REVIEWERS GET IT FREE

Reflection-Pond-ebook-1-VanI’m excited to announce that I’m running a promotion on Story Cartel to get reviews for Reflection Pond. Are you ready to review? Get your copy now! All reviewers between April 15th and May 15th will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Each review posted gets you another entry. So remember, Amazon, Goodreads, Nook, Library Thing, and Blogs.

Sometimes you find home, sometimes it comes looking for you.

Callie knows a lot more about pain than she does about family. She’s never belonged, at least, not until she falls through a portal into her true home. The beautiful faerie city of Eirensae doesn’t come free. Callie must find her amulet and bind herself to the city, and most importantly, avoid the Fallen fae who seek her life. Seems like a small price to pay for the family she’s always wanted.

Then she meets cynical and gorgeous Rowan, who reads the darkness of her past in her eyes. He becomes Callie’s part-time protector and full-time pain in the ass. He has secrets of his own for Callie to unravel. What they don’t know is that the future of Eirensae lies with them, and the once peaceful city is about to become a battleground for power.

The small print: No purchase required to win. All I’m asking for is reviews. Open to everyone, everywhere, except where prohibited by law. Good luck and happy reviewing!

 

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, SUCKER LITERARY VOLUME 3

Today is a very special day. Sucker Literary Volume 3 is now available! I am so excited to be part of this fantastic crew of writers and all around hard workers. This journey has been fantastic and I’m so proud to be with Sucker Literary! Spread the news!!

Bullied and alone, Ainsley seeks refuge in the arms of a strange boy. Time is slipping away for overachieving Sadie Lin, but reigniting an old flame might help. Scarred by a pressuring ex, Alexandra finally faces the rain. “Pasty and chubby” Charlotte makes a public play for the “Tan and Smooth” king. The beautiful girl in the black, lacy push-up bra says that it’s time for Brenn to stop lying . . . at least to herself. A halfway house is no home for Dawn—or is it? How will Dana survive knowing everyone at school thinks she’s a monster, when they just may be right? JJ and her crush finally get a moment alone—at his girlfriend’s hottest party of the year. Sixteen-year old Sarah prepares for her first day of school by chaining up her Mamí in her bedroom. Alyssa’s life is a well-rehearsed ballet until a tragedy sends her hurtling towards a fall. Loving a boy is as simple as chemistry . . . unless that boy is an unstable element.

Eleven stories that delve into the depths of our experience—driven by fierce and untouched love that makes us seek, lose, fear, desire, long, reflect, survive, steal, protect, fall, and confess.

Featuring -

Lilliam Rivera
Charity Tahmaseb
Claudia Classon
Evelyn Ehrlich
Hannah R. Goodman
Kacey Vanderkarr
Kimberly Kreines
Kristina Wojtaszek
Lina Branter
Mary Malhotra
Shelli Cornelison

Amazon

Goodreads

Sucker Website

HOW HOPE AND PANTSING GO TOGETHER

The past week or so has been an exhausting emotional rollercoaster for me. As I hope you know by now, Reflection Pond released April 1st. Be sure to GET YOUR COPY! Since the release, I’ve dug into Poison Tree, which is the sequel to Reflection Pond. I’m about 20,000 words in, good progress so far.

A lot of writers find the task of authoring a novel an organic experience. There’s a lot of pantsers out there, as in, we write by the seat of our pants. Similarly, there’s also a plethora of authors who approach writing methodically, outlining and plotting every word.

I fall into the first camp, the pantsers, the ones who sit down at the computer and cut and bleed at the same time, as opposed to the authors who outline, cutting first, and then letting the blood flow later. Because I’ve been submersed in a writing environment for so long now, I no longer know what this looks like from the outside, but lucky you, I’m going to try to explain what this is like from an author’s perspective (the organic, pantser perspective).

The Reflection Pond series covers some issues that I have trouble speaking about in normal conversation. Not only are they very personal and close to me, it’s difficult for me to see my characters suffer through them. And while I try to handle the situations with care and respect, it takes a huge toll on me emotionally. So if you see me at Barnes and Noble with a latte and a vacant, teary-eyed stare, I hope you understand that this is not easy for me.

