May 27, 2015

Three Times A Charm with Kat M Hawthorne

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to people involved in children’s publishing. Today we have Kat Hawthorne with us. She’s going to share a little about her newly released middle grade book, The Boatman. But first, Kat, can tell us a little about yourself?

Gah, the very first question is a difficult one!

I like to remain mysterious. I tend to lurk (somewhat menacingly) in the lesser-travelled corners of the literary world, or at least that’s the image I portray. In reality, I am a friendly little supernerd who only eats human flesh once per week…if that.

In addition to a smattering of published poetry, I have had several pieces of short fiction published in various literary magazines. These include Underneath the Juniper Tree, Shadows Express Magazine, and at The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. As you may have guessed, most of my work is of the darker variety, though the genre shifts between young adult, middle grade, and picture books.

I love a good spooky story! So, tell us more about The Boatman.

Isabel Wixon is weird. Not only does she see dead things, but her list of friends consists of a talkative ventriloquist’s dummy and the gentlemanly spider that lives in her hair. Real friends? Too hard. Inventing friends is much easier. 

Inventing the Boatman—a terrible monster that lures kids into a strange sleeping sickness and never lets them go—probably wasn’t one of her better ideas though. 

I recommend my book to readers who like:
Neil Gaiman’s Coraline
Edward Carey’s Heap House
Elizabeth Cody Kimmel’s Paranorman
Or just about any movie by Tim Burton

Now it’s time for The 3’s. Give us the top three answers to the following questions to help us know you better.

  • Top 3 books you recommend reading and why you recommend them.
1)      Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot (particularly the version that was illustrated by Edward Gorey, released in 1982). Master Eliot’s writing is marvelous, of course, and I personally find it quite inspirational. I keep a thick tome (about as thick as my head) of his work on my desk at all times. He never fails to get the words flowing. And cats are practical. They just are.
2)      Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, by Patrick Suskind. Not only did this book inspire Kurt Cobain of Nirvana to write “Sentless Apprentice,” but this book is so lyrically written, it simply must be read. Oh, it’s a bit gory though. For adult audiences only.
3)      The Witches, by Roald Dahl. The master. The one I aspire to be like. Master Dahl is where it’s at all around.

  • Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer.

1)      Editors are ALWAYS right. Except sometimes when they’re wrong.
2)      Readers are ALWAYS right. Except sometimes when they eat while reading (jam and paper DO NOT MIX folks).
3)      However, It is perfectly fine for a writer to respond to the voices in his or her head. People don’t even look at you sideways, though they do sometimes run off screaming.

  • Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.

1)      Worms
2)      Crow’s toes
3)      Apples (the non-poisoned kind)

Lol. Where can our readers find you and your book online?

Twitter: @KatMHawthorne

Thanks for joining us, Kat. It’s been fun getting a peek inside the mind of a writer of dark fiction. Not just cobwebs in there [wink]. Many happy sales for The Boatman (pun intended!)

May 22, 2015

On Twitter? I've Got A Giveaway For You

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

I've put together a quick giveaway for the weekend. If you are on Twitter, I hope you'll participate.

All you have to do is click on the following link. It will take you to a pinned post on my twitter profile. Retweet the post and your retweet will enter you to win an ecopy (pdf or Kindle) of Finding Thor.

Super simple, huh? You have until 11:59 pm on the 25th to retweet the message, so hop over now so you don't forget.

Thanks for your support.

About the book:

Cara Cassidy always envisioned love as Thor, slamming his hammer into the earth, and the vibration resonating within her for a lifetime. She never expected love would be a thousand tiny actions from a normal boy. When international intrigue hits small-town America, more than the car chases will get your blood pumping.

Tragedy has left Cara Cassidy broken and the only thing keeping her from giving in completely is her guilt. Until Nik Rock.

Nik stirs up feelings in degrees she has never experienced, and causes her to do things that most assuredly give him the wrong impression – like kiss him before their first date. Somehow, he breaks down the walls around her emotions until she has no choice but to forgive herself and feel again.

