Wednesday, April 13, 2016


The Passage, a Dance,
& a Little White Dress
Release Date: April 13, 2016

It's been a week since 17-year old Zoe Jabril found out her best friend is a Guardian Angel, her boyfriend is a Nephilim, and a fellow classmate is a Fairy. What makes Zoe so special? She’s destined to unify Enlightens to battle evil—that is, if Demons don’t kill her first.

With ‘Project: Enlightens Unite’ underway, Zoe learns the history of the area wolf pack and realizes she's in a race against time to get her newly discovered talents under control. Despite struggling to fight a mysterious attraction to her new neighbor, rescue her boyfriend from Demons, and travel into Fairyland to convince the Summer King to join the fight, Zoe must still attend high school classes so her nosy parents don’t suspect anything is out of the ordinary before Demons can mount another attack.

Zoe will need all the help she can get, from the most unlikely of sources, if she’s to save her boyfriend's life and prevent the Devil from escaping Hell on her eighteenth birthday.


Chapter 1 Excerpt:

Last night, a friend of mine rose from the dead—and I was the one who brought her back. So I guess . . . I’m an angel. Or, at least most of my friends think I am.
     Even wrapped tightly in the arms of my favorite oversized PINK hoodie, I shivered. It was chilly for mid-April while sitting on my front porch with the sun just coming over the horizon, but that wasn’t where the tremor had come from.
     I glanced up, startled by the high-pitched squealing of truck brakes that rang above the music playing from my iPod. The truck turned into the cul-de-sac and careened straight into the next door neighbors’ driveway. What made it really strange was the house had been empty since last October. I could still see the top of the “For Sale” sign on the manicured front lawn. I pulled out my cell phone to text my boyfriend, Shay.

     Me: Good morning!

     As I waited for a response, a gray uniformed driver open his door and climbed down. He walked to the back of the truck; then multiple doors slammed.
     “This furniture goes into the living room on the main level,” a man said.
     I didn’t particularly want to be a nosy neighbor, but I couldn’t help myself. I eased higher on the top step, hoping to get a look at the man who seemed to be in charge. His back was to me, so all I could tell was he had short blond hair. He glanced down at something then looked back up, turned, and pointed toward a number of other, smaller trucks in the cul-de-sac parking. More uniformed men jumped out of the smaller trucks and gathered around their boss, waiting for instructions. I had no interest in watching a bunch of people move boxes, so I just stayed on the step and waited for my best friend, Kieran, and Shay.



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Author Bio:
Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River with her parents and older sister. And after receiving a double Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University in Paralegal and Corrections, she worked as a Paralegal for various law firms around the Twin Cities for 14 years. Then she left the legal field and is now a Senior Buyer for a technology company.

Currently, Kristin lives in Minnesota with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.

In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!

Kristin’s books are published by Kasian Publishing.

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Short Widget:


Q) Do you own a cat? The Black Cat Blog wants proof (a picture). 

Yes, I do! Cats are my second favorite animals, after their big cousins, tigers. Luna (named after Sailor Moon’s Luna) is a ten-year old tuxedo:

Q) WORST life advice you ever received.

I should write poetry instead of novels because so many people write novels and the market is overcrowded.

Q) BEST life advice you ever received.

Prepare to try really hard to do something you love, but don’t give up.

Q) Please share a picture of your favorite shoes.

I’m not much of a shoe person.  (I buy one pair of sneakers a year). But I do like slippers.

Q) List some of your favorite movies. Do any of them remind you of your book (and in what way--characters, settings, plot line)?

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, Star Wars (particularly Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back), X-Men (especially X2, First Class and Days of Future Past), Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Last Unicorn, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast. (I could go on. I love movies.)

The entire The Never Veil Series was greatly inspired by Labyrinth intentionally, particularly the strange almost romantic relationship between Sarah and Jareth, which I tried to echo with Noll and the lord. There’s that Byronic romantic tension between a sullen mysterious figure and a stubborn, proud woman in Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast and even somewhat in The Last Unicorn as well. That was more the centerpiece of Nobody’s Goddess, the first book in the series. Nobody’s Lady might have more of an X-Men or The Prestige vibe with characters who were once friends at opposing sides of an issue that tears them apart. (I’ve always been obsessed with the Xavier/Magneto dynamic.)

Q)  What's your favorite writing rule (or rules) that you live by? What rule (or rules) do you hate?

Write what you love. If you try to write for the market, by the time you’re finished, the market may have moved on. (Plus, you’ll struggle a lot more to finish in the first place.) As far as rules I hate, I don’t think it’s necessary to push yourself to write every single day without a break if you can’t handle it, as missing a day when I’m trying to do that just makes me feel down, which is counterproductive.

Q) What event would you call your breakthrough as an author?

Finding a publisher for Nobody’s Goddess, my debut YA romantic fantasy and my favorite manuscript of all the manuscripts I’ve written. (Well, maybe I like the third and final book in the series, Nobody’s Pawn, a little more. But I worked harder and longer on Nobody’s Goddess.)

Q) What do you know now that you wish you knew much earlier on as an author?

Getting an agent—finding that professional in the industry who believes in you—doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed success. A lot of people along the way have to fall in love with your book just as much as your agent did to get it published. (And you may not get to keep your agent forever!)

Q) What's the best marketing advice you can give other authors?

Interact with bloggers and reviewers as much as possible on a one-on-one basis. The readers I’ve met through Twitter and Instagram with whom I’ve had a few conversations have been the most likely to read my book and spread the word. It’s a lot of fun to geek out with them over other topics, too.

