Watch for The Hummingbird

“To aid you in your quest,” Violet added, “I offer you these powers. Peter Pan, the young at heart, may your spirit forever maintain its levity. I offer you the gift of the hummingbird . . . . Do not be angry when your shadow eludes you. After all, shadows are born from the light.” THE CARVER, p. 65.

Is it all starting to make sense now, why I titled these books the way I did? It all started with these three kids who decided they were tired of not being taken seriously, tired of being looked at as “the scruffian”, or tired of being told what to do. When I wrote those words about three years ago, I already knew how the story was going to end for Peter, Pinocchio, and Alice, but I didn’t know everything that was going to happen to them along the way . . . and to me. They had lifetimes of adventure, love, family, and a little bit of danger. Me? I had a wish granted. I got to see their stories come to life, and one of the most magical parts of the process is dreaming up the cover–the door that the characters get to live behind for your enjoyment.

Trilogy

I’ll save the sap for release day! You’re here because you wanna see what goes in that blank space, don’t you? Your wish is granted! However, I’m going to ask you to do just a little bit of work by clicking the link below. Don’t worry. It only took me seventeen seconds to figure it out! You’ll probably beat me 😉

WATCH FOR THE HUMMINGBIRD

When you’re done, comment a GIF of your reaction! Mine was somewhere along the lines of:

One commenter just might get a surprise from me!

Happy puzzling!

Jacob

YA Scavenger Hunt (RED Team)

Hello World!

And welcome to the 2017 Fall YA Scavenger Hunt. Jacob Devlin at your service–a YA fantasy author who has been accused (rightfully, mind you) of writing the ORDER OF THE BELL TRILOGY, soon to be complete in February of next year! Three quick facts about me:

  1. When I was a kid I wanted to be either a detective or a magician. I suppose writers are sort of like both!
  2. You can usually find me wandering at a Comic Con.
  3. My first real job was at a movie theater, where I watched the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie five times during my first few weeks on the job!

But enough about me!

You, my friend, are hunting for the RED team of the YA Scavenger Hunt, in which you have the chance to win many books and prizes and discover best-selling authors who can feed your head with tons of fun stories! Here’s how this goes. Somewhere on this blog post, I have hidden a secret number (hint: you want the one in red!). While you learn about my friend E. Katherine Kottaras, keep your eyes peeled for that number, write it down, and I’ll direct you to the next stop! Repeat, add up your numbers, and once you’ve met all of us on the Red Team, be ready to plug all those numbers into the ENTRY PAGE for a chance to win all the things!

Now let’s meet E Katherine Kottaras!

E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, and now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. Katherine is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true.

Let’s learn more about her newest book, THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER:

ADVENTURELAND meets SAY ANYTHING (as though from Diane Court’s POV), THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER is the story of Viviana who is a driven honors student and the daughter of a Russian-Jewish immigrant mom and an American engineer dad who have extremely high academic expectations for her. As a result of both these expectations and an exposing mistake Viviana made in sharing a nude photo with her boyfriend (who proceeded to send it to the entire school), Viviana suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks. She knows that she didn’t do anything wrong in sending the photo to him – she trusted and loved him at the time – but world still blames and shames her for it. 

Set at her summer job in the middle of Chicago, Viviana is finally able to escape the judgmental eyes of her school, but she soon becomes the odd vertex of a love triangle; her childhood best friend, Sammie, has a crush on the outgoing, college-aged lifeguard, Evan, but he seems to be more interested in Viviana. Against her better judgment, Viviana falls for him, thereby damaging yet another important relationship in her life and disappointing herself. Soon after, when her father finally returns from his mysterious six-month long business trip, Viviana discovers some deep, dark truths about him that force her to question all of her ideas about love and trust and the control she has over her life.

I was such a fan of Adventureland! Intrigued yet?

I’m excited to give you a peak at E Katherine’s vision board while you’re here. Here’s a series of images that relate to her story:

The Best Possible Answer

She also wanted to share this printed poster for her first book! Send this puppy to the printer and display it proudly! Then, be sure to pick up her book on Amazon.

YOU KNOW. black background 8.5x11

Side note: Speaking of the best possible answer, isn’t there a number that’s supposed to be the answer to everything? The meaning of life and all that? Isn’t it like 32 or something? I can never remember!

But I digress.

I have one more thing for you before you go: a chance to score some prizes! I’m giving away a paperback, some eBooks, and some Amazon credit while the hunt is on. Just click the link below:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

When you’re ready, jump on over to visit ROSALYN EVES for your next clue! Thanks for hanging out today. Happy hunting, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

YASH is Coming!

