Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Prophecy of the Six...Cover Reveal and Contest!

I'm excited to host the Cover Reveal of Prophecy of the Six, Book Two of the Prophecy Breakers series by Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse, and Sabrina West. The cover was designed by Darren Boekweg of Boekweg Books Publishing and Cover Design.

About Prophecy of the Six

We didn't know how much we had to gain by being infected with magic. We found a purpose, we found a destiny, and we found each other.

But California isn’t the new start we were promised. Dr. Child may be gone, but now we must face a military school, dangerous secrets, and a prophecy that has half the country wanting us dead. When the line between enemies and allies blurs, Sam, Juliette, Ana and I need to choose between love and sanity, between magic and survival.

Paradise has a cost. When the authorities are suddenly giving you whatever you want, they’re going to demand everything in return. And that’s a price not all of us are strong enough to pay.
Freedom feels like safety, but it’s not. There are no walls here. No place they won’t be coming for us.

No place we won’t destroy.

About Alchemy

Book 1 in the Prophecy Breakers series
We didn’t know how much we had to lose until we were infected with magic. Sam was in love, Juliette was the main caretaker for her siblings, and Ana and her dad planned the best parties in New York. But we lost it all when we were shipped to Chebeague, an exclusive school for newly infected mages.  
Everyone knows about the mages, those who survive the infection and end up with magical abilities. We’ve seen the power of magic, the high-paying jobs, and the world fame. But we never saw the cost. We didn’t know we’d be forced to give up everything: sanity, family, even the right to talk on the phone. 
We didn’t know mage was just another word for prisoner.
In 2014, Alchemy was named on of the top 50 self-published books worth reading. On December 8,9, and 10th you can buy it for free here. For a limited time, Funny Tragic, Crazy Magic and Hidden Magic are also available for free.

About the Authors

Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse, and Sabrina West met online, (which isn't as weird as it used to be) and blog together at theprosers.blogspot.com. Their first collaborative project, Alchemy (Prophecy Breakers #1), was voted one of the top fifty self published novels worth reading by Indie Authorland.

Sheena Boekweg is the author of Funny Tragic Crazy Magic, and The Waxling (forthcoming). She is a mom of three from Utah and is prepared to survive a zombie apocalypse.

As a mom of four, Melanie Crouse thinks that parenthood is exactly like a zombie apocalypse. Melanie Crouse is the author of excuse notes, thank you cards, and the novel Hidden Magic.

Sabrina West is a writer and wildlife biologist living in San Diego, California. Her short fiction has appeared in markets such as Cover of Darkness; Strange, Weird and Wonderful Magazine; and Kayelle Press’s Night Terrors Anthology.

We love hearing from our readers, so drop us a line at theprophecybreakers@boekwegbooks.com, on facebook, twitter, or Internet stalking Benedict Cumberbatch.

Add it on Goodreads 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers connect and encourage each other. Want to join in? YOU TOTALLY SHOULD! Head over to Jaime and Erin's blogs to find out more :)

WHAT I'M READING: I'm reading YES, PLEASE by Amy Poehler. I've been reading mostly fiction lately so it's a nice change and I'm enjoying it. I've never seen Parks and Recreation so I'm going to have to check that out as well.

WHAT I'M WRITING: Still revising the MG mystery. At the moment it feels like they will put this in my obituary (She is survived by her two children, her pack of naughty dogs, and her nearly completed middle grade manuscript...) but I WILL FINISH it soon!

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: Caffeine. When I get up early to write I set out everything I will need for tea or coffee in the morning so that all I have to do when I get up is stumble to the kitchen and press the button on the kettle. My goal is to someday build a Pee-wee style Rube Goldberg Breakfast machine that will deliver coffee straight to my desk.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW: Serial is my new obsession. I took a road trip for work last week and listened to the first eight episodes and I. Am. HOOKED. Fascinating on so many levels. If you haven't listened, you really should give it a try. (And then leave a comment saying what you think because I would love to hear it!) 

What's up with you this week?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers connect and encourage each other. Last week was my first time, and I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome. The writing community is an amazing place :)

WHAT I'M READING: I just finished THIS SHATTERED WORLD by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and holy wow. I loved it - if you liked THESE BROKEN STARS (and I'll just bet you did) then I highly recommend picking this one up when it comes out next month! 

WHAT I'M WRITING: Still working on revisions for my MG mystery. Interesting side note: it has been pointed out to me (nicely) that I may have too many references to plastic surgery, porn, and India in this manuscript. Why, brain, why? I don't spend a lot of time thinking about any of these three things, so what are they doing in my story?

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: Getting up early in the morning to write. With two nap-averse toddlers, two energetic dogs, and two persnickety cats (not to mention the job and the husband) I never have guaranteed writing time during the day, so getting my butt in the chair before the sun comes up is my best bet.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW: I have been eating spinach and kale! I am the world's lamest vegetarian (I hate pretty much all vegetables, except pickles*), so this is huge for me. I've been making Lola Berry smoothies and I've devoured whole CUPS OF SPINACH for breakfast. Positively Popeye-esque.

Thanks so much to Jaime and Erin and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to this week!

*Pickles are totally a vegetable because they are green and I read it somewhere once so there.

Friday, November 7, 2014

My Social Media Strategy (Spoiler: I don't have one. Shhh.)

My social media stream of consciousness:

What a lark! What a plunge! Wait - should I post that tweet about smelly feet? I could offend someone who smells and I really don't want to do that because they must have enough problems and oh, why is Darth Vader following me? Is my profile picture evil?


Do I have enough followers? Does it look bad if I follow more people than follow me? I am so unpopular, this is going to be just like that time at the pool with the pooping...NO...that memory stays in the preschool vault. They should never have brought us to the pool anyway - no good ever came of water wings.