Q) Name 5 books you wish you'd written (and not just for the money and fame).

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Howl’s Moving Castle (by Diana Wynne Jones), A Long, Long Sleep (by Anna Sheehan), and Impossible (by Nancy Werlin)

I loved Howl's Moving Castle, too--
both the book and the movie.
Magical, indeed.

Q) List 5 books you loved as a child.

The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, A Wrinkle in Time quintet by Madeline L’Engle, The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin, Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Q) What event/s or idea/s inspired you to write Nobody's Lady?

It’s the bridge between the first and last installment in The Never Veil Series, and as far as the entire series goes, I’d been working on a (now shelved) manuscript for years that involved a young woman forced to court a veiled, secretive lord. Not too long after reading The Hunger Games series, I was struck with the idea to make my fantasy setting a bit dystopian-like and make it so all men in the village had to cover their faces, not just the lord. I’d also read or heard about a lot of dystopian books in which women were forced to be paired with men against their will, but I’d rarely heard of it being the other way around.

For Nobody’s Lady in particular, I wanted to examine the conflict that would naturally arise after things changed drastically in the village after the events of the first book. Before I could go on to explore what’s the source of all this magic in the third book, I wanted to see how characters would react to such change. I found many of them acting very differently than they did in the first book, as if their true selves were finally allowed to take over.

Q) I
f you were to be executed tomorrow, what would you choose as a meal for your last supper?

Mac and cheese, eggplant pizza and chocolate chip cookies. No need to worry about vegetables if it’s the last one, right?

Author Bio:

Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I'd love to claim that my book How to Date Dead Guys was inspired by a classical piece of literature, like Austen's Pride and Prejudice or Alcott's Little Women. If I had majored in anything English-related, this would probably be true.

But I didn't. I graduated with a Biology Major/Math Minor.

This is probably why my book was inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and NPR.

I stumbled upon the Smiley Face Murders Theory during a late night NPR program.

That started the "ball rolling."
Everything else just kept the ball in motion.


I LOVED the long-running TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The character I most empathized with was Willow. Who wouldn't root for the shy, awkward bookworm everybody took for granted and expected to stand to the side?

How exciting when she became a witch and rose to power, a power which stole away from her as much as it gave. 

But Willow's despair wasn't the only thing that inspired me.


I thought back to college, and all it entails.
The first real taste of freedom.
The first real risk of falling and failing.
The unreality of campus lif--as if those four (or so) years are all that is important in this world.

So many majors that don't prepare the graduate for the real question of: "What the hell am I going to do with the rest of my life?"

All the drinking, the bad decisions, the uncertainty, the longing, the fear. At least, that's how I remember college.

I'm sure some people don't remember much at all. J


Both Emma and I find the following people inspiring (they also happen to be dead):

    The actor Cary Grant (isn't he charming?)

-       The author C.S. Lewis (Aslan, need I say more?)


Despite the fact that I can't claim my writing style is patterned after any of the greats (except for perhaps Dickens' tendency to connect every character in the most unexpected, Kevin-Bacon-Six-Degrees-of-Separation way), every single book I've ever read has helped me write my own.

A great big thank you to all the other authors. I owe you big time.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


I had a lot of beta readers for How to Date Dead Guys. One commented that there was a lot of eating going on in my book.

Perhaps other people don't remember college like I do.
It was all about the food. Free food, in particular.

A group of female friends would descend upon Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant on a weekly basis for their Free Taco Bar Tuesdays. I'm sure they hated the sight of us Cheapskate Sisters, because we only ever bought ONE margarita each, but ate as many tacos as we could cram into our hungry mouths.

I never appreciated Mom's cooking until I endured dorm food for a while. To make money, I took a job working in the same dorm cafeteria. Every time a back room dishwashing shift came up, I'd end up scraping some dead mouse or cockroach off the floor as the other girls screamed. It didn't bother me to dispose of the vermin, but it did put a damper on my appetite for the food served there.

Once I moved out of the dorms, I started grocery shopping. It was fun at first. My cart overflowed with huge bags of animal crackers, boxes of cereal, and cups of yogurt. It was the era of carbo-loading, low-fat or no-fat diet. Nowadays, the medical community is falling all over itself regarding the Atkins diet. The pendulum swings so far back and forth on everything, it's a wonder the doctors and dieticians don't get whiplash.

If a person really is what they eat, in college I would've been a pretzel. Or maybe an unbuttered bagel.

One college roommate wanted to share orange juice to cut down on costs. But instead of mixing in two cans of water with the OJ concentrate (per the directions), she'd always pour in three. When I complained of the taste, she pretended she had no idea what I was talking about.

Liar. I can tell the difference, you know.

College students are such cheapskates. They haul home weeks of laundry at a time, as if their tired moms don't have better things to do.

And when college students go home for the holidays, they gobble down the free food like they haven't been fed in weeks. Better put a lock on your refrigerator door.

From undergrad through vet school, students were lured to meetings with the prize of free pizza, ice cream, or sub sandwiches. I once suffered food poisoning from one of these free sandwiches (so bad that I even called the nurse line to inquire politely how many episodes of vomiting constituted an emergency), but it didn't stop me from lining up for the next free handout.

This is what you call "ironic."

The lure of free food continues on as an adult. Meetings, store openings, political groups. Everybody's trying to reach your heart by way of your stomach.

So, in other words, I stand by my decision to let my characters eat. After all, when I think back to college, it was all about the food. Free food, especially.