#IWSG: Creativity and Depression

February 3, 2016     Katie Doyle     Writing

Creativity and Depression: Depression has an effect on creativity. How it does is different from everyone, but being aware can help you battle depression at its start. How does depression affect your creativity?

About a year ago, I talked about depression. It was a difficult and necessary post. As such, I thought it important to discuss again. No one has the exact same experience as anyone else, but the act of expressing your own problems can help others with similar problems in some way shape and form.

A year ago, I was in bad shape. My depression was spiraling and I was at a point where I could either give up—easy to do with depression—or get meds. I hadn’t done a lot of creating in 2014, especially toward the end of the year. I’d had such a difficult couple of years before that, facing many episodes of depression without medication or with the wrong medication all while dealing with very personal issues. Doctors were the last thing on my mind for a very long time. But I knew what would happen if I continued down that road. I’ve attempted suicide in the past. I spent a week in the hospital, past the 72 hour hold, because they didn’t want me to leave until I was in a better place emotionally. I didn’t want to get to a point where I considered it again. Especially since my father-in-law committed suicide just a couple of years after my attempt.

Depression and suicide are difficult to talk about. I had to walk away for a bit because of just mentioning my father-in-law’s suicide. I didn’t want to have to make my family suffer through another attempt by me after that, which is where I was headed if I didn’t get to the doctor.

Eventually, I did go to the doctor. I thought the depression was causing the crap loads of pain I was in, so the doc gave me some medicine to try. It worked on my depression, but the pain was still there. Turns out I have fibromyalgia. Pain and depression are circular. You have pain which causes depression which causes more pain and so on and the cycle continues. I have both under control now. I’ve continued taking my medicine for both the depression and fibro and the difference is astounding from this time last year.

One of the many ways I realized I was in such a downward spiral was because of my inability to write. No, I take that back. I had the ability to write, I might even have written amazing words, but it didn’t matter. I thought they were terrible and I thought I was terrible so I deleted. I wrote a word, I deleted it. I wrote a sentence, I deleted it. I couldn’t get past the first sentence of any WIP I tried to start.

There’s this general idea out there that suffering makes better art, but that’s the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. Yes, depression can give you a better understanding of your personal feelings and how you (and others) react to things. But creating while depressed is difficult. And remaining depressed can lead to extremely self-destructive behavior, not just suicide.

I read an article a few months back that I cannot find anywhere. I wanted to cite it as a source, bring out a few quotes, and discuss what it means, but no matter the search, it eludes me. There was even a discussion on r/YAwriters about it and I can’t find that either. That irks me. But the discussion that came from the article (and the subject of the article itself) centered around the inability to think… No, more like the inability to access the entirety of your vocabulary and other resources stored in your brain. You’re blocked. One person (again, I don’t know who because I can’t find the thread or the article) even talked about how depression has an effect on how they are able to play word games on the phone. When not depressed, the game scores are much higher than when they are depressed.

But the point of all of this is to keep in mind your creativity. It can be a good indicator of depression. And if you are depressed, please seek help! You don’t have to suffer. There are people out there who want to help you in whatever way you need. Here’s a list of numbers:

How does depression affect your creativity?

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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG). Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, we post the first Wednesday of every month. You can find out more and sign up at the blog and join the Facebook group.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Katie Doyle

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A Day in the Life

January 28, 2016     Katie Doyle     Life

A Day in the Life is a monthly feature where authors and writers tell us what an average day is like for them. For the first month, I share what my normal day looks like. How do you spend your days?

This is a normal weekday during the school year.*

6:30 am – Wake up and count my spoons. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes. I get out of bed, sit at my desk, and get on my phone to check my social media and email while my body slowly lets me know what I can and can’t do that day.

7:00 am – Wake up the kids. This is a process of bribing, begging, commanding, and Mommy Voice-ing my way into their sleepy heads to get them up and out of their beds. When none of that works, I unleash the dog to lick them awake. After that, it’s breakfast, clothes, and double-checking book bags.

7:45 to 8:00 am – Attempt to get the kids to school in this general time frame so they’re not late and I don’t have to get out of the car and sign them in because I’m usually still in my pajamas.

8:00 am – Time to get ready for work. This process depends on my spoons. If my spoons are low, I forgo the shower and just wash my hair. I will fix it, but I’ll skip make-up and wear glasses. My work environment is pretty casual so all I need is a pair of jeans and a nice shirt. Then I gather my phone, laptop, and notebooks and I’m ready.

9:00 am to 1:00 pm (or 3:00 pm) – The number of hours I work depends on the season. During open enrollment (I work for an insurance agent) and for the following few weeks, I’m there until three because I’m usually faxing, phoning, and filing all day long. Once open enrollment is over, I’m back to my four hour days spent at my laptop or with a book in my hand. I love my job.

1:00 pm – Go home and play Xbox. Because it’s fun and I can.

3:00 pm – Pick the kids up from school, get them a snack, and get them started on their homework while I get some writing or writing related work done.

5:00 pm – Cook supper. This also is when I usually do some dishes and throw a load in the laundry.

6:00 to 8:00 pm – Eat, hang out with the family, and read or watch TV.

8:30 to 9:00 pm – Get the kids ready and in bed. Then collapse into a pile of exhausted before getting back up and either doing more writing/writing related work or hanging out with Hubs while watching TV or reading.

Sometime around 11:00 pm or so – Shower (if I didn’t that morning and I have enough spoons left) and go to bed. Sometimes it’s earlier, sometimes it’s later, and sometimes it isn’t even on purpose.

