Tag Archives: Writers

Sweet Treats for your brain

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Usually this day is not all that busy for me. I mean, I eat candy, I go out to dinner, the hubs and kids are extra sweet to me…but work-wise, not so much.

I’m making up for that this year!

I’ve got a story in two anthologies this V-day – both of which I volunteered to format. (So, if the formatting on your copy/copies sucks, let me know!!)

IN HIS EYES is an anthology from the Indelibles.

My short story in IHE is called Surprise, Surprise and it’s about Melody and Raleigh from the Zellie books and what happens when they go on their first real date. It’s cute and super romantic and I had a great time getting into the Zellie world again. All of the stories in IHE are written from a male character’s point of view, so you all get to know a bit more about what’s going on in Raleigh’s head.

I really dig writing these spin-off stories and you can expect more of them. The next full-length novel set in the Zellie world takes place more than a decade after where Glow left off – so I’ve got a lot of years to cover and a lot of short stories to tell.

You can get IN HIS EYES free at Smashwords and for 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (We were hoping it would go free everywhere by V-day, but alas, it hasn’t happened. Still, 16 stories for 99 cents ain’t so bad!)

The other anthology is Death By Chocolate.

The short story I have in DBC is called Back in Time and it’s actually pretty long – the length of a Day of Sacrifice story. Here’s the blurb:

Nothing in Aurelia Lemon’s life is turning out how she’d planned. She’s unemployed, unattached, and her family bakery is on the verge of closing. To make matters worse, the guy she dumped in high school is doing well and getting rich off of one of her departed mother’s recipes. It would take a miracle to right everything she’s done wrong. Or maybe just a phone call and the chance to go Back in Time.

It was such a fun story to write – so much so that it’s the first in a new short story series. I love time travel stories and characters getting to right past wrongs – the genre lends itself to many shenanigans. (If they’re written by me – not so many shenanigans in Time Traveller’s Wife.)

Death By Chocolate is available for $2.99 at Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

(Smashwords is being a PITA and not loading – I’ll add the links when it’s working again.)

Lastly, I wanted to tell y’all about a book NOT written by me!  My fellow PacNWYAer, Laura Elliott has a new book coming out soon!  She’s doing a little cover reveal and giveaway today to celebrate the holiday.

TWO WORLDS. TWO TEENS. ONE WISH.

TRANSFER STUDENT is a science fiction Freaky-Friday romance/adventure about two normal teenagers struggling to survive high school and deal with their parents… typical rites of passage. The twist? One teen is an alien from the planet Retha. In a galactic teleporting experiment gone wrong, Ashley, a Beverly Hills High surfing fashionista, and Rhoe, the biggest geek on planet Retha, swap lives. Only by surviving life as their biggest nightmare do Ashley & Rhoe discover their dreams. How far would you go for someone you love?

WIN TRANSFER STUDENT BOOKMARKS SIGNED BY AUTHOR LAURA A. H. ELLIOTT!

To enter to win all you need to do is tweet this & follow my blog Laurasmagicday: Nothing says #ValentinesDay like an alien #romance! TRANSFER STUDENT Cover Reveal! #TransferStudent #teenreads #kindle http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com/

The first 100 tweets/followers win!

TRANSFER STUDENT BLOG TOUR: LEAP DAY, 2012 – MARCH 20th

Giveaways include free ebooks of TRANSFER STUDENT, Amazon gift cards & weekly surprise gifts that are out of this world! TRANSFER STUDENT RELEASE DAY: MARCH 20th

Got all that? 🙂 I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and at the very least eat too much chocolate and read some great books.

LUV,

Stacey

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Books for your sweetheart

GUYS AND GALS — here’s a Valentine’s Day trivia question for you.  What’s more romantic than a sizzling love story?

NOTHING!!
That’s right.  If you’re in search of the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, look no further, because I’m about to point you in the direction of some dreamy books.  Whether you gift her a collection of e-books or wrap one special paperback up in pretty paper with a single red rose on top, you’re bound to score BIG POINTS on Valentine’s Day with these novels.

ARTEMIS RISING by Cheri Lasota
BOUND by C. K. Bryant
CLOCKWISE by Elle Strauss
CROSS MY HEART by Katie Klein
DESTINED by Jessie Harrell
EXILED by RaShelle Workman
GLIMPSE by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
HOW TO DATE AN ALIEN by Magan Vernon
THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL by Heather McCorkle
TANGLED TIDES by Karen Amanda Hooper UNTRACEABLE by S.R. Johannes
THE VEIL by Cory Putman Oakes
WATCHED by Cindy Hogan
and…
IN HIS EYES, an anthology from The Indelibles, featuring love stories from the swoon-worthy guys from our novels arriving on V-Day!

Using the iBooks author app.

My friend Cheri Lasota – the author of Artemis Rising, who is also both a fellow PacNWYAer and Indelible – has a great post up on her blog today about her experience using the new iBooks author app.  I thought you all might be interested in checking it out. You can find the post here.

New reads from Vicki Keire

My friend Vicki Keire is having a banner week! She’s got two new releases – the novella Worlds Burn Through and the first installment in the serial Daughter of Glass.

Chloe Burke dreams of creatures who walk through fire and a strange boy who saves them both.
Her parents convinced her long ago that the dreams are the result of a childhood fever, but she can’t shake the feeling that some of it is real, most especially the boy.
Beneath the dreams lies a deeply buried reality: Chloe and her family are refugees from Annwyn, once a formidable techno-agrarian civilization now burned to ash. Years before, a handful of her world’s survivors escaped to present-day Earth after their world was razed by the Abandoned, powerful elemental creatures who burn through world after world in an endless cycle of consumption and destruction.
Using a combination of alien technology and indigenous elemental magic, the refugees sealed off their burning world from modern-day Earth by binding one of the Burke bloodline to the portal. To keep her safe, Chloe’s parents hide her as a normal teenager in Atlanta, with no knowledge of her true birth or purpose. But the Abandoned slowly infiltrate anyway, brutally murdering everyone who knows their ultimate goal: to reopen the portal and let more of their kind through.
Eliot Gray is a Guardian, the last member of a powerful warrior tradition, kept isolated from his adopted world by the uncle who trained him. Unknown to his blood-bound Ward except in dreams, he must convince her that not only is her life in danger, but to trust him as well. Enraged by her family’s lies and grieving over her losses, Chloe must face the truth about her origins as she becomes the Abandoned’s next target. Together they journey to Gray’s Landing, the tiny town sparsely populated by refugees from her world, in order to protect the portal hidden there.
But just across the river from Gray’s Landing is Raven’s Ward, an industrial wasteland of a town determined to expand no matter what the cost. When Alexander, troublesome heir to the vast Ravenwood fortune, returns home after getting kicked out of school, he finds that his power-hungry father has strange new business partners who are determined to make Gray’s Landing their own. Unsettled by the changes he sees in his family and home since their arrival, Alexander vows to do everything in his power to keep these bizarrely dangerous partners from growing stronger.
Can Chloe and Eliot keep their adopted world safe from annihilation, while Alexander fights the Abandoned in his own home? Will the secrets buried in the past’s deepest, darkest ashes destroy yet another world?

I’ve read Worlds Burn Through and it is fantastic.  It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Vicki’s writing and I can’t wait to read the upcoming novellas in this series.

Sasha Alexander has a powerful ability. The seven guardians that only she can see protect her from hurt, pain, fear and love – until a strange young man with scarred hands suddenly makes her feel again. But unless she can learn to control her own emotions, the biggest danger to them all may be Sasha herself.

Daughter of Glass is a paranormal romance by bestselling author Vicki Keire, serialized and published  at Curiosity Quills, every Friday.

New stuff from Vicki every week!  How lucky are we?

I hope you all will check out Worlds Burn Through and Daughter of Glass – you won’t be disappointed!

 

Dissent Cover Reveal

It’s Friday and I’ve had one heckuva busy week! I’ve got the plague and more work to do than one person should.  I’ve been writing on Dissent mostly and it’s coming along.  Well, except for the part where I cut 1K words from it yesterday. 🙂

For motivation and procrastination, I like to peruse cover art.  I saw this photo and knew it would be perfect for Dissent.  Here is the cover:

 

Bwahahahahaha!  Is that mysterious enough for you?  Don’t worry, it will all make sense once you start reading the story.

So, you’re probably wondering when you get to read the story? End of February. I’ve got a bunch of Valentines/ Anthology stuff coming up and then Dissent will be out.  Not much longer!  And, as always, thanks for your patience. I write as fast as I can, but I also have this whole other life where I’m a mom/wife/sister/daughter/friend. Yeah, the mom stuff takes up the most time, but all you parents out there know about that!

Today is also my day to blog over at the Indelibles. I wrote my post for them on Monday, so it’s a lot funnier and more coherent than this one. 🙂

Have a swell Friday.

 

Indie Writer Chat 1/18

Tonight the Indelibles are hosting an indie writer chat on our website from 8-9 EST.  I’m going to be there, along with many other members of the group.  Stop by and talk with us.  You can ask me anything!  I swear.  Also, we’re giving away a bunch of books! (That’s how the Indelibles roll.)

Information about how to sign in to the chat will be up on the Indelibles website later today.

I hope to “see” you all there!

The Green

Karly Kirkpatrick and DarkSide Publishing are excited to announce the release of Kirkpatrick’s third novel, the edgy YA contemporary romance, THE GREEN.

Book Description:

 

How far would you go to save your dream?

 

Seventeen-year-old Ariceli Pisa is a senior at the prestigious Cambridge High School and has her sights set on Northwestern University. She’s a cheerleader, a member of the National Honor Society…and a drug dealer.That’s not the only secret she has to keep from her best friend Naomi–she’s also madly in love with Naomi’s ex-boyfriend, James Bartlett. Trying to balance her life at Cambridge High with her new demanding job keeps her teetering on the edge of disaster.

 

THE GREEN is available in ebook format at the following retailers for $3.99:

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Green-ebook/dp/B006XZS16Q/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1326754697&sr=8-12

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-green-karly-kirkpatrick/1037769334?ean=2940013762183&itm=2&usri=karly+kirkpatrick

 

Also available on Amazon UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

 

For more info about Karly and her books, check out www.karlykirkpatrick.com andwww.darksidepublishing.com.

Trilogy winner and a review that’s not a review

Yes, that blog post title sucks, but I just couldn’t bring myself to title it Winning! like I really wanted to.

Anyhoo…

I’m happy to announce the winner of the e-book of the Zellie Wells trilogy is Brenda Demko!  Yay, Brenda!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the blog hop and left a comment.  I love hearing from y’all. Also, big thanks to those of you that followed me on Twitter and Facebook and signed up for my newsletter and blog.

So, I went to see Young Adult yesterday. (Pardon the segway, I was up very late last night with my wheezing daughter…and I had a hard time putting down the book I’m reading .  Bad combo!) I wanted to see this movie the second I discovered it existed because it’s written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman- the Juno team. I totally loved Juno and could care less if it’s not cool to like Juno anymore.

Besides that, I had a few other reasons for wanting to see it.  I really dig Patton Oswalt – he’s so funny and truthful – I just think he needs to be in all movies. He did not disappoint in Young Adult. I also, obviously, wanted to see it because it’s about a YA author.  Lastly, I’ll admit there was a bit of a nostalgia thing going for me – the characters are my age and I wanted to see if they knew what they were doing yet. Like going to a high school reunion at someone else’s school.

In a nutshell, Young Adult is about Mavis Gary, an author who ghost writes a Sweet Valley High-type series. Mavis’ life is in the crapper and she goes  home to Mercury, Minnesota after being gone for a long time to win back her high school sweetheart, Buddy – who happens to be married and has a new daughter.

We’re supposed to hate Mavis, she’s in Charlize Theron’s body after all. She’s also an alcoholic and her emotions are in arrested development. She’s that popular girl who said hi to you once in the girls bathroom and asked for a stick of gum.  You’ll always remember it and she forgot it while it was happening.  Mavis disses her hometown, disses her parents and generally doesn’t care how her actions affect anyone around her.

Like I said, we’re supposed to hate her.  We’re supposed to think, “Ha ha popular chick, welcome to the real world.”

But I didn’t. I actually had a lot of empathy for her. I got that juxtaposition between having high school be your glory days and having those glory days take place in a town you couldn’t wait to get out of. I understood why she would dwell on the past. For me, as a young adult writer, your head is in that space more than most people.  You can’t help but have a hard time adjusting to adulthood because you spend a lot of time “pretending” you’re still seventeen.

You’re also used to rewriting your history a little bit in your books, so I found it believable that Mavis thought she could go back home and rewrite the ending to her teenage love affair.

Anyway, I don’t have much more to say about it.  It’s a good movie and I recommend you all see it, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows.  It depressed me in a weird, self-reflective way that I’m sure is not a normal reaction. 🙂

The strangest thing, after I went to see Young Adult, I picked my kids up at my parents house and they’d gotten into a box of my stuff in their garage.  My son handed me a scrap of cloth, which turned out to be the front of this guy’s skateboarding t-shirt I’d had up on my bulletin board since the 8th grade.

I don’t know what to do with it.  I can’t throw it away.

 

For a real review of Young Adult go here.

Introducing the Indelibles!

http://indelibles.blogspot.com

Marketing guru Shelli Johannes Wells has teamed up with twenty-four other indie and small press authors to bring you the Indelibles.

“We are indie authors who write middle grade and young adult fiction. We are dedicated to leaving a permanent mark on the world with our stories and words. We are the Indelibles.”

Each week, we’ll explore fun, fabulous, and fierce topics for today’s teens, drawing on pop culture and themes from the books we write. We’ve got several great things coming up. There will be a “blogger” chat on January 17th and a writer/author chat on January 18th to answer questions about self and indie publishing. See our blog for details.

A little about Stacey Wallace Benefiel: I’m the author of the YA paranormal romance Zellie Wells trilogy, the paranormal romance/urban fantasy serial Day of Sacrifice and The Toilet Business, a collection of essays about all the crappy jobs I’ve had.

I live in Beaverton, OR – which is a suburb of Portland. Before graduating from Portland State University in 2005 with a B.S. in Creative Writing and Theatre, I did a five-year stint at the University of Oregon in Eugene, attended bartending and floral design school, and graduated from the Art Institute of Los Angeles with a degree in Culinary Arts.

I like school.

I grew up in Columbia, MO, but haven’t been back since my ten-year high school reunion because my entire family moved out to Oregon.  I’m very close with my parents and my younger sister, printmaker Valerie Wallace.

I’ve been married to Robert Benefiel since 2002 and we have a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. We live in an orange house with our dog, Chief, and our two cats, Simon and Willis.

Zellie Wells trilogy

e-book

Requisite blurbage:

Glimpse: Zellie Wells has a devastating crush on Avery Adams, the son of her mom’s high school sweetheart. At her sixteenth birthday party, held in the basement of her dad’s church, she finally finds the courage to talk to him. Turns out, the devastating crush is mutual.
As Avery takes her hand and leads her out onto the makeshift dance floor, Zellie is overwhelmed by her first vision of his death; shocking because not only are they both covered in his blood, but they’re old, like thirty-five, and she is pregnant.
Afraid to tell anyone about the vision, (she’d just be labeled a freaky black magic witch, right?) Zellie keeps the knowledge of Avery’s future to herself and tries to act like any other teenager in love. When they get caught on their way to a secret rendezvous by her mom and his dad, they are forbidden to see each other.
Convinced that their parents are freaking out unnecessarily, Avery and Zellie vow to be together no matter what. They continue their relationship in secret until Zellie learns that their parents are just trying to prevent her and Avery from suffering like they did. The visions are hereditary, they’re dangerous, and if they stay together the visions will come true.
Now Zellie must choose between severing all ties with Avery, like her mom did to prevent his father’s death, and finding a way to change Avery’s future.

Glimmer: Zellie Wells’ life is changing. Her relationship with Avery is growing stronger every day, but their parents are still giving them ultimatums and trying to keep them apart. Her newly discovered powers have all but disappeared. Benjamin, another young Retroact, is back and has brought with him a painful shared vision and a troubled past. While working together to figure out what the vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her – if only she wanted him to…

Glow: Zellie Wells has mastered her powers and gotten the guy. She’s lived through her parents’ divorce and being separated from Avery. She’s come back from the dead. What else is there?

Oh, yeah. REVENGE.

Discover how it all ends when Zellie and the gang finally track down Mildred and fight to right the wrongs of The Society’s past, present and future.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

12 Days of Christmas Reading

The 12 Days of Christmas Reading promotion starts today!  Go here to get a complete list of all the authors involved and comment on that page to enter to win copies of some or all of the books! If you enjoy this essay, be sure to enter to win a copy of The Toilet Business, my collection of humorous essays.

**********

You never realize how weird your family is until you’re an adult.

At least, I didn’t.

When I moved out to Oregon from Missouri in the early Nineties for college, I assumed most families who celebrated Christmas had similar traditions to mine.

Here’s how Christmas went down in the Wallace household in the Eighties:

My mom decorated the crap out of the house.  My sister and I had our own Christmas trees in our rooms.  There were wreath-shaped novelty soaps placed by the sink. (Under no circumstances were you to use those soaps!) The mantel was gussied up with silver and gold spray painted and glittered pinecones.  My dad’s recliner space was usurped by the enormous fake tree – always fake except for the year I was sixteen and I guilt tripped Mom into getting a real one. Those were my vegan-Birkenstock-patchouli-no showering days.