I’m trying to do my characters justice. I want their stories to not only be satisfying to me as an author, but also to my readers. What do I mean by this? Hell, sometimes even I don’t know. I hope this resonates with someone and doesn’t come off as another crazy author rant. I write young adult. I think that society sees young adults in a very specific way. Not just young adults in books, but young adults in life. There are expectations, fair or unfair, it’s the truth. As an adult, I always try to acknowledge that everything I felt as a teenager is real and valid. Just because I experienced it in some heightened way due to my age is regardless to the issue at hand. I understand what it’s like to read a book and become a character. And when a reader becomes my characters, I want them to feel something, and specifically, those readers who have experienced the situations that happen in my books, I want them to find hope. I want them to understand that there is no wrong or right way to feel, just as there is no wrong or right way to be. We’re all still learning here.

Knowing this, as I’m writing, sometimes freaks me out. Then I call up my writer friends for encouragement. I keep getting the same advice. If it’s making you uncomfortable, then you are writing something worth writing. If it’s scaring you, if you’re afraid you’re crossing lines, then you need to keep going.

Somehow, I’m trying to circle around to my point (if I have one…I think I do!). It has to do with writing organically. So the other day, after spending the afternoon working on a particularly difficult scene, I sat back and thought, what the hell, why is my character so angry? I hadn’t planned for her to be angry, but the more I wrote, the angrier she got, and the more confused I became. She had to be angry. She just had to be. That’s when I got in contact with a friend who told me she thought I was on the right path. But if I’d been a plotter, a methodical writer, would my character still have been angry? I don’t know.

Recently, I read the Q&A on John Green’s blog about The Fault in our Stars (Be wary, there are spoilers, so don’t read unless you’ve finished TFioS.). John Green is a very smart author who I respect IMMENSELY. But ever since I read it, I couldn’t get over how many times he said that he planned things all along. Every bit of symbolism, every reference, every tiny nuance, planned and plotted to the last detail. And the final product is unbelievable. And while I’d never consider myself in competition with another writer, I do find myself comparing my methods to theirs. Methodical works well for John Green, not so well for me.

I believe in immersive writing. I can’t stand outside the story and be fully committed to my characters at the same time. I cry. I laugh. I celebrate their triumphs and I cringe when they fall. I am their biggest fan, after all.

Does this mean I think my characters are real people? No, of course not. Do I think that people read and relate to them, that people identify some of those qualities in themselves, that readers find hope when a character has the strength to get up and go on even after everything they know is broken? I sure hope so.

So when I say I want to do them justice, I really mean that I want them to be worth reading. I want the reader to take something away from the time they invested in my story. Some people read purely for entertainment, and that’s totally fine, but for those who are looking for justification of life, for those who are looking for hope, I want you to find it hidden in my stories, because I certainly feel it when I write. It’s pure heart in there. It’s pure experience. Because in the end, I’m a lot like my reader. I need these characters to help me figure out how to go on.

Maybe that’s why I’m a pantser, because even I haven’t figured it all out yet. So while all you planners and plotters are scribbling over your notebooks and painting the curtains red with anger, I’ll just be here, sobbing into my laptop, hoping that I’m making a difference for even one person, because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I need to break convention, I need to get outside of this YA box that the industry is putting us in. You know what? My characters aren’t always strong. They’re flawed, but they’re learning, and so am I.

Yesterday, I had a set up at a local craft show, and a woman picked up Reflection Pond, read the blurb, and skimmed the pages. Then she asked me, “So, does he ever help her figure out how not to be broken?” I smiled and said, “Read the acknowledgements.”

She bought my book.

So when you pick up your copy of Reflection Pond, know that I’ve left hope between the pages for you. Perhaps I pants my way through the novel, but the hope? I put that there on purpose. It came from a very deep and personal place inside of me. It hurt when it came out, and it still hurts today, but if it means something to you, then it was worth it to me.

All the best,

Kacey

TEMPEST BY HOLLY HOOK EBOOK SALE

My good friend (and neighbor!), Holly Hook has her e-book, TEMPEST on sale for $0.99 this weekend ONLY. Go get your copy!

BUY

Also, go sign up for Holly’s newsletter, she gives away FREE STUFF all the time!

Sixteen-year-old Janelle knows something’s not right with her father when they move to their new home in Florida. He refuses to evacuate them from the coast when a hurricane bears down on them, despite the fact that all their neighbors have gone. Even worse, it seems like there’s something he wants to tell her, something terrifying, but he’s not quite opening up.