I have no comments. I am shouting into the void and the void is laughing at me and wearing water wings and this was all a terrible mistake because my dog can't comment and he's the only one who really gets me. DOOM DOOM DOOM...


You get the idea. Guys, social media is scary, especially when you've been away for awhile, and it's easy to put pressure on yourself. It can drive you bonkers. I usually like to go into new situations with a strategy (preferably with CHARTS and LISTS), but I'm not doing that this time. 

I'm still wearing my social media water wings and I'm just gonna float here for awhile without worrying about page views or followers or comments or subtweets (because I DON'T KNOW WHAT THOSE ARE). I do not have a plan for social media world domination* because this should be fun, right?

Do you ever feel like the void is laughing at you? Any tips on how to relax and enjoy social media?

*I may or may not have a secret social media lair and a social media laser ray. It's really none of your concern. Look away.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers connect and encourage each other. I'm a long-time reader, first time What's Upper :)


I have been gulping down Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy books this week. Imagine if Veronica Mars moved to Midsomer and discovered a Hellmouth. (I'll just give you a moment to absorb how awesome that sounds...OK...now RUN AND GET ALL THE BOOKS!) Highly recommended. If you get the first one you may as well just pick them all up because you won't be able to stop.


I got a second round of notes from my agent two weeks ago so I'm working on revising my upper MG mystery. It's contemporary but with an historical twist. I'm also sneaking in some research on my shiny new idea which means lots of reading about the London Zoo during the Blitz and golden age comics. SHAZAM.


Scrivener. I started using it during my first round of big picture edits for my agent, and it is amazing. I don't know how I wrote without it. It's perfect for mysteries because it's so easy to make notes about clues and you can use the split screen to look at two scenes at once and remember what the holy Halifax you are supposed to be doing. I am just using the most basic features at the moment but looking forward to learning more.


Both of my toddlers have been sick, so I've been to the doctor five days in a row. Then my husband and I bought ourselves a nice dinner to celebrate surviving two sick toddlers - and we got food poisoning. So really, what's been up at my house is just about everything :)

For my less disgusting answer...

Invisible tea is a HUGE hit with the toddler set this week. The dog is less impressed.

Thanks again to Jaime and Erin for the blog hop and I look forward to seeing what everyone else is up to!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Security Books

I taught English for a few years, and the last place I worked was an all-girls high school. One of the most common requests I got from parents was to get their daughters to read something new: "She just keeps rereading the same books, and they're not even on her level! How can we get her to move on?"*

Short answer: You wait.

Longer answer: Keep offering new books. Buy them for her; leave them around; read them yourself with a secret smile and tell her all about them...but don't push her too hard. She's rereading those books because she needs them, and who can blame her?

Being a kid is tough. Even walking down the halls some days can feel like going into battle. If your kids and students need to escape into a familiar fictional world at the end of the day then let them, and don't make them feel bad about it.

In fact, a good general life rule is to not ever make anyone feel bad about reading anything. They're reading for Homer's** sake! Stick with making them feel bad about tormenting others or eating your brownie when you weren't looking. Reading should be a guilt-free zone.

One student would only read Agatha Christie mysteries, which I actually thought was quite sophisticated for a 13-year-old. (This was of the era when a film starring Jennifer Garner as a young Miss Marple was rumored to be in development. My student was horrified.) She was at a new school, meeting new people and adjusting to a huge new workload. She wasn't ready for new books as well: Miss Marple and Poirot made her feel better, and I wasn't going to take that away.

Four years later I ran into her mother, and she remembered my advice to relax and wait it out. Her daughter did eventually move on to new books (of course), but she was slowly buying up her mother's vintage Christie collection so she could take them with her to university. And good for her, I say: there will be plenty of new experiences waiting for her there and it's only right that her old friends should be along for the ride.

My security character is Adrian Mole. I've read every title starring Sue Townsend's brilliant creation many times, and those are the books I reach for when I need comfort. In 2011 I was in an earthquake in Christchurch and got stuck in the city overnight. The ground kept shaking and, knowing I would never be able to sleep, I downloaded Adrian. He got me through.

What are your security books?

*Yeah, that's a pretty good teaching/parenting problem to have, isn't it?

**Homer the poet, not Homer Simpson. OBVIOUSLY.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hello Again

Hey, remember that time I had two babies in two years and took a little time* off blogging?

No, neither do I.

I seriously don't. I don't remember much these days. On account of the INSANE SLEEP DEPRIVATION. *silent scream*

Ahem. Moving on...

Sleep Deprivation Positives:

1. Cool buzzy noise constantly ringing in my ears.

2. Scary red eyes mean I aways get a row of seats to myself on the bus.

3. Hmmmm...I'll get back to you. That bus thing really is good though.

ANYHOO - if time travel were possible I'd still head straight to Victorian Cairo to become a sassy Egyptologist - it's just that now I'd have to take the double stroller. Which could actually be a plus. Toddlers are GREAT at digging, right? So I'd have that going for me, which is nice.

I'm still typing. In fact, I typed so much that I finished my book! Then I read it, deleted most of it, and typed it again. But eventually it was sort-of-kind-of-maybe done, and I sent it out into the world and somehow found the most amazing agent in existence :)

So I've also got that going for me, which is even nicer than the digging thing.

More agent gushing to come in future posts. For now I just want to say hello again (mostly to my sister and my friends Sally and Trudy, who are probably the only ones reading this**).

HELLO AGAIN! You all look fabulous. 

*Yeah we won't be specific here - but Google Reader was probably still around? RIP, friend. Plus I took down all my old posts to hide the evidence. Because I am tricksy.

**I do not have any friends named Sally and Trudy. I was just trying to make myself look more popular. Because I am also an unreliable narrator.