For all of you who love finding new reads, I have just the thing for you. The YA Scavenger Hunt is coming back! I had a blast being a part of this last fall, and I’m so excited to jump back in as a featured author on the RED team. If you’ve never heard of this, the hunt runs twice a year in the spring and in the fall. During the hunt we showcase new and upcoming YA releases, give out tons of prizes, and release special bonus material. Sound interesting?

This spring we will have one hundred forty authors split into seven teams of twenty. Each team is assigned a color. The blog hop begins Oct 3rd and runs through Sunday, Oct 8th. It’s easy to play. All you have to do is either start on my blog or head directly over to the YASH website. There you’ll find a list of all the authors participating as well as an answer sheet you can print off to gather the info you’re hunting for and to keep track of any bonus contests you may have entered.

Are you ready to see all the books featured this season? Here they are!

Which books look the most interesting to you?

UNITY TOUR: Interview with McCallum J. Morgan!

Hello world!

Today, as part of our publisher’s UNITY BOOK EVENT, I’m introducing you to fellow author McCallum J. Morgan, published by Little Bird Publishing House. We’re on a kind of Foreign Exchange project whereby we get to be hosted on each other’s blogs and get to hang out in their world with their readers for a day.

Be sure to head over to McCallum’s blog and check out my interview at www.mhablas.blogspot.com!

They’re going to tell you a little bit about themselves and then for a chance to be in with winning a copy of their book, just drop a comment below.

So hi. What’s your name and what do you write?
I’m McCallum. I write whatever the Muses dictate, which so far has been YA steampunk/myth fusion and horror-comedy.

mccallum

When did you start writing and why?
I started my first book at age thirteen or so, but I’d been writing since long before that. I loved reading fantasy and it inspired me to want to create my own worlds, characters, and stories. I’ve always loved making things up and imagining that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

What were the biggest challenges about becoming a published author?
Trying to figure out the social media presence thing. I know a lot of people build up a presence and following before they get published, which is helpful, I think. But I was unsure of myself and didn’t want to tout myself as an ‘author’ when I wasn’t even published. But a writer’s a writer, published or not. Of course, it’s never easy to get an online presence and following going. But if you’ve started ahead, you have something to go off of to start your ‘published journey.’ I’m still working on it. I’m not a very outgoing person, so even behind the veil of social media, it’s hard to be big, brassy, and bold.

Shout out your publisher and tell us how they helped you on your creative journey.
Little Bird Publishing House has been a wonderful place to grow as a writer. With the network of authors that all reach out and help each other, giving advice and encouragement, it’s a very nurturing environment.

Where can we find out more about them?
www.littlebirdpublishinghouse.com

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on book three of my Weather Casters Saga, A Hole in the Air. And several other half-formed projects: various fantasy and horror stories and novel ideas.

 

Who is your most favourite character you’ve written and why do they speak to you so much?
That’s like asking someone to pick their favourite child! Haha. Ok, if I have to choose just ONE, I pick Lady Vasille. I’ve had a fascination with villains since I was a kid (my favourite characters in Disney movies were the villains, Jafar, Maleficent, Cruella De Ville). Villains are cool and the ones that are complex and conflicted are even cooler. I’ve written three books with Lady Vasille now and I love how easy it is to slip back into her viewpoint and write her story. The same is true with Parsifal, but I’m proud of Vassilissa’s development and multifaceted villainy. So that’s why I choose her over Parsifal. She’s a villain and I’ve always loved those.

Do world events and politics influence your writing?
Not really. I think fiction is an escape, so if avoiding current events is being influenced, then it’s actually yes, I guess. Although if they do find their way in, I’m not going to expunge them on that basis. I really hate politics and prefer to avoid them at all costs. I refer to myself as a non-political monarchist. Which is really just a fancy way of saying I’m a desperate romantic who was born in the wrong century.

How important are places you have visited and where you live to your writing?
I think the scenery of North Idaho helps fuel my imagination. I grew up with woods all around my house and I played in them nearly every day. I think that was an important part of developing my rabid imagination. But the small number of places I’ve actually travelled to might influence my wandering imagination: wondering what it’s like out there, envisioning it, hungering for it. I think that is some influence on my writing about exotic and imaginary locations.

Share with us your favourite line from your most recent release.
Off the top of my head? Sir Crawft, a poet, in Ambulatory Cadavers responds to a question about his writing with ‘No Your Lordship, I write fiction.’ But there’s also this bit from Charles:
‘I put it over him with a chandelier and half a pint of whiskey,’ he wheezed.
Lyra: ‘You mean you set him on fire?’
Charles: ‘Accidentally, yes.’

