Impulse Buy Book of the Week: LIMELIGHT by Krista D. Ball

Anna Lainey is a successful author who values her privacy. The last person she would imagine herself dating is a movie star–yet when she meets Benjamin Worthington on the set of a major motion picture, sparks fly–and before she knows it, she’s caught up in a very public whirlwind romance.

But Anna has kept herself distant from others for a reason–she has a secret, crippling panic disorder. When Ben’s fans turn against her and begin stalking her, her worst anxieties have come to life. She doesn’t want to live without Ben–but she can’t live in the limelight either.

$4.99 on Amazon

Krista is an adorably trusting Canadian who allows other people to write her bios for her. When she isn’t cooking amazing – and historically accurate – feasts or chasing her small army of teenagers she works with the homeless, helps young authors find their Voice, and writes. She’s an unapologetic geek who likes cosplaying as Spock, and if you visit she will try to force you to appreciate poutine (french fries with gravy and cheese curds… no, we can’t explain, it’s a CANADA THING). She has a B.A. in British History from Mount Allison University and will talk endlessly about historical accuracy if you let her. Find her online at Twitter and on her Website.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | New Release Newsletter

I’m Alive! And writing over at Unbound Worlds…


You may have noticed that blog posts have been a little thin on the ground lately. That’s because 1) it was spring break last week and I was AFK (away from keyboard) a lot and 2) because I’ve been using my blogging time to write cage matches for Unbound Worlds.

If you want to catch up with my takes on some of your favorite fandoms I have so far written.

The Luggage vs Ky Vatta
The Luggage vs Tom Bombadil
Tom Bombadil vs Mr. Wednesday
Devi vs Harry Dresden

Friendsgiving Feedback… WIN A FREE QUERY CRITIQUE!!!

Among so much bad news, we are all in need of a ray of light. I figured the least I could do is put together a short critique workshop to raise spirits and maybe help some writers. 

So a small group of five published authors has come together to offer query critiques for the next two weeks to culminate in a twitter chat about querying, publishing, and just any questions we might be able to help you with.

We will do a query critique every day starting on November 21st and plan to give first priority to marginalized writers, “own voices” stories, and stories with diverse characters, worlds, and challenges.

Your manuscript does not have to be completed. You just need a completed query letter. A large group of winners will be randomly drawn from the rafflecopter and their query letters requested. Then each of our participating authors will choose from the available entries and post their critique on their blog or on mine along with their feedback.

Hopefully we can all learn more about the writing process from the breakdowns of these query letters. 

Our twitter chat will be December 2nd at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm EST under the hashtag #FFChat and will last an hour. We’d love you to post some questions ahead of time down in the comment section. 

There’s not much time so enter the rafflecopter quickly. And please help us spread the word under #FFChat. Links to the finished critiques will be given under that hashtag also.

Here is who we are:

Emily B. Martin

Park ranger by summer, stay-at-home mom the rest of the year, Emily B. Martin is also a freelance artist and illustrator. An avid hiker and explorer, her experiences as a ranger helped inform the character of Mae and the world of Woodwalker. When not patrolling places like Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, or Philmont Scout Ranch, she lives in South Carolina with her husband, Will, and two daughters, Lucy and Amelia.



Liana Brooks

Liana Brooks writes science fiction and sci-fi romance for people who like fast ships, big guns, witty one-liners, and happy endings. She lives in Alaska with her husband, four kids, and giant mastiff puppy. When she isn’t writing she enjoys hiking the Chugach Range, climbing glaciers, and watching whales.

You can find Liana on the web at or on Twitter as @LianaBrooks. Goodreads Author Page.

Laura Heffernan

Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA’S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press in March 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Some of Laura’s favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV. Follow her @LH_Writes. Laura is represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary.

Sarah Remy
In 1994 Sarah Remy earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Pomona College in California. Since then she’s been employed as a receptionist at a high-powered brokerage firm, managed a boutique bookstore, read television scripts for a small production company, and, more recently, worked playground duty at the local elementary school.
 When she’s not taking the service industry by storm, she’s writing fantasy and science fiction. Sarah likes her fantasy worlds gritty, her characters diverse and fallible, and she doesn’t believe every protagonist deserves a happy ending.
 Before joining the Harper Voyager family, she published with EDGE, Reuts, and Madison Place Press.
 Sarah lives in Washington State with plenty of animals and people, both. In her limited spare time she rides horses, rehabs her old home, and supervises a chaotic household. She can talk to you endlessly about Sherlock Holmes, World of Warcraft, and backyard chicken husbandry, and she’s been a member of one of Robin Hobb’s longest-running online fan clubs since 2002.
 Find Sarah on Twitter @sarahremywrites and her Blog 

Michelle Hauck


Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two kids in college.  Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her Birth of Saints trilogy from Harper Voyager starts with Grudging and Faithful.  She’s repped by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary.

Facebook page

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The Twins of Darkness And Good Short Story Blog Lives Again!

