Monday, July 29, 2013

My History Online

As an author, I need to have an online presense, especially since one of my books is only available online. As I go around the various sites, trying to figure out how to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Goodreads, and Pinterest, I'm reminded of my early days online and the changes the Internet has gone through since then.

1991 - My grandfather purchased monthly access to GEnie. This was a text-based service where you had to pay for every minute online trolling the message boards. I hung out in the movies, TV, and books forums. This was before we all got AOL CDs in the mail on a weekly basis. Heck, this was before everyone and their mother had Internet. The Internet wasn't even a thing people talked about. On GEnie, you had to pay for chat and to download pictures. Of course, who wanted to download pictures when you were connected with a 28.8 modem? Seriously, one picture took forever.

1995 - I got my first Internet access through a local college. It was still text-based, although browsers were starting to pop up, so a few sites had pictures. Whenever I ran into a site like that, my computer simply said [image]. But I could chat! I made several online friends, including a friend with whom I began my first fantasy novel. I lost touch with her, but I still have our novel somewhere. Maybe I'll post a section from it one day. I also got my first webpage at that time. Someone else designed it for me.

1997 - I purchased my first computer! I bought local Internet access. I taught myself HTML and for the first time, created a webpage. It was full of all sorts of rainbow bars and smily face GIFs. It was my own, and I did it myself. I wish I had a cached pic of the home page. I also created a theatre page on Geocities. Remember that? It was a free site that hosted web pages. You "moved" into a neighborhood that fit your theme and built your site. I had a scanner. I could scan pictures and upload them via FTP. It still took forever though, because the world was still using dial up Internet. I think I had upgraded to 56.6.

After that, the Internet spread like wildfire. I forgot most of my HTML because you no longer needed it to create a web page. With text based programs, it's all so easy, but I still remember that first page I created. And I still remember those early days and how the world opened up when I first connected.

When did your online experience first begin?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: Psyched by Juli Caldwell

Vance Alfaro is the “ghost-hunting hottie” we meet in Psyched, the guy who hardly knows Aisi but decides to man up and stick with her through that long, dark night. He’s a freshman in college and he’s studying paranormal phenomenon, but other than that, what do we really know about him? In this exclusive interview with him just for my readers, you get to meet the ghost-hunting hottie!

Us: So, Vance. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Vance: I hate questions like this! I don’t know how to sum myself up in a sentence or two. I guess I should go with the basics. My hometown is Webster, New York, on the shores of Lake Ontario, but right now I’m a freshman at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. I’m youngest of four boys. For kicks we eat chili and light blue darts while our poor mom yells at us to tell us how disgusting we are. My dad works a lot but he joins in when he can.

Us: Blue darts?

Vance: Uh...let me put it this way. If you do it wrong, you end up in the emergency room.

Us: Okay then! Let’s talk about college. You’re seriously going to school to study ghosts? How did you get interested in that?

Vance: People don’t study paranormal phenomenon unless they have a reason to believe in the first place.

Us: Sounds like you have a story to tell.

Vance: I do. Most people think I’m crazy, my dad especially, but I know what I know.

Us: So what do you know?

Vance: I grew up not too far from the Webster rural cemetery. I heard weird sounds when I was growing up, especially on moonless nights. My dad always said there was no such thing as ghosts. We’re church-going people, so he taught me to believe in guardian angels and stuff like that, but he always thought that any spirit around here had a mission to protect us. Keep us safe. He didn’t think a spirit could get stuck here.

Us: So tell us about the first ghost you ever saw.

Vance: It’s that obvious, huh? Okay. I was walking home from school one day. Usually I’d walk with my brothers, but for some reason I was alone that day. I was about 13. As you go around a bend and up a little hill before you get to my neighborhood, there’s an old stone cottage set back from the road a bit. Overgrown weeping willows kind of hide it so it’s not easy to see unless you know it’s there. That house always kind of creeped me out, but I’d never had to walk by it alone before. The house has this historic marker that I never stopped to read with my brothers there. They just wanted to throw stones and see if we could break some of the windows because the place has been abandoned for years, unless you count the occasional homeless squatter or pot party.

Us: Did you stop to read the sign this time?

Vance: Yeah. I did. It said the house was one of the first built on Nine Mile Road, back in early 1700’s, and it gave the names of the original owners. For some reason I said their names out loud. As soon as I We’re not too far from a river where I live, and this little stone cottage is close to it. So this mist rolled in as I said their names, and at first I didn’t think much of it. I mean, it’s upstate New York. Storms roll off the lake all the time, and there’s often fog in the river bottom. I just wanted to hurry home so I didn’t get drenched when the storm hit. As I started to walk away, something in the upper windows caught my eye and I stopped to look. At first it looked like gray curtains blowing out a window, but as I looked closer I saw a face. The sad, crying face of a woman. The mist rolled in and blocked my view of the window. The wind suddenly picked up and I heard this shriek that was definitely not the wind. It’s a good thing I didn’t pee my pants right there. I ran up the hill and once I got out of that little valley where the house was, the mist was gone.

Us: Wow. That’s insane!

Vance: I can’t even explain how much it scared me. Later, I looked up the name of the woman on the marker and researched her history. Turns out she died under suspicious circumstances. She was a newlywed and her husband had just finished building that house for her. Another woman in town wanted to marry her husband, and after the woman came to visit her in her new house, she got really sick. Rumor is she died of poisoning.

Us: Where did you find all this out?

Vance: Old newspapers. Libraries. The local historian. Stuff like that.

Us: Sounds like you take a very academic approach to your ghost hunting.

Vance: Aw, man. That makes me sound so boring! I just want to help these people if I can. That poor woman has been stuck in that house for 300 years, trying to find a way out...If I can help a lost soul like her, what I do is worth it.

Us: I think this brings us to Aisi. Isn’t that what she does? Help send others to whatever comes next? Oh, look! I think you’re blushing!

Vance: Aisi is seriously amazing. She’s haunted in ways a ghost hunter like me isn’t. She’s smart and sassy, and I think she’s the strongest and most beautiful girl I’ve ever met. She’s a tough nut to crack, though.

Us: What do you mean, she’s haunted? Can a person be haunted?

Vance: The stuff I go looking for? It looks for her. It wakes her up at night. It’s all around her and she can’t avoid it. If that’s not haunted...

Us: Gotcha. Last question: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Vance: I don’t even know what that means. Is this about hockey or something?

Us: Never mind. You’re such a guy. Thanks so much for chatting with us, Vance!

Vance: Anytime.


Get Psyched on Amazon, Smashwords, and in paperback at CreateSpace

So far, great reviews:
"This is one of those books you just can't put down. What I love about Psyched in addition to a great, spooky story is strong characters and narrative voice. Aisi is the most awesome chick, strong-willed, sassy, and deals with some crazy stuff happening with a spunkiness that I loved... Psyched is well-written, riveting, surprising and genre-busting. Teens will love this book, but it definitely has a more wide-ranging appeal."


"Aisi Turay is one awesome girl. She has power to see the in their souls...This is a great read, filled with suspense. I NEVER knew from one chapter to the next what was happening. It is well written and a very enjoyable...and a bit scary!"

Psyched is part ghost story, part suspense, part demon-hunting thriller, part budding romance.It's the story of a girl named Aisi who's doing her best to keep it together for her wreck of a family. She is smart, sassy, and sarcastic enough to keep things interesting. When she meets Vance on the single worst day of her life, she finds a guy who just might be the first person ever to get her, to believe in her, and to out-random her with bizarre observations at the worst possible moment. There's just something about him that she knows she can trust.

Together, Aisi and Vance wander through the memories of others to unlock the secrets of her past while battling a demon who wants to ensure she never finds what she's looking for. Aisi vanquishes demons all the time, but Malus Indolus is too strong. And he has plans for her...and her family.

Psyched is Juli's second novel, the first as an indie writer, and her first experiment with her true love as a reader: paranormal fiction. Her debut novel Beyond Perfection is also available.

You can find Juli on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: Fade by A.K. Morgan

Today, I am hosting A. K. Morgan, author of Fade, and she has shared an exciting excerpt with me today. With just the right blend of humor and tension, I know I'm anxious to read more.

FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One by A.K. Morgen

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy


What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.


"What is it, boy?" I climbed to my feet.

My gaze landed on a solid gray wolf, half obscured by a massive tree on the other side of the trail. Unlike the animal I'd seen on the day of Mom's funeral, this wasn't the domesticated kind of wolf. This was the real deal. Big, gray, wild, and ferocious.

My heart stopped, then started racing.

The wolf stared in our direction, snarling at us. The warning sound coming from his throat screamed "I'm going to eat you" loud and clear. I suddenly understood what Little Red Riding Hood must have felt when she figured out her grandma wasn't her grandma.

I was shaking in my boots.

I looked around for something, anything, to defend myself with as the dog alternated between excited barks and low, warning growls. A menacing enough sound so far as it went, but I kind of doubted the wolf thought so. He looked curiously un-intimidated as he snarled. As per Murphy's Law of animal attacks, not a loose brick, rock, branch, or stick lay anywhere within grabbing distance.

I was so screwed.

The wolf paced forward.

The lab lowered his head and growled one long, continuous growl.

I held my breath.

The wolf looked at me and then at the dog and growled back. Unlike the dog’s, though, the wolf's growl was actually scary. Warning bells sounded in the far reaches of my mind, but they started too late. Of course.

Between one quick, panicked breath in and one sharp exhalation out, the wolf charged toward us. Bits of leaves and mud flew up where his paws hit the ground.

The dog dove in front of me, snarling protectively.

I knew the wolf would rip right through him and land on me any minute. I'd been in town a whole week, and I was going to be eaten by a wolf.

Life really wasn't fair.

FADE is available from Curiosity Quills Press at Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo.

About the Author:

A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three dogs, and demonic cat. She has a graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Law, and plans to save the world some day. When she’s not writing, she spends her time teaching her niece and nephews how to cause mischief. You can also find her dancing in the grocery store, building a spork army, and fundraising for nonprofits close to her heart.

You can learn more about Ayden at or by following her on Twitter, GoodReads, or Facebook.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: Resurrecting Harry by Contance Phillips

Today, I bring you Constance Phillips, discussing her favorite scene to write in her novel, Resurrecting Harry.

When asked what my favorite scene to write from Resurrecting Harry was, I didn’t even have to think about it. Without a doubt it was the scene in which Eric first falls victim to Harry’s wants and needs pulsing within him, and then realizes he is, in fact, separate from Harry and can make his own choices.

I knew that Erich’s act of picking a lock and breaking into a cabinet in Bess’s shed would be treading the line between alpha hero and first-class jerk, but I enjoyed showing the way Harry’s memories and will overpowered Erich, and then his realization that he can overcome Harry’s spirit and act on his own.

Here’s an excerpt from that scene:

Harry’s memories, his very soul, pulsed inside with each beat of Erich’s heart. Was it even possible for him to use those memories to accomplish the skills Harry had worked tirelessly to learn? There was much more to picking a lock or escaping shackles or a straight jacket than the mental knowhow.

In this moment, nothing seemed more important than proving those skills were not as dead as his previous body. Finding a hat pin, of all things, in the bottom of the drawer, Erich faced off against the lock. That piece of him that was all Harry stood tall inside, filling the void, making his head swell and swim.

Squatting so he was on eye level, his fingers began their manipulations, driven by the memories of a past life. Pride welled as the lock popped open in just a handful of seconds. “My, my, I do believe that’s a new record,” he said in a voice that was more boastful and more Harry’s than the one he’d grown used to.

The lock fell away from the handles.

I really enjoyed this brief moment where I shined the spotlight big and bold on what I imagined Harry’s stage frame-of-mind to be. I showed what I thought it must be like for him when he was on the stage, in the middle of an escape.

In the paragraphs that follow that excerpt; Bess catches him breaking into the cabinet, throws lemonade in his face, and then threatens to kick him off the property. Seeing what he’s done through her eyes and realizing there is a difference between what belonged to Harry and what belongs to Erich, is a life changing moment for Erich. He then begins to understand the he can treat Bess in a different way than Harry did.

For more information about Resurrecting Harry, see below:

Can the greatest escape artist ever known break the grim reaper’s chains to save the only woman he’s ever loved?

In order to save Bess from self-destruction, Harry Houdini puts his afterlife on the line by entering a wager with purgatory’s keeper. He gives Harry a younger face and body, and a new name: Erich Welch.

Bess clings to his promise to deliver a coded message from beyond the grave, determined to provide the bridge for him to cross, even if that means befriending her husband's sworn enemy. Erich needs to help Bess over her loss and put her on the road to healing, but will any good come from resurrecting Harry? 


Resurrecting Harry is available for purchase in the following places:

Amazon POD :

Amazon Kindle:

Barnes and Noble (print/Nook):

All Romance eBooks:


Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff. When she's not writing about fairies, shifters, vamps, and guardian angels, she's working side-by-side with her husband in their hardwood flooring business.

Constance is actively involved in her local Romance Writers of America chapter (MVRWA) and the Southeast Michigan chapter of the United States Pony Club. When not writing or enjoying the outdoors, she loves reality television or can be found at a Rick Springfield concert (just look for the pink Converse high tops).

Constance blogs regularly at You can also follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook.




Monday, July 22, 2013

Gated - Legasea - Spirit World Giveaway

Gated by my critique partner, Amy Christine Parker, releases on August 6th, and in honor of her book release, I am having a giveaway.

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.

Will is her Intended.

The end of the world is near.


One winner will get a Gated prize pack, an autographed paperback copy of Legasea, and an ecopy of Spirit World.

There are a ton of ways to enter.

*** If you have already purchased Legasea or Spirit World, please provide me with some sort of proof - a receipt, a pic of you holding the book, a random page on your ereader that doesn't come from the first three chapters. Send it to krystalyndrown at or post it on the web and link to it in the comments. If you do that, you will receive an Amazon gift card in your prize pack instead of the book. ***

Good luck!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Indie Bookfest 2013

For those of you in the Disney area, or willing to travel to the Disney area, there is a lovely little event happening on August 3rd called the Indie BookFest. Here is the description from their website.

Indie BookFest 2013 is all day long event celebrating Indie Authors and Artists and their freedom of expression. Join some of your favorite Indie Authors for a day filled with book signings, sessions, and lots of good food and great fun! You won't want to miss the sessions throughout the day, where several panelists will be speaking on a variety of topics relevant to writing, publishing, promoting your books, and all things indie.

And the best thing is, it's only $20, and that includes food. I'll be there with bells on.

They're also holding a raffle to benefit a local charity, A Gift for Teaching. This is something that I relied on heavily when I was a teacher. A Gift for Teaching is a free store where teachers can go once a month and shop for school supplies for their students. Teachers spend hundreds or thousands of their own money each year to purchase classroom supplies. Those stores are definitely a gift! So make sure you bring school supplies for a free entry into the raffle and Indie BookFest swag.