Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 Goals: My mid-year progress report.

The first half of the year is quickly ending... where the heck did the time go? It seriously feels like we should still be creeping toward March, but it's almost July.

Crazy.

At the beginning of the year, I posted about my goals for this year. I thought this would be a fitting time to update on my progress thus far.

1) Bringing home baby Morgen - Having dealt with infertility my entire adult life, SS and I went into our first appointment with our reproductive endocrinologist early this year fully aware that getting pregnant would be difficult for us. We knew it would be a rough journey and we were prepared for that. Or so we thought.

We quickly learned that getting pregnant would not only be difficult, but would be potentially devastating. I have a congenital abnormality with my uterus. If I were to become pregnant again, the risk of additional miscarriage or preterm birth is really high. Having survived one miscarriage, and having experienced the sheer terror of premature birth with all three of my sister's children, SS and I were faced with a decision that broke our hearts. I still need to undergo additional testing, but unless things change significantly, we will not be having babies of our own. Obviously, this was a difficult decision to make, and it's one we've wrestled with a lot. But neither of us want to endure another miscarriage, nor do we want to risk the devastation of premature birth either. We'll be exploring our options for adoption and foster care in the near future.

2) Writing more often - There have been ups and downs with this particular goal. I've finished Ravished and have sent it off on query rounds. It's gotten some great feedback, and a lot of rejection. Apparently, romantic suspense is a tough sell right now. But that's okay. It will find a home somewhere! I've started a website for my erotic and adult romance. It's aydenmorgen.com. You can keep up with Ravished and other adult ventures there.

I've almost finished Stricken. I'm really excited about this. I always forget how much I love this story until I pick it up again.

Fighting FLAME into submission has been an entirely different experience for a lot of reasons. You'd think having broke the Top 100 on Amazon would have made the words flow easier, but it's been the exact opposite. I am still determined to get FLAME out to the world this year, but I've thought about burning the whole damn book a time or two. Fitting, right?

3) Redecorating - I've managed to paint 3/4ths of the den, and decided on new furniture (that I've yet to buy). We made an attempt to get the sunroom in order, but then black mold began to appear on one outer wall. Someone is supposed to be out sometime soon to decide what the heck to do with the room. At this point, I'd be fine with completely tearing down the outer walls. After SS almost died last year because of the fungal infection, I don't do mold of any kind.

4) Becoming healthier - I won't say I've mastered the migraines, but I've certainly made a huge dent in them. We've gone from 10-12 a month to 2 or 3 a month. HUGE improvement! I've also given up caffeine, eliminated a lot of sugar and gluten from my diet, and mostly survive on a steady diet of fruits and veggies and baked foods. This isn't a hardship since I love fruit and veggies.

Exercising is an entirely different matter. I was doing pretty good, but on Mother's Day, I injured myself in the shower. I thought I pulled a muscle. Turns out, I actually tore the muscle and fractured my hip in the process. Don't ask me how because I didn't even fall. I simply turned and something popped and all hell broke loose. So, I've spent the last six weeks on a walker, pleading with the orthopedic surgeon not to make me undergo surgery. So far, he's cooperated, but the hip hasn't. There's still a lot of swelling and a lot of pain and a lot of feeling sorry for myself and crying because I'm way too young and have way too much to do to be down with a fractured hip. It's been really difficult physically and mentally, so I've not quite mastered the stress thing either. I'm working on it though.

5) Vacationing/Lazy Days - Because of the hip, vacation plans have been put on hold for the time being, but on the upside... because of the hip, I've had to learn to do less which means I've done a lot of reading and Netflix viewing. SS has really had to step up to take care of things around the house. I can't remember the last time I swept or vacuumed or actually made it to the den or to my backyard or anywhere, actually. I go to work and I come home. It's pretty depressing, so I've been a hot mess. I'm just not used to being forced to sit around, and I don't like it. I miss being able to do even simple things like soak in the bath or take the dogs outside or climb stairs.

I am really excited that I'll be going to Rogers in July for the Indie Mashup event and Houston in August. I don't even care if I have to take the damn walker (or physical therapist and surgeon!) with me. I don't want to miss these events.

6) Education - I'm still not sure if I'll go back to school or not. I really want to do so, but it's so expensive and so time consuming... and I'm struggling to make the decision once and for all. I seriously think my boss hates me and wants me to quit (I'm really good at my job (even got a merit bonus today, holla!), but I'm very vocal and opinionated and I don't think he appreciates that particular quality of mine), so now would be an ideal time to go back to school, but yeah... I just don't know. We'll see.

