Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meet the Author of Thieving Forest

Interview with Martha Conway

 I'm honored  to be part of Martha Conway's book promotion of the Thieving Forests through WOW!Blog Tours. The book is set in my home state of Ohio in the early 1800's. Head over  to The Muffin to learn about Martha's giveaway & contest.

About the Book                          


On a humid day in June 1806, on the edge of Ohio's Great Black Swamp, seventeen-year-old Susanna Quiner watches from behind a maple tree as a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin. With both her parents dead from Swamp Fever and all the other settlers out in their fields, Susanna makes the rash decision to pursue them herself. What follows is a young woman's quest to find her sisters, and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives.

The frontier wilderness that Susanna must cross in order to find her sisters is filled with dangers, but Susanna, armed with superstition and belief in her own good luck, sets out with a naive optimism. Over the next five months, Susanna tans hides in a Moravian missionary village; escapes down a river with a young native girl; discovers an eccentric white woman raising chickens in the middle of the Great Black Swamp; suffers from snakebite and near starvation; steals elk meat from wolves; and becomes a servant in a Native American village. The vast Great Black Swamp near Toledo, Ohio, which was once nearly the size of Connecticut, proves a formidable enemy. But help comes from unlikely characters, both Native American and white.

Both a quest tale and a tale of personal transformations, Thieving Forest follows five pioneer women and one man as they contend with starvation, slavery, betrayal, and love. It paints a startling new picture of life in frontier Ohio with its mix of European and Native American communities, along with compelling descriptions of their daily lives. Fast-paced, richly detailed, with a panoramic view of cultures and people, this is a story of a bygone era sure to enthrall and delight.

Meet Author Martha Conway              

Interview by TC Booth

What inspired you to become a writer?

I liked to scribble on the walls when I was a child -- before I could even read, I tried to write. And of course, all the great books I've read have inspired me. When I read something wonderful I think, I want to do that. I always feel the greatest urge to express myself in writing after reading someone else who has done that well.
What book(s) have you written that you would like to tell us about?

My latest book, THIEVING FOREST, has been described as "Little Women meets Last of the Mohicans." I conceived it as a quest novel, but with a twist: the hero is female. It's 1806, and 17-year old Susanna Quiner watches helplessly from behind a tree as her four older sisters are kidnapped by a band of Potawatomi Indians. But all is not what it seems: one of her neighbors is behind the abduction. Left on her own (their parents recently died), Susanna makes the rash decision to follow the Potawatomi herself. What follows is a young woman's journey to save her sisters, and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives.

Do you have any favorite childhood books?
 Little Women, of course! I also loved all the Edward Eager books about magic. And some of the classics, like the Laura Ingalls Wilder books (my protagonist's last name is taken from Laura's mother's maiden name). One favorite, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, was the source of my own childhood fantasy: to run away and to live — not at the Met as the children in the book do— but at my own neighborhood library. I often imagined what I would pack, always including a flashlight so I could read books at night.

Do you have advice for aspiring writers?

Find a writing routine and make it a habit. For a long time I only had one morning, Thursday morning, to write. I had negotiated with my job to get that time off. If I diddled around and did other things, that was it, I had lost my writing time. I soon learned to buckle down and write for two hours. Later, when another morning became available, I had an easier time disciplining myself.

Where can we find you and your books?
You can find THIEVING FOREST on Amazon, the Apple Store, Barnes and Noble, and other online venues, and you can order it at your local bookstore. You can find me here:

Twitter: @marthamconway
 More About the Author:
Martha Conway’s first novel 12 Bliss Street (St. Martin’s Minotaur) was nominated for an Edgar Award, and her short fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, The Quarterly, Folio, Puerto del Sol, Carolina Quarterly, and other publications. She graduated from Vassar College and received her master’s degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She has reviewed fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Review of Books, and The Iowa Review. The recipient of a California Arts Council fellowship in Creative Writing, she has taught at UC Berkeley Extension and Stanford University’s Online Writers’ Studio.ethany Masone Harar graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and a Masters in Secondary English Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Check Out all of the Stops along Martha's Blog Tour

