To continue our journey into Reflection Pond, allow me to introduce Rowan, the male main character.

Name: Rowan

Age: 19

Appearance: Longish, black hair, with blue eyes, and a compact, muscular frame. He’d be described as thin and sharp, not bulky. In a perfect world, when Reflection Pond is made into a movie, he’ll be played by Kit Harington (see picture!). I agonized over this choice. My issue is, every male actor who’s perfect for the role is too old. It’s not fair for thirty-somethings (or forty-somethings) to play teenagers. So while Ian Somerhalder and Jared Leto are out, I found Kit. Let’s slap some contacts in his eyes and he’s PERFECT. We have to hurry, though, he’s getting dangerously close to thirty.

Personality: Sarcastic, easily irritated. Fiercely loyal. He wants to belong somewhere, but is afraid he’ll ruin everything just by being himself.

Callie’s first impression of Rowan:

There was a lightness about them and Callie imagined they could move very fast if they wanted. The taller one had wavy, jet black hair that hung to his shoulders, and intense, light blue eyes. His lips twisted into a smirk.

An excerpt from Rowan:

            “I know what you’re doing,” he said, voice bored. “You’ll probably break your ankle.” He knew what Callie saw as she looked up at him; a guy in black jeans and a black t-shirt, a bad boy who didn’t belong and didn’t care. He’d cultivated that image so carefully that sometimes even he believed it. He’d turned so many people away with his hostility that they’d stopped trying to befriend him. Rowan preferred it that way, no obligations, no expectations.

            “Not that you care,” Callie said. Her fingers curled into the wood and tried to find purchase.

            “I’ve seen open fractures, you know, where the bone rips through the skin.” He shuddered. “Nasty.”

            “You’re not helping,” she said through clenched teeth.

            “Oh, sorry. Would you prefer I help the process along, throw you out the window and lament over your corpse? Wax poetic about how your life ended so soon and so tragically? It’s a bit dramatic though, falling to your death just to evade a party. Rude, too, if you ask me, considering all of this is to welcome you back to your rightful home and all that bullshit.”

            Callie groaned. Tension leaked into her words. “I didn’t ask for a party. I didn’t ask for any of this. I just want to go home.”

            “What’s your master plan here?” A pause. He used the break to inspect his nails. “Have you considered how you’re going to get back through the pond? I suggest go go gadget arms or abracadabra.” He held up a finger. “I know. Click your heels.” Rowan frowned as though deep in thought. “Wait—that might not work considering we don’t wear shoes.”

            “Maybe I’ll just die and save myself the trouble.”

            “Well, good luck with that.”

Rowan’s interview takes place just before Reflection Pond begins.

  1. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

            Every day is a day to myself. When you’re unimprinted, nobody cares what you do. So, I’d train with the quarterstaff, then spend the rest of the day in the library. If I’m not beating the hell out of something, then I’m reading. I like to keep things balanced.

  1. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?

            Obviously, everyone thinks I’m unbelievably attractive. IF they manage to get past that, then they’ll find I’m loyal. Nobody really gets past the first part.

  1. What’s your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that’ll happen in your life?

            Marriage? Why in the world would someone want to be married? That’s a terrible idea.

  1. What are you most proud of about your life?

            My knowledge. People may overlook me, but I’ll always come out on top in the end, because I studied, and they didn’t.

  1. What are you most ashamed of in your life?

            There are a few bad decisions that will haunt me forever. I’ve found that once you’ve done something horrible, that potential is always inside of you. I’m ashamed of my inability to change the past. If I could go back, I’d let it be me instead of her.

  1. If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?

            My foster mother. Just one more day and I’d change everything.

  1. Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?

            Probably not. They probably hoped I’d be a doctor or something. Instead, I’m the black sheep. The town idiot. I’m really aiming high.

  1. What do you believe about God?

            If there is a God, he’s not paying attention.

  1. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it?

            Ha. Oh wait, this is serious? I want to belong. If I could do that…maybe—nevermind. Next question.

  1. What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

            I killed someone I loved. That never goes away, you can never take it back. I learned that I can’t trust myself and I certainly can’t trust anyone else. I’m always going to try to rectify that mistake.

  1. Tell me about your best friend.

            That’d be Ash. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m an asshole. I’m also pretty sure he’s right. Ash is cool, though. He’s a teacher, so we spend a lot of time talking about books and our history. He doesn’t treat me like an outsider. I appreciate that.

  1. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

            Really? You had to ask again? See question 10.

  1. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

            Tombstone? I’m hoping to have my ashes spread in the river.

  1. Describe your ideal mate.

            I like looks as much as the next guy, but I’d really like someone who challenges me. I don’t like slutty girls or the ones who can’t stand up for themselves. Sometimes I’m a jerk, I need someone who will tell me when I’m being an ass.

  1. What are you most afraid of?


  1. What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

            Home. Not that I really have one, but maybe one day.

  1. What do you like best about yourself? Least?

            I like that I’m able to analyze things from a different perspective. I’m also loyal. What do I like least? Where should I begin? We’ll be here all week.

  1. How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

            I’d like to find my amulet, for one, finally be accepted in Eirensae. Other than that, things are okay.

  1. Are you lying to yourself about something? What is it?

            Don’t you know the fae can’t lie? Not even to themselves.

Want more Reflection Pond (and more specifically, more Rowan!)? Add it on Goodreads and join my mailing list to get all the latest news and freebies!

All the best,



In preparation for the upcoming release of Reflection Pond, I’ve compiled some juicy tidbits about the characters (with excerpts!). Today, I’m going to introduce you to Callie, the main female character.

Name: Callie, Calla Lily

Age: 17

Appearance: Long blond hair, blue eyes. In a perfect world, where Reflection Pond was made into a movie, Annasophia Robb (see picture!) would play Callie.

Personality: Reserved, quiet, shy, with a short fuse ignited by fear. She’s had a hard past that makes her hesitant to trust people or rely on them. She has a soft side that longs for magic and kindness. She believes that she can leave her past behind and make herself into a new person, if only given the chance.

Here is Rowan’s (the male main character) first impression of Callie:

It wasn’t because she was pretty—of course she was, beauty was a given in Eirensae. Sometimes he longed for the diversity of the human world, where no one was glamoured to perfection. He wanted scars to map out a history that actually meant something. Flawlessness turned his stomach.

The girl’s arched mouth fell into a gasp as she looked up at the glamoured ceiling. A blond cascade of hair skimmed over her shoulders as she leaned farther backwards, trying to take it all in.

Rowan didn’t believe a single word that came out of her mouth. He couldn’t lie, but he didn’t think she was like him. It didn’t matter if she looked like Sapphire. Lots of girls had blond hair and blue eyes. Lots of girls were beautiful. It didn’t mean she belonged here. No one fell through the pond by accident.

And an excerpt from Callie:

She must be crazy, going through with this party. Callie pressed her fingertips to the mirror, half expecting her hand to disappear through it as she saw in the movies. Maybe she was dreaming. Maybe she’d fallen asleep in Nate’s bed and created another reality so she wouldn’t have to face the real one.

When she was little, back before she’d realized that the world was an awful, cruel place, Callie had dreamed that her mother was a princess. She’d drawn pictures of castles sparkling with jewels and white knights on horses. She convinced herself that one day, a carriage would come for her and never look back. Then she’d been placed with the Johnson’s and Callie had lost all hope.

And maybe she was crazy, but was it so wrong of her to be curious? To ask, what if? She glanced again at her reflection. They’d pinned flowers in her hair and covered her eyelids with glitter. Maybe she wanted this.

Maybe this was the most excited she’d been.


Callie’s interview. This takes place just before Reflection Pond, when Callie is a foster child.

  1. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

            Read. The best way to escape your life is to take on someone else’s. I can be anyone as long as I’m inside a book.

  1. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?

            I think I come off as quiet and maybe a bit standoffish. It’s not that I’m trying to be that way, it’s just hard for me to trust people. I don’t have many friends and very, very few people know what really happened to me. Fosters are like that. You can’t hold too tightly to anything, because tomorrow it will be taken away from you.

  1. What’s your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that’ll happen in your life?

            No. Just no.

  1. What are you most proud of about your life?

            My ability to blend in. Inside, everything is a mess, but on the outside you just see a girl who is making it through every day. Maybe I don’t smile enough, but no one is looking hard enough to notice.

  1. What are you most ashamed of in your life?

            Not being able to defend myself. If I were stronger, I could’ve had a different life.

  1. If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?

            Joan of Arc. Not only did she have visions of the future, but she used them to change history. She had to convince people she wasn’t a heretic, and though she eventually died for her visions, she brought about great change in a small amount of time. She was strong and brave, living in a man’s world, and that’s the kind of person I want to be.

  1. Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?

            I have no idea. I’ve never met my parents, though when they gave me up, I hope they didn’t expect me to have so many foster homes.

  1. What do you believe about God?

            I’ve never been very religious. Once, I lived in a home that required us to go to church. It seemed to me that God was just an excuse people used to do things. You can get away with nearly anything if you claim you did it in the name of God.

  1. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it?

            I want to get out of Pennsylvania, and I will, as soon as I turn eighteen. I’ve got enough money saved for a bus ticket. Florida, California, New York. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I’m leaving. What would happen? I don’t know. That’s the best part.

  1. What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

            I’m not answering that.

  1. Tell me about your best friend.

            I don’t really have a best friend. I guess it’s my boyfriend, Nate. He’s the only person who’s put up with me for this long.

  1. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

            The worst thing I’ve done? Being born. Obviously I was a burden to my parents.

  1. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

That’s cryptic. My name, I guess.

  1. Describe your ideal mate.

            Mate? You’re kidding, right? A book. A book is my ideal “mate.”

  1. What are you most afraid of?

            Being unable to defend myself. Being trapped.

  1. What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

            Freedom. Well, I’ll value it when I have it, anyway.

  1. What do you like best about yourself? Least?

            I’m determined, it’s probably my best quality. The least? My fear.

  1. How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

            I feel like I’m stuck, but only for a little while longer. Like I said, eighteenth birthday, bus ticket, sayonara Pennsylvania and being a foster.  

  1. Are you lying to yourself about something? What is it?

Lying? I’m not much of a liar, I prefer to omit things. If I ignore it, it doesn’t really exist.

Read more about Callie and Rowan’s lives when Reflection Pond releases April 1st. Do you have questions for Callie? Post them below and I’ll answer them!

You can also add Reflection Pond on Goodreads and join my mailing list to get all the latest news and freebies!

All the best,



Reflection Pond Coming Soon ImageHello readers and friends! There are a lot of exciting things going on right now, and just in case you’re out of the loop, living under a rock, or disinclined to social media, I have a new book coming April 1st! Reflection Pond is a young adult fantasy and I can’t wait for you to read it.

In preparation for the release, I’ve started a newsletter. People who subscribe will receive advance knowledge of book releases, cover reveals, information, and FREEBIES.

I’m giving away 10 ARCs (advance reader copies) to the first ten people to sign up for the newsletter, but this is only the beginning. My subscribers will be at the forefront of my readership, in other words, I will love you and lavish you with things that others won’t see.

So fill up the form below. I can’t wait to hear from you!

All the best,



Hi there. Come closer…closer.
I have a secret that I would like to make not secret anymore. Technically, I let it slip last night on Twitter, but this is The Official Announcement.
My YA Fantasy, Reflection Pond, will be published this spring. The date is still up in the air, but most likely late April/early May. I have been a hard working girl between rewrites and editing, and I can’t wait to share this story with you.
I’ll let you in on another secret. I’ve seen a mockup of the cover and it is INCREDIBLE. It’s going to be everything I’ve dreamed of and I promise the cover will WOW you.
Can’t wait to read Reflection Pond? Here’s a blurb to tempt you.
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.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be posting tidbits from the story, character bios and interviews, and you can expect beautiful cover reveal to happen in March.
Interested in getting on board? I’m looking for people to review ARC’s of Reflection Pond and participate in the cover reveal and release day celebration. Leave your info below or shoot me an email: Kacey.Vanderkarr (at)
All the best,


November has come and gone. There’s something about that month that’s always crazy busy for me. Sure, it contains my birthday. Hello, twenty-seven, you’re looking lovely. This age is ironic to me. A long, long time ago (which to people my age means about ten years,) I made a pact with a then-friend that if we reached 27 and weren’t married, we would marry each other. Well, as you can see, I hurried and got myself married at 20 so I avoided that disaster. Said friend went on to things I don’t particularly agree with (can we say porn?). Friendship dissolved anyway. Can’t imagine what would’ve happened if we’d kept that pact.

So yes, I had a birthday that involved a birthday bash that ended eventfully in a way I hope to never experience again. I expect you’re already plotting out the lecture in your head. No, no, I don’t need a lecture. I wasn’t the eventful one. That award goes to a drunken friend.

November was Nano. I didn’t participate, couldn’t bring myself to devote the time and energy needed to get to 50,000. Knew I couldn’t. I clocked in at just fewer than 25,000 words, which is a respectable number for me to write in a month. I’m more than satisfied. The first draft of Shade of the Poison Tree should be finished within the next month or two. I’m at 54,000 dark and delicious words. Where Through the Reflection Pond was light, Shade of the Poison Tree is dark. I’m having a lot of fun creating giant messes and killing characters. Taking chances, exploring things that used to be off-limits.

I saw Breaking Dawn Part 2. Judge me. Go ahead. I liked it. I was a little sad that it’s over. But there are bigger and better things around the corner!! City of Bones, for one. Did you all see the trailer? No? Here it is! I’m unbelievably excited for this movie. It’s like crack.

City of Bones Trailer

There’s a celebration in order for my friend, Stephanie Diaz, who not only got agented this year, but sold a three book deal to St. Martin’s. Congrats, Steph, you deserve it! Read all about her deal HERE.

I’m elbows deep in winterguard. That explains where all my time has gone. I have 23 awesome kids on my high school team this year. We’re all working really hard and some of us are losing sleep (read: me) over it. Things are running smoothly, for now. The show is coming along, we have uniforms and flags and rifles, and a mix of attitudes that sometimes gets in the way. But I’ve put on my big girl panties that say COACH across the back and handled it all. It’s epic season or bust around here.

Reflection Pond is still out to betas. Not too worried, got enough on my plate writing Poison Tree. Once that’s done I’ll probably start nagging them to send it back. I’m starting to get behind on my timeline, but that’s okay. Shit happens.

Sadly, because of work, I can’t go to writing group anymore. Seriously breaks my heart. Those people helped my writing SO MUCH and now I CAN’T GO!! Ahh…it kills me. Oh to be a fulltime writer and not conform to the constraints of society (hello, tattoos). One day, one day.

Last on the list of news is vacation. Yes, you read correctly, I’m actually going on vacation. I have no idea what that word even means! Drum roll please…Las Vegas!! One month from today and the time can’t go fast enough. I’m already ready for Christmas to be over! I’m counting on some relaxation, writing, and visiting the Hoover Dam (Oh, so scared of this.). At least it’s not a cruise ship.

Well friends, that’s all the updates I have.

All the best,



Well…*twiddles thumbs*

There’s not a whole lot going on around here right now. Whenever I have downtime, I find myself going to open my manuscript and then remembering Oh yeah, I finished that… Good news is I’m working on my chapter for the blogvel, BLOOM, which will post on Monday. It’s a thrilling tale about…well, just check it out for yourself. CLICK HERE for the complete table of contents. Each chapter is written by a different author, which keeps things interesting.

There’s no news on the publishing front, other than my release date was pushed back to JULY 21, 2013. I know, I know, it’s 8 months later than what I originally told you, but things happen. The upside? I’ll have 8 more months to promote myself and entice all my readers to buy ANTITHESIS when it’s available. The editing is done and I’m waiting to hear from the designer on the cover. Hopefully within the next month I should have more information.

REFLECTION POND is in a holding pattern right now, circling somewhere above my head, in manuscript land. It’s ready to be edited, but I need a few days away from it so that I can be impartial with my editing. I do need to write one more scene that may or may not involve a giant spider…I’ll get around to that eventually. I’ve started plotting for the sequel, which will be titled either POISON TREE or UNDER THE POISON TREE, in which case, REFLECTION POND will become THROUGH THE REFLECTION POND. Decisions, decisions, I’m taking suggestions. There’s also plans for a third book, which is yet untitled. It’ll come to me eventually.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about STEPPING STONES, the book that started it all for me. I needed to rewrite it, so I started, but then got distracted by REFLECTION POND. I really LOVE the characters in STEPPING STONES, but I just don’t know if I can revisit it and do it justice, unless I completely change the storyline. I think it’s the pantser in me. I already know everything that happens, so I can’t write it and keep it fresh. It all sounds old and tired to me. I don’t know how to get around it, but I really want to eventually write Chase’s story (my favorite character from that series). Maybe there’s hope, and I’ll just start with Chase. I can always work backwards, it’s been done before (not by me, of course. But if someone else can do it, so can I.). It’s bittersweet, really. I want to let it go, but then I feel like I’m letting my characters down. Us writers…we’re so weird…dedicated to our fictional beings.

So, I’ll leave you with a title poll. What’ll it be, readers?

All the best,



Yep- the title means exactly what you think it does. I finished another manuscript. This one is all about faeries, faerieland, and things that go bump in the night. Okay, I lied about that last part. There may be more bump in the second book.

At just over 81,000 words, I’ve left myself room for rewrites and any additional scenes I might need. What I find amazing, is that from beginning to end I can see my growth as a writer. Granted, I did get to work with an editor right in the middle of this project, which probably helped enormously, but I LOVE to see that improvement. Another plus? The writing group I joined. For the longest time all I wanted was a writing support group, and now I have it!

So let’s talk about this manuscript. Faeries…

I love this storyline. The characters are magical (no pun intended). Of course, it’s still in its raw form and has a long way to go, but I feel pretty good about it regardless. I’ve probably mentioned that I plan on seeking an agent for this work, and that still holds true. I have a LONG time before that will happen, have no fear. There will be mass edits, beta reads, and more edits. Not to mention it’ll be subjected to my writing group. Haha…subjected. They really are great, I swear. Subjecting my writing to them is always a pleasure. I only hope one day I can write as well as they do. It’s something to strive for, at least.

Hopefully I’ll have a new description up about REFLECTION POND soon. Blurbs, queries, synopsis’s, and all that jazz, aren’t really my forte. Mostly they make me want to bang my head against the wall. But I’ll persevere. Because now I can have my writing group help me! (They’ll be so thrilled.) 🙂

And, because you’re such loyal readers, I’m going to grace you with a short excerpt from REFLECTION POND.

“What are you doing?” I asked, staring. There was something about all the boys here that made them unbelievably attractive. Maybe it was a faerie thing. My mouth went dry.

            “This is a glamour,” he said. His voice had me searching his face. It was tight, wary, like he wished he was anywhere else but ensconced in the dark with me. The fact that he seemed worried did nothing to calm my already thin nerves.

            “Are you trying to tell me that you’re actually fat?” I said, trying to lighten the suddenly portentous mood.

            Rowan’s lips quirked. “No.” He touched the edge of his ribs and I wished, not for the first time, that it was my hand there instead of his. “Start here.”

            I swallowed and did as instructed. But this time, instead of seeing the hard line of bone and muscle, I found a shimmering edge, a layer that didn’t belong. “I see it,” I said, excited.

            “Good.” The tightness remained in his words. “I want you to peel it away like the dead skin of a sunburn.”

            I ignored how gross that sounded and found the edge again. I imagined it curling, stretching, and pulling away from Rowan’s ribs. I watched, fascinated, as the glamour obeyed, inch by inch. Rowan’s skin under the glamour was littered with raised scars. They crisscrossed over the bone, angry pale marks that distorted the otherwise smooth skin. I only managed to reveal a thin strip before the scars distracted me and the glamour fell back into place.

            Before I could think about what I was doing, I’d pressed my hand to his side. The skin was smooth and firm under my palm. I looked up, confused. “What happened to you?”

            Rowan let out a breath. “So you did it, then. Good.” He stepped out of my touch and went to the fireplace, adding another log. The sound of fire devouring wood filled the room. I stared at his back for a moment, seeing the shimmering edge of the glamour. I peeled it away just above his shoulder blade, revealing more scarred skin. Nausea turned my stomach and I swallowed it down.


            His shoulders tensed and he curled his hands into fists, but didn’t answer. I stood, hands shaking. My feet scraped the dirt floor as I crossed it, but Rowan didn’t turn. The heat of the fire and Rowan’s scent reached me at the same time. I lifted my trembling hands; they hung in the air between us, indecisive. Neither of us breathed. Other than the fire, the room was silent.

            “Go ahead,” he said, voice hoarse. His head was lowered, and his hair obscured his face and his expression, so I had no idea what he was thinking.

            I touched my hands to his shoulders, gentle at first, and then harder when he didn’t pull away. I watched, horrified, as the glamour dissolved, and Rowan—the real Rowan—stood before me. Scars covered his entire torso and arms, some long and straight; others jagged like someone had torn through his skin with a serrated blade. I traced a thick, hard ridge near his shoulder and he tensed further. This scar had a twin on the opposite side, just as wide and rough.

            I wanted to ask him who did this. I wanted to seek vengeance—the sudden and bitter hatred that bubbled inside me was a surprise. I bit my lip hard, trying not to cry. I remembered Rowan’s memories, seeing him as a little boy, taunted and unloved. His foster homes were not a safe place to live; I knew it just as much as I knew that it was the same for mine. Someone had hurt him, and hurt him badly.

            I stepped closer, running my hands from his back, over the bumps of his ribs, to his chest. I flattened them there, feeling the slight down of chest hair. I pressed my face to his back and Rowan sucked in a breath.

            I held him.

            My cool cheek pressed against the fevered warmth of his ruined skin. There was wetness there as my silent tears dripped, warm and salty. I closed my eyes, scarcely breathing. Underneath scars, muscle, and bone, Rowan’s pulse pounded. His skin heated where our energy connected, warming my unsteady hands with restrained possibility. Several moments passed. The fire continued to crackle with cheerful obliviousness to the emotion whirling inside of me.

            It was a while before Rowan turned out of my touch and I let him, dropping my arms to my sides. He faced me, expression guarded and distant. The glamour was back, I realized, his chest and arms smooth. He brushed at my tears with the pads of his thumbs. “Please don’t cry, Callie.” His voice was thick with the emotion he refused to show on his face. I closed my eyes and more tears fell. He caught them with his fingertips, wiping them away. “It was a long time ago.” His breath was warm on my cheek. “Don’t cry for me.”

            “I’m sorry,” I whispered, eyes still closed. His forehead pressed to mine and one of his hands traveled to the back of my neck. His palm was warm and damp with my tears. For a second I thought that he would kiss me. My heart leapt into my throat as I anticipated that, but all too soon he pulled away, leaving my lips parted and expecting a kiss that would never come.

So to celebrate this accomplishment, I think I’ll go to the movies tonight. Snow White is in my future.

All the best,


P.S. In two weeks I will post my chapter of BLOOM, a round robin blogvel that all started with Michelle Simkins. Read up so you’ll be ready!