As you can see... there has been a lot of progress and a lot of room for continued growth. I'm looking forward to the second half of this year and the good things I'm determined it will bring.

Have you met any of your goals this year? What will you be working on during the second half of the year?

xoxo,

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Win Signed Paperbacks and Swag: Rogers MashUp #IndieAuthorEvent #giveaway



Planning on attending the Rogers Author Mashup on 7/26? Enter to win some free signed paperbacks and swag at the event! If you win, you must pick up your prize from the author during the signing portion of the event July 26th from 11am-3pm. No prizes will be shipped.

All prizes will include one free signing ticket so you can pick up your prize, but you might consider purchasing a VIP ticket that includes the panels, signing, and angels and sinners after party and cover model runway show!


We look forward to seeing you!


PRIZES





FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Release! Broken Branch Falls by @TaraTylerTalks #mg #fantasy

It's Beastly Blitz Day!

I am so excited about this release, you guys!

My nine year old nephew, Kaia, has always loved for us to read to him, but he really struggled to read himself for a long time. We found out about a year ago that he has a learning disability. The last year has been full of challenges for him, but he hasn't let that hold him back. He's fought hard to learn to read himself, and has done a phenomenal job. He is now an avid reader, and I am so excited to share this story with him. I think he's going to love it. He's from a whole family of  unique people who defy the odds, and I have a feeling he'll be able to relate to this story in so many fun ways. 

BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy)
by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014 - TODAY!!
B&N ~~~ Amazon ~~~ Kobo
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.

Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They'll show 'em what different friends can do together!



Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Tara Tyler has had a hand at everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!


Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL




xoxo,
FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Release! Exacting Essence by James Wymore #fantasy #horror

Remember waking up late in the night after a nightmare? Your mother holding you tight and whispering it's all just a dream and everything would be all right?

She lied.

Evil clowns haunted Megan's dreams for years. Even though nobody ever said she was crazy, she knew they were all thinking it. With her life falling apart, she turns suicidal until a new therapist suggests the impossible: dreams are real. Nightmares are living, breathing predators, feeding on dreamers' fears by Exacting Essence.

Most, of course, forget theirs as soon as they wake up. Megan is not so lucky. She's also not so powerless.

But is even a power nurtured within her dreams enough to fight off the horrors lurking just beyond the veil of sleep?

EXACTING ESSENCE is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Don't forget to enter the Goodreads Giveaway and join the Facebook Release Party on Saturday!



About the Author:

On a lifelong search for fantastic worlds hiding just out of sight, James Wymore writes to explore.  With three books and six short stories in print after just one year, he continues to push the boundaries of imagination.  Journey with him at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com/


xoxo,

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway: @Skye_Malone and Awaken #ya #paranormal

Hello, lovelies!

I'm very excited to have had the opportunity to ask the fabulous Skye Malone a few questions recently. Skye's new release, Awaken (Book One of the Awakened Fate series), hit stores just a few days ago, and looks like such a good read.

I'd like to stop here and give Skye a HUGE apology. This interview was intended to post on the 7th. With everything going on here, I completely forgot. I'm so sorry!

To make it up to everyone, I will be personally gifting two copies of Awaken (Kindle or Nook). All you have to do to win is tweet the link to this post (make sure you @AKMorgen so I see it!) or leave a comment on the post. I'll pick two random winners on Friday. 


Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski’s plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend’s hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.

But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which ‘normal’ doesn't even begin to apply.

Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend’s stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.

It was supposed to be a vacation. It’s turning out to be a whole lot more. 

Please tell us about yourself in fifty words or less.

I’m a fantasy author who looks for magic everywhere – I think I’m incapable of writing a story without it! I live in Illinois but want to travel the world, and I adore sushi, white chocolate, and all things coffee and tea.


What can readers expect from Awaken?

Mermaids, excitement, adventure, and the beginnings of a rather complicated love triangle that will continue through the rest of the series. The plot oscillates between the ocean and the land, and nothing (and in many cases, no one) is ever quite what it seems.


What is the most nerve wracking part of a new release for you?

That moment right before I hit ‘Publish’, when all I can think is: “Oh God, here we go… I hope readers like it!”

That said, however, the nerve-wracking bit takes a far second place to how much I enjoy releases overall. Publishing a book means I finally have something to show the world after the work I’ve put in!


What's been the single most empowering piece of advice you've gotten when it comes to writing?

