Thursday, February 28, 2013

Author Spotlight: K.B. Hoyle

Hello everyone! I'd like to welcome author K.B. Hoyle to the Author Spotlight today. K.B. is the author of the Middle Grade/YA Series: The Gateway Chronicles. She was kind enough to stop by today for an interview.

Welcome K.B. - Tell us about your latest release.

My most current release came out in October and is titled The Enchanted. It is actually the fourth book in my YA fantasy series called The Gateway Chronicles. The series is about a group of teenagers who find their way from a summer camp into an alternate world called Alitheia. In Alitheia, they discover they each have special magic abilities that need to be honed in order to defeat a great evil that has taken over the land. The books follow the main character, Darcy Pennington, as she leads her friends to and from Alitheia each year. In each successive book, the characters are a year older, and the plot thickens (to use the clichéd colloquialism) in Alitheia. In The Enchanted, Darcy faces her greatest trials yet as she comes to grips with her burgeoning love for the young king of Alitheia, Tellius, and tries to find the key to the mysteries that surround her own unique magical abilities.

That sounds really great! Is there another book to the series?

I’m currently editing the fifth book in The Gateway Chronicles, The Scroll, and I have one more book to write in the series before it’s finished. After that, I’d really like to write a dystopian trilogy I have planned. That trilogy will be for a little older YA audience, unlike my current books which are geared more towards a Middle Grade YA crowd. I’m really fascinated with the direction the world is going, and that fascination birthed the dystopian idea for the trilogy.

You've got a lot happening! When and how do you find time to write in your daily life?

I get asked this all the time because I’m also a full-time teacher (8th and 10th history, creative writing), and I’m married and have three young sons (ages 6, 3 ½, and 9 months). These days the only time I find to write is late at night or during the summer while my boys are napping. When I’m in the middle of writing a novel, we eat a lot of fast food and the house doesn’t get cleaned a whole lot, honestly. I’ll sometimes go for days at a time on only a few hours of sleep a night, but I write in marathons, so this sort of schedule only lasts for a month or so, then things go back to normal for a while. But I love to write, and I love completing novels, so it’s all ultimately worth it.

Wow - that is a full schedule! So do you have any advice to aspiring writers?

I’m going to pass on some of the best advice I ever received – there is no such thing as writer’s block. If you are serious about being a writer (ie. Intending to write for publication), you can’t let yourself stop writing when you get a “block.” If you have planned out your story well enough, you should always be able to slog ahead one way or another, and if you haven’t planned your story out ahead of time, then you need to go back and do that before you write another word. Treat writing as your job, even if you’re not yet published. You wouldn’t stay home from work for weeks at a time just because you’re “not feeling it.” No! You’d go to work! That’s how you need to write. You can always go back and revise or delete later.

Oh yes, and trust your editors. They love you. They want your books to be better and sell lots of copies. Do what they say!

Great advice! Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written?

Yahto Veli is one of my favorite characters from The Gateway Chronicles, but he was a big risk when I first came up with him. Any great fantasy series must introduce a new fantasy creature, in my opinion, or at least reinvent one. The Lord of the Rings has hobbits, The Chronicles of Narnia has marshwiggles and dufflepuds, Harry Potter has house elves, The Hunger Games even gets in on the game with mockingjays. Well, I decided to create narks. A nark is a humanoid elf-like creature in Alitheia with large, pointed ears, incredible speed, strength, agility, hearing, and sight. What makes them unique, though, is that two narks share each physical body—a night nark, and a day nark. The night nark is awake at night and the day nark during the day. Narks always have two names, and the first name is always the night nark personality. So, Yahto Veli is Yahto at night, and Veli during the day. This idea is something I was incredibly nervous about because I thought it would sink or swim. Either people would love it, or they wouldn’t buy it and they would find it cheesy. Luckily, my risk paid off. Readers commonly name Yahto Veli as their favorite character, and I’ve gotten more compliments on the narks in my stories than anything else. It probably doesn’t hurt that I wrote Yahto Veli to be quite endearing, and he’s a special and loyal friend to Darcy throughout the books.