Tell us five things that you love in life.
Coffee, Costumes, Vampires, Books, and Björk.

Tell us five things that you hate in life.
Adulting, Poor Grammar, mornings, politics, and country music (sorry, but I can’t stand it. Although I can appreciate the Romanticism of many of the lyrics).

What book started your love of reading?
Oh, gosh. I don’t know, Dr. Seuss? The Chronicles of Narnia? I read the Lord of the Rings in fifth grade. I loved Hank the Cowdog, too. And there was A Series of Unfortunate Events. I started a fanfic of Lemony Snicket, the Horrible Highway. I used to listen to children’s classics on tape. Loved the nonsense poems. Lewis Carroll is an all-time favourite of mine.

Tell us about your most recent release.
Ambulatory Cadavers was released last Halloween. It’s horror-comedy that caught me by surprise. It takes place in an imaginary country I’ve made up stories about for some time: Monezuela. The era is Regency. 1820-ish and Lyra plans to help her father take over parliament and dethrone the queen…by raising an army of the undead. Her cousin, Alice is just trying to avoid getting married when she becomes entangled with Lyra’s plot, and a strange young man of questionable occupation. I never planned on writing this book. I’d heard of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and even read the first page. I was mildly amused but disdainful of the butchering of a classic. However, the idea of zombies in Jane Austen’s time did seem like a charming notion. I thought, they should just write an original tale. I didn’t think I would be the one to do it, but the two characters of Alice and Lyra, who had developed separately, just came together, fused by the addition of zombies. Add a little Frankenstein, slapstick, ridiculous dialogue and you have a romp of nonsense to shake your sensibilities (I had a lot of fun writing it, anyway).

book1

Where can we buy it?
Ambulatory Cadavers

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Ambulatory-Cadavers-Regency-Zombie-Novel/dp/1911552058/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495906329&sr=8-1&keywords=ambulatory+cadavers

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Ambulatory-Cadavers-Regency-Zombie-Novel-ebook/dp/B01LX8TJDL/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1495906329&sr=8-1

Thank you McCallum for joining me today, and thank you all for reading! Be sure to go check out his books, and while you’re here, see what else is going on in our UNITY TOUR on Facebook! There are a lot of opportunities to win prizes and to celebrate the way books connect us all across the world. 🙂

Until next time!

The Sacred Writing Space

Hello world!

Here’s another question I get sometimes and one that I love chatting about:

“Do you have a ‘sacred’ writing space?”

I do!!!

It is so important for writers to think about their ‘environment’ and the place that will get their creative juices flowing. It’s just as important as a workbench for a carpenter, or a laboratory for a chemist, or a studio for a painter!

I know plenty of people who can work in coffee shops and get a lot of great work done there. They love hearing the steamer at Starbucks and the gentle hum of conversation. They thrive off of listening to the acoustic guitar player in the corner. They get a “creative buzz” off the “caffeine buzz.” For me? This doesn’t always work. Sometimes I’ll get the urge to take my laptop and go sit in a coffee shop, but I know that I get my best writing done at home and at my desk. It’s a space that I “curate” over time and it’s always in flux depending on what I need, but there are always a few things in the atmosphere that I keep close by.

writing1

I try to keep my writing space practical, so I want to make sure that everything I need is close. The laptop is a given, but it’s also important for me to have my earbuds there, because I know music is usually going to stimulate the creative juices for me. I also know I may want to reach for a book on the craft every now and then, so I keep a shelf full of those nearby. Oh, and every now and then I need a little nudge to get off Facebook and write. That’s why you see the great Brett Dalton offering his encouragement on top, and the more recent additions: Victoria Schwab suggesting that I should probably be writing, and my baby niece looking sweet and innocent and asking me to please write her a story 🙂 because how could I say no to any of them?

writing2

See those white coiled books stacked in the middle? Those are my original manuscripts for The Carver, The Unseen, and The Hummingbird! Whenever I complete the first draft of any project, I print and bind it, destroy it with red pen and highlights and sticky notes, and then I keep it so I can look back on the evolution of my writing. It encourages me to have a reminder of how far I’ve come! I usually keep my vision board at the top, and I’ll move pieces of it down to my whiteboards and clip them up with magnets. Right now, there’s not a whole lot of relevant book stuff on the whiteboards. (But I DO love the Egyptian blessing I received from Katherine Blakeney and her mom!) I also keep my goals dangling from the top shelf. Right now, the bigger sheet on the left is all my revision goals for The Hummingbird, and the smaller sheet on the right is a word count goal I update every week for my next novel!