But a mysterious, troubled past follows Nik, and Cara may prove to be his weakest link.

When a royal princess shows up looking for Nik, and an international gang arrives looking for missing jewels, Cara lands in mortal danger. Will she be able to save herself? What will happen to her newly repaired psyche if she loses Nik?

Romance, mystery, and high stakes – just another day in high school.

May 13, 2015

Spotlight and #Giveaway: Amnesty by Jo Noelle


AmnestyAmnesty by Jo Noelle Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days. Her assignment is to change the eternal destination of a girl in Albuquerque to earn admittance into heaven. No sweat. But when Cassie returns to earth during her three-week, mostly-mortal assignment, her old habits get in the way, (apparently habits don’t die when you do), the partners assigned to help her are anything but helpful, and it turns out the girl she is supposed to help is the only enemy she made on her first day of school. Oh, I’m so going to hell. Things aren’t all bad—it helps to have a hot angel on your side. Mmm-Marc. Even though he’s all about heavenly business, Cassie would like to make it personal. Assignment with benefits. This young adult novel is a coming of age story with a clean romance, packed with action and suspense.


     Moments blink like snapshots flashing on a screen. Bright lights strain against the passenger windows that crumble away as my vision blurs—like a 3-D movie without glasses. A hazy glow radiates around my hands, fingers strangling the steering wheel. Before my head snaps back against the headrest, I look up at the mirror and catch a glimpse of Korbin in the back seat, a pale light glows around him—an aura? His soul releases and whispers away.
     “No,” screams through my mind, but the word dies behind my lips.
     Momentum—the car down rolling down the riverbank, crushing the roof, blasting glass shards against my cheek, neck, shoulder, and chest—lays the VW to rest in the stream. That’s when Reece’s soul leaves, easing out as she hangs limply toward me from her seat belt. Someone stop this. She can’t die. My heart races. Someone save her. With my mind thick and syrupy, struggling to reopen my eyes, I blink slowly. Reece’s blood swirls through the water, puddling in the roof. Let her live. Take me. The keys in the ignition rock back and forth, tapping against the steering column and each other. Click, click. Then nothing. The smell of hot tires and gasoline rides along my shallow breath, leaving an oily taste in the back of my throat. I try to swallow, but can’t.
     Mom and Dad sit close to the broken window beside me, unaffected by the icy water flowing around them. Some part of me wants to cry and crawl into their arms, and another part wants them to leave, not to see me this way, but somehow they know I need them. Are they really here? Maybe if I could touch their faces or feel their fingers wrap around mine—my hand reaches for their wavering ghostly images, then falls helplessly toward the door.
     “Cassie.” Mom’s head sags and her shoulders shake, her hands covering her face. She was never much of a crier, even watching movies, while Dad and I turned our faces and stealthily swiped away the tears before they could run down our cheeks. But now she isn’t strong and Dad’s arms circle her, pulling her gently away and holding her up as she reaches toward me. “I would take you with me if I could, baby.”
     Though Dad whispers in her ear, I hear his voice pierce my mind. “We can’t interfere.”      Then his attention turns to me. “We’re here. It’s what we can do. Everything’s okay, Cassie.” Does he mean okay, I’ll live, or okay, I’ll die? Dying is not okay.
     My soul hovers, still tacked to a faint pulse, looking down at my body as if I’m separate from myself. Blonde curls fall in tangles and cling to the bloody gash in my forehead. Wind blows through the broken windows, freezing my skin and eyes, drying the blood on my face and arms. A burning sensation, like coals deep within my bones, shoots out to my muscles and runs along my skin.
     It’s disorienting to watch myself, bleeding and bent, like watching someone else. I’m dead. That thought solidifies as the terrifying prospect becomes more real. The airbag lies limply between me and the steering wheel pressing into my chest. A bone in my left leg has pierced my jeans. I continue to survey myself, and the damage is staggering.
     Time gasps, and in the next moment red, blue, and white lights skitter against the rocky canyon wall and slide across the ice and snow around us as police and EMTs arrive, their faces grim. They want to save us.
     Too late.
     The car lurches. My soul crushes back into my body. Tight. Confined. Reanimating each cell. Frigid air burns my lungs, then rushes out in a howl as life scorches through me, enlivening each fracture and wound.

