Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse 
Hardcover, 10/28/14 ISBN: 1481411225

Three plantations. Two gifts. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunts South Carolina plantation insteada prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who somehow seems to know what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her familys twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isnt what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Early Praise for Compulsion:

Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, youll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series.  #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout

"A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic  haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.  Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of A Thousand Pieces of You and the Evernight and Spellcaster series 

"A stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!"  Wendy Higgins, USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy from HarperTeen

"Beautifully written, with vivid characters, a generations-old feud, and romance that leaps off the page, this Southern ghost story left me lingering over every word, and yet wanting to race to the compelling finish."  Megan Shepherd, Author of  The Madmans Daughter

"Skillfully blends rich magic and folklore with adventure, sweeping romance, and hidden treasure . . . An impressive start to the Heirs of Watson Island series."  Publishers Weekly

"Flawless, a true gem! With fluid writing that brings the southern setting to life and maintains a colorful cast of characters, this is a must-read for fans looking for a refreshing and addicting young adult paranormal read."  RT Book Reviews

"Readers of Sarah Reese Brennans The Lynburn Legacy and Maggie Stiefvaters The Raven Cycle, will appreciate the ambiguity  real? or not real?  until suddenly the not real feels very very real.   Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Books

About Martina

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them.

Shes the founder of, a Writers Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and, a Tumblr site devoted to news, giveaways, and insider secrets of much-loved and up-and-coming YA series.

From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places shed love to visit. When she isnt writing, shes addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy Compulsion

Compulsion is available anywhere books are sold. Signed copies are available from One More Page Books. You can also order with the special I have a Compulsion for reading bookplate from Eight Cousins.

Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cover Reveal: A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON by Christine Norris

Benjamin Grimm knows the theater is much like real life. In 1876 Philadelphia, people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, and never revealing their secrets. 

When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. His delight turns to dismay when he discovers she has been under a spell for the past 7 years, being forced to live as a servant in her own home, and he realizes how sinister some secrets can be. She asks for his help, and he can’t refuse. Even if he doesn't believe in ‘real’ magic, he can’t abandon her. 

Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under the watchful eye and unforgiving eye of her stepmother. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seems no one can help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, who is under a spell of his own. When she sees Ben one evening, it seems he is immune to the magic that binds her, and her hope is rekindled along with her friendship.

But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the spell before midnight on New Year’s Eve, then both Ellie and her father will be bound forever.

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press ( )

Release date: May 21, 2015

Author website:
Author Twitter: @cnorrisauthor
Book Trailer link

18 THOUGHTS, the final book in the MY SO-CALLED AFTERLIFE trilogy

18 Thoughts cover

18 Thoughts Launch & Giveaway!

Greetings, fellow book nerds! I’m YA author Jamie Ayres, and I’m sooo excited to announce that 18 Thoughts, the final book in the My So-Called Afterlife trilogy, is finally available from Curiosity Quills Press! Toss the virtual confetti, because it’s been three years in the making (and virtual confetti is a lot less messier).

If you haven't heard of this series yet, here's the cliffnotes summary of each book:

18 Things: Olga Gay Worontzoff struggles to live again after a lightning strike kills the best friend she was secretly in love with. Her therapist suggests she write a life list of eighteen things to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday, sending her and her friends, including the new hottie in town, on an unexpected journey they’ll never forget. But there’s more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

18 Truths: With the lessons the 18 Things life list taught her engraved on her heart, Olga spends her summer in the Underworld and embarks on a new adventure as a spirit guide, but nothing prepares her for the chilling truths she’s learning along the way.

18 Thoughts: Olga Gay Worontzoff left the Underworld anxious to return to normal, but fate had other plans; now she’s caught in a world that’s a mix of familiar and supernatural, torn between past and present.

Book Trailer:

What do others have to say about the series?

"A surprising paranormal tale that explores deep questions concerning love, faith, and friendship that will absolutely resonate with teens." ~Amy Christine Parker, Critically Acclaimed Author of Gated and Astray

"A haunting tale that had me smiling one moment and on the brink of tears the next." ~ Heather Burch, Critically Acclaimed Author of the Halflings Series and One Lavender Ribbon

"A touching story that will make you cherish each day and the ones you love." ~Jaime Rush, New York Times bestselling author of the Hidden series

"Warning: These characters will move right into your heart, rearrange all the furniture, and never, ever leave. 18 Thoughts will become a part of you--prepare to be changed." ~Teshelle Combs, Amazon Best-Selling Author of
the Core Series

"A twisty conclusion to a spiritually charged trilogy that will grip you from book one." ~Eliza Tilton, YA Author of the Daath Chronicles

"An emotional journey readers won't soon forget--will have readers making their own bucket lists." ~Marisa Cleveland, Author of the South Beach Series, Pushed, and The Valentine Challenge

"An achingly beautiful story of life, loss and hope... a triumph." ~J. Keller Ford, Author of Dragon Flight and The Amulet of Ormisez

Purchase 18 Thoughts (Book 3) on Amazon

Purchase 18 Things (Book 1) on Amazon (Free from Jan. 25-27th!)

Purchase 18 Truths (Book 2) on Amazon (Special $2.99 price through Jan. 27th!)

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a huge swag bag valued at $115! Just enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yes, it's open to all people of the world, not just Americans :-) Best of luck, and happy reading!

Jamie Author Pic Amazon bestselling author Jamie Ayres writes young adult love stories by night and teaches young adults as an English teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. She has been praised for featuring strong, appealing heroines and plot twists readers never saw coming. Visit for more information or to simply share your thoughts with her.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


There's lots of advice scattered across the Internet regarding writing.
I'm not here to judge what others do, I only want to point out that not every "rule" applies to every writer.

          I enjoy quoting Stephen King.
                 You've been warned.

I read Stephen King's On Writing back in June 2010 (which probably means it's time to read it again), and called it a "gentle kick in the pants".

Not all of the rules below are attributed to him, but most of the quotes are:

1) "Write every day" - lots of people say this, but I'm not sure I agree

Also known as: "Guard your writing time fiercely."

I can only assume that when The King wrote this he didn't have kids. Or else he had a nanny. And someone else did his laundry, let the dogs out, and cooked supper.

I don't write every day unless you expand your definition to include other forms of developing the craft: editing, reading, beta reading, researching, blogging, or world building in my imagination as I'm multi-tasking (watering plants, folding laundry, or scooping the litter box).

Maybe if writing were my full time job, I'd be able to add to my WIP word count on a daily, instead of weekly, basis. In the mean time, I do the best I can.

Plus, there has to be balance between private life, work life, writing life, and hobby life.

2) "Don't edit until you've finished the whole book" - lots of people say this, but I don't agree

Sorry. This doesn't work for me and my borderline OCD personality. I need to go back and edit every chapter as I go, one by one. It works for me, helps orient me, and I like my things "in order".

Plus, why it is assumed that every writer works the same? The reasoning behind this rule appears to be that a writer won't finish a manuscript if they keep going back to edit it.

I disagree. For me. But for others, this rule might work just fine.

3) "The first draft of a book should take no more than three months" (paraphrased) - Stephen King

This rule only sometimes works for me. I've written the first draft in six weeks at times, and a year in others. It depends what else is on my daily schedule at the time. The reasoning behind this "rule" is that the writer loses focus. I understand The King's point, but just can't accomplish this goal every time. It might be best if I did, but then my kids might starve, run around naked for lack of clean clothes, and have to use books as toilet paper because I hadn't gotten to the store in weeks.

What a mess (clogged toilets and all). And what a waste of good books.

Guess I'll stick with my regular schedule. Plus, I know I tend to turn into the type of woman described below if I become too wrapped up in making my daily word count.

And that's best avoided, for everyone's sake. :)

4) "Avoid prologues" - Elmore Leonard
Why does everyone hate prologues? I like reading them. To avoid criticism, I don't write them anymore. But I don't understand the prejudice against them. Too bad I'm in the minority.

5) "Never use a verb other than 'said' to carry dialogue" - Elmore Leonard
This is such a boring rule. Personally, I think it's lame to read 'said', 'said', 'said' over and over again. I like a good 'yelled', 'screamed', or 'whispered'.

Sigh. I'm being whipped into shape, to avoid the scorn of other writers, but I'd bet that many readers don't give one little hoot about this rule.

6) "Never open a book with weather." - Elmore Leonard
What about poor Snoopy?

Just to be ornery, I'm going to violate this rule right here, right now.

Everyone said the tornado did it. The great winds blew down the house, drug him outside, and choked him to death.
But they were wrong.
I was the one who killed my father.

My question is:
What's your favorite/least favorite writing rule?
Please comment below.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review of How to Date Dead Guys...and Snowmen

The lovely Katie Teller has been featuring Curiosity Quills authors, editors, founders, and other staff this month on her blog. Today she re-posted reviews of CQ books, mine included:

My favorite quote:  "Talk about all the feels!"

In other news, back to the weather:

On the UWEC campus, where How to Date Dead Guys is set.

In our backyard, where I totally wiped out
and then had to play with the kids with wet pants,
freezing to death as we finished the snowman.

Monday, January 12, 2015

COMPULSION by Martina Boone

How was your New Year's Eve?

I realize this seems like an old topic already (what a fast-paced society we are nowadays, at times to our detriment, I believe).

I ask you this question, because I know my answer.
Mine was fantastic.
Because I read Compulsion by Martina Boone.

Actually, I was a bit stressed because I was so close to the end, which was very exciting and I needed to finish quick because I'd promised my kids we'd play games.

However...I just wanted to read one more chapter first.
And then another.
And another.

Well, you get the idea.

I can't say enough positive things about this book.
For starters (although I'm beginning at the to speak), in her hefty acknowledgments section Martina Boone thanks Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl for "reminding me (her, the author) how much I (again, her, the author) adore Southern Gothics".

Remember Beautiful Creatures?
Of course you do.

And I liked Beautiful Creatures. Was disappointed in the movie, however, despite the fact it had Emma Thompson in it.
(How could you go wrong with Emma Thompson?)

And I thought I had bad hair days...sheesh!

Okay, so neither of these are from the movie I'm talking about,
but how could I resist?

But here's the thing...I like Compulsion way better.
Way, way better.
Super way better.
(Why, yes, I'm an 80s girl...why do you ask?)

Here's why:
1) Romance
Those who know me, know I'm not very romantic. I like a little romance in my plot, not a little plot in my romance, if you get what I mean. I also like a romance that seems real. And Barrie and Eight fight. (Love those names, don't you?) All the time. Like real people.

I get so tired of "no one has ever loved anyone like I love you..." romances. They annoy me with their egocentricity (which is a word that I might have just made up for the occasion).

2) Characters
The characters in here are like a fun show. Good guys. Bad guys. Weirdos. Goofy, loving caretakers. Stab in the back friends.

And everyone was so unique and fleshed out, even if they mostly appeared over the phone.

Just READ this book.
That is, if you like magic, curses, family sagas, humor, mysterious settings, etc.
It's awesome.

So awesome that I didn't know what to do with myself after finishing.
I took a small break (like a few days) before moving on. I wanted the mood to last.

What am I reading now? A myriad of things.

1) My children and I are loving this one. The drawings injected throughout the storyline are amazing, as is the storyline itself.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The movie is lovely as well.
Need to re-watch it after finally reading the book.

2-4) For extra or repeat research for my Under the Blood Moon Series, book #3
  How to Destroy Dead Guys:

This is a bit of a reread, since I've used his one before.

Another reread, same reason as above, but it's been awhile so I need a refresher.

This one I haven't used much yet, but will need it this time.
This is also the only one I feel a bit hesitant to read.
(Due to the topic)
What else am I reading?
- I've been doing a lot of beta reading lately. It's exciting to see books long before everyone else does.

One more thing:
Here's a lovely author interview that Katie Teller did for me on her blog:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Great Review of How to Date Dead Guys

Today you can find a great review of How to Date Dead Guys on the Matthew Cox Books website:

In addition, here's an update on our local weather:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

An author interview

Today you can find me on the Kissed by Literature Blog.

And, to beat the cold that closed schools statewide today, here's a picture of my sweet Daisy on the warm grass. Remember that summer is only six months away! :)

Monday, January 5, 2015


Hooray! The day is finally here! Book 2 in The December People series, Watch Me Burn, is now available for purchase. Re-join the Vandergraff family as they navigate the delicate balance between dark magic and family.


Barnes and Noble & Kobo links should be available soon.

David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard.

His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl--who happens to be a summer witch--begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic's command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.

David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.

A little taste...