Necromancy Mouse

Do you know how hard it is to find a necromancer in Alaska? It’s just not a booming business up here. So, for a little while, the short story blog – Darkness and Good – was dead. Things happened. Words were not written. But we lucked out and found this lovely little mouse! Isn’t she adorable? For the small fee of some truly amazing blueberry goat cheese, the furry necromancer was willing to step in and bring our blog back from the dead.


Now, no tale involving the undead comes without a twist. You know this, so I won’t keep any secrets from you.

The twist is this: when we brought the blog back from the dead we brought a new author with it. We caught Canadian Thea van Diepen in our webs of dark magic and trickery, and now her free short stories are also available on the blog. If you love Thea’s short stories, be sure to check out her books.

New stories will be added every Wednesday. Mine will be up every second Wednesday of the month and maybe also the fifth Wednesday in the months that have them.

Happy reading!



Top Ten Allowable Reasons To Interrupt Mom While She’s Working (2.0)

Back in 2011 Corina Lawson published the original list of reasons children could reasonably interrupt a writing mother (or father). I love that list. It’s cute, and funny, and spot on. Nothing short a full zombie apocalypse should interrupt an author on a deadline. However, some of the jokes were bound to go over my kids’ heads. So I present you with the the Top Ten Allowable Reasons To Interrupt A Parent While They’re Working 2.0

Reasons You Can Interrupt Me While I’m Writing

          1. If there’s a zombie apocalypse you may knock. One or two zombies do not qualify. You should be able to handle a couple of slow-moving zombies with shovels.

  1. If there is an alien invasion… In this instance, the invasion is only worthy of interrupting Mom if New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. have already been destroyed. If Anchorage is under threat you may stick a note under the door.
  1. If a Jedi appears telling you are the Chosen One meant to bring balance to the force, you may knock. All Sith may be shot on sight.
  1. If time is altered. In some instances, this may erase either the child or Mom’s existence, in which case the problem solves itself. However, if any of your siblings or your
    father have been erased from the time stream, Mom needs to know right away. Ditto if duplicate or evil twins arrive.
  1. If Indiana Jones, Han Solo, or Gandalf is at the door you may come get mom immediately. If it’s the someone wanting to talk about Hogwarts tuition, please tell them we aren’t interested. You can go to an American school of magic and like it.
  1. If you find a strange ring with foreign writing on it that can make you invisible. Probably the best thing to do in this case is alert Mom. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of taking over the world.
  1. If a Vulcan appears wanting to make First Contact. Secure the Vulcan and do not start an interstellar war. You may take the spaceship out for a spin while you’re waiting for mom. If it’s the crew of the Enterprise get mom immediately.
  1. If your math homework rips apart the fabric of time and space, you may tell Mommy. Do not let the baby go through the ensuing portal.
  1. If an extra-terrestial rocket ship crash lands in the backyard with a baby inside. Tell Mom to bring milk and some blue and red blankets. If the ship only has Rocket and Groot, go play outside with them and do not let Groot eat the house.
  1. Interrupt Mom if a chunk of ice with a handsome blond man in a military uniform floats by.

Heroes and Villains - Superhero Romance Novellas

In Which Amy Laurens Steals The Blog.

Quick, everyone! Liana’s away! Let’s…. act like really civilised people and maybe read a book? HA. NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO SAY, IS IT. HA.


Aaaanyway. Liana is currently mired in the trenches of book 3 deadlines, so I’m here today to entertain you. Or at least, I’m here today to provide you with a blog post. If it entertains you, I guess that’s a bonus, but I wasn’t exactly given stringent guidelines as to the content, so you know. I quote: “I’m going to go do wordy things. Want to write me a guest post for tomorrow? On anything?” So here I am, providing a blog post on anything.

Anything is an eight-letter wo–

No. I’m not going to be that puerile, it’s okay. (OMGosh autocorrect, puerile is so a word and no I do NOT mean purple thankyouverymuch.)

Actually I thought I’d talk about the circularity of time as evidence by notable correspondence on the topic of writing in my inbox, since circular time–or just general wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey-ness–is Of Relevance to Liana’s current work. (Book 3 in the Time and Shadows mysteries series. It’s good. Even better than book 1, which, if you haven’t read, YOU SHOULD, and all the appropriate links are RIGHT HERE.) (Hacking a friend’s blog to pimp their own work on it is kinda fun, y’all. 10/10 would hack this blog again.)

Wait, I had a point. Time, circularity… YES. So I was going through my inbox yesterday (well, today, but yesterday by the time you read this, because WIBBLY-WOBBLY TIME, AMIRITE?), theoretically Doing Important Culling And Filing (but actually we know I was totally just procrastinating–procrastifiling?), and I stumbled on an amusing trend. Liana and I email each other a fair bit (though heaven knows her emails are generally more sensible than mine, she being the kind of soul who actually premeditates these things, me being the kind of soul who fires off seven single sentence emails in an hour) and in cleaning out my inbox (massively overdue since Hospital, Surgery, etc) I realised that approximately once a month, Liana and I have an almost identical conversation. The only thing that tends to change, other than minor details, is the role that each of us plays. Generally speaking, it goes like this:

L (or A, depending on the month): Woe! WOE! I am writing things, and THEY ARE AWFUL!

A (or L, depending on the month): No! NO! You are writing things, and they are AWEFUL!

L (let us assume it is her month for a breakdown): But you don’t UNDERSTAND! I have DEADLINES! And TERROR! And I AM A HACK!

A (because it’s her turn to console): But I DO! You have DEADLINES! And TERROR! And THIS IS ALL TOTALLY NORMAL.

L: Wait, what?

A: Seriously. Do you WANT me to pull out the email conversation we had about this last month? Because my inbox is in a state of epic disarray, meaning I have, like, every email sent to me ever since 2010 stored here, and I totally can if you like.


Now, what can we learn from this? Other than the fact that Amy really needs to learn to use the delete key, and both of us could stand to be a fraction less melodramatic about writing at times, and maybe the fact that we ought to just collate the best emails and print them out and leave them where we can see them, and…. *ahem* Look. There’s a Point In Here For All Of Us, okay? And it’s this:

ALL creative work involves risk taking. Being creative is risky; putting that creative work out there for other people to see is even riskier. So you know what? Some degree of angst (*TERROR!*) is normal. It’s okay. It’s actually perfectly fine to be terrified that you’re writing the book wrong, or that people will laugh at your picture, or that maybe people will think a tone-deaf monkey wrote your song. That fear? IT’S OKAY. We live in a culture where it’s trendy to be all, “Fear? I have no fear! I am Fearless McNoFear! Watch now I as I dive from an aeroplane sans parachute off a cliff into a shallow sea of scorpions behind held aloft by snakes NAKED WHILE OTHER PLANES SKYWRITE MY BIGGEST EMBARRASSMENTS ACROSS THE VAST BLUE YONDER FOR ALL TO SEE!” But actually, this is quackery. Fear is normal. Fear, to a certain extent, is healthy. You don’t actually have to purge yourself of all fear in order to survive.

What you DO have to do is learn how fear fits into your creative process. Learn to recognise what this specific fear (as opposed to your fear of spiders, or skydiving, or rabid mouldy cheese) feels like, smells like, sounds like, so that when it inevitably rears its head when you’re creating your next piece of awesome, you can sit back, pat it on the head, and go, “You know what fear? I hear you. What we are doing here is scary. We are making ourselves vulnerable. We might not succeed at what we’re trying to do. It might be hard. It might be exhausting. People might hate it when we’re done. But you know what? I know you. You show up every time, at this stage of the game, and that’s okay. I don’t mind you being here. But you’re not going to stop me from creating something I love. Because I’ve done this before, and I know something you don’t know: finishing my creation makes it all worthwhile in the end.”

Fear is an integral, if uncomfortable, part of the creative process – and that’s okay. So get yourself a good support buddy with whom you can have the same conversation every single month, swapping roles as necessary. Save the good conversations, the hearty and uplifting bits, stick ’em up somewhere you won’t forget them, and have faith: Fear is part of the process, which means it comes, but it also goes.

Go make something awesome. You totally got this.

Go on. I dare you.



And now, because clearly it’s imperative we end this post on a serious note, I leave you with a deeply thoughtful poem in response to the question I posed on Twitter: “So, Twitter. @LianaBrooks has given me the keys to her website and a blank slate for tomorrow’s blog post. What mischief shall I wreak? O:)”

With assistance from @MichaelPallante, and **MILD HEROES & VILLAINS SPOILERS**.

There once was a hero from Cali,
Who had many a peak and a valley.
She hated her co-star,
but quite liked his word spar
(Resemblance to Arktos: uncanny!).

It’s Okay To Give The Kids Weird Names

For those who follow me on twitter you might have noticed a new hashtag in the past few weeks: #FamilyHistory.

Every spring the grade school has a family tree project. Every year I send my kids in with a bare three generations of living relatives because I’ve never sat down to research more. Since my husband’s aunt started putting together a family tree I started to try helping by combing old census records and hunting down lost relations.

You know what I’ve found? My husband’s family is obsessed with the name Francis. There’s six boys named Francis, a Frankisca, and a Frank all in one generation from one set of parents. There are so many Francis-es that I lost track of who goes where!

My side of the family has another problem: spelling. The lack of standardized spelling means trying to guess who on the census records might be related.

I’ve been lining people up by estimated birth year and hoping I found the right relatives. It’s entirely possible I stole someone else’s family tree. Which sounds about right, actually, more than one relative wound up in a penal colony. Several in Australia.

Anyways… there’s some lively stories in the history books. If you want to check it out, I’ll be doing #FamilyHistory on Sundays on Twitter until I run into too many dead ends. Who knows, maybe at that point I’ll start doing someone else’s family tree.