signed book plate mailed directly to you plus. . . Free signed bookmarks to share with your friends.


Driven is a new take on the age old battle of good versus evil.  Gripping from the first page, this is one book you won't want to put down. --Leanna Kay, co-creator of - a place for Christian girls to grow in faith.

Driven is a breathtaking book of tension, intrigue, and heartwarming emotion. From the moment I began to read until the very last word, I couldn't put it aside. It held me enthralled! --Lindsay Below, author of Head Over Hand-Bought Heels
ABOUT Shellie Neumeier

Contact Links:

Married for almost 20 years, Shellie and her husband have four wonderful children and two goofy greyhounds.   After receiving her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, she went on to acquire an early childhood education certificate.  Shellie also served in youth, children’s, special needs and family ministries for over twenty-two years.

Today she enjoys teaching her teens how to drive and chauffeuring her preteens across the Wisconsin countryside. And once in a while, she enjoys reading a classic tale or new suspense. In addition to writing fiction, Shellie is an avid blogger on her site and several others including , , and


(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.

Back cover blurb:

Robyn can’t help but notice the handsome new guy at her school. She ignores, however, the arrival of another being at Brookfield Central High School—a demon assigned to destroy her…

Robyn loves her friends, enjoys her youth group, and looks forward to meeting cute Caleb Montague. But when a caustic news reporter challenges her school’s prayer team, Robyn must choose: defend their right to meet on campus and pray for whomever they wish or back down at the principal’s request.

Now she must learn what God wants her to do. And she had better learn fast, because there’s a supernatural enemy in town whose sole mission is to stop her—no matter the cost.

Buy Links:

Amazon Print: Driven
Kindle: Driven

(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?

What inspired me to write this book was the desire to encourage the next generation. They have an amazing access to their world with the ease of travel and the internet. They also have the opportunity to change their world unlike any previous generation has. But they’re also bombarded with harsh realism and even harsher dramatized “realism.” It would be very easy to forget that they have a good and Godly purpose.

(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?

It took me three weeks to write Driven, another three months to edit it, and off it went to the publisher.

Once the story was complete and edited, I submitted it to a clearing house of sorts where it found its way into the hands of my publisher, RisenFiction. Once it was contracted the story made it through edits to ebook in four months and to paper back in another three. It was a whirl-wind experience to say the least.

(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?

Oooh, easy one. Mark Twain and Frank Perretti are my two favorite authors who influenced the writing of Driven.

(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?

I love to hike and hang with family and friends. I also do a fair amount of reading and occasionally quilt.

(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? On a warm beach by the ocean. What music would you listen to (if at all)? My taste in writer’s music depends on what I’m writing…dark if the scene is dark or energetic if the scene is more upbeat. What treats would you have on hand? I’ll take anything chocolate, please…unless there’s cheesecake available, then I’ll take a large cyber-bite of cheesecake, please.

(Q) Answer any three or more of the following:

- Do you secretly want to write another genre, but don't think you can do it?
I’d love to give steampunk a try, but there’s a ton I’d have to learn about first. I’m not so great at the machine thingy parts.

- In your ideal world, put in order those of most value to you:
True love, family, success at writing, world peace, clean air and water, other.

- Plotter or pantser?
I’m a plotter; worksheet, outline and all.

- What are your writing strengths?

- Coffee or tea?
Oooh, tea. Peppermint, please, unless we’re at Starbucks then it’s Chai Tea Latte lite.

(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they?

I have a novella romance releasing on October 1, A Summer in Oakville (co-authored with Lisa Lickel) and a mid-grade chapter book, The Wishing Ring, releasing in February. I’m currently working on a sequel to The Wising Ring and another young adult novel about a seventeen year-old boy who lands himself in a treatment center and must figure out how to get home.

(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?

I’ve found blog tours (yay for this one) and social media venues to be the most advantageous in building a platform. But those venues only work if they are targeting folks who the book would appeal to. I look for blogs that teens read and connect with YA readers online through forums and other social sites.

(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?


From a comfortable height above the trees, Sebastian circled the abandoned paper mill, drinking in the atmosphere of dereliction and decay surrounding the property. This place has more character than most of the humans I know. Half broken windows winked like the evil eyes of wayward souls, while snow drifts gathered in the corners. The wind toyed with the snow, whipping trails that could chill his feet and ankles. If he had feet and ankles, that is.

Slipping through a second-story window, Sebastian watched a rat scurry across the dusty floor in a dash for the shadows. Like an angry cloud—black as asphalt, thick as cigar smoke—Sebastian floated after the rodent, watching with mild interest as it raced for another shadow and nearly collided with an old tom cat whose eyes glowed bright with hunger. The tom sprang, but Sebastian turned away. He didn’t have time for these cat and mouse games today, no matter how much he enjoyed them. He had bigger game to consider, and as he moved over the room, he thought about the girl he’d come to destroy.

Sebastian peered through the panel of small rectangular windows overlooking the town of Brookfield, fifty in all, though most were broken, and he yawned as he watched the town stretch with morning life. Humans filtered in and out of the corner diner, scampered about in their shiny cars, and huddled against the wind in mindless oblivion. Sebastian’s mouth curled into a sneer.