I could use a nark! Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

Absolutely! They say write what you know, so when I wrote the first book in The Gateway Chronicles, The Six, I based my main character, Darcy Pennington, on myself at age thirteen. My sister actually laughed after she read the book for the first time because she said Darcy was so much like me. Darcy is not terribly likeable in The Six, which has bothered some readers, but I wrote her that way on purpose. I remember being thirteen, and I remember being not terribly likeable. I gave Darcy the same personality quirks and struggles that I went through at thirteen, and I think it engenders exasperation in older and wiser readers, but great empathy in younger readers. As the books progress and Darcy gets older, she also matures and becomes more endearing. I’d like to think I’ve done the same!

Speaking of your childhood ... as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be everything when I was a child, and these ambitions were mostly inspired by books, TV, and movies. I definitely went through a stage where I wanted to be an author, and I never left that ambition behind, per se, but I branched out from there. When I was in third grade, I was determined to be an archeologist (just like Indiana Jones), then I got into Star Wars and I wanted to be an astronaut, later came ambitions to be a wilderness explorer in the Belgian Congo (yep, that specific!), an artist, actress, singer, and… the list goes on and on. The great thing about being an author is that I get to pretend to be all sorts of different characters, so sometimes I feel as though I get to live all my ambitions.

Who is your favorite super-hero and why?

I love lots of superheroes, but Batman has always been my favorite. Bruce Wayne didn’t need special powers to make himself into a superhero, and that has always been more impressive to me than, say, Superman, who has special powers. I also love the back story on Bruce Wayne; the orphan story gets me every time! And let’s face it, Batman’s just plain cool.

Agreed!! Anything additional you want to share with the readers?

I believe in the power of a good story to convey universal themes and messages than can change people from the inside out. My books will always contain great themes such as good vs. evil, sacrifice, loyalty, etc. in imitation of the Great Books. Along with this, I love layers in a story, so there is always more beneath the surface than you might think at the first read-through. My hope is that every time people go back to re-read one of my stories, they discover something new.

Where can people find you and your books online?

My blog is located at My author Facebook page is, and there is also a Gateway Chronicles fan page at
I’m on Twitter @kbhoyle_author, and you can find my books either on Amazon, or at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House here:

About K.B. Hoyle:

K. B. Hoyle has been a classical educator for several years. She is a wife to a wonderful husband and mother to three wonderful little boys. At a young age, she knew she wanted to write stories that would inspire people. Her favorite genre had always been Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction, so that is where her journey began. K. B. wrote her first fantasy novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be great practice for the novels she would publish as an adult.

K. B. is currently writing the Young Adult Fantasy series The Gateway Chronicles, but she never stops brainstorming all the stories she plans to write in the future

About The Gateway Chronicles

Book 1-The Six
Book 2-The Oracle
Book 3-The White Thread
Book 4-The Enchanted

Twice wed, twice dead, twice stained red.

Darcy Pennington’s life was average—average looks, average parents, average annoying younger brother. The only thing not average about it was her unnerving sense of being out of place in the world around her. But a sense is only a sense until something happens to make it a reality. Sucked from a summer camp through a gateway to a magic world called Alitheia, Darcy discovers her true calling lies in another realm. She and five friends from the camp must navigate the uncertainties and the deadly peril that go along with their prophesied purpose: defeat a terrifying Shadow called Tselloch and save Alitheia. Darcy finds herself targeted by Tselloch, who is convinced that the success or failure of his conquest of Alitheia rises or falls with her. To cement his dominion, he enslaves Darcy to him, and he ensnares another boy named Colin, a boy who has every reason to hate his life. Using Colin, Tselloch weaves an even greater web from which they all must be freed.

Each visit to Alitheia brings its own challenges, and Darcy fights year after year for her friends, for Alitheia, and for her very soul. Although repulsed by him at first, she finds herself more and more drawn to the young king of Alitheia, Tellius, whose own tortured past breeds in her pity, then respect, and eventually love. Love won’t save her from her fate should they fail to defeat Tselloch, however, for the curse Tselloch worked in her draws her every day closer to losing the battle for Alitheia, and losing her very life.