writing3

Books! Books! Books! Everything on the bottom shelf has been signed by the author, from James Dashner to Victoria Schwab, Pierce Brown to Katie Salidas, Krystal Wade to Isaac Marion, Aaron Galvin to Audrey Grey, and a few others! I keep a lot of those close to remind me of the amazing people I’ve met along my journey. I’ve learned something from each and every one of the writers on this shelf, and their accomplishments inspire me! Below my favorite coffee mug and that old family photo, I keep An Ember in the Ashes and Stardust for no other reason than the fact that I absolutely love those two books and often find myself opening them up to random passages to admire the way the words are strung together. And the candle next to them smells like oakmoss and cedar, which is how I imagine Enzo, Pino, and the DiLegno home smell when Carla’s not making her famous cobbler 🙂 scent is a very powerful way to put yourself in another world!

My writing desk is very organic and always evolving, but it’s where I work best because it’s uniquely me! It’s my portal, the same way the wardrobe is a portal to Narnia.

If you’re a writer, where do you do your best writing? If you’re a reader, do you have a special place where you do your reading? I love hearing about other people’s “happy places”!

Wishing you a phenomenal week!

-Jacob

The Economy of Time

One of the most popular topics I get asked about as a writer–whether I’m among coworkers, friends, family, or aspiring published authors–is how I find the time to write as a full-time member of the work force. I sometimes respond with some zinger like “I do this thing where I never sleep” and make a goofy face. More often, I just say “It’s definitely not easy.” And that’s truth. Working and doing anything isn’t easy. Doing anything and writing isn’t easy. Writing isn’t easy. But I write because it’s my passion. I keep my day job because it’s what makes sense for this particular time of my life, and because I enjoy having a helping profession to hold in my “other hand”. (For more on this “hands analogy” and the writing-as-a-career topic, I highly recommend reading this post by V.E. Schwab!)

That being said, I know many people who write for a living, and I know many other people who write full time and work full time. All are very successful at what they do. Oh, and if you’re reading this and you’re like “No I’m not!” chill please. You’ve done an excellent job at faking it in front of me!

Here are a two things I know to be true for everyone, and two things that are true for a lot of people:

  • No matter who you are, we all start with a baseline of 168 hours in a week. (7 days x 24 hours).
  • We all get to make a certain amount of choices about how we’re going to set up our “economy of time” and how much structure we’re going to carve out of those 168 hours.
  • The average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep. For argument’s sake, let’s say you actually get 8 every night. You spend 56 hours sleeping every week. (Remaining “balance”: 112 hours.)
  • Also for argument’s sake, let’s say you work full time and let’s say you work 40 hours. (Sometimes more, sometimes less, but we’ll go with this for now!) Remaining balance: 72.

I don’t know about you, but I actually found this number kind of enlightening and encouraging. That’s three full days of time left over in a week! Now, that’s not to discount the fact that we have many other things to do with that time. We all have to eat, commute from point A to point B (and sometimes C through Z as well!) bathe, cook, and you might even be raising children, pets, or fostering a relationship. Maybe you’re a student. Everybody’s lifestyle is different; therefore their economy of time is different. But breaking down this number helped me put things into perspective.

Knowing how this all breaks down for me personally, I set weekly priorities for myself and write them down, and hope that I’m spending at least 90% of my time on one of these priorities. In no particular order:

  1. As a higher ed professional, I want to make sure I am spending a good chunk of my 40 work hours having meaningful and positive interactions with students. This is my “full time job” priority.
  2. As a son, brother, and uncle, I want to make sure I am carving out time to see my family.
  3. As a professional author, I set at least one goal every week. If I’m working on a new manuscript, this is a word count. If I’m in the editing stage, this might look like “Revise issues in chapters 1-10” or “Fix all villain scenes.” There’s usually some sort of marketing goal too! These aren’t related to time but to outcomes. They take me as long as they take me!
  4. As a human being, some of that time has to go back to my health and well being! “Do 45 minutes at the gym”, or “Make home-cooked dinner six out of seven nights.” Sometimes it’s just “watch an episode of Arrow!” Something that isn’t tied to external accountability.

Yes, I do have to make a few sacrifices every now and then to make this work. I can’t make every happy hour, be the last to leave at every gathering, and no, maybe I wasn’t quite ready yet to give up two nights a week for haidong gumdo lessons! But with priorities in mind and written down, at the end of the week I usually feel pretty good about where I’m at! Sure, there will eventually come a day where it doesn’t make sense for me to have my current job anymore, but when that time comes, I won’t be replacing that work time with more writing time. First, I know that I wouldn’t be productive writing 12 hours a day every day (you can get burned out on something you love to do!) Second, I would find more happiness filling that gap with something else that enriches my life experiences, such as travel or another degree or a separate hobby, because it’s those life experiences that will get infused into my writing later on! This is what I see with many of my friends who do write full time. They’re community volunteers, business owners, parents, musicians, artists, travelers . . . Nobody is ever “just a writer” 🙂

I should also add that all these priorities need to be treated with equal importance. I know myself to be an “obliger,” or somebody who tends to put my expectations of myself below the expectations other people have of me. The challenge then? Protecting your writing time and your mental health time. I had to learn to put both categories in my work calendar and treat them as appointments, just as I would treat any external obligation somebody else might ask of me. Are you willing to do the same for yourself?

I talk about all of this in more detail in my latest YouTube video below, but I also want to know what works for you! How do you balance your obligations and your passions?

Until next time!

Finding Your Idea (and hanging onto it!)

Happy July! (Am I the only one who feels like it’s really weird to be saying that already? Like, isn’t it still February?)

So, I’ve made the decision to try and do a little more maintenance on my YouTube channel that’s existed for over a year now. Oh, you didn’t know I had a YouTube channel? HOW DARE YOU. Just kidding–I had only posted two videos before today! And I can’t guarantee that I’m going to do an awesome job at posting regularly from now on, but, I’ve decided that I at least want to try to make a better effort to use the channel!

That’s why today I uploaded the first of a series of videos where I break down all of the burning authorly questions I’ve heard over the past year, which are all the same questions I had before I found Blaze Publishing. I love when people ask me about balancing writing and full-time work, or how to come up with ideas, or how to get into the world of publishing. After all, it really wasn’t long ago that I was the one doing all the asking instead of just some of it! Now, I won’t claim to know everything–I still have a world of growing and learning to do–but it turns out that after a full year in the publishing game, I can actually answer a good amount of these questions and draw from experiences. So today, in honor of Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 kicking off, I decided to chat a little bit about how to find an idea (and hang onto it!)

Now here’s something else I want to acknowledge: not everybody has the time or the desire to watch a 16-minute video! If you do, have at it and enjoy! But if not, I wanted to break my information into more snackable advice below. Here’s what I’ve learned about the challenge of committing to a story:

  • Every writer faces it, and it comes in different forms. We either 1) Have a folder full of half-developed ideas that we’ve started and abandoned because we’re afraid it sucks, or because something more interesting came along, or 2) We just don’t know where to start.
  • It’s not going to come as a single, powerful eureka moment that you’re going to remain enthusiastic about forever. That exciting million-dollar idea that hit you on the freeway will become familiar to you, and you may grow bored or frustrated for a short time while a bigger, shinier idea calls out to you. Jot down a few notes about that new idea, and then come back to your project. You will thank yourself when you finish the manuscript, and that other idea will be waiting for you when you’re ready!
  • In the case of THE CARVER, I found that it helped me to have a sort of accountability partner, someone who cheered me on until my passion for the book could stand on its own.
  • Make your fingers move! If you’re stuck, write “I’m stuck” over and over again until new ideas emerge. If you’re worried that those new ideas are lame, it’s okay! Write them anyway. As they say, you can’t edit a blank page. Just get something on paper 🙂
  • If you get bored, play with the manuscript itself. Reformat. Use Comic Sans. Insert pictures from your Pinterest board. It’s your manuscript and you can do whatever you want with it until you start submitting queries. Making it look new can put the spark back into your drive.
  • Be willing to read. Discover what kind of reader you are and what kind of stories you enjoy reading. Analyze your favorite books and writers and emulate what you love about their craft. I myself am a sucker for strong descriptions, well-placed humor, and a certain ratio of emotion to action.
  • Books I can recommend (especially for finding an idea):
    • Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer
    • Your First Novel by Laura Whitcomb and Anne Rittenberg
    • The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood
    • 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto

Inevitably, I’ll think of more to say after I post this, but until then, I think this is a pretty robust list of the elements that have worked for me. Maybe they’ll work for you too! But every mind is a little different. If you’re trying to start a writing project, play around with these ideas! If you find that something different works for you, I’d love to hear about it. As I said earlier, I’m still learning every day!

I do have a few more videos planned about work/life balance, the challenges and joys of writing a trilogy, thoughts on editing and revising, and getting into the publishing game! If you want to see any other topics, I’m happy to hear suggestions! Comment or email me at authorjakedevlin@gmail.com.

If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m wishing you all the best, and hoping you have a fun and relaxing 4th of July!

YA Scavenger Hunt (Stop #125)

The YA Summer Scavenger Hunt (free books and giveaways!)

Good day, my friend!

Author Jacob Devlin at your service, and I am your humble, happy host for this leg of the YA Summer Scavenger Hunt. Welcome to stop #125. You’re almost there! Sit with me real quick and have some water!

Three quick facts about me:

  • Italian is my second language. Amo parlare con i miei carssimi lettori!
  • I am a Ravenclaw. I have yet to try a Butterbeer.
  • When I’m not at my desk, you can usually find me at the movies! Or at some sort of comic convention.

But enough about me! You’re here to get that treasure. If you haven’t heard of this “treasure” yet because you came here first, I’ll get you caught up real fast!

RULES

Each author in the scavenger hunt has been given a special keyword, which will be bold and ALL CAPS on their websites. Hint: Mine is also typed in orange!

All you have to do to participate in the scavenger hunt is visit all the authors’ sites in the order of the map below, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed short story HERE. Then sign up for the main prize HERE.

There’s one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit, and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.

THE MAP (PARTICIPATING AUTHORS)

  1. Cindy Ray Hale

  2. Katherine Bogle

  3. Melle Amade

  4. David Kudler

  5. A.M. Yates

  6. Alethea Kontis

  7. Stevie Rae Causey

  8. Katlyn Duncan

  9. Debbie Manber Kupfer

  10. Meredith Efken

  11. Meredith Rose

  12. Lara Ann

  13. K.M. Robinson

  14. J.A. Culican

  15. Heather Karn

  16. Rob L. Slater

  17. Dylan Keefer

  18. Sarah K. Wilson

  19. L.J. Higgins

  20. Gina Marie Long

  21. Em Kazmierski

  22. Travis Hall

  23. Heather Young-Nichols

  24. Anna Santos

  25. J.L. Weil

  26. Jo Schneider

  27. Rebecca Fernfield

  28. Kristin D. Van Risseghem

  29. Martine Lewis 

  30. Tara Benham

  31. Stacy Claflin

  32. Beth Hammond

  33. Erica Monroe Cope

  34. Nicole Zoltack

  35. Char Webster

  36. Sabrina Ramoth

  37. T.J. Muir

  38. Raquel Lyon

  39. Beth Rodgers

  40. S.L. Beaumont

  41. Eva Pohler

  42. Melanie McFarlane

  43. Cheryllynn Dyess

  44. Audrey Rich

  45. Amanda Zieba

  46. Sandie Will

  47. Elle Scott

  48. Angie Grigaliunas

  49. Ashley Maker 

  50. Mandy Peterson

  51. Audrey Grey

  52. Elisa Dane

  53. Amy McNulty

  54. Melinda Cordell

  55. Monica Leonelle

  56. Claire Luana

  57. Frost Kay

  58. Preeti C. Sharma

  59. Bentz Deyo 

  60. April Wood

  61. Lena Mae Hill

  62. Angel Leya

  63. Wendi Wilson

  64. Wendy Knight

  65. Chogan Swan

  66. Tamara Hart Heiner

  67. Norma Hinkens

  68. Patti Larsen

  69. Megan Crewe

  70. Jamie Thornton

  71. Jessie Renée

  72. T.A. Maclagan  

  73. Lydia Sherrer

  74. Phyllis Moore

  75. P.D. Workman

  76. J.A. Armitage

  77. K.N. Lee

  78. Angela Fristoe

  79. Rhonda Sermon

  80. G.K. DeRosa

  81. Erin Richards

  82. Ali Winters

  83. Larissa C. Hardesty

  84. Kristine Tate

  85. Debra Kristi

  86. Bella Rose 

  87. Cortney Pearson

  88. Jeff Kohanek

  89. Kristal Shaff

  90. Rachel Morgan

  91. Emma Right

  92. C.L. Cannon

  93. Joanne Macgregor

  94. Lindsey Loucks

  95. Farah Kuck

  96. Erin Hayes

  97. Jesikah Sundin

  98. Dorothy Dreyer

  99. Danielle Annett

  100. C.J. Ethington

  101. L.C. Hibbett 

  102. Madeline Dyer

  103. Katie John

  104. Nicole Schubert

  105. Rachel Medhurst

  106. Tee G Ayer

  107. May Freighter 

  108. Heather Dyer

  109. Jen Minkman

  110. J.L. Gillham

  111. Karen Tomlinson

  112. Kate Haye

  113. Tom Shutt

  114. Martina Billings

  115. Jo Ho

  116. Brian King

  117. Inna Hardison

  118. Rachel Bateman

  119. Sally Henson  

  120. J.L. Hendricks 

  121. A.L. Knorr

  122. T.M. Franklin  

  123. Konstanz Silverbow

  124. felisha Antonette

  125. Jake Devlin

  126. S.F. Benson

  127. Laurie Treacy

  128. Emily Martha Sorensen 

  129. Leia Stone

  130. T. Rae Mitchell

  131. J. Keller Ford

  132. Kat Stiles

  133. Jessica Hawke

  134. Elyse Reyes

  135. Sophie Davis

  136. Bianca Scardoni

  137. Jenetta Penner

  138. David R. Bernstein

  139. Olivia Wildenstein

  140. Derek Murphy