Get your copy from

Jo NoelleAuthor Jo Noelle Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people— Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team. They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation. Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family. Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.

25_Amazon_Paypal Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/1/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 11, 2015

May #InkRipples – Change (#giveaway)

Back when we (Mary Waibel, Katie Carroll and I) started hatching this plan for a monthly, themed meme, Mary suggested the theme of change for the month of May. I think the woman is prophetic.

Writing is a tough business, but one of the toughest aspects of it for me is the isolation. I have a lot of really great online friends and want them to know how much they mean to me, however, hovering over this keyboard day in and day out and only hearing my own voice while the kids are at school and the husband is at work – well, yeah. Can you say stir crazy? So after four years of pounding this keyboard full time, I decided to get a part-time job. In retail. I haven’t worked retail since I was a young lass, but I was drawn to it now because of the opportunity to interact with people.

I craved the chance to say things like, “Hi, how’s your day going?” and receive a smile and response. Heck, even grimaces and complaints would be welcome. I longed for the funny little stories people share when you ask how they are. So, now after being completely in charge of my life and my schedule for a number of years, I’m at the mercy of a retail schedule. It will change every week. I won’t get a heck of a lot of notice of when I work. I might have to work weekends. I have to learn new things. Be nice when I’m really feeling crabby. But I won’t have to work a lot. I’ll be contributing more to the family finances. And I’ll be living life, so that I can write about it.

So this month’s theme is change. My life has changed. I’m now making change (yes, that is a cashiering pun.) And to celebrate that, I’ll give one randomly drawn commentor the change from my purse. At least enough to order a standard priced Kindle book. That’s right. Leave a comment on this post before May 25th, and if your name is chosen I’ll mail you some change. I’m thinking $3.99. Maybe as much as $5.00 if I’ve got one of those bills in my wallet. Heck, what have you got to loose?

What have you changed lately?

After you comment, hop on over to Mary's InkRipples post and Katie's InkRipples post. 

Ripples in the Inkwell is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the second Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

May 6, 2015

#IWSG - The Sexy Life of an Author

This month, Lightning Quick Reads is hosting a giveaway. Each comment you leave on any LQR post in May enters you to win a gift cert. Start with my may story on sexism, You Cannot Be Serious

To sign up, visit the IWSG Master, Alex Cavanaugh
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts this month are Eva Solar, Melanie Schulz, Lisa-Buie Collard, and Stephen Tremp!

My post: The sexy life of an author.

My twelfth book published today! Everybody, I'd like you to meet Super Bad, Super Villain Academy book 3. Super Bad is the final book in the series, which is exciting to me. I love being able to give readers a conclusion. Tie up loose ends and what-not. 

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by some kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”

Here are some of the places you can pick up a print or electronic copy:

| Barnes & Noble| Whiskey Creek Press

Twelve books is exciting. There is even a word for it. A dozen. When people say, "Oh, you're an author. Have anything published?" I can say, "Yep. I've published a dozen titles." How cool is that?

But that's not the sexy part. What is, you ask? Well, guess how I get to spend my day? The day my twelfth title is published. 


Yep. I got a part-time job. In the less than two weeks I've worked there. I've worked on my 50th birthday, now on my release day, and I'm scheduled on my daughter's birthday. What are the odds I'll have to work on Mother's Day? I'm pretty much counting on it. Oh the irony. Maybe I should have planned this better and started after all these milestone events to ease myself into it.

What "glamorous" ways have you celebrated writing milestones?

May 4, 2015

Celebrate Children's Book Week with a #Giveaway

Mother Daughter Book Reviews, in collaboration with the fabulous sponsors listed below, is pleased to coordinate a giveaway for a Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7" Tablet (+ $50 gift card/cash). This giveaway will take place from May 1 to 31, 2015, overlapping with Children's Book Week (May 4 to 10, 2015).