Fantastic friends, perilous journeys, captivating oracles, terrifying monsters, agonizing sacrifices, and burgeoning love make the first four books in The Gateway Chronicles stories you will not want to miss.

Thank you K.B. for joining us today!



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: You're Invited!!

We're getting close now!! Less than one week for the Official Release of Nate Rocks the School! Won't you join me for a party?

P.S. You don't have to wait until March 4th to get your copy... Nate Rocks the School is available NOW!



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Celebrating Pavarti K Tyler & Two Moons of Sera #2MOS

Hi all ... I've lost track of how many blog posts I've done now about this fabulous serial novel, Two Moons of Sera. Well the reason I keep bringing it up is because it's just that good and I want everyone to read it.

Well guess what? Today is a special day. For starters, it is Pavarti K. Tyler's birthday - she's the author behind this brilliant story. So to celebrate - she is offering volume one of Two Moons of Sera for free from 2/25-2/28! You can pick up your copy here.  But be warned - once you start volume one, you won't want to stop!

Well that's where more of my good news comes in! You see, after all my begging and pleading for Pavarti to write faster, she has finally finished the story! Not only that, but as of today, you can get all the volumes together as part of her Two Moons of Sera - Omnibus collection!  I've got mine, and I decided to start over again from the beginning just to get the full effect. I cannot get to volume 4 fast enough!

AND - I have even more good news!  Because it's Pavarti's birthday, she's giving away a whole slew of prizes. Easy entry right here:

Two Moons of Sera - Omnibus
In a world where water and earth teem with life, Serafay is an anomaly. The result of genetic experiments on her mother's waterborne line Serafay will have to face the very people responsible to discover who she really is. But is she the only one?

Reviews of the 2MOS Series:

“The author has created a story series that is so much more than just what is contained in the narrative. Books should not only serve to enchant and excite, encouraging you to look forward to more installments with the same characters but they should leave an impression. This series is a winner on all fronts.” ~ By Gaele Hince of I am indeed

“I guess that other book I had been reading will just have to wait a little longer.” ~ Karen Toz author of the Nate Rocks Series

"This story has all of the elements of paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and dystopia that I love." ~ Delphina Reads Too Much


Author bio

Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway.

Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and one oversized, terrible dog. When not preparing taxes, she is busy working as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity or penning her next novel.

Amazon Omnibus Paperback:
GoodReads for Omnibus:
2MOS Volume One:
2MOS Volume Two:
2MOS Volume Three:
2MOS Volume Four:




Friday, February 22, 2013

iPad Mini + Best Selling Reads G!veaway!

Recently, my friend and fellow author, Christine Nolfi told me about a new program she was helping to start called "Best Selling Reads." There are so many great new authors out there ... and so many not so great new authors.  BSR features new authors who have topped best seller lists, won awards, and have received high reviews for their works. By listing these talented authors in one place, BSR makes choosing your next read easy. (Note to readers - I am not on the list *cough cough* Christine assures me this is because there is no children's fiction category. I think you should all write to her & demand that this policy be changed!)  ;)

So... to help celebrate the grand opening of BSR, they are giving away an awesome prize! Check it out - enter & good luck!!


Discover the best authors in New Fiction during the grand opening of! Check back weekly for news, events and the monthly deal.

Best-Selling Read’s February Deal

Prize for winning reader entry: iPad Mini with Wi-Fi 16GB plus 1 eBook from each BSR author
$300 Amazon gift card plus 1 eBook from each author (if winner received eReader holiday gift)
2nd &; 3rd place winners: $25 Amazon gift card

Winners will be chosen February 28th by Rafflecopter. No purchase necessary. Open internationally.

Enter now at



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Author Spotlight: Dawn Gray

Hi everyone - - welcome back to another Author Spotlight! Today I have paranormal/thriller writer Dawn Gray here to talk about her newest release: Malevolent Gateway. If you're a fan of paranormal stories with an action/suspense twist, romance, and even some ghosts - you must read her books!