That’s a difficult question for me! So much of the advice that I’ve received over the years has influenced me; it’s hard to pinpoint one idea that made more of an impact than the others. Lately, however, I’ve been reminding myself of Neil Gaiman’s quote from his work, Instructions. “Trust your story.” It’s about fairy tales, but it resonates with me for writing in terms of trusting where the story leads and what the characters say about that path. It’s good advice, even if it’s not explicitly about writing.


What's been your most challenging writing moment to date?

I guess my answer to this is sort of like my answer to Question #4: There’ve been so many little challenges – even ones that didn’t seem so little at the time – that it’s hard to pinpoint one over the others. Rejections were hard, cruel comments about my writing or stories themselves were hard, disrespect by others was hard… but the thing is, overcoming those challenges and deciding to continue on with writing in spite of them make me proud. They give me something to draw on (in a “Hey, I beat that; I can do this too” sort of way), and those experiences make my stories and characters richer.


What's the worst thing you've ever written? The best?

Not sure on either account, honestly. I’ve learned something from everything I’ve written, so I’m grateful for all of it.


What draws you to fantasy as a reader? As a writer?

I love the idea of a world beyond what we see in front of us, beyond simply ‘the known’. I love the idea that the fantastic could be here and be real, and that people could be capable of so much more than what we think possible. Fantasy gives me the chance to explore that, both as a reader and a writer.


What does a perfect day entail for you?

Me and my laptop, with the words pouring out and the stories ordering themselves into beautiful shapes inside my head. Tea and coffee are undoubtedly also involved.


In high school you were most likely to ….

Be the one with her nose in a book, missing everything happening around her!


You're stuck on an island... what 3 books would you kill to have with you?

Wow, that’s hard too! Only three books… yikes. I’d love to have Blue Girl by Charles de Lint with me. Wicked by Gregory Maguire as well. And then probably The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers, to remind me it’s possible to get off of islands (even if in mostly fantastical ways)!


Do you share any traits or characteristics with your heroine, Chloe?

Hmm…maybe subtle ones. Her thoughts on bookstores are very similar to my own, and her love of the ocean is in some way like mine. Oh, and we both have green eyes. J

Where else can we find you?

Lots of places! Come visit me at any of the following:

Twitter: @skye_malone

Thank you so much for interviewing me and hosting me on your blog today, A.K.! J


About the Author: 

Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she imagines couldn’t actually exist.

Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to travel the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.

Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The Children and the Blood trilogy. 

Don't forget to comment on or tweet this post for your chance to win a copy of Awaken! Don't want to wait for the giveaway to dive in to Chloe's story?

Awaken is only 99 cents and is now available at Amazon (Kindle,Paperback), Barnes and NobleiTunes, and Smashwords. You can also add Awaken to your Goodreads list here.

xoxo,

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cover Reveal! Catch Me When I Fall by @vleighwrites #ya #paranormal



It’s cover reveal day for Vicki Leigh’s CATCH ME WHEN I FALL! Lots of awesome stuff going on, including a giveaway! But first, here's a special message from Vicki:




And here's what CATCH ME WHEN I FALL is all about:

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

CATCH ME WHEN I FALL will be available on October 23, 2014 in both paperback and e-book formats from Curiosity Quills Press. For more information, visit the book’s Goodreads page.

Now, there can’t be a cover reveal without a giveaway, right? Lots of authors stopped by and donated some fantastic books to help Vicki celebrate. You don’t want to miss out on these! Here’s what you can win:

  • An e-copy of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL by Vicki Leigh
  • A submission package critique (query+synopsis+first chap) from Vicki Leigh
  • An e-copy of HEIRS OF WAR by Mara Valderran
  • Two query+first chapter critiques from YA author Emily Stanford
  • A full manuscript critique from YA author Emily Stanford
  • An e-copy of WITHOUT BLOODSHED by Matthew Graybosch
  • A paperback of DESTRUCTION by Sharon Bayliss
  • An e-copy of KIYA: HOPE OF THE PHARAOH by Katie Teller
  • One query+first chapter critique from YA author Katie Teller
  • An e-copy of DARKNESS WATCHING by Emma Adams
  • A copy of DESCENDANT by Nichole Giles
  • An e-copy package of EVER and EVADE by Jessa Russo
  • A signed copy of DIVIDE by Jessa Russo
  • A copy of UNHINGED by A.G. Howard

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win! All prizes will be accompanied by a Dreamcatcher swag package from Vicki Leigh.

