I am thrilled to participate in the Snowy Wings Publishing Middle Grade Blog Hop!
For this entire week, great posts are being written by Snowy Wings authors and shared by our special blogging partners, the Snow Angels. (By the way, if you’re interested in becoming a Snow Angel (and receive Advance Reader Copies of books, cover reveals, and other fun perks, check out this link!)
I’m so excited to share my middle grade fantasy novel, Keara’s Raven: Escape.
If you’re not familiar with Keara’s world, here’s the back of the book blurb:
I take your rebellion. Forget it. It is mine.
In the sheltered village of Silver Hollow, Keara knows exactly what she must do: Follow her mother’s strict rules and worship the twelve gods. But Keara’s twelfth birthday is looming, along with an obligation she dreads. She must sacrifice her beloved darkbeast on a holy altar.
Other children despise their bonded scapegoat animals, but Keara loves her raven, Caw. He’s her only friend, the sole creature who understands her headstrong ways.
When a traveling theater troupe passes through the village, Keara glimpses a way to escape. But the Great Road comes with its own dangers, including dread Inquisitor priests who hunt down heretics.
Will Keara find the strength to flee the only home she’s ever known? Or will she be forced to slay her closest friend on the altar of the gods?
Keara’s Raven is the only creature in the world who knows all of her secrets. Keara tells Caw everything she thinks, about her mother and her village and everything that happens to her. Caw listens and gives her advice, because he’s her friend. Her best friend. Her only friend.
In Keara’s world, most darkbeasts are ugly or scary animals. Keara knows people whose darkbeasts are toads and snakes and rats. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s easy to think of frightening darkbeasts. What animal would you choose, if you could choose your own darkbeast? (Tell me in a comment, below!)
I’ve put together some fun activities related to Keara’s Raven: Escape. You can have a birthday party with a Keara’s Raven theme. Or you can do some fun book projects.
Thank you for stopping by on the blog hop! As a thank you for participating, Snowy Wings Publishing is offering a chance to win eight (8) ebooks and two (2) paperbacks from our middle-grade authors!
An ebook of Something Wicked by Sarah Dale (releases Nov 2019)
An ebook of The Falling by T. Damon
An ebook of Keara’s Raven: Escape by Mindy Klasky
An ebook of The Missing Guardian & The Mer Queen’s Daughter by Melanie McFarlane
An ebook of the World of Aluvia series (Fairy Keeper, Mer-Charmer, and Dragon Redeemer) by Amy Bearce
A paperback of Life and Death & Gods and Demons by Selenia Paz
You can enter the drawing here:
Hop around and make sure to visit all the other Snowy Wings Publishing Blog Hop blogs today! (The dates indicate when the blog is featured, but you can read every one of them right now!)
October 25th – YA/NA Book Divas
October 26th – Selenia Paz
October 27th – Mindy Klasky
October 28th – I Love Books and Stuff
October 29th – Amy Bearce / The Reading Faery
October 30th – Melanie McFarlane / Jenifer Reads
October 31st – Sarah Dale
Some books come so easily, they seem to write themselves.
Others are a little more… challenging.
I had grand plans for The Lady Doctor is a Vamp. I was going to write the entire book while I was on a writing retreat. Five days of non-stop writing, with minimal breaks for meals, sleep, and sanity. I had reason to believe I could get that much done in a single get-away session. I’d written a similar number of words just a few months earlier, while I was finishing High Stakes Trial.
But the Lady Doctor had other ideas.
When I started the book, it was going to be a send-up of a certain type of romance–those super-sexy billionaire books, where an uber-alpha male utterly captivates a naive, submissive woman. I wanted to tell the story of what happened when the billionaire alpha-hole was rebuffed by the object of his passion.
There was just one problem.
My billionaire hero could be rebuffed once. Maybe even twice. But if he didn’t get a clue after that, he wasn’t a fun, sexy hero. He was an obnoxious jerk.
My carefully plotted book would never work. It wouldn’t be an enjoyable romp for my readers. It would be infuriating.
I had a literary precedent for the story I’d started to tell: William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. I just had to figure out what Taming would look like in modern dress. With an independent heroine who never submits. And vampires.
You can read the first chapter of The Lady Doctor is a Vamp here.
And you can buy the book at your favorite vendor:
(Print books will be available within a week.)
Let me know what you think!
I am thrilled to announce that Keara’s Raven: Betrayal is now available in print and as an ebook! (Print editions are rolling out, even as I type… If they aren’t at your favorite online store yet, they will be soon. And if your local bricks-and-mortar store can’t order yet, it will be able to in very short order!)