Welcome Dawn! Please tell us about your current release: 
Malevolent Gateway is my current release, it is the second book in the S.P.I.R.I.T. Series.  It revolves around a military based paranormal unit that employs unique members of every branch of the service.

What book are you working on next? 
The third in the series, which goes into the local legend of a lake monster and puts a paranormal spin on it that only S.P.I.R.I.T can.
When and how do you find time to write in your daily life?
Strangely enough, I write when I feel the inspiration and I finally have time since my children are now in school to sit down and put down to paper what goes through my mind.

I can relate! What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
I listen to classical music and soundtracks to write, but can also do it while helping my children with homework.  The way it works is that I see it as a movie in my head and I transcribe it to paper.

I always tell my kids that reading is like having a movie in your head! We think alike! Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written?  
Samantha Ricketts in S.P.I.R.I.T Fire Storm.  She is a fireball and there is  nothing she can't take.  She first appears in the first chapter of the book, and I mean appear right out of the blue.  She is taken from one reality to another and never skips a beat, but she does have a bit of a fainting problem (it's all the over stimulations).

What is your greatest challenge as an author?
Getting your name out there and outside circles that you form can become a challenge.  After a while you find that you all have the same people in your circle, but you also find that those fans have become friends and help pass the word around also.

Yes, I totally agree. Can you see yourself in any of your characters? 
I see myself as all the female characters.  It brings me more into the story and I am able to feel and experience the things that my characters do.

So now some fun questions I like to ask: 

Cats or Dogs?
Oh I have two of each and three kids so I am just a wild animal fanatic.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee with cream and sugar.

Do you have any hobbies?
Photography and hiking with the kids.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Telekinesis....just cause it's fun to move things and freak people out.

Okay - only funny if I can do that with you - otherwise so not funny!! Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Go for it, never stop believing, and always follow your heart.  Write for you and let your imagination take you where you need to be.

Great advice! Where can people find you and your books online?
About Dawn Gray:

Being raised in both the Northeast corner of Vermont and one of the larger cities in Massachusetts has given Dawn, a divorced mother of three, the unique ability to mix the spookiness of a small town ghost story with the fast pace action of city life.

Island Pond, Vermont was every child's wonderland, with looming mountains and small towns nestled in the valleys, its simple lifestyle gave Ms. Gray the ability to let her imagination run wild, thus creating her unique style of writing, where the stories speak for themselves.

Big city living, in her teenage years to the present allowed her to harvest that energy and creativeness to bring to life some of the most unique characters, such as Michael Raven and Julian Deveraux.
Although Vampires are her most used basis for characters and settings, Ms. Gray's novels also venture into those of other supernatural realms, with ghosts, witchcraft and werewolves coming into play in several of her upcoming manuscripts.

twitter: @Dgray3994

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Author Spotlight: Laurel Heger & Monette Pangan

Hi everyone! Today I have the very talented author/illustrator team of Laurel Heger and Monette Pangan.  Their adorable story/picture book, Fox and Rabbit's Garden (A Tale of the Rabbit-less Stew), will be coming out in March!

Author Laurel Heger, was kind enough to tell us a little about how the story came about...

As with a lot of stories, they sometimes advance into something very different from their initial draft. Such was the case with Fox and Rabbit’s Garden (A Tale of the Rabbit-less Stew)
I was inspired to come up with a story from a Graphic Designer/Illustrator friend in Sweden. He wanted to use clay figures his 13-year-old daughter created for our illustrations. As I surveyed pictures of the clay fruits, vegetables, a rabbit, cakes, and pies sent to me by email (incredible work)… I began at once to fashion a story around them, which took me two days to finish and send off. Then began the process of waiting for his reply… tick-tock…

The following day, I was excited to find a reply!
I opened it and read…
One word GRIM!!
Wow you did it!
Love it! Thank you, Laurel.
A little scary, but that should be ok, I feel sorry for the rab though :-(
You did it Laurel, you found a story in there. I´m impressed.