Thanks for stopping by!

About Vicki:

Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Curiosity Quills Press, a co-founder of The Writer Diaries, and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

You can find Vicki at her website and blog and on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and Goodreads.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Release! Awaken by @Skye_Malone #ya #paranormal

Hello, lovelies!

Awaken (Book One of the Awakened Fate series) by the  fabulous Skye Malone has arrived! This young adult paranormal romance, published by Wildflower Isle, promises to be an enchanting read.

Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski’s plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend’s hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.

But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which ‘normal’ doesn't even begin to apply.

Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend’s stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.

It was supposed to be a vacation. It’s turning out to be a whole lot more. 

Awaken is only 99 cents and is now available at Amazon (Kindle,Paperback), Barnes and NobleiTunes, and Smashwords. You can also add Awaken to your Goodreads list here.

Awaken Excerpt:

“You ever been to the ocean before?” Noah asked after a moment.
I shook my head. “I always wanted to see it, though.”
A heartbeat passed as he watched the water. “You could’ve come with Baylie to visit us sooner.”
I glanced at him. He didn’t look at me. “It’s complicated.”
Silence returned. I swallowed, still feeling awkward. It was just the two of us for as far as I could see in either direction, and from the way he was sitting there, he seemed like one of the stones, comfortable with the idea of remaining silently by the seashore for eternity.
Quieter, Baylie had said. I didn’t have much to go on for how he’d been before, but now… he was certainly that.
I looked down to my legs, absently noting the drying salt from the water glistening faintly on my skin. I probably should just go back up to the house. I wanted to stay, to get as close to the deep water as I dared, but with him here…
“I’m glad you came,” Noah said.
I blinked.
“Even if,” he acknowledged the words with a shrug, “it’s complicated.”
I hesitated. “Me too.”
He smiled and returned his attention to the water. “I always wondered what it would be like, growing up somewhere else. Somewhere away from the ocean. It’s just such a…”
“Force,” I filled in when he trailed off.
He looked back. “Yeah,” he replied, as though pleasantly surprised.
I could feel heat spreading like wildfire up my neck and I turned my face away, hoping the shadows hid the blush.
“And I can’t imagine what that’d be like,” he finished. “Not having it nearby.”
I hesitated. I didn’t know what to tell him. I’d always wanted to come here, and now that I was sitting only a few yards from the water…
It was like a sound you’d heard all your life, but so faintly you’d never noticed it. And now, being so close to the source, almost immersed in the amazing, overwhelming source, you suddenly realized what you’d been hearing.
And what you’d been missing.
“Not as nice as this,” I whispered.
He looked over at me. I could feel the blush coming back.
“You think everyone feels like that?” he asked.
My mind tossed up a few shining memories of my parents. They’d thrown away every picture of the ocean that I drew in school. They’d ripped pages from books that mentioned the sea. They’d punished me for asking them to paint my room blue.
“No,” I answered, certainty hardening my voice more than I intended.
He paused.
“I mean, I’m pretty sure some people don’t,” I amended, trying not to grimace and hoping he wouldn’t ask for more.
He turned to me, and my throat choked from the way his green eyes searched my face. “But you do.”
I swallowed. “Yeah.”
“Yeah,” he echoed. “It seemed like you… I don’t know. Like you would.”
His brow furrowed and he looked away.
“What?” I asked.

He shook his head. “Nothing.”

About the Author: 

Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she imagines couldn’t actually exist.

Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to travel the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.


Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The Children and the Blood trilogy. 




Happy Release Day, Skye!

xoxo,

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Biggest News of the Year!

My family got some huge news on Friday.


 

That's right!

My amazing little assistant has been cleared to have his trach removed!

Today, the Keeper of the Cheerios got the call telling her to have him at Children's at 9:30 in the morning. His doctors will remove it, and he'll stay overnight. If all goes well, sometime on Wednesday, he'll be home, trach-free for the first time in over eight years!

This is a huge deal. When he got the trach, his medical team expected he'd have it for maybe a year. May 31st was the eight year mark. I cannot even begin to tell you how incredibly excited (and nervous!) we are for him. He's overcome so much to get to this point, and we're so proud of him.

He's nervous and not quite sure what life will be like without a trach, but he's excited, too.

It's going to be a whole new world around here for a while, in a good way. :) 

You can tweet your message to him @TeamLosh or send it to him via Facebook here. And thank you to everyone who has already sent him a message of congratulations and has been there, cheering him on through the last nine years. 


xoxo,

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.