Children's Book Week Kindle Kids Edition Giveaway 2015  

About the Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7" Tablet

Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet
 The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet also comes with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited (which means kids get unlimited access to 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games—at no additional cost!). It includes a quad-core processor for great performance, a vivid HD display, front and rear-facing cameras, and Dolby Audio PLUS comes with a Kid-Proof Case, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee - if they break it, return it and Amazon replaces it for free. No questions asked! PLUS, we will also gift the winner a $50 Amazon gift card to help fill up their new Kindle with books!  

Fabulous Sponsors (Bloggers)

Thank you to the following bloggers who are sponsoring this giveaway. Please consider visiting at least one or two and thanking them personally.

Fabulous Sponsors (Authors and Publishers)

A big thank you to all of the participating authors and publishers who are sponsoring this giveaway. Below you will find their fabulous books Please consider purchasing one, two or more books that interest you as a "Thank You" to these generous sponsors. Some books are free, others only 99 cents!
Ebook Lemon Festival Fiasco cover final Low Res 14 March 2015Lobo Goes to the Galapagos by C. L. MurphyABC Adoption and Me by Gayle and Casey SwiftIsabella Babysits BaxterBingo Summer by Dawn MaloneThe Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffDreamscape_FinalThePrincelingsoftheEast__FinalBookElves Anthology Volume 1The IfsThe Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa HandlerCubbie1coverIf I Were King coverConference of the BirdsGood-bye Baby Max by Diane CantrellHansel and GretelRani in Search of RainbowThe Tail of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory BraySing Along Construction Song by Louise LintveltWind Catcher - CoverWhat if - SidebarBBBGAllGhost Leopard - New Cover - resizedThe Mystic Princesses and the WhirlpoolGuinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl CarpinelloBetween the Lines by Claudia WhitsittBilly Combo Cover Red brickYoung Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom by Cheryl CarpinelloTutankhamen SpeaksMice & Spiders & Webs... Oh My!My Fingerpaint Masterpiece - coverManner-Man by Sherrill CannonGimme JimmyThe Magic WordPeter and the Whimper Whineys -coverSanta's Birthday GiftCaterpillar ShoesRiddle CoverVIN & DORKYDUET-new cover-333x500Dewy and the Seeds of Doom by Maggie LyonsA Pair of Docks by Jennifer EllisThe Lumpy DucklingAstro is Down in the DumpsSophia's Jungle Adventureperf5.0625x7.8125.inddWhen Violet Was Blue by Deb TroehlerThe Aesir Kids by James Goldin & Charlotte GoldinThe Boy Who Flew With Eagles by Ben WoodardFront Cover Final 400x600Time Square: The Shift by S. W. LothianEoE_CoverPlace to Call HomeLittle Miss History Travels to Intrepid Sea Air & Space MuseumLexi and Marie CurieWaddley Sees the World ChinaJohn Bloom and the Victory Garden by Leigh Shearin                                                                  


Prize: One winner will receive either a new Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition 7" Tablet + a $50 Amazon gift card (US only) a $200 Amazon gift card (US Only) or $200 PayPal cash prize (International) Contest closes: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2015 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. NOTE: When the winner is chosen, ALL of their entries will be verified. If ANY of the winner's entries is invalid, they will be disqualified and a new winner will be chosen. In our last Kindle giveaway, the first winner chosen was disqualified for this very reason!  


ADDING BOOKS TO WISH LIST ON AMAZON: Hint...if you scroll to the bottom of the list on Amazon, you will see a button "Add All Items to Your Wish List". One click is all it takes! ADDING BOOKS TO "WANT-TO-READ" SHELF ON GOODREADS: If you do not see the column entitled "my rating", click on "settings" and make sure that the "shelves" box is checked. This will make it super-easy to add the books to your "to-read" shelf. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services