I think I´ll let Alice read it; she has a superb gut feeling! :-)

I did it!… or so I thought.

Later, I received an email saying, Alice would prefer a happy ending. Okay, I could go with a happy ending. So began… Fox and Rabbits Garden. A week later, I transformed the story into an unlikely friendship between a Fox and Rabbit. However, after the New Year, Alice was back in school and my friend was not sure when she would be able to put together more clay figures. He said that I was free to find another to illustrate the story.

Two weeks after the book was written, I teamed up with Designer/Children's Illustrator, Monette Pangan to create Fox and Rabbit’s Garden (A Tale of the Rabbit-less Stew) a picture book that combines amusing illustrations with an engaging/rheumatic narrative. I believe Monette has captured the two characters flawlessly. I love how it has turned out. Fox and Rabbit will take young readers on a witty and humorous account of Fox helping to prepare stew for supper, whilst also helping him to appreciate the unlikely friendship that has begun with Rabbit, and of course, a taste for rabbit-less stew.

I began feeling the story could turn into a clever collection of adventures for Fox and Rabbit, so around Thanksgiving I wrote a sequel… “Fox and Rabbit’s Cranberry Surprise” That means twice the entertainment!

Monette is currently working on her new children’s book. But, there is a good possibility, when completed, a new adventure for Fox and Rabbit could be out in 2014.


Laurel worked as a maritime cook on fishing vessels, crabbers, freighters and tenders in the Bering Sea and many inlets of Alaska. She appreciates the best things life has to offer ... mushroom hunting, fresh vegetables, bunny rabbits, hedgehogs, and writing for children. Fox and Rabbit's Garden is her fourth published picture book. Laurel currently makes her home in the Pacific Northwest and volunteers in her community.


Monette Pangan was born and raised in the Philippines. Drawing was something she did from childhood,spending countless hours with her head bent over unused test booklets sheets (her grandmother was a teacher) stapled together to make a sketchbook. She has been a dance instructor, a high school Literature teacher, and even a preschool teacher but the magic of illustration and the written word kept calling. In 2009, she moved to the US to work for a design company. Soon after, she collaborated with writers on uTales and has illustrated three ebooks, two of them with Laurel Heger.

Monette is now based in Connecticut where she continues to explore the world of children's books and surface design. She is married and has two wonderful sons.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Author Spotlight: EC Stilson

Today I'm so honored to spotlight someone who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors - EC Stilson! EC and I met a while back in a writer's Facebook group. She had just published her book The Golden Sky - a memoir about the death of her infant son. I picked up a copy, but I have to admit, I didn't read it right away because of the subject matter. I have friends who have sadly lost their infants, and I knew this would be an emotional read for me. So it sat on my Kindle waiting.  In the meantime, I began following EC's awesome blog. I immediately fell in love with her writing style and looked forward to reading her posts about her children who all have cool pseudonyms like "the scribe" and "the zombie elf."

Anyway - fast forward to this past fall and Hurricane Sandy. As many of you know - we lost power for nearly a week. As my electronic devices began dying one by one, my trusty Kindle kept chugging along. So I read - a lot. Including EC Stilson's book. In fact, I couldn't put it down. When I was finished, I immediately purchased book two (which actually is book one if you go in chronological order) Bible Girl and the Bad Boy. A few months ago, EC released Homeless in Hawaii, which would be book two if you are following her timeline, but you really don't need to. They are fabulous books regardless of the order you read them in. Below I review all three books as one, because really, they are one story - A story of a remarkable young woman.


The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way. Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. As his health waned, my own breath evaded me, like I was the one who needed the ventilator—the life support. The “death home” gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. When they tried closing his casket, I nearly fell on my face, not wanting them to shut the lid on my baby.

We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief. Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and even grew out his damn hair. At the time, I was sick of “the oatmeal option” (the only food we had), so I kicked Cade out of the house, and started modeling and working as a diesel mechanic. That was how I met Earl, an old man and unlikely best friend; the “big sag,” a middle aged woman who still flashed folks, and "The Cowboy" a man who fell in love with me.

