Posted in Blog tour

Author Blog Hop for Children’s Authors, MG Authors and YA Authors

I was invited by my friend, Jodi Desautels, to participate in a “blog hop interview.” Jodi sent me some interview questions, which I answer here on my blog. Following my answers, I tag 3 other writers who will, in turn, answer questions on their blogs next week. It’s been fun checking out the Blog Hops to see what other children’s authors have posted!

Jodi posted her answers to the questions at her blog, What’s New With Jodi Desautels on July 22nd. If you like, you can leave a comment on her blog and tell her that you connected to her through my link here!

http://authorjodidesautels.weebly.com/1/post/2013/07/author-blog-hop-for-childrens-authors-mg-authors-and-ya-authors.html

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Here are my answers to the questions that I chose from the list:

1. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a Coming of Age Young Adult Novel and I’m hashing out an idea for the fourth Super Spies book.

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?

It’s my hope that it’ll be not only entertaining but an inspirational story as well.

3. Why do you write what you do?

When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a detective just like Nancy Drew. Then I realized I would love to be a writer. This revelation occurred when I was in fifth grade and I started writing my own mysteries then. However, I didn’t seek publication until I was home with my kids. That’s when the Super Spies series was born.

Right now, I’m taking a break from the Super Spies and trying something a little different. I’m writing a Coming of Age novel and I’m really enjoying it. I love the characters and the bobbing and weaving that they do in their prickly relationship. I can’t say more than that. 😉 I don’t want to give too much away. I write to inspire young girls. I want them to follow their passion and dream big. 🙂 That’s why most of my main characters are strong girls.

4. How does your writing process work?

I’m a seat of my pants writer. Plotting ruins the creative process for me.  I usually know the beginning of the story and how it ends…and in the middle I let the characters take over. That’s how I get so many surprising twists and turns in my mysteries.

The one negative that I’ve found is that I have a lot of editing to do when the first draft is done. But I don’t really mind that either because I enjoy taking a scene and making it stronger and more emotional.

Below are the three authors that I tagged and their posts will be up August 5th.

Sara Stinson:  http://stinsonsara.wordpress.com/

Cordelia Dinsmore :  http://cordeliadinsmore.blogspot.com/

J. F. Jenkins:  http://adragonslove.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! 🙂

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Posted in Health, Teen

Tween Meme for the Emblazoners!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! This is the first Wednesday in which the Emblazoners are participating in our Tween Meme. So, I thought I’d write about a book that I’m currently reading.  It’s title “Girls Succeed: Stories behind the Careers of Successful Women.”  The author is JQ Rose who was a guest here a few weeks ago.

Girls Succeed Cover 333x500 picnicI’m enjoying this book immensely. This is not a piece of fiction. This book is a collection of stories about successful women and how they got where they are. It is very inspiring especially for young girls in those “tween” years.

If I had a daughter, I would get this book for her. It’s inspiring and informative. It illustrates girls who dared to pursue their passion. And isn’t that what the tween years are all about? Finding your passion?

Dare to dream. That’s what we should be teaching our tweens don’t you think?  This book has everything from horse trainers, to cyclists, to authors, and doctors. The message in these stories is crystal clear. You can be whatever you want to be all you have to do is choose. I love it.

It tells our tweens that the power is in their hands. And that’s an important message. As women we have to take responsibility for our own happiness, we can’t rely on anyone else to make us happy.  And once they get that message and own it just think how our tweens will be empowered. And think about that next generation as parents and leaders, they’ll do a tremendous job teaching their tweens that same message.

So, if you have a young tween that you’d like to inspire, check out JQ Rose’s book.

The cover and blurb are below. I’m enjoying it immensely and I think your tween will too.

Girls Succeed Cover 333x500 picnicIn my non-fiction ebook for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women, the family of a woman I interviewed moved so many times when she was a child, she couldn’t make friends. She was always the odd one in a group. Because she didn’t want to stand out, she tried to hide how smart she was and was not proud of it. Finally her last few years in high school, she joined the band and sports teams and made friends. She blossomed into the person she really was. She is now a medical doctor and researcher at a university.

We’ve discussed non-fiction, but did you know that reading fiction is just as important? That’s right! Just check out this article from the New York Times titled “Your brain on Fiction.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I was so excited when I read this!  I felt like my passion was serving a higher purpose.

It has been proven that reading improves self-esteem, social skills, and analytical skills. So, I got together with some other authors who feel the same way I do. We have our own website and our books are geared toward the tween age group, and every fourth Wednesday of the month we write a tween meme on our blog.