October 13 at The Muffin
interview and giveaway
Oct. 14 at Writer with Dogs
guest post
Oct. 15 at All Things Audry
guest post
Oct. 16 at Book Talk
author showcase
Oct. 17 at Deal Sharing Aunt
guest post and giveaway
Oct. 19 at Writer Unboxed
guest post
Oct. 21 at Katherine Hajer
guest post
Oct. 22 at Caroline Clemmons
guest post
Oct. 23 at Renee’s Pages
guest post
Oct. 24 at A Writer’s Devotion
Oct. 27 at Katherine Hajer
Oct. 29 at Words by Webb
interview and review
Nov. 3 at Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
Nov. 6 at Escaping Reality Within Pages
guest post, review and giveaway
Nov. 11 at The Lit Ladies
Nov. 12 at Kathleen Pooler
guest post, review and giveaway

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Guest Post by Krysten Hager author of True Colors

Krysten Lindsay Hager

    Krysten Hager is a guest on my blog today as part of her Book Tour of True Colors, organized by Double Decker Books. I've read this book and highly recommend it. Krysten captures the drama of  adolescent girls perfectly through her character Landry's revolving friendships. This is a good read for middle school age on up.  Enjoy Krysten's post as I turn it over to her.

It was a thrilling experience when I first saw the cover of my novel, True Colors. Back when I signed the book contract, I wondered what the cover would look like—I pictured seeing the title, what they’d choose for the picture and background, and seeing my name on it, too. When the time came to discuss the cover, I sent the cover artist a link to my Pinterest board of how I imagined some of the key characters in my book. Then some pictures were emailed to me and one of the girls reminded me of a couple of my cousins. I saw one picture and thought, “Oh, she looks like family. That’s my Landry.” And later, when I saw the entire cover with its poppy cheerful colors and the three other girls on it— it just took my breath away. I briefly wondered if the ”Landry”  model knew anything about being on the cover the book, but it wasn’t until I saw Facebook pictures of writer friends who went to a romance writing conference that I thought more about it. I saw so many of the authors there taking pictures with their male cover models who were also at the conference. I thought, wow, wouldn’t it be amazing to meet my cover model?

            Fast forward two months and I got an email on my Facebook author page from the cover model, Evell. Her friend had seen the book online and showed it to her. I was in shock. She told me the picture was four years old and she was now twenty-two (that was total shock since my character is thirteen and turns fourteen in the story). She was very sweet and we became Facebook friends and then I noticed where she was from—Poland. Not only was that a coincidence since I’m Polish (and I said she looked like some of my family members), but she was also from a town right next to the city where my great-grandfather lived before coming to the United States. There were so many little coincidences—and the fact she even found out about the book is amazing. It’s crazy how fate can play a role in things like that. Plus, she shared some photos of herself and it was surreal getting to see “Landry” in her twenties!

            My birthday was about a week later and Evell wrote a birthday wish on my Facebook wall. She wrote, ““Remember that you’re never gonna lose, either win or learn.” That has become my new motto. Everything about this book writing (and publishing) journey has been a learning experience—it has showed me so much about life, friendships (for one, can you believe I’m still having some of the same conversations about friends that Landry has in the book—and she’s in eighth grade?), and how the universe is anything but random.

As I get feedback on the book from both friends and readers I have never met before, I see how there is so much common ground between all of us. I have had comments from a 76 year-old man telling me he wish he had read this book when his twins were this age and how he can flash back to those days himself, to a single father saying reading it with his girls has helped him understand what they are going through as they deal with their early teen years. I’ve heard from moms with kids dealing with the same friend drama and from friends my age who say that not only does the story bring back memories, but they realize they are still dealing with the same “frenemies” stuff they thought they left behind in junior high. Even my husband said reading the story made him realize how girls that age were going through the same confusion the way boys at that age are/were. The one thing I hear over and over again is, “We all go through it,” and I realize how much we are all connected.