Giveaway

I am raffling off a $10 Amazon gift card along with a set of my first three eBooks, The Carver, The Ivory Queen, and The Unseen!

Image result for the carver jacob devlin

The Carver (Book 1)

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time. 

Ivory Queen

Ivory Queen (Book 1.5)

Retrace the timeline of The Carver and discover what happened on the other side of the mirror, where our villain rises.
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The Unseen (Book 2)

Picks right up where The Carver left off and gives the story a Wonderland twist! If you’ve ever wanted to attend the Mad Hatter’s tea party, follow me down the rabbit hole!

Thanks for hanging out! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter while you’re here. I only send emails once a month, and I love giving away fun stuff and keeping my readers in the know. For a chance to win something now though, enter THE giveaway!

YA Summer Scavenger Hunt!

In June, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive young adult scavenger hunt. This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes!

RULES

Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES.

All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed short story HERE

There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.

THE MAP (participating authors)

  1. Cindy Ray Hale
  2. Katherine Bogle
  3. Melle Amade
  4. David Kudler
  5. A.M. Yates
  6. Alethea Kontis
  7. Stevie Rae Causey
  8. Katlyn Duncan
  9. Debbie Manber Kupfer
  10. Meredith Rose
  11. N.M. Howell
  12. Lara Ann
  13. K.M. Robinson
  14. J.A. Culican
  15. Heather Karn
  16. Rob L. Slater
  17. Dylan Keefer
  18. Sarah K. Wilson
  19. L.J. Higgins
  20. Gina Marie Long
  21. Em Kazmierski
  22. Travis Hall
  23. Heather Young-Nichols
  24. Anna Santos
  25. J.L. Weil
  26. Jo Schneider
  27. Rebecca Fernfield
  28. Kristin D. Van Risseghem
  29. Martine Lewis
  30. Tara Benham
  31. Stacy Claflin
  32. Beth Hammond
  33. Erica Monroe Cope
  34. Nicole Zoltack
  35. Sabrina Ramoth
  36. T.J. Muir
  37. Raquel Lyon
  38. Beth Rodgers
  39. S.L. Beaumont
  40. Eva Pohler
  41. Melanie McFarlane
  42. Cheryllynn Dyess
  43. Audrey Rich
  44. Amanda Zieba
  45. Sandie Will
  46. Elle Scott
  47. Angie Grigaliunas
  48. Ashley Maker
  49. Mandy Peterson
  50. Audrey Grey
  51. Elisa Dane
  52. Amy McNulty
  53. Melinda Cordell
  54. Monica Leonelle
  55. Claire Luana
  56. Frost Kay
  57. Preeti C. Sharma
  58. Bentz Deyo
  59. April Wood
  60. Lena Mae Hill
  61. Angel Leya
  62. Wendi Wilson
  63. Wendy Knight
  64. Chogan Swan
  65. Tamara Hart Heiner
  66. Norma Hinkens
  67. Patti Larsen
  68. Megan Crewe
  69. Jamie Thornton
  70. Jessie Renée
  71. T.A. Maclagan
  72. Lydia Sherrer
  73. Phyllis Moore
  74. P.D. Workman
  75. J.A. Armitage
  76. K.N. Lee
  77. Angela Fristoe
  78. Rhonda Sermon
  79. G.K. DeRosa
  80. Erin Richards
  81. Ali Winters
  82. Larissa C. Hardesty
  83. Kristine Tate
  84. Debra Kristi
  85. Bella Rose
  86. Cortney Pearson
  87. Jeff Kohanek
  88. Kristal Shaff
  89. Rachel Morgan
  90. Emma Right
  91. C.L. Cannon
  92. Joanne Macgregor
  93. Lindsey Loucks
  94. Farah Kuck
  95. Erin Hayes
  96. Jesikah Sundin
  97. Dorothy Dreyer
  98. Danielle Annett
  99. C.J. Ethington
  100. L.C. Hibbett
  101. Madeline Dyer
  102. Katie John
  103. Nicole Schubert
  104. Rachel Medhurst
  105. Tee G Ayer
  106. May Freighter
  107. Heather Dyer
  108. Jen Minkman
  109. J.L. Gillham
  110. Karen Tomlinson
  111. Kate Haye
  112. Tom Shutt
  113. Martina Billings
  114. Jo Ho
  115. Brian King
  116. Inna Hardison
  117. Rachel Bateman
  118. Sally Henson
  119. J.L. Hendricks
  120. A.L. Knorr
  121. T.M. Franklin
  122. Konstanz Silverbow
  123. felisha Antonette
  124. Jake Devlin
  125. S.F. Benson
  126. Laurie Treacy
  127. Emily Martha Sorensen
  128. Leia Stone
  129. T. Rae Mitchell
  130. J. Keller Ford
  131. Kat Stiles
  132. Jessica Hawke
  133. Elyse Reyes
  134. Sophie Davis
  135. Bianca Scardoni
  136. Jenetta Penner
  137. David R. Bernstein
  138. Olivia Wildenstein
  139. Derek Murphy
For rules, updates or trouble-shooting, make sure to check out this main post which will stay updated.