Then Janelle’s life flips upside down when a teenage boy, Gary, materializes out of the storm right in front of her. He bears a strange marking on his arm, a gray spiral that matches the one she was born with. Perhaps her strange birthmark means something after all. But when she points out Gary’s mark to her father, he refuses to speak more about it.

It’s up to Janelle to find the truth about the connection she and Gary share. When she tracks Gary down again and discovers it, it’s far more terrifying than she could ever imagine: she and Gary share a powerful, deadly curse. Worse, learning the truth is only the start of Janelle’s horrifying adventure into a world she had never imagined.

BLOG HOP MONDAY PART 2

It’s still Blog Hop Monday around here and as part of my agreement to hop, I have to answer four questions. I didn’t want to give you eyestrain talking about myself since all of my wonderful authors had so much going on.

Now, however, it’s afternoon, and I’m certain you’ve all had your naps and brunch and tea, so you’re ready for me to talk about me.

Q&A time.

1. What am I working on?

Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Reflection Pond, titled Poison Tree. This is a continuation of Callie and Rowan’s story as they struggle to save Eirensae and everyone they love. In addition to Poison Tree, I’m also working on a manuscript titled Sleep and Shatter, which is about a princess who wakes up to find her entire kingdom slaughtered.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As everyone knows, I write young adult. The great thing about YA is that it explores a whole lot of adult subjects. I like to think that my work doesn’t hold back. I’m not afraid to get into the “sticky” and “taboo” subjects. You should always write in a way that scares you, and I always try to remember that when I sit in front of my computer. I want to cross the lines. I had a reviewer for Antithesis say that some of the scenes were too steamy for her, my response to that? Good. Reading isn’t just about escaping, it should teach you something, make you feel, force you to question things. It certainly shouldn’t make you comfortable. So I always try to write true. I don’t want to sugar coat. I don’t want to be reluctant. It’s something I’m always working on.

3. Why do I write what I write?

I’ve answered this question so many times, and my answer always remains the same. Writing YA is a lot like living as a young adult. You can get away with more. Everything is heightened, every emotional response feels 100 times richer, 100 times more devastating. I can take more chances and reap bigger rewards with YA. There are no limits.

4. How does my writing process work?

Process? Ha! I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I don’t write every day, but I do something writing related every day, whether it be reading, editing, blogging, or being active in social media. Writing is organic for me. I have to feel it. If I’m not in the mood, it won’t happen, and I’m the queen of distraction. So when I get in a mood to write, the words come in torrents, but if I’m not, literally nothing will happen.
Once I’ve got my manuscript completed, it goes through an initial edit, which involves me printing it out and going after it with a pen, usually pink or purple (though sometimes red). Then I send it out to beta readers and do a complete overhaul to fix anything and everything. Then the process starts all over again until I think the book is done. It’s done when I say it is. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You know your work. You say when it’s ready. Otherwise you’ll never submit or publish anything, only edit it to death.

So there you have it. All about ME, and also about all those other authors I talked about earlier. Happy Blog Hop Monday.

Go buy my book.

Kacey

BLOG HOP MONDAY

Today I have the distinct privilege of introducing you to some fantastic authors by way of a Blog Hop. Becoming a writer is an incredible journey. When I first started, I spent a lot of time alone, staring at my computer screen, which I still do, but now I’m surrounded by all these authors who spend a whole lot of their time helping other writers. I’ve grown so much as a person and a writer thanks to the wonderful people who’ve given me and my work a chance to shine. I’m so grateful, and I still have a long way to go!

First, we rewind to last week, where Hannah R. Goodman posted about me on her blog.

Hannah R. Goodman, Founding Editor of Sucker Literary, Writer Woman, and all around amazing person.

Hannah Goodman, M.Ed, MFA, is the author of YA novel, My Sister’s Wedding, which won the first place award for The Writer’s Digest International Self-Publishing Contest, 2004, children’s book division. She published the follow-up, My Summer Vacation, in May 2006, which went on to win a bronze IPPY in 2007. The third Maddie book, Fear of Falling was released in the fall of 2009 and was praised by teachers and readers for tackling subjects like homophobia and coming out. She’s published young adult short stories on Amazon’s Shorts, in an anthology entitled Bound Is The Bewitching Lilith, and in the journal Balancing The Tides. She also has written columns for The Jewish Voice & Herald. Her newest endeavor is SUCKER LITERARY MAGAZINE, featuring undiscovered and new YA authors.

A former high school English teacher, she now owns her own small company, The Write Touch, offering a variety of services for clients of all ages–from tutoring across the content areas in writing and reading for elementary through college students to resume writing and career counseling for adults. She assists in the college application process, from SAT prep to writing the college application essay. Additionally, she is a writing coach and consultant to authors and would-be authors. She teaches her homegrown writing course Releasing The Writer Within, as well. Hannah is a member of the  Editorial Freelancers Association and SCBWI as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College’s Solstice Program in Creative Writing. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and three cats: Lester, Maisey, and Judy.

Contact Hannah:

Twitter: @hannahrgoodman
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Now, for the authors who will hop after me. (Haha…that sounds amazingly hilarious.)
Let me introduce Justine Manzano. Writer. Blogger. Twitterer. Justine didn’t give me much to go on, so I became a super sleuth, finding out all about her in my spare time. (Stalker style. That’s right.)
Justine Manzano is a writer of many genres who lives in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her short fiction appears in the anthology Things You Can Create and Sliver of Stone Magazine and will appear in the upcoming inaugural issue of The Greenwich Village Literary Review.  She maintains a semi-monthly blog at JustineManzano.com and works as a fiction reader for Sucker Literary Magazine.  Her twitter account is at @justine_manzano, where she shares all of her news and views on writing and life.
Check out Justine’s story “Tunneling” HERE. -
Next, we have Shannon Alexander.

Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife, mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel being released October 7, 2014. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Contact Shannon:
Blog: Wandering through the Words http://www.wanderthewords.blogspot.com
Twitter @shanlalexander

And most exciting of all, here is Shannon’s cover for her debut novel.
Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart.The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She would rather sketch with charcoal pencils, sing in her pitch-perfect voice, or read her favorite book than fill out a college application.

Charlie’s future blurs the moment he meets Charlotte. She’s not impressed by the strange boy until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job. At Charlotte’s request, Charlie orchestrates the biggest prank campaign in Brighton history. But by the time Charlie learns Charlotte is ill and that the pranks were a way to distract her sister from Charlotte’s illness, Charlotte’s gravitational pull on him is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second). 

Now, I’m supposed to introduce 3 authors, but sometimes things happen and people back out last minute. You know who you are. So I post their stuff anyway. You eat that slice of guilt pie.
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LASTLY, I have my good friend and author, RLL.
Here is a picture of an ice cream cone. (It’s a long story…you should read it.)
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I like to embarrass RLL. He’s a self-proclaimed curmudgeon, but he’s actually done a lot of things for me (the most prevalent of which is drive me crazy). He’s a smart guy. He teaches me things and forces me to see the world through Scottish tinged glasses. Plus, as you’ve probably already realized, I’m an excellent stalker.
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RLL has published many a book, which he’s ridiculously modest about. I know that sounded sarcastic, but it wasn’t meant to. He’s seriously a nice guy. (I bet he’s blushing right now. He’s probably going to kill me. I should run…)
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Contact RLL:
Twitter: @RLL_author
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That’s all the blog hopping I have for today. I’ve promised myself that I will spend the day writing, and I fully intend to. Check out the above authors. Leave them some comments. Spread the love.
All the best,
Kacey

BIOBLOSSOM CREATIVE

I’m just sitting here, basking in the post-publishing glow, and while the past few months have been INSANE, I have to share Bioblossom Creative with you.

Cover design. All writers need it, few get it from a company as awesome as Bioblossom. Built for writers by a writer, Bioblossom knows how to handle the finicky side of authors with finesse and care. Plus the designers have ridiculous skills. I mean, have you seen the GORGEOUSLY STUNNING cover for Reflection Pond? No…well, let me post it!

Reflection Pond for PrintPDF6_page1_image1I don’t know how she did it, but I gave her this crazy idea of a girl falling through a pond into faerie land, and she made it happen. Julia is a genius!

Check it out. These covers are NOW AVAILABLE for purchase from Bioblossom.

Bioblossom does custom design, too. Take a look at the Testimonials and see why Bioblossom is the cover design company for you.

All the best,

Kacey