When I first wrote Keara’s tale — the story of a twelve-year-old girl who rebels against the expectations of her society to save her raven best friend — I knew there were some dark themes in the book. After all, Caw needed saving because he was about to be sacrificed, on an altar, in service to an unknown and unknowable god.
Some people told me that story was too dark, especially for a children’s book.
But I remembered the children’s books I loved when I was a kid. I adored A Wrinkle in Time — where one child must overcome all her fears of inadequacy to rescue not only an enslaved and mind-ripped sibling, but also to save a parent. I gobbled up all the Narnia books, with their overt religious symbolism of sacrifice and redemption. I fell hard for The Lord of the Rings, reading the trilogy without benefit of a film interpretation, after I read The Hobbit for my fifth-grade English class.
Keara’s story wasn’t too dark. It wasn’t too religious. It wasn’t too hard.
Alas, the original cover didn’t do a great job of selling my story. When my agent first saw the design, he said, “It looks like a Christmas card for orphans.” We had complained about the first book, explaining that the girly cover would alienate boy readers who would otherwise love Keara’s and Caw’s adventures. In response, the second book’s cover had a small figure of a boy in the middle ground — an even clearer message (to those who wanted not to like the story) that boys were secondary in Keara’s world.
So. Here is Keara’s Raven: Betrayal. Once again, Elisabeth Alba has done an amazing job with the cover art — capturing the scary things, the hard things, the things that make Keara the brave heroine she is.
You can buy your copy today!
Buy your print book today:
Buy your ebook today:
Bounce, bounce, bounce!
I’m *FINALLY* able to share the amazing cover created by Elisabeth Alba (from Alba Ilustration) for KEARA’S RAVEN: ESCAPE. The book will be in stores will be in stores March 19 – but pre-orders are up now! You can read the first chapter here!
Elisabeth was a joy to work with. And the best news of all? Next month, I can share her outstanding cover for KEARA’S RAVEN: BETRAYAL!
(This book, currently published by Snowy Wings Publishing, used to be Rebel Flight, which used to be Darkbeast. With this incredible new cover, I know it’s going to soar with its intended middle grade audience!)
Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft is one of my most popular books. It tells the story of a librarian who finds out she’s a witch. Along the way, we meet Jane Madison (the librarian), her familiar, her best friend, her doting grandmother, her crazy mother, and her Imaginary Boyfriend (the library patron she has a mad crush on.)
We also meet her warder, David Montrose. David is Jane’s astral protector, assigned to keep an eye on her magical workings. He shows up in a bad mood, and things go downhill from there.
Through the years, I’ve speculated about why David is in such a bad mood. Later books in the series make it clear that he has a lot on his plate, including political machinations that Jane can’t imagine. The more I contemplated David’s character, the more I realized he needed to tell his story — including his encounter with Jane. Thus, The Library, the Witch, and the Warder was born.
Jane and David only share half a dozen scenes in their first books. Each has a fulfilling life outside the scope of the other. But the more I thought about those shared lives, the more I realized Girl’s Guide and LWW needed to be published together. Readers can flip between the stories. They can search for the same words of dialog and read the common scenes from each character’s perspective. They can get two books for not much more than the price of one.
So? What are you waiting for?
Get your copy of Magical Washington: Witch and Warder today!
One of the most common questions I get is, “Which of your books should I read first?”
The answer is, “Whichever one sounds most interesting to you! And you can read the first chapter of every one of them, for free, on my website!”
But a lot of folks still wonder what order to read the Magical Washington books. I have a fun little chart that tells people the way the books relate to each other. But some people don’t know if they should read about witches first. Or vampires. Or warders. Or the magical hospital where all of them go to recover from threats to their supernatural health.
So, I decided to make things easy for folks. I decided to put the first book in every Magical Washington series into one boxed set.
A librarian who finds out she’s a witch—Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft.
A clerk of court for the vampire night court—Fright Court.
A warder who juggles work, warfare, and protecting Washington’s witches—The Library, the Witch, and the Warder.
A witch who loses her powers the night a Secret Service agent vampire appears in her hospital’s emergency room—The Witch Doctor Is In.
A little romance… A lot of magic… These four complete novels will show you the paranormal power behind the scenes in the nation’s capital!
Magical Washington: Four in Hand is available in stores today. I hope you’ll check it out! (And once you own this great boxed set, you can start with whichever book you’d like!)
Buy your ebook today: