Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Today, you can find my author interview on Book Goodies. Read more HERE.

Coming up on the blog soon--more on the Blood Moon.

Cheers! And have a great day!

Saturday, March 28, 2015


As I've said before, I'm only going to post reviews for books that I LOVE.
And I'm very much in love with this one. 5 stars.

It's a slow starter, because this author takes her time.
This calm, character driven plot progression is perfect for the story.

I'll admit, I had a hard time at first merely because the author used the word "sneakers" for running shoes.
I know it's petty, but it's a running things for me (top 10 things runners hate kind of thing), BUT I soon realized that the use of the word "sneakers" is a REGIONAL type of thing.
Like "soda" vs. "pop."

Okay, relax girl, get over it.
And I did.
Then there was the "I'm not in shape, but I'm running 10 miles to this one house..." (Which presumably is then 10 miles back... which is marathon training, not I'm-out-of-shape running destined to cause an injury... and as I've said before I'm picky about running, so NO ONE ELSE ON THE PLANET WOULD EVEN NOTICE THIS, and I got over it.)

And just in time, because this story is SO LOVELY.

It's so many things.
It's about friendships, the ones that last and the ones that restrict and the ones that are worth it after all.
It's about finding yourself, the person who's been hiding behind others, hiding even from yourself.
It's about young love, and NOT insta-love.

Let me tell you, I'm NOT a romantic book reader (no erotica or straight romance for me, makes me gag sometimes really), but I LOVED the kissing scene here (the one in the rain, not the pantry thing--although that was funny...) but I won't say more because I don't like spoilers.

This is a sweet read, not cotton candy sweet, more like sunshine and flowers sweet.
I loved it.


Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: May 11, 2015
Cover Art: Alexandria N. Thompson
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, humans are not alone.
Joachim is a hunter. Though generations have passed since the Great Death, something has evolved in the trees beyond the giant glowing mushrooms, mutants that want to see human entrails spread along the jungle floor.
And now they've taken Joachim’s wife.
To get her back, Joachim will have to give the leader of these demons something in return: immortality. A creature knows when he is going to die, after all. Plunged into a world of magic and darkness, Joachim must find the only woman in who knows where the ingredients are. She is a prophetess known as the Black Oracle living in the realm of Zalm, but she’s a little preoccupied at the moment. She leads a rebellion against the ruthless High Council, and when Joachim seeks her out, he too finds himself consumed by her struggle.
In a story of betrayal, prophecy, and bloodshed, Joachim has ten days to retrieve the ingredients and return to Earth all while evading the High Council’s army, one that wants the Black Oracle and her associates killed — Joachim included.
Add it to your to-read list on Goodreads!

Michael Cristiano is a Canadian writer. His relentless obsession with fiction began long before he could even spell the words 'relentless obsession'. Growing up in endless suburban sprawl, he spent most of his childhood getting lost in fantastical masterpieces and attempting to be published by the age of thirteen.
When he isn’t writing or reading, he can be found planning his next backpacking trip around the world. He is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with studies in Foreign Language and Linguistics. Previously, he attended a Regional Arts high school where he majored in drama. He is fond of all things dramatic.
Michael currently resides in the Greater Toronto Area and he is using his years as a twenty-something to establish what he hopes will be a long career in writing. The Black Oracle, his debut novel, is due for publication on May 25, 2015.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Instead of wallowing in my sinus infection misery
(and--oh yeah, I have a half marathon to run in 4 days...)
I will count my blessings:

1) wonderful, healthy kids

2) fun, sweet pets (I can't say "healthy" because poor Daisy is having her troubles...)

3) warm house (especially with the cold snow outside)

4) a job that I love (and I'm sorry that I meant being a veterinarian, so...)

5) TWO jobs that I love (writing and being a veterinarian)

6) THREE jobs that I love (being a mom, a writer, and a veterinarian)

7) normally being healthy enough to run a half marathon

Potentially the dorkiest selfie ever, and a great nostril shot of Daphne.

8) good friends

9) the best husband in the world (sorry, ladies, he's all mine)

10) more books to read than I have time to read them

Count your blessings.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Not feeling 100% today, but I have a few things to share:

1) Another author interview on the aptly named "AUTHORS INTERVIEWS" blog. Visit me HERE.

2) Don't forget to enter my Goodreads contest.
It ends in 3 days, so enter soon HERE.

3) My daughter and I went to CINDERELLA. It was lovely.

I predict we'll be seeing a lot more great things from this actress.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Sorry I didn't post this earlier today, but I was on a field trip with my daughter learning about the birds and the bees.

Okay, pretty much just the bees.

And it was at the local nature center, not some reproductive center.
Thank goodness, because my daughter's only in Kindergarten!

My, what big teeth you have!

But I promised you a big surprise-
And here it is:

My very own first Goodreads Giveaway.

Please enter HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2015


THE GATEWAY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS releases April 13th, 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press, and is the follow-up to the YA supernatural thriller THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME. Before you jump to the awesome cover below, heres a note from Heather Marie:

Hi hi! Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out the cover reveal! Im so psyched to share the Light and Darkness cover with you. It went through a lot of changes before the final version was chosen, and watching it develop into what it is now was seriously exciting! If you enjoyed book one, you are in for a treat. I had way too much fun writing book two, admittedly more fun than the first, because Aiden and the gang go through some intense twist and turns throughout the entire story. If theres one thing I love, its definitely hearing from my beta readers just how crazy and exciting the journey was for them. Its my hope that you feel the same way and I cant wait for you to read the final installment in the Gateway Series! With that being said, thank you again for reading Aidens story, and now lets get to the creeptastic cover reveal, shall we? Enjoy!

by Heather Marie
Release date: April 13th, 2015
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Pre-order on Amazon HERE
eBook: 978-1-62007-848-8
Paperback: 978-1-62007-849-5
Hardcover: 978-1-62007-850-1

Synopsis from GOODREADS:

The battle of good vs. evil wages on for Aiden Ortiz in this final installment of the Gateway Series: The Gateway of Light and Darkness. With the Dark Priest defeated, and the Brethren of Shadows refusing to forfeit calling upon the Darkness, the Brethren are determined more than ever to discover a way to banish the Men of Light for good. And as the Dark Priest's curse invading Aiden's veins continues to take on a life of its own, he finds himself in a standoff between his own kind, and the Brethren that want to recruit him for all the wrong reasons. Accompanied by fellow Gateway, Julie Martin, and his best friends Trevor and Evan, seventeen-year-old Aiden prepares himself for the battle of his life.

Protecting those he loves, and learning to put aside his differences for his father in order to learn the ways of the Light, Aiden begins to realize that the thing endangering their lives might not be the threat of the Brethren alone, but the thing taking shape inside of him readying to unleash itself upon them all.

About Heather Marie

Heather Marie lives in Northern California with her husband, and spends the majority of her time at home reading. Before she followed her dreams of becoming a writer, Heather worked as a hairstylist and makeup artist for several years. Although she enjoyed the artistic aspect of it all, nothing quite quenched her creative side like the telling of a good story. When the day had come for her to make a choice, she left behind her promising career to start another, and never looked back. You can find Heather Marie online at: Twitter (twitter.com/heathermarieya), Facebook (facebook.com/heathermariewrites), and HeatherMarieYA.com.

The Giveaway

One winner (U.S. Only) will win a signed paperback of THE GATEWAY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS. Check out the Rafflecopter HERE.!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Hope your weekend has been as good as mine.
The weather is great.
I went for a couple pleasant runs with my running partners (both human and canine).
Daphne (pictured below) really loves running.
I've no idea why she looks so sad in this picture.

Thankfully, the weather today looks more brown-green than white.

This week, I finished editing part one of the fairy tale, and started work on part two.
I finished reading a good book, and now am struggling with the Kindle to get two more books to properly load (one is an advanced reader copy book review, the other is a beta read--both from authors I've read and enjoyed before--the only part I don't enjoy is how stupid using a Kindle makes me feel--haha).

This week, I'm featured on the The Daily Bookworm blog. Please check out the fun interview posted HERE.

Tomorrow I'll unveil the new book cover for Heather Marie's THE GATEWAY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS.

Then check back on Wednesday for a special surprise. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Happy sunshine-soaked day!

I'm featured on Author KMJ's Book Reveal BLOG today. Come check it out!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


This week, I'm the featured author on the Reading Minnesota website.

Take some time to check out this WEBSITE promoting local authors. It's a great resource and wealth of information.

Originally from Wisconsin, I've lived in Minnesota now for over a dozen years...
but I'm not sure that I'm any nicer because of it.

Is this talking about me?

The winters are still so long that the locals tend to get restless...

Watching Grumpy Old Men is a holiday tradition around here.
You betcha!

 Finally it's starting to look like spring, but Daylight Savings is messing up everyone's sleep cycles.

But it's worth it just to feel the warmth of the sunshine on my winter-weary (and butt pale!) skin.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Last week felt like I was running around with my tail on fire.
Here are some highlights (and, unfortunately, some lowlights).

On Wednesday, my fellow Minnesotan authors and I travelled to Altoona, Wisconsin for an author panel at the middle school. The library was packed with interested young authors bursting with questions. We easily could've used another hour, but sadly the kids had to go home at the end of the day. Kudos to their great teacher, Mrs. Kim Wardean, who does so much to encourage their enthusiasm and imagination.

Kristin Van Risseghem, me, Derek Sullivan, and Mike Kalmbach

My TOTALLY AWESOME lifelong friend,
Colleen Chmelik, who also teaches at Altoona middle school.

On that same day, my darling old girl Daisy developed a painful partial tear in her cruciate ligament.

Cruciate ligaments criss-cross in the knee joint (in both people and dogs), stabilizing the knee so it can't be bend too far forward. When the ligaments tear, the joint is destabilized, which leads to improper and excessive movement, which in turn leads to arthritis.

Generally, the best solution is surgery if the tear is complete. However, Daisy has kidney disease and hypertension and is a very poor surgical candidate.

Hence my sadness. For now, her plan (set by her private veterinarian--me) is rest and pain meds. Thankfully, she is doing pretty well.

While in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (which is right next to Altoona, Wisc.), I discovered that my interview in Volume One magazine had already been printed. You can read it HERE.

(mini lowlight)
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a copy before I left, so had to beg others to save one for me for the next time I visit.

The Leader Telegram newspaper attended the author panel at Altoona middle school and wrote up a nice story. You can read it HERE. (My friend, Colleen pictured above, personally had to bribe the LT not to publish anything about the embarrassing things she told when she introduced me to the crowd. These are the risks you take with lifelong friends--they KNOW you too well.)

I started a Pinterest account. Yeah, I know it's a great way to get new recipes and learn new things... but it's also a potential huge time waster.

Yeah, because I need another time waster in my life. (sarcasm, in case you didn't notice that)

Time waster or not, it is a lot of fun (except when I can't figure things out on my computer--which is often--and I want to hit my head against the wall).

I already made a page entitled MY BOOKS, filled with pictures of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus, people (or my pets) reading my book, and anything that makes me think of How to Date Dead Guys. Please visit and let me know what you think. What's missing?

Normal life, of course, plus I'm reading this:

I'm still not sure how to pronounce it, but I love it anyway.

Reading is great--I'm learning all about steampunk, but it's interrupting my editing of my fairy tale. My fairy tale entwines around the lives of two sisters, Maria and Anna, and it always makes me think of an art show I attended years ago featuring stained glass by Laurie Bieze (also from Eau Claire).

Isn't this lovely? I've always wondered if she'd let me purchase the use of her images for a book cover. Guess I should just ask her, right? (more about Laurie Bieze HERE)

Update: I'm sad to say that I'll never get the chance to meet this marvelous artist. I found her lovingly written obituary HERE. Too bad I was never brave enough to ask, but the time was never right. Chances slip you by when you wait too long. My condolences to her family. She sounds like she was a lot of fun to be around.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Last fall, I had an author reading at the Local Store. It's a lovely location for an author reading, and I met up with a lot of old friends--plus met a few new readers!

The Local Store is affiliated with Volume One magazine. I'm very excited to have a feature in their March edition. Read it here.

Coincidentally, I drove through Eau Claire today on the way to the author panel I set up for Altoona middle school students. Everyone had such a good time that I hope to do this again at other schools soon. (More about this later when I get some pictures to post.)