It was slow at first, but Cade reverted to the man I’d busked with years before. It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance. But could our marriage recover from the death of our son?


The book practically cried for me to spare its life, and for a moment I thought I'd rather burn in Hell than lose something my brother had given me in love. The pastor nudged me, though, and my heart turned to ice.
I thought of all those hours my brother had read to me. I thought of all that time he'd invested.
I couldn't throw it into the fire; not the last book of the trilogy. That funny little dwarf stared at me from the cover. Then, I closed my eyes. I stepped so close to the flames they almost ate my skin. I tore the book in front of those kids. I put on quite a show throwing in a section at a time because I couldn't stand sending the whole thing in at once. When the last pages went up in flame, and the dwarf on the cover curled with death, I dropped to my knees and cried. The kids all hooted and screamed in ecstasy, thinking I'd been freed, when the ropes of religion had just twisted tighter.

Surrounded by hypocrites, Elisa's foundation starts crumbling. She doesn't know who to turn to. That's when she meets a mysterious man. But maybe she shouldn't trust him.
Will he help her, or make things even worse than they were before?


Running away from her past, Elisa finds herself homeless in Hawaii. The streets aren't what they seem, though, and cops make her stay in homeless park.

She's only seventeen and with a man she hardly knows. They must work together if they're going to survive as street musicians.

They might be in paradise, but even there, her past will hunt her down and make her face an uncertain future.


Whether you read these books in chronological order or in the order they were published (as I did) you are sure to get a glimpse into the life of an amazing young woman.

EC Stilson pours her heart out in The Golden Sky - a memoir about losing her precious infant son and the aftermath of dealing with a marriage that is crumbling. The amazing part is that through it all, EC (Elisa) has a remarkable positive attitude and a strong conviction to go along with it. The Golden Sky is a compilation of the journals Elisa kept during this time period and are raw with emotion and courage. Through Elisa's journals, you not only get a sense of her grief, but also her overwhelming joy in having had this special little boy. Elisa's strength and optimism are like none I have witnessed, and her writing style is such that you feel you are experiencing everything right along side of her.

Her story goes backwards in Bible Girl and the Bad Boy, as we get a glimpse of teenage Elisa and the story of how she met her future husband, Cade. The thing I love about this memoir is the innocence that surrounds Elisa during this period of her life. Like so many teens, she's searching for the place where she "fits." Despite some pretty serious moments, Elisa always seems to have a smile on her face, great perspective, and some really funny laugh out loud moments.

In the newly released Homeless in Hawaii, we follow Elisa and Cade as they venture off to Hawaii to live as homeless musicians. Once again, I felt as if I was right there along with Elisa as she experienced everything from her night in Homeless Park to her telling off the bellhop at the Ritz (way to go Elisa!) And even though I had an idea of how the book would end (having read The Golden Sky already) I still found my self cheering, because it wasn't so much the ending that was important, but rather the journey to get there.

Through all these books, EC's writing is light and whimsical, yet emotional and extremely touching. Her passion for life comes through in all three books, even in her most darkest moments. EC Stilson is a woman who truly lives life to its fullest. Thank you for sharing your extraordinary life with us.

Would you like to win a copy of EC Stilson's "Homeless in Hawaii"?  You can! Elisa is generously giving away a copy! Just enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elisabeth Hirsch is a part-owner and editor at Wayman Publishing. All three of her memoirs (under the pen name EC Stilson) have become Amazon best sellers within the last two years. Since 2011, she’s helped Wayman Publishing raise thousands of dollars for organizations such as Angel Watch, the Pregnancy Resource Center, the American Diabetes Association and Primary Children’s Hospital. When she’s not parenting or writing, Elisabeth is speaking at assemblies and signings, or encouraging families at infant-loss relief groups.

Elisabeth is dedicated to helping other authors succeed. From editing, to formatting and marketing, she can share her knowledge and show aspiring authors how to best start their writing careers.

If you'd like to sign up for her next writing workshop, please go HERE.



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