TIMELINE

Authors will post the rules and the full list of participating authors sometime in June, and have their post up and visible on their site/blog, with their keyword, by June 1st. Readers just need to go through the list, find the words, and use the story to enter for the grand prize.

Interview with the Flying Man’s Son

Hello World!

In a couple days, it’s gonna be May, and that means it’s a time of summer vacations, of beach weather, of people graduating and moving on to bigger and better things, and of my next book release! TEN MORE DAYS!

I have another character I’d like you all to meet. He’s the son of a beloved CARVER character, the best friend of our hero, and a young man who absolutely deserves to be defined as his own person. Here is my interview with Zack Volo, the son of Peter Pan!

Jacob: So, I have to say that I’ve been more excited to interview you than any other character from The Unseen. You were sleeping on the sidelines the whole time in The Carver, and I can’t wait for readers to finally get to know you!

Zack: Oh heck yeah man. Finally jumping in on the action! And I’m not gonna hold back.

Jacob: I’m sure you won’t, especially if you’re anything like your parents. Your dad has been quite the popular guy among readers and characters alike.

Zack: Umm. Okay, I guess. Kinda weird for me to believe. I mean, he’s my Pop and I love the man obviously, but I don’t understand what makes him so cool to everyone. He’s kind of a dork–no offense if you’re pals with him or anything.

Jacob: No, he is a dork. That’s what makes him so awesome. I’m sure you’ll learn to appreciate that one day. Hey, you recently learned that he’s Peter Pan! When Enzo found out who his father was, he sorta freaked out. How did you feel?

Zack: Well, first you gotta understand what I had just gone through. I woke up in a fairy den, watched my best friend smash some demonic mirror that whispered things to me, then woke up again in this weird land of overgrown bees, hissing mushrooms, and flying shadow things. So when Rosana broke the news to me–that the man I call my Pop is Peter freaking Pan–I had already learned to start rolling with things, y’know? Sure it was a little weird, and I haven’t seen him fly or anything, but I accepted it. I don’t care who he really is. To me, he’s always gonna be Pietro Volo, my goofy dad.

Jacob: And who are you, Zack? Sorry, I don’t mean to get all deep on you. I just don’t want readers to see you as a mini version of your father. What do you want them to know about you?

Zack: I’m still figuring it all out, I guess. I was sleeping for so long that I missed a couple years of my childhood. But I know I’m kind of athletic. I really like basketball, which is awesome because I’m tall. I always had fun sparring with Enzo in the backyard, and I had to let him win sometimes. You won’t tell him I said that, right?

Jacob: Nah, your secret’s safe. It’s great you have such an awesome friendship with Enzo, especially in these weird times you two are going through. You remind me of the modern day Corey and Shawn.

Zack: . . . um. Who?

Jacob: Did you never watch Boy Meets World?

Zack: Isn’t it called Girl Meets World?

Jacob: Never mind. But here’s a question! If your life right now were a TV show, what would you call it?

Zack: Boy Meets World Between? Zack in Wonderland. How I Met Your Mother, because I meet one of my friend’s mothers! Umm, let’s see, how ’bout Lost? Because it would be really nice to go home.

Jacob: You know I’m rooting for you! I hope you go home soon, and I hope you see your parents again. I promise they’re out looking just as hard for you.

Preorder THE UNSEEN and learn more about Zack and his adventures!: