Monday, December 2, 2013

Megg Jensen's Hidden...Enter and WIN!

In honor of the upcoming release of Megg Jensen's new fantasy novel, Hidden, join in the party! Enter the contest and you can win an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Hidden to read before it's released into the wild, as well as some swag!

The mystery enshrouding Hutton’s Bridge is as impenetrable as the fog that descended at its borders eighty years ago. Each year, three villagers enter the mist searching for answers. No one ever returns. Then a dragon falls from the sky to the town square, dead—the first glimpse of an outside world that has become nothing more than a fairy tale to Hutton’s Bridge. Except to Tressa. Tressa grew up with Granna’s stories of the days before the fog fell. When Granna dies, leaving Tressa without any family, Tressa ventures into the fog herself, vowing to unravel the foul magic holding Hutton’s Bridge captive. What she discovers beyond the fog endangers the lives of everyone she loves.

Be sure to add it on Goodreads:

AUTHOR BIO: I've been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband, two kids, and our miniature schnauzers, Ace & Tanu.

For more information on me please visit my website at 

Author links: 

Enter Contest: Open to all US and International Readers!
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What's Next!?!?!?!

I'm finally making some decisions on what to work on next. Here are a few things you can expect in the coming months...

Short Stories:
I'm hoping to do more of these. I find that I really enjoy the pure art of story telling and don't really care how long it is. I'm hoping to put a few out over the next 6 months, quite possibly in different genres. I have convinced my little brother, Michael Kirkpatrick (after years of harassment) to join me in literary abandon. We're hoping to put out two short stories (one from each of us) by Halloween. They will be horror for adults. Also, loving the whole holiday-themed idea (honestly, who didn't love the holiday editions of the Baby Sitter's Club and Sweet Valley High as a kid????), I am also hoping to write something for Christmas...maybe something in the chick-lit department? We'll see! I just love this part of indie-publishing...I can try whatever I want!

I'm plotting out a new novel now in hopes of participating in NaNoWriMo again. I'm super excited about this book, so I'm hoping that despite the fact I'm still taking a class, that I'll be able to make time every day to write 1,000 words at least. I may not 'win' NaNo, but at least I can get the ball rolling. I'm hoping to complete the book in roughly 3 months, with a Spring 2014 release. This book, currently titled Breed, is a science-fiction/dystopian for adults. Really, it would be appropriate for ages 15 and up, I would say, but it's definitely for more mature readers. Also, I think those that enjoyed the Into the Shadows Trilogy will appreciate Breed.
New Blood:
I have about 60 pages of New Blood written and it's almost at a place I could potentially end the story for now. I hope to take a look at it in December and evaluate what to do with it. It's a tough one, I never really intended to write a sequel to Bloody Little Secrets, but received many nice emails and comments from readers that wanted more of Vicky Hernandez. So it's possible I could put out New Blood as a shorter piece and then possibly expand on it with another short piece in the future. We'll see. I do love the characters as well.

More YA?:
I am definitely planning on writing more YA novels, I still have my beloved New Orleans piece that has about 60-70 pages to it that I have not finished. I really wanted to visit New Orleans before I wrote it and that keeps getting pushed back. I also hope to write another Grimmdale High Story as well. So I'll be keeping those on my radar. But I do enjoy writing YA so I don't see myself ever totally leaving the genre. I'll still be here even if I experiment with other genres!

I also hope to do some more blog posts, let me know if there are any specific topics you are interested in hearing about! More Adventures in Epublishing? More about the craft of writing? Let me know what you think!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Negatives: A Short Story and Konrath 8-Hour Challenge!

I've been finding writing a bit tough lately. Not sure if it's what I'm writing or the lack of time. There were certain circumstances health-wise that made writing difficult as well earlier this year, but luckily things are better, so hopefully that will not be a problem now. So to say I've been in a bit of a rut is an understatement. I hate not writing and thinking I can't write, I know it's totally a mental thing, but once you get it in your head, you're stuck for awhile. I happened across Joe Konrath's post last week (thanks to Megg Jensen) about a challenge he gave himself. He claimed he would write an ebook in 1 hour, while drinking. And he did. In fact, over the course of 4 hours, he wrote 4 of them. They're short, and according to him, funny, although I haven't read them, but with titles like "How Not to Fart" by Doctor Hans Uberass, I would believe it. He challenged his blog readers to write, edit, make a cover for, format, and publish an ebook in 8 hours (it didn't have to be 8 consecutive hours, luckily). So I took the challenge, and Negatives was the result.

Essentially, I was inspired from reading The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. In the story, the main character is a private detective, and in a scene that doesn't appear to play into the book later, he gives a client photos of her husband cheating. That intrigued me and left me wondering what happened to her. Where did she go afterward? What did she do with that information? How would I react in that situation? And that became Negatives, a short story of roughly 3400 words.

With cover (which I made completely myself using a photo I took and - again, thanks Megg Jensen), formatting, and editing (also aided by Megg Jensen), Negatives made it to Amazon in roughly 6 hours. Now, we all know that short stories don't necessarily sell, but then again, I don't always write to make money. It's great, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I just need to remind myself why I do it. To write a great story and be able to share it with readers. I hope to do this again soon, maybe not in 8 hours, but I would like to try maybe some longer short pieces as well, just to try out some different material. Who knows, that could end up parleying itself into a whole novel.

In any case, it was fun and very freeing. I highly recommend trying it out! If you do, feel free to post a link to your work in the comments, why not share it with others! I'll post a link to Joe's post, he's supposed to be sharing all of our stories with his readers today.

Amazon Link:

For today and tomorrow (August 30-31), you can pick up a copy of Negatives for free! Enjoy!

Joe's original challenge post.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Karly...Where Are You???

Hey guys,

Sorry for the long hiatus. I noticed that my last post was in March. It's been 5 months. I'm sure you're wondering just what on earth I've been doing over here. Truth is, I've been doing lots of stuff and it hasn't all been related to writing. But a little bit has. Here's a summary of the last couple of months...

~ My health issues seem to be somewhat under control now. Working to keep them that way, although the shots on my feet are wearing off, so some future issues may rise up. Fingers crossed they don't.

~ In the spring, I took a British History course through the University of Oxford (in England...but online) and loved loved loved it! I also took a grad class in political science this summer. I got an A-. I consider that a slight success. I'm never completely satisfied unless it's an A. I'm working toward getting an endorsement/license for political science to add to my teacher's license. My second class, European Politics, starts on Monday. I'm super psyched for it. I love learning! Me = big time history/politics nerd. In addition to all my other nerd-doms...Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, etc. etc.

~ I spent 10 days in Germany, attended a lovely wedding, and drove 120 mph in my rented Mercedes on the Autobahn. Yes. It was awesome.

~ My kid had a lot of swim lessons and dance lessons. We also spent time doing summer things, going to festivals and fairs, just playing outside with friends on the block, and enjoying the fine weather we got in Illinois this summer. Which was rare because it's always like a million degrees. This summer it averaged like 75-78 for the second half of summer. Score.

~ I read a lot of good books. I'm currently reading JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling. Loving it! I also got a new Kindle Paperwhite. Also = LOVE!

~ I did add some substantial words to New Blood. I'm going to evaluate what I'm going to do with it now. I'll either release it as a novella with what I've got going soon, or I'll work to finish it as a novel. Not sure. I'll see how it goes!

~ I took a challenge from Joe Konrath to create an ebook in 8 hours. I did it in 6, including creating my own cover. I managed to squeeze in a quick photo shoot on my kitchen table and used (thanks to Megg Jensen for the suggestion) and wrote an adult contemporary short story called "Negatives." It's available now! I'll post the links as soon as they all clear.

As for what's on the radar for the future, I'm taking the class this semester (that I mentioned) and I'm also going to throw out at least another short story or two before the year is out. I'll decide what to do with New Blood and then it's on to some new material. I'm not sure what I'm going to write next...I have an old YA MS I started a few years back set in New Orleans. I might dig that out. Or maybe I'll start something completely new, in a new genre. I'm interested to maybe take a crack at writing for adults, maybe sci-fi, or fantasy, or a mystery maybe? I've always loved mysteries, Agatha Christie is my favorite. So we'll see.

In any case, I hope you're all doing well and have been reading lots of great books!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Save a Monkey, Get Free Books!

Right now I'm sure you're looking at the title of this post and wondering what on earth I'm talking about. But I'm totally serious. If you help my friend save Lolo the Monkey, I'll happily give you your choice of ebooks from my list.

Monica Szczupider, an old high school friend of mine, is a conservationist that mainly works with primates (that's monkey-types for those of you wondering). She recently had an adventure in Nicaragua where she rescued a monkey whose mother had been killed so he could be taken and sold. Upon taking him to the ONLY center for wildlife rescue for primates in the entire country of Nicaragua, she discovered that the severely underfunded location struggled to provide basic care for the large number of animals brought there. This center works hard to rehab animals and release them back into the wild.

As a result, she's taken it upon herself to raise money to help Lolo and his friends with updated enclosures and supplies that the rescue center so desperately needs.

If you'd like to read more about Lolo and Monica's experiences in an article she wrote for the Nicaragua Dispatch.

Here are some of her photos showing the conditions at the rescue center.

And here is the link to her Indiegogo site where you can donate to help the wildlife of Nicaragua, complete with video.

Currently they have raised over $3,200 and are hoping for a grand total of $11,000 in the next 30 days.
  If you take it upon yourself to donate $5 for this cause, I will let you pick an ebook from the ones I've written as a thank you for helping. If you donate $50, I'll give you every ebook I have written!

If you decide to donate, please email me at and let me know. I can check the Indiegogo site where it lists Funders and double check that you did, and the ebook is yours. We may not be on the ground in these locations and able to help, but Monica is there, and donating money can help this organization give the animals the care they need.

And please, if anything, pass this story on! 

Thanks and happy donating!


Friday, January 25, 2013

G.P. Ching's Soul Catcher Cover Reveal

All I can say is I'm so excited that The Soulkeepers Series is continuing! Lucky me, I get to read it now, but you guys have to wait until March. In the meantime, take a gander at the hottie on the cover! I'll happily look at that forever! You can read all about it below.

Dane Michaels has been to Hell and back and isn't interested in repeating the experience. But as a human caught up in the Soulkeeper's world, his life isn't exactly his own. No one can explain why Dane was allowed through the gates of Eden, but it's changed everything. Now, the only one who can make him feel safe is Ethan, the telekinetic Soulkeeper with a dark past and a heart of gold.

 When Malini asks Dane to be part of a mission to find the last Soulkeeper, Cheveyo, more than one team member thinks she's tempting Fate. But Malini suspects Fate has had a hand in Dane's life for some time and that he could be the key to unraveling Lucifer's latest plan of attack.

The Cover: Adam Bedore of Anjin Design creates all of the covers for The Soulkeepers Series. Book four revolves around Dane, pictured here, and introduces Cheveyo, a Hopi indian boy and the last Soulkeeper on the list Dr. Silva conjured in book 3. Cheveyo is represented by the dream catcher and adobe wall behind Dane. Fate, also known as Fatima, plays a role in the story. You can see her shadow hanging from the red stone in the dream catcher. (Yes, she is represented as a spider. She is a master weaver after all!) And if you think there is something up with that shadow behind Dane, you are not mistaken. There's more to him than meets the eye.

Soul Catcher is slated for a March release and is the fourth book in the bestselling Soulkeepers series.

 G.P. Ching is the author of The Soulkeepers Series, The Grounded Trilogy, and a variety of short fiction. She specializes in cross-genre paranormal stories, loves old cemeteries, and enjoys a good ghost tour. She lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children, a brittany spaniel named Riptide Jack and a very demanding guinea pig. 

 Visit her: 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New! First Chapter of New Blood, the Bloody Little Secrets Sequel!!!

I know readers have been at me for a while to start the sequel to Bloody Little Secrets. Well, I've gone and done it! And thanks for being so patient! As a gift to you, dear readers, I'm putting the first chapter up to help tide you over. I'm about 5,000 words in...hoping to add that many words per week. If one of you would like to come and do my day job, that would help greatly! I'm hoping to have it ready for you late spring, maybe April or May. That should allow me enough time to do it right! Mind you, no one has seen this first chapter, not even my beta readers, so it's completely fresh (meaning please excuse any errors)!

Chapter 1

“It’s happened again, Vicky.” Aunt Sue tossed the newspaper toward me.
I stretched my arms above my head and yawned. I tried to ignore her scent. It was distracting. And not even remotely appetizing, thank god. I pushed the mental cobwebs away and the scent of broccoli with it. Aunt Sue had no idea, but her new vegan diet had made her safer than she could have ever imagined. I guess that was something my boyfriend Drake and I could add to the list of new information about our kind. Vampires would only eat vegans in an emergency. Dirty sweat socks would smell more enticing than Aunt Sue did right now.
I slid into the chair across from her in the sunny kitchen. Ah, yes, another thing about us, we had no issues with sunlight. I picked up the paper.
Gruesome Discovery at Bartlett Town Hall: Mayor Murdered blazed across the front page. My eyes roved the picture of confused police officers on the hall’s front steps. I so didn’t need this right now.
“How many is that now?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. I had been following it more closely than she could possibly know. I dropped the paper and picked up the comics.
“Four. And whoever it is, he is getting more brazen. I know we don’t know who it is, but I’d like to say he, because let’s be honest, most serial killers are men if you look at the profiles. Dropping the body of the mayor on the steps of town hall?” Aunt Sue picked up the paper, a look of disgust on her face. “Just sickening, that’s what it is.”
I poured coffee from a carafe on the table into a mug Aunt Sue had left for me. The steam and scent that rose from the mug really had no effect on my ability to feel more awake. That was contained in the bags of blood in the locked mini-fridge in my room upstairs. I’d have to make a visit after my so-called breakfast.
“I mean, I know we had the animal attacks a few months back, but nothing like this. Animals, well that’s just nature.” Aunt Sue’s eyebrows rose and her voice lowered dramatically. “You heard he’s been ripping their throats wide open. Almost beheaded. And the victims had no blood left in their systems.”
“Yeah, weird, right?” I looked past Aunt Sue and through the glass back door out into the back yard. The sun glittered like diamonds on the piles of snow, not unlike my, Drake’s, and Monty’s eyes did now that we were vampires. It still struck me as odd that regular humans just let it go. Like if they saw something enough, their minds just trusted that it was supposed to be that way. I still couldn’t believe that the humans in Bartlett had unknowingly let a killer like me live right among them.
My name is Vicky Hernandez. Or was Vicky. I still went by it, though. I showed up in town six weeks ago, just after Halloween, or just after I had clawed my way out of the earth. I was a vampire’s experiment gone wrong, or gone right, really. I possessed something that my creator, Steve, had tried to uncover for hundreds of years— a way to walk in the sunlight. But he had failed. I could walk in the sunlight, and those created by me could as well, but it didn’t transfer like Steve had hoped.
The blood that ran through my veins was from my ancestors, The Lost Ones. The one and only Daywalkers that ever existed. Thanks to them and their human counterparts, I was pretty much indestructible, provided no one chopped off my head or shoved a stake through my heart. But with my super-strength, they’d have to use an army to take me down, which is exactly what Steve had done. Sadly for him, he was the target of my revenge. Not only was my strength something of legend, my desire to get even and protect my friends was something he also didn’t possess. Hundreds of years of experience couldn’t teach him that. If you could have seen the look on his face when I beat him with his own arm…trust me when I say it was priceless. But that’s a story for another day.
Bartlett had been pretty quiet since we dispatched Steve and his crew. The ‘animal’ attacks had stopped and everything was back to normal, until last week. Now some crazy was dropping mangled bodies all around town. And for what? The police had no clue. The victims didn’t appear to be related. There had been no attempt to hide the bodies. They were put on public display, like the killer got some grotesque satisfaction from showing off his handiwork.
I had tried to let the police do their job, but it was clear they needed some help. The dead bodies kept coming. So who better to try and help them than a deadly killer? A creature of the night. I figure it takes one to know one, right? I only had a few bodies under my belt. Two I regretted. The others I didn’t because they were killers like me. Steve and his friends deserved everything they got.
“What do you have planned for today? Christmas shopping?” Aunt Sue poured some more coffee for herself and spooned in some sugar. The spoon clinked on the side of the mug.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, I guess I do need to go shopping. I do have a few gifts to get.” Ugh. This Christmas thing was getting out of hand. I still didn’t have much in the way of money. I’d started working at Lou’s, the pizza place where Drake and I had met before he became like me. But my next paycheck wasn’t coming for another week. I’d be one of those people who power-shop on Christmas Eve.
“Please be careful out there, Vicky.” She met my eyes, her brows furrowed with concern. “I really worry about you kids right now. I mean, what if this killer comes after one of you? Maybe you should just stay here.” She raised her quaking mug to her lips. She might want to add something a little stronger to that coffee to calm her nerves a bit. Maybe she could use a nice bottle of Bailey’s for Christmas.
“Aunt Sue, don’t be silly.” I smiled and reached across the table to pat her arm. “I promise you nothing will happen to any of us. We can’t stay locked in the house forever. There’s shopping to be done. And there is still a week of school left, not to mention I’ve got to go to work. Drake helped me get that job and I just started. If I stop coming, they’ll fire me and that will make him look bad.”
“I don’t care about any of that, Vicky. You’re my niece and if anything ever happened to you,” she paused and set her mug down, “if you ended up dead, I could never forgive myself.”
I tried to swallow a laugh at the idea, but of course it was unfair. She had no idea that I wasn’t really her niece. I had used my vampire powers of compulsion to convince her that I was so I had a place to stay in Bartlett, to stay near Drake. And so I could try to have a normal life, or as normal of a life as I could manage like this.
“Seriously, Aunt Sue, I’ll be careful.” I reached across the table and squeezed her hand. “I won’t end up dead.”
I couldn’t end up much more dead than I already was.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Join Adventures in Epublishing on #Shindig Tonight!

Ever thought about publishing your own ebook? Come chat with me and Megg Jensen tonight. We'll give you a nice checklist to get your project off and running. Join us on Shindig, a new place for interactive conferences. This will be our first time working with Shindig, so it should be a cool experience! Here are the details and the links. You don't need to RSVP to join in, but they'll send you a reminder if you do. Otherwise just jump in tonight at 7 PM EST, 6 CST. We'll be chatting for about an hour.

Event: Adventures in E-publishing: Keys to Successful Ebooks

When: Tonight! 7 PM EST/6 CST


Hope to see you there!