So, check it out and check out all the books that are available for tweens! The link is below!

http://emblazoners.wordpress.com/

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Posted in Guest Author, promotion

Liz Botts is here Sharing her New Release with Us!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve got Liz Botts with us today and she’s sharing her new release A Family Name with us. Check it out! I’ve got it on my TBR List!

AFamilyName_500x750 (3)My new story, A Family Name, features a thirteen year old foster child who is desperately searching for her birth parents. Lexi has been bounced around foster care from the age of two. She yearns for stability and a family of her own.

While Lexi’s search does not yield the results she hopes for, she does learn what a real family feels like. Her relationship with her biological father is very sweet, almost childlike, in her acceptance of him in her life. I think they have a nice reciprocity in their father-daughter bond.

Lexi’s relationship with her biological mother is much more complicated. It was her mother who lost custody of her. When Lexi finally reunites with her, things do not go as expected. It’s hard for a thirteen year old to understand what motivated an adult to make the choices she made, especially when the adult was supposed to love the child unconditionally and forever. Lexi does struggle with the abandonment issues that naturally surround her birth mother’s decisions, but with the help of her foster mother and her dad, Lexi manages to make peace with parts of the situation.

Though the book is not about Lexi specifically, she plays a pivotal role in the action. Truly it is because of her search for her biological family that her forever family comes together. I had fun writing Lexi’s character because she is such a mixture of child and teen. She’s someone so desperate to seem grown up and tough on the outside so that no one will know how much she hurts on the inside. Her growth also happens so organically that it made creating her character pure joy.

Here’s an excerpt!

AFamilyName_500x750 (3)Will moved to sit on the sofa beside Charlotte. He hovered a moment before easing himself onto a cushion at the opposite end. “What do you say to moving in here? You and Lexi. I’m sure the move will only be temporary. Just until I can get custody of Lexi, then you can go back to your own life.”

He watched as Charlotte clenched her jaw. He wondered what was going on in her head. Something told him to keep his mouth shut, which was proving far harder than he had ever imagined. Walker had always been more of the strong, silent type. Wyatt served in the role of family goofball. Will, on the other hand, had prided himself on being the serious one, the honest one, the shoot-from-the-hip one. Now he shut his mouth and decided to keep it shut until Charlotte answered him.

“That could take awhile.” Charlotte kept her eyes down, no matter how much he wished she would look up at him. “The courts can be so slow. I just don’t know how I feel about living here, just the three of us.”

“Sierra and Shane will be here too.”

The look on Charlotte’s face told him that he might have said the wrong thing. Or at the very least confused her. As he thought through the events of the past half hour it dawned on him why Charlotte’s brow was furrowed. In the shuffle of the news that he had a daughter Will had forgotten to mention his guardianship of Sierra and Shane.

Will took a deep breath. “My best friend and his wife named me temporary guardian of their children. They’ll be living with me until their grandparents come for them.”

“Oh.”

He watched as Charlotte pinched lumps of stuffing under the fabric of the throw pillow. She had long, graceful fingers, but short, unpolished nails. Refined, yet practical. The paradox of this woman intrigued him, and Will found himself mentally shaking himself to bring the conversation at hand back into focus.

“They’re great kids. Sierra’s five, and Shane is three.” Will felt a knot of emotion rise up in his throat, and he stopped talking. This grief he felt was so out of character for Will, and while he knew it was fine to feel it, he couldn’t stop himself from being embarrassed. He certainly didn’t’ want Charlotte to see this weakness.

To his surprise, a moment later Charlotte’s hand curled over the top of one of his fists. She didn’t say anything, simply held on to him. The connection Will felt to this virtual stranger nearly overpowered him. When he looked up and their eyes met in a gaze that caught something deep inside Will, he let go of Charlotte’s hand like it was on fire. Grief was making him soft.

“I just don’t know,” Charlotte said softly.

Silence settled over them as Will watched Charlotte. Her teeth caught at her bottom lip, and he could read her nervousness no matter how hard she was trying to hide it. Emulate Walker. That would be his new motto.

“I’d have to take a leave of absence from work, and I don’t think that’s even possible,” Charlotte continued after a few minutes. “And Lexi would have to leave her school. She just started there a few weeks ago. How would that make her feel?”

“We could ask her,” Will said, glad to hear his voice sounding even and like himself again.

“She’s thirteen and desperate for a relationship with her real parents. I can guarantee she’ll happily agree, but I can’t let her make this choice. She’s a child, and I’m still responsible for her well being.” Charlotte leaned back and crossed her arms.

“And I’m her father, so I think I should have some say in her well being.”