Tinsel. Garlands. Styrofoam egg carton ornaments my parents made when they were newlyweds. Bubble lights. Popcorn strings. Construction paper chains.

Lights in the bushes out front. Lights on the sliding glass door to the back porch. Luminaries lining the driveway.

It was awesome.  Christmas perfection.

On Christmas Eve, my sister and I would put on our white tights and our nearly matching dresses – often a variation on the theme of what my mom was wearing.  Lots of plaid taffeta and velvet and scratchy lace collars. Mom would put our hair in hot rollers and let us wear some of her pearlescent pink lipstick and lavender cream eyeshadow. Dad would wear a nice navy or grey suit and top it off with either his London Fog trench coat or his orange-tan leather jacket that made him look kind of like a pimp, so we never let him wear a hat as well.

We’d pile into the station wagon and slog through the snow to the midnight service at church.

Trinity Lutheran was always decorated beautifully, a lot like our house, but with more poinsettia and less glitter.  We’d all take our seats in a pew about halfway up the aisle and we sat: Dad, Stacey, Valerie, Mom. We’d wave to our friends and stage whisper to one another about how sparkly we all looked.

The organ music began up in the balcony, the choir practically blowing the doors off the church with Hark! the Herald Angels Sing and I’d get this rush, be so overwhelmed by the Christmas of it all that I’d want to cry.

That feeling would stay with me throughout the service. More singing, the sermon, the acolytes extinguishing the candles. Joy to the World! while Pastor Gerike walked down the aisle, a smile on his face, his Bible clutched to his chest.  We’d file out and meet in the lobby and wait in line to talk to  him. Back slapping and handshakes for the men, hugs for the women, boys pulling on their clip-on ties, us girls trying to walk with grace even though the crotches of our tights had stretched out and shimmied their way down to our knees.

Then we were back in the car, back home, putting out cookies and milk and beer for Santa and carrots tied with bows for his reindeer. My sister and I would put on our nearly matching flannel nightgowns – me navy or lavender, my sister red or pink – and we’d get a few hours of sleep before we’d sneak to our parents’ room and climb in bed with them, asking every few minutes if those were in fact reindeer hooves we heard on the roof.

At six a.m., we’d drag our parents from their bed and my sister and I would wait at the top of the stairs while my mom went down to see if Santa had visited.  The answer was always, “I think I see a few more presents than were here last night.”

We’d give ourselves rug burn on the backs of our thighs as we slid down the stairs. I’d run to my corner of the family room and my sister would run to hers. Wrapping paper thrown into the air. Pictures taken with Barbies and Walk-mans and telephones shaped like pianos and nearly matching sweaters.  Mom got earrings and a silky blouse, Dad got leather gloves and a Bill Cosby sweater.

My sister, on alternating years, got coal in her stocking or a clown figurine. Both made her cry, but she was soothed on that day only by maple candy. We’d tell her she was a good sport.

Mom made biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, bacon. We’d have tall glasses of orange juice and eat the gigantic apples we’d received in our stockings, while she cooked.

During breakfast, Mom started making lunch.

Lunch included a birthday cake for Jesus.

Four hours later: Ham, pea salad, ambrosia, scalloped potatoes, noodles, green beans, rolls with butter, dressing, steamed carrots, relish tray, sherbet and Sprite punch.

We were stuffed.

Mom would bring out the birthday cake. It had about a million lit candles on it – because GO BIG or get the heck out of my awesomely dramatic family’s  home – and we’d sing.

We’d blow the candles out and clap and say Happy Birthday Jesus to the ceiling. We’d force ourselves to eat a piece of cake. It would’ve been rude not to.

Then we’d retreat back to the family room and my sister and I would lie back under the Christmas tree and look up at the lights. I’d take my glasses off and brag about how much cooler a view I got due to my blurry vision. My sister would tattle on me for bragging.

And Christmas would be over for another year.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, when I talk about my Christmas memories, people do laugh at me for the Jesus birthday cake, but that’s not the tradition I assumed everyone had.

I assumed that everyone had a house full of Christmas, got to dress up nice, got a church rush, ate too much, received too many gifts. I thought that surely, on Christmas, everyone got to have a perfect day.

When I realized that wasn’t true, I also realized how lucky I was to have my weird family and the childhood that I had.

Merry Christmas!  I hope you have the best possible weird and wonderful holiday you can, whether you’re reliving old memories or making new ones.