            Right after I wrote this post, I turned on the Oprah interview with Ali MacGraw and Ali was talking about how people in society are all connected….exactly one minute after I had typed that very same thing. Perhaps I need to write a book where the main character wins the lottery…

Author Giveaway Krysten Hager

 True Colors by Krysten Hager

Book Blurb

Every day I walked down the sidewalk to school and wished I were one of the interesting popular girls who ran up with exciting news. Just once I’d like to be one of those girls instead of the being the one who didn’t get invited to things because people “forgot” about me.

Landry gets pushed into trying out for the American IngĂ©nue reality show modeling competition with her two best friends. She doesn’t think she stands a chance, but she advances to the next level in the competition and her friends ignore her when they get cut.

Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut and includes Landry in her clique. Devon becomes the perfect best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition?

Landry hopes her big break could come at any moment, but soon sees there’s much more to modeling. She begins missing out on being with friends and has the chance to have a boyfriend when she meets a boy named Vladi from another school.

Part of Landry wants to be famous (and have her hair look good for once), but part of her just wants to be accepted. She learns about friendships, being true to yourself, and that a good hair conditioner doesn’t hurt.

Author Bio

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing. She received her master’s in American Culture from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Krysten's Link:




True Colors Goodreads:

Krysten's Goodreads:


Amazon Link:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Featurette-Meet Brody


    One of  my most popular posts is my YA Boyfriend List. I decided to spin off of  the YA boyfriend list in that post and introduce Brody from Beyond Vica. 
Read on to meet Brody...
         I  feel  someone  touch  my  arm.  My  eyes  fly  open.  It’s  Brody.   His  eyebrows  are  drawn  together  as  he  studies  my  face.  “Are  you   okay?”  His  voice  is  soft.  
        My  heart  hammers  in  my  chest.  I  swallow  hard  and  nod.  
      “What  happened?  I  saw  you  leave  the  gym.  You  looked   upset.  You  know  I  was  just  teasing  you  about  Sam.”  He  searches   my  face.  
       “It’s  not  that.”  I  shake  my  head.  The  thing  is,  I  never  talk   about  the  car  crash.  I’ve  never  told  anyone  about  it,  not  even  my   mom.  She  cried  so  much  the  year  my  dad  died  that  I  didn’t  want  to   hurt  her  any  more.  I  can’t  talk  to  Sam  about  it.  He  doesn’t  need  to   deal  with  the  memories  that  haunt  me.  I  have  held  them  inside  so   long.  It’s  like  they  don’t  want  to  be  ignored  anymore.  
      “Gabs?”  Brody  runs  his  hand  along  my  arm.  “What  is  it?”
      I  let  it  pour  out,  helpless  to  stop  it  any  longer.  “My  dad  used   to  sing  that  song  to  me.  He  said  that  it  was  our  song.”  
     “Oh.”  Brody  continues  to  rub  my  arm  not  taking  his  eyes   from  mine.  “I’m  sorry.”   I  shake  my  head.  
     “That’s  not  all.  After  the  crash,  I  crawled   into  the  front  seat  and  sang  him  that  song.  I  didn’t  understand  why  he  wouldn’t  talk  to  me  when  his  eyes  were  open.  I  thought  that  if  I   sang  our  song,  he  would  sing  with  me.”  I  wrap  my  arms  around   my  middle  and  squeeze.  I  feel  like  if  I  don’t  hold  myself  together,  I   will  crumble  into  a  million  pieces.  
  “Aww,  man.  That  sucks.”  He  puts  his  arms  around  me  and   pulls  me  into  his  chest.  I  rest  the  side  of  my  face  on  his  chest,  and  l   slip  my  hands  around  his  waist.  “I  had  no  idea  that  happened,”  he   whispers  and  strokes  my  hair.  
     We  don’t  move  or  say  anything  else  for  the  next  couple  of   minutes.  It’s  just  what  I  need.  I  concentrate  on  the  rise  and  fall  of   his  chest  under  my  face.  The  rhythm  of  his  heart  beneath  my  ear   soothes  me,  pulling  me  back  together.  Then  I  remember  where  I  am   and  why  I’m  here.  Sam!  I  pull  back  and  look  into  his  face.  “I  better   get  back  before  Sam  gets  worried.”

*Add Beyond Vica to your want to read list on Goodreads

Monday, October 13, 2014

Memoir Monday

My passion for books and writing led me to write for people involved in something else dear to my heart..teaching. Writing for children and young adults is my drive. I love their world.  It's energizing. I never dreamt that I would consider writing what I am now... my memoir.

A ran across an online course about writing memoirs and dismissed it immediately. However, the course pulled at the back of my mind until I could no longer ignore it. I signed up. Now that I'm on lesson four, I've decided to step out again and share it with my readers.

Everyone has a story to tell. Mine, like many others, involves more than one tragedy that has shaped who I am. Through each tragic event I've learned to step out and have faith in what will be. In fact, I hung onto that faith like a lifeline. The only thing that kept me afloat or I would've succumbed and drowned.

To not tell my story would be a disservice to my loved ones who suffered and the affect their lives had on mine.  After all, I am who I am today because of them.

I invite my readers to join me on my journey into unchartered territory...telling my own story. Memoir Monday will hold me accountable to this journey as I plan to post part of my memoir the first Monday of the month.

I hope to see you next week.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

On the Move BlogTour

Blog Tour On the Move (On the Move #1) by K.V. Flynn


This is my stop during the blog tour for On the Move by K.V. Flynn. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from October 1 till 14, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours:


On the Move (On the Move #1)

By K.V. Flynn

Genre: Boys' action-adventure/ dystopia

Age category: Older Middle Grade/ young Young Adult

Release Date: September 2, 2014

My Interview with the Author:

What inspired you to become a writer?

I love the physical process of handwriting or typing the voices that chatter in my head and comment on the world. To me it’s like listening to music and singing along. Also, of course, I really love to read, so it’s amazing to be able to express myself, for myself and others, in a book or story.


What book have you written that you would like to tell us about?

Well… it’s my new YA/MG novel, On the Move. It’s about Callum Vicente and his four best middle school buddies who live in a Southern California beach town, and who narrowly miss being grounded for life after they sneak out of town on the bus for a great skateboard day just before promotion from 8th grade. Their pal Justice ends up with a wicked broken leg, but their parents soon forget about it because weird, tense things are happening in the news. So Callum, Levi and his bff Apollo are soon deep into their best summer ever at PEAK skateboard camp where they learn tricks from the pros, grind on endless street courses, and careen off one awesome ramp straight into the lake. It is mad fun until the War breaks out: the teens watch major cities blown up on TV, have no idea what’s happened to their parents, and then lose virtually all communication with the outside world.

Stranded, the boarder buddies strike out on their own to find their families, travelling north through all of California and Oregon, following a network of underground message boards and savvy riders who they find holed up in skate parks along the way. They pick up their school buddy Mateo Beltran and hitch a ride with their Native friend Obbie, on his way to safety on his dad’s reservation in Washington state, and even get some surprising help as they try to figure out a world gone crazy while they are On the Move.

Do you have any favorite childhood books?

Lots! I always liked slightly futuristic, sometimes dystopian stuff so it’s no wonder On the Move has elements of that. So, for example, I dug tons of Ray Bradbury, and The Tripods series of books set under domed cities and deep underground. I was very in to A Wrinkle in Time, too.


Do you have advice for aspiring authors?

Just write. Read a bunch and then write. After you write, if you’re aiming to publish or share your work, go back and rewrite a lot. Weed stuff out—gerunds, too much description, a lot of backstory. And remember to paint characters that really want something badly and are having a hard time getting it. Those are the stories that sing.


Where can we find you and your books?

Lots of places! Thanks for spreading the word:

Overdrive—coming soon

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of On the Move. These are the prizes you can win:

- A set of Orangatang Cages—key clue in the book—and a skateboard sticker

- Skateistan t-shirt and a One the Move skateboard sticker

- On the Move Skateboard sticker!


Set of Orangatang Cages:


Skateistan t-shirt:



Here is the link to the rafflecopter giveaway: