Hello....Hello?....Is anybody there?

The last time we posted was summer?! Yikes!  There's slushy snow on the ground now.  Those months traveled by quickly. :p

I'm off of work (teaching first grade) for Christmas break and decided to dust off this ol' blog.  If you're not there to listen, I totally understand!  If you are, well hey there!  Thanks for stopping by even though you probably figured we'd never post again!

What've you been up to?  Reading, writing, working, cleaning, eating, running,...?  Anything big to share with us?

Erica's busy with her sons, work, Christmas programs, and life.  I'm busy with sons and basketball and Christmas and work and grad school and rereading old manuscripts.  I try to get on the treadmill here and there and buy a book on my kindle once in a while.  If only one could wrap me up some time and put it under the tree! Now that'd be a worthwhile Christmas gift!

Other than that...we're out of the online loop.

Catch us up if you have time.  We'll try to venture out your way soon, too.

Have a blessed Christmas filled with family and joy.

Erica and Christy


What's your favorite summer read so far?

This is Christy.  Summer's been crazy.  The end of the school year is always a mess of report cards, parent letters, and cleaning out the classroom.  Once that's taken care of, I take off with my family for a week with my parents.  Upon return, I have one day to do laundry before my husband's family claims us from dawn until dusk for another eight days of fun.  This summer, I hastily agreed to take over our school's summer school class.  I thought, "It's only four days per week for three weeks.  That's only twelve days, 2.5 hours per day.  It'll be like nothing!"  Wrong.  I taught eleven students, Kindergarten through fourth grade.  In the summer.  The older students had fun working independently and with one another, the younger ones did not want to be there where I made them read, of all things.  Heaven forbid I make them read.  Anyways, that's over.  We camped this past weekend, and now finally I am home with no plans for a few weeks.  That means my one month of writing can begin!  I can catch up on very tardy critiques for a few CPs (if they'll still have me), and write something of my own!

I did make time to read one weekend in between family fun and summer school.  In that time I read four books or so. What did I read, you ask?  I'll show you.

The Trouble with Flying (The Trouble Series, #1)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

The One (The Selection, #3)

The Prince (The Selection, #0.5)

The Guard (The Selection, #2.5)

I'd love some more titles to read now that I have time to relax before heading back into the classroom, so if you haven't forgotten who we are and stop by to visit, I'd love a TBR list with help from y'all.

<3 p="">


Cover Reveal- The Trouble Series by Rachel Morgan

I am a HUGE fan of Rachel Morgan.  She astounds me with her business-savvy approach to writing and publishing AND, most importantly, her writing ROCKS!  I devoured her FAERIE GUARDIAN series (and I am not normally a reader of fae novels!).

So you can't even imagine my excitement when she decided to write in my favorite genre: YA Contemporary!

Last weekend I read her free novella the day it came out and finished it before having my second cup of coffee.  (See below to find out how to get your own copy!)

Yup. She's that good. 

And today I get to reveal the covers to her upcoming novels.  SQUEE!

I'll keep you no further.  Read below to learn about her four latest heroines, their stories, and the covers!

The Trouble Series by Rachel Morgan 
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Four new heroines are about to enter the book world in this romance series full of swoon-worthy guys, comical moments, witty dialogue, and hot kisses…

#1: The Introvert

Sarah doesn’t talk to strangers, but the cute guy sitting next to her on the plane might have to be the exception. Hours of random conversation later, Sarah thinks Aiden could be her happily ever after. The trouble is, he’s gone now—and she has no idea how to find him.  ~ The Trouble with Flying

#2: The Nerd

Livi sees her first year of university as a chance to redefine herself and finally fit into the popular crowd. But how far will she go before realizing that what she really wants has always been right in front of her? ~ The Trouble with Flirting

#3: The Fraud

After a stupid miscommunication, everyone in Andi’s new res thinks she’s secretly dating Damien, boyfriend of resident queen bee Charlotte. Since the rumor’s already out there and refuses to be squashed, Andi and Damian decide to keep up the facade in the hopes of snagging the attention of the people they really want to be with. ~ The Trouble with Faking

#4: The Artist

With exam stress, family wedding craziness, and a spiraling relationship with her boyfriend, Sophie finds herself sucked further and further into the darkness of depression. The only thing making her remotely happy these days is her art—and the guy on the other side of the internet who seems to really get her. But is that enough to keep her from falling off the edge entirely?
~ The Trouble with Falling

Get the prequel novella, FORGIVEN, for FREE
at most online retailers! 
Check it out on Goodreads


Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn't for her—after all, they didn't approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those still young at heart.

Author Links:


Just for fun: A first page

Last week or so Christy posted some covers she had played around with for her book 27 Daisies and some potential sequels to it (link). She also, oh so cleverly put one in on the end for a WIP that I've been working on (well, off-and-on) for awhile now but haven't told anyone but her about. Right now, it's titled On the Water and it's a contemporary romance. That's right, romance minus the YA that I've always written before.

To make things even more strange for me, I plotted this one out. *gasp* I'm like a whole new Erica. :) It's at just under 8,000 words so obviously I have some work to do, but it's fun work, of course!

Let me know what you think and if you've ever experimented in a new genre - and how it worked out for you. Have fun reading it, I know I'm having fun writing it! (disclaimer: this is a first draft and unedited)

Chapter One, Page 1 1/2: On the Water:

      The old guy who owned the bed-and-breakfast Kendall checked into twenty minutes ago did not seem pressed to leave. He kept rattling on about the good fishing in the area, the coffee house he owned across the street, and his wife's biscuits and gravy recipe handed down to her from generations of women in her family.

      I know about the fishing, I already spotted three coffee places, and keep the heart-attack-on-a-plate to yourself, Kendall thought, checking her phone for the tenth time in hope he would finally notice and leave her alone. She needed a nap and a shower. Although her next destination was the local fish-and-float, so maybe she'd skip the shower until later.

      "So will your husband be joining you yet this afternoon?"                                                   

      She must have missed something. Her husband? "Excuse me? No, no husband, I'm here for work."

      "Oh," he said, rubbing his chin and looking uncomfortable. "My wife, she said to put you in the big room so it would give you and your husband some space. Excuse me for a moment, I'll give her a call and see if I need to move you over one."

      Kendall looked around her. This was considered the big room? There was a loveseat-sized couch, one chair, and a bookshelf on one side of the room with a small kitchenette along the opposite wall. She peeked into the second room that Mr. Lowenstein had gone into and saw what appeared to be a queen-sized bed with a dresser and TV across from it. He was talking on an old rotary-phone plugged into the wall behind the bed. There was no bathroom anywhere within sight. Seriously, this was the big room?

      He set down the phone receiver and looked toward where she stood next to the loveseat. Kendall felt a little ridiculous, like she had gotten caught peeping into someone else's bedroom.

      "Never mind then, miss. My mistake. It seems the gentleman who reserved your room was your boss, not your husband. The only other guest we have this week is a single gentleman, so this arrangement will work just fine. What kind of work are you here for?"

      "Oh, good, I'm glad it all worked out. I'm doing an article on the fishing float for Wisconsin Today magazine."

      His eyes openly viewed Kendall from top to bottom and back up. She knew what he was thinking and he was right - she was a city girl and she didn't belong with a bunch of old guys on a huge boat, er, float, in the middle of the Mississippi River. What he didn't know is that she was on thin ice at work and didn't dare to turn down an assignment during the foreseeable future.

      "Well, then, you're at the right place. The man staying in the other room that I referred to a moment ago is filling in for the Captain these days. With all the chaos on the float this week, maybe you could get an interview with him tomorrow. Perhaps over those biscuits I've been talking about."
      Um, what? A fill-in captain? Chaos? That was definitely not her assignment.



Check out the cover of Nicole Zoltack's new NA Epic Fantasy Romance!  It was released February 24, so you can read it right now--available at Amazon, B&N, and Kobo!
The title and cover are PERFECT for the story.  Read the blurb below to see for yourself!

BLOODLUST, a NA epic fantasy romance.

In a world torn by prejudice and hatred, six races struggled for supremacy.


Barbarian-Princess Ivy is unwilling to allow her father to provoke the other races into war and forms an unlikely alliance with Lukor the goliath to save her people from utter destruction.


Unbeknownst to her, Lukor blames the barbarians for murdering his sister and plans on sabotaging her goal.


Almost despite each other, they grow to respect each other on their journey to decode secret messages from the trolls. But nothing Ivy can do will prevent the war as her father is blinded by Bloodlust and incites it himself. Not even killing him and becoming Barbaroness can stop the tide. And when Bloodlust claims Ivy, forcing her to kill everyone in her path, she must make a choice to destroy even Lukor, who she may have started to fall for and him in return.

I don't know about you, but she had me at the thought of a blossoming romance while on a journey decoding secret messages. 

What intrigues you most about this brand new read?

Congrats on your release, Nicole!

Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially fantasy romance. When she's not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they're unicorns!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dress in garb. She'll also read anything she can get her hands on. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit her blog.


Instead of Editing....

I'm pretending to be a cover designer and having a blast!  Today I found THIS INCREDIBLY HELPFUL LINK!  And after reading through, and learning, and feeling oh so amazed and grateful....Here are the covers I created tonight instead of finishing edits.  Hey, it's still book-related, right? 

What do YOU do to take a break from your manuscript?









Worrying about worrying

Yep, you guessed it, erica's on another snow day, so she came up with a blog post. (no, not really, this one's been bothering me for awhile).

I worry about a lot of things. Some of them are justified (like when I bypass a bill's due date because I'm waiting for my paycheck to come through) and some less so (like when I think christy might be mad that I didn't send her a chapter or a critique in time even though I know she understands my lack of time perception, haha).  I actually spent an entire day worrying that I worry too much. Yep.

In the past week, though, I had a big worry. One that might make me change jobs. And if there's one thing people who know me, know about me, it's that I seriously love my job. Teaching is what I do. But -

**pause for great big tears**

**I was going to start typing again but my tears are still really big and I can't see, so I'm going by my keyboarding skills right now**  **plus my mom called and interrupted what I was typing and told me what a wonderful person and teacher I am and the tears got even bigger** **dang moms anyway**

Okay. Deep breath. Moving on.

Sometimes investing your life to do what you really love can result in heartbreak (even after 17 years of doing it). If anyone can relate to that, it's my fellow writers. I love that all of you are working so hard toward your goals to become published authors - and that many of you have achieved it!!

If you have a blog or book link, paste it in below. If you've done something as accomplished as talking and chewing bubble gum at the same time - or even drinking through a straw without choking, paste it below! I want to know!!! OR - goals, anyone? (not to be confused with resolutions - those things are slippery) (fyi - we got like 4 inches of snow. total waste of a snow day here in WI)


MOONLESS by Crystal Collier is out in PRINT!

Erica and Christy are honored to be a part of the Blog fest celebrating the release of MOONLESS by Crystal Collier.  Read on to learn more about the fest, the prizes and, of course, the book!
If you lived in a society where arranged marriages were a la mode,
who would you beg your parents to set you up with? Why?
(Literary characters and celebrities welcomed.) 

Erica says: Okay, so I cheated and googled "literary crushes" because I went out with friends last night and am a little hung over (still, at 3:00 in the afternoon) (I don't pretend to make good choices, but hey, it was fun at the time) and I couldn't think of anyone. SO - I'm going with Westley from The Princess Bride. I've never read the book, but I was 12 when the movie came out and I've seen it approximately 8,357 times. Although I've never found Cary Elwes himself very attractive (your results may vary), Westley has everything a girl (and her parents) could want - a loving and kind heart, loyalty like no one could ever match, enough money to retire young, and swordsmanship that could come in handy if that zombie apocalypse ever comes around. :)

Christy says:  Well, I was planning to cheat and google "literary crushes" but after reading Erica's response, I decided it would be a double cheat since she'd already done that....  So, I spent today wondering who I would ask my parents to marry me off to (Even my husband was no help when I asked him for ideas.  He couldn't think of a better person than himself.) I tried to think of books I've read in the past year with love interests that kept me coming back to the book, and one did come to mind.  My choice....Will Herondale.  He's dark-haired, blue-eyed, loyal, romantic, self-sacrificing, and sarcastic.  He doesn't let anyone get close to him in order to save their lives, living without love only so that those he loves will live in safety.  When he does give in to the love he feels, he is an utter romantic.  What more could a girl want than a man who says this to her:
"Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you, as many as I can, before I die---"
—Will to Tessa Gray, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

What do YOU say?  Please tell us in the comments!  (But before you do THAT, read about MOONLESS a historical fiction novel for young adults.  It's written by Crystal Collier and it's out in PRINT TODAY!!!)


In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Her nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.


Crystal's publisher is offering a $2.00 coupon until February 14th !!!!
Go here to redeem yours! https://www.createspace.com/4550104
Use coupon code: LQJM3F84  


Find the rest of the hop below!

And while you're at it, enter to win one of these great prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The "Pretend This is the First Week of January" post

Hi friends! If you're wondering, yes, Wisconsin is horribly cold right now (so no school), which means I actually sat around long enough to remember I was supposed to start blogging again in 2014!!


So, I'll get around to letting you all know what I've been up to the last six months (*cough* *messing around* *cough*) but for now, here's what I read last year in order from last January to December. Because, you know, I was supposed to post this three weeks ago and I always sort-of keep my promises to myself (and Christy). . .  :)  (oh, and when the final book of a series I liked comes out, I tend to re-read the whole series so that's what's up with a few of these!)

The Lonely Hearts Club     Dreamland      Don't Turn Around (PERSEF0NE, #1)     The Obsidian Blade (The Klaatu Diskos, #1)     Sweethearts     Beautiful Creatures (Caster...     Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)     Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)     Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles, #4)     Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, # 1)     Gone (Gone, #1)     Hunger (Gone, #2)     Lies (Gone, #3)     Plague (Gone, #4)     Fear (Gone, #5)     Light (Gone, #6)     Wait for You (Wait for You, #1)     The Truth About Letting Go     The Job Offer     Candy Store     Waking Up Married     The Other Side of Us     I'm Not Her     Stealing Parker     Mystic Ink     Mystic Storm     Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)     The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)     Dragonfly (Dragonfly, #1)     Extinct     One Perfect Night (The Sullivans, #8.5)     Left Drowning     Invasion (C.H.A.O.S., #1)     Bitter Like Orange Peel     Feed     Reason to Breathe (Breathing, #1)     Barely Breathing (Breathing, #2)     Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)     The Fault in Our Stars     Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality     The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1)     Dissected     Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)    

There you have it! And I'm on book #6 for 2014 (Inferno by Dan Brown if you're wondering). Plus I try to go to work every day that they let me (darn snow, er, cold days anyway!) and occasionally feed my family. I think. Hang on while I check and make sure they're still around. . ."Family??"