Charlotte laughed a short laugh. “You just found out that you are her father not even thirty minutes ago.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s mine,” Will said, knowing that he meant it. “I can see my family in her.”

“But how does that qualify you to make decisions for her so soon?”

Irritation rankled Will. Many retorts came to mind, but he bit them back instead only shrugging. “I’m her father. That’s all the qualification I need, in my mind anyway.”

The look Charlotte gave him actually made Will shiver. Her eyes narrowed, and her mouth became a line so thin it appeared to disappear into her face.

“So… I’m guessing this isn’t something you’re really considering?” Will felt defeated, and confused. Defeat wasn’t in his nature, but he couldn’t very well bully Charlotte into moving to the ranch. He’d feel guilty even if it did mean having his daughter there with him. Still there had to be a way.

Thanks Liz for being my guest today! 🙂

And thank you for stopping by my blog! I appreciate it. Please share your thoughts on Liz’s story I’m sure she liked to read them! 🙂

Posted in Guest Author, promotion, Teen

Ariella Moon introduces her New Release to Us!

Spell Struck

 Book 2: The Teen Wytche Saga

What if the one person who saw through your lies and loved you, harbored a secret that could cost you everything?

spellstruck 

Back Cover Blurb

Goth outcast, Salem Miller, believes her love spell failed until Aidan Cooper arrives at Jefferson High. When he chooses her over the popular girls, Salem knows magic brought him. But can she summon enough wizardry to save her sister? Salem fears Amy’s next suicide attempt will succeed. Magic brought Aidan. Maybe it can cure Amy. Salem’s last hope lies hidden within a damaged grimoire, nearly destroyed by a wrongful love spell. Was her rightful love spell enough to restore it?

Newest Jefferson High transplant, Aidan Cooper, doesn’t expect to be attracted to a goth. Then he realizes Salem is throwing a glamour—pretending to be something she’s not. Guess it takes one to know one, since his whole life has been a lie. But if his kidnappers discover he’s broken their No Attachments rule, he’ll never see Salem again. Worse, he’s terrified they’ll harm her when they discover she possesses the ancient grimoire. To protect Salem, Aidan must destroy the grimoire, and escape his captors.

While Salem races to unlock the Get Well Spell, Aidan scrambles to overcome his past. With their star-crossed paths at odds, will time run out for both of them?

Excerpt

Aidan lowered his hand. His finger pressed against my skin, shooting a delicious tingle up my arm. When I didn’t move away, he hooked his finger over mine. My breath caught. We stayed, frozen, hyper-focused, for what seemed like three lifetimes. Then Aidan trailed his fingertips across the back of my hand. The soundtrack, popcorn smells, and theater audience melted into the background. The world narrowed down to the unspoken grief and need entangled in Aidan’s touch.

I rotated my hand so my palm faced upward. Aidan hesitated. Our gazes locked in the flickering light. The spell link humming between us lit up like blue lightning. At least I think it was the spell link. Aidan plunged his fingers between mine. Our palms pressed together, igniting a current. Air shuddered from my lungs. Magic rippled from us in successive waves.

My heart stuttered. My breath ceased. Every cell within me vibrated. Troops of fairies or dragonflies took flight in my lower abdomen. It’s possible blue lightning shot from my boots.

Good thing I wasn’t holding the popcorn.

About Ariella

Ariella Moon writes about magic, friendship, and love in Spell Check and Spell Struck, Books One & Two in The Teen Wytche Saga from Astraea Press. After a childhood spent searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia, Ariella grew up to become an author and shaman. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred Ariella’s teen years. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She now lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, shamelessly spoiled dog, and an enormous dragon.

 

Buy Links

Astraea Press

http://www.astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=25881125

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Spell+Struck+by+Ariella+Moon&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3ASpell+Struck+by+Ariella+Moon

Thanks Ariella for sharing your new release with us! It certainly sounds intriguing!

Posted in Uncategorized

My thoughts on Video Games

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m here today talking about video games. My kids love them and when I was a kid I loved them too.

They could play them for hours if I let them. The game they love to play now is called Mine craft. At first, I didn’t get it. It seemed like such a pointless game. But then I had someone explain it to me and they put it in terms I could understand. It’s like Digital Legos and can be addicting. Well…Digital Legos… it can’t be that bad. I mean how violent can Legos be?

So, in that respect I don’t have a problem with Mine craft. In fact, it can be quite educational. I’ve explained to my boys that what is happening on the video game is Fiction. They learned about fiction and non-fiction in first grade so whenever I can I reinforce those lessons.

By playing Mine craft, my boys have been questioning what is fact and what is fiction. They will ask me questions like, is iron ore real? And I’ll say I don’t know, let’s look it up on the Internet. Well, after we research it and they learn iron ore is real…they’re on to the next question. Are cave spiders real?  And on it goes. We can spend a couple of hours researching these things that they were not even aware of if they hadn’t played Mine craft. So, in that respect, I’m glad my kids enjoy the game.

However, I do have a problem with video games as a whole. In my opinion, video games are a passive activity. What I mean is; it doesn’t require a lot of physical activity to play them. The industry is trying to combat this by attempting to make them more interactive. There are now dance games and sports games where the individual has to get up and move to play. This is a step in the right direction.

But, it doesn’t take the place of really getting involved and playing a game of soccer or baseball. This is where video games are unhealthy if they are played too much.

When kids play video games for hours on end or shut themselves in their rooms and play into the wee hours of the night then parents need to curtail their use. In my opinion, video games are okay if used in moderation.

Think about this, a child can’t play baseball for hours on end because they get tired and need a rest. I feel we should take that as a guideline, your child’s brain needs a rest too. But since playing video games is not physically taxing it’s easy to let an hour stretch into two… or three… or four.

As a parent I don’t ban video games from my home because they can be educational if used in the right way. But I do feel that they shouldn’t be the only activity my kids engage in. So, I limit the time my kids can play them.

In lieu of video games, I get the board games out. 🙂 That’s right good old fashioned board games…you remember those, right? Monopoly and Clue?

Just last night my sons and I played Monopoly. It was a great bonding experience, plus it’s educational too. They are still learning about money and how to count it in school, what a great way to reinforce that learning experience by playing a game about the exchange of money for goods and services.

Don’t overlook those oldies but goodies! We play Clue too! What a great way to teach your child to use their powers of deduction. 🙂 Kids will need that skill in life too!

And if all else fails…you could get the books out! 😉

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading my post. I would love to read your comments on video games or the oldies but goodies! So please share!

Posted in reviews, Teen

Book Review of “Paper Towns” by John Green

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I know I am! The summer season goes by waaaayy to fast for me, so I try to fit as much fun as I can in during those three short months.

We were on vacation a couple of weeks ago and I actually had some down time. J So, I spent time lounging in the sun and reading! Yes, reading. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and just enjoyed a book! I’ve been so busy with my own writing and promoting that I’ve put reading on the back burner.

Well, needless to say, I read a book while sitting in the sun and enjoying the breeze that cooled my skin.  The book I read is titled “Paper Towns” by John Green.

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

 

 

I must say that I really enjoyed the book. I loved the character Margo. Such a brave girl and to see her through the eyes of Quentin who has had a crush on her forever was unique. I haven’t read that many books that gives the boys perspective on the “high school crush” theme.

I enjoyed the bond that Quentin developed with his two closest friends, Ben and Radar. It reminded me of my high school days and the bonds of friendship that I had developed with my friends.  I also enjoyed the secret crush that Quentin had on Margo and how she became a mystery that he needed to figure out.

That is the theme of this story, figuring out Margo Roth Spieglman. In the beginning, I said that she was brave and she was. I loved her character, her ability to find fun in any situation and her ability to stand up to her parents.

In the story, she chooses to disappear and Quentin is bent on finding her. He gets his friends involved and they travel cross country following clues that she has left behind for Quentin.

This story kept me turning the pages I wanted to solve the mystery of Margo Roth Spieglman just as much as Quentin did. The ending was a little sad. I’m a big believer in a happy ending so when Margo is found and they find out that she didn’t really want to be…well a few sparks fly.

It was also bittersweet to find out that while Quentin had been harboring a crush on Margo, she had been harboring a crush on him.  It reminded me of high school in so many ways and the secret crushes we all harbor and never get a chance to act upon.  So there you have it, my review of “Paper Towns” by John Green. It’s well worth the read! I’ll be getting another one of his books for my next trip up north!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to read my review. If you’d like to give me a suggestion for my next book, please do! Leave me a comment. I’m always looking for good reads!

Posted in promotion, Teen

It’s the AP FAN FEST!

Not just romance books - romance WITH books! :D (Seriously, there are other fantastic genres and all clean!)

Come chat with over 50 authors! Learn more about them and their books! You can ask them anything! I’ll be there too!

There are over 60 prizes! The biggest prize is  a Kindle Fire! Click the link below to enter!

http://kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com/2013/06/win-free-kindle-fire-apfanfest.html

The winners will be announced after the party on July 16th!

So come join our Facebook Event and chat with some awesome authors!

Here’s the link to join!

https://www.facebook.com/events/370292336405909/

Hope to see you there!