It doesn’t look like I have a lot of time to write, but I so spend most of my four hours at work doing writerly things, whether it’s working on my blog, working on a WIP, brainstorming/outlining, or reading. There are 5 minutes here and there where I have to put it away to answer the phone or file things or fax something or whatever, but a lot of my time is spent waiting, and I don’t always want to just twiddle my thumbs and piddle fart around. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but not all the time.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this peek into how I spend my days!

How do you spend your days?

*A Day in the Life is a new monthly feature. If you’re interested in sharing a day in your life, email me and we’ll set something up!

Katie Doyle

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A Look at One Stop for Writers

January 26, 2016     Katie Doyle     Writing

There are times in every writing career where the act of writing is as easy as pulling the teeth of a hibernating grizzly just before spring. It’s at this point that writers usually start questioning their career choice. Wouldn’t it be the bee’s knees if there were something out there that could help during all of this? Wouldn’t it be the cat’s pajamas if there was something that made writing just a little bit easier?

Well, I’ve got your bee’s pajamas right here…

OneStop-For-Writers-large

 

You have several options when you first log in. At the top of the page is a menu where you can start. Each section has a drop down menu where you can decide what you need and click to get there. The Information Desk is exactly that. You’ll find the about page, the FAQ, and the Plans & Pricing page where you can upgrade if you would like. The Connect tab is where you can get help with issues you may have noticed. Another thing here that I absolutely love is the Wish List. Think something is missing that might be extremely useful to other users of One Stop? Let them know. It’s like a suggestion box.

Wish List

Becca and Angela are already known for their Emotion Thesaurus and Negative and Positive Traits Thesauri. You can also find them on One Stop, along with other useful ones. There’s a tutorial on how you can combine them to really give your story the punch it deserves. The thing that really helps here isn’t just that they have all this information in one place, but the tools you can use in conjunction with them. You can bookmark your favorite or most useful thesaurus entries and it doesn’t matter which thesaurus you use, all the bookmarks will show up in your bookmarks section. You can also take notes on each entry and have access to those in your notes section. You can find those in your account drop-down.

Your account

One of my favorite parts of One Stop is the Idea generator. I love going through and creating various characters and flash fiction stories with this tool. It has everything you could possibly need to come up with an interesting story. It’s also useful for if you’re stuck in a particular place in your WIP and need that little extra push to get past it. Just open the drawer that pertains to what you need and you get three prompts. Use them, bookmark them, or discard them as you see fit=)

Idea generator

There are also several templates available for your use: Character-at-a-glance, setting, character basics, physical description, etc. With a few of them, you can fill out and keep the templates on file on the One Stop site. With all of them, you can download the template in PDF or Word format so you can print them and fill them out. You’ll also notice that there are eyes next to each template box. Hover your mouse over them and you’ll get a quick glance at what the template looks like and how it can be used to improve your story.

eye pic

Overall, One Stop for Writers is useful for any part of the writing process. Even if you don’t use the options of keeping your character templates on-site or use the notes, the resources are a great way to really take your writing to the next level.

 

Do you use One Stop for Writers?

Katie Doyle

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Fast Meals for Deadlines: Bean and Cheese Quesadilla

January 20, 2016     Katie Doyle     Life, Writing

Deadlines are a part of the writing life, whether they're self-imposed or set by a publisher. Eating is an important part of staying alive and meeting your deadlines. Luckily, this simple and quick recipe will allow you to fill your tummy without using up much of the time you need for making that deadline. What are some of your favorite easy recipes?

One of the many things writers face when on deadline is hunger. It’s a terrible, terrible thing. You have words to write or fix! You don’t have time for hunger! But your brain needs fuel to function. So, a compromise is in order… How about something quick, easy, and delicious to make your tummy and your brain happy?

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Ingredients
1 can beans
1 can corn
1 jar salsa
1 cup shredded cheese
2 flour tortillas
1 Tbs butter or margarine

Directions
In medium bowl, mix beans, corn, and salsa until well blended. Microwave until heated through. Place pan on burner and turn on to medium-high heat. Melt butter in pan and place one tortilla on top. Spread cheese over tortilla and melt. Remove first tortilla from the pan and put second one in its place. Spread bean, corn, and salsa mix on tortilla in the pan and place first tortilla cheese side down on top. Cook until tortilla is golden brown. Eat and enjoy!

The mix should be good for a couple of quesadillas. All in all, this recipe takes about 10 minutes to prep and cook. I’m including a printable PDF of the recipe so you don’t have to keep coming back here every time you make it… Though, I don’t mind if you do come back;-)

(Huge thanks to Anna Priemaza for the recipe!)

Do you have simple recipes for when you’re on deadline?

Katie Doyle

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Most Anticipated (by me) Books of 2016

January 14, 2016     Katie Doyle     Reading

There are a lot of great books getting published this year, but I broke it down to a few that I'm really looking forward to. What books are you looking forward to in 2016?

A whole slew of new and awesome books are coming out this year and I thought I’d share some of the books I’m most looking forward to.

In no particular order…

 Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

About:

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.

When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

Goodreads

 

 

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The Last Star by Rick Yancey

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

About:

We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Hunt (Atlanta Burns #2) by Chuck Wendig

The Hunt (Atlanta Burns #2) by Chuck Wendig

About:

It’s Atlanta’s senior year of high school, and she is officially infamous. Not only has she saved herself from a predator, brought down an untouchable dogfighting ring, and battled a pack of high-school bullies, but she’s also proclaimed to the Internet her willingness to fight for anyone who needs help. And Atlanta can’t believe what’s coming out of the woodwork. From an old friend to a troop of troubled girls with connections to a local fracking company, there’s definitely fire in the water. As always, the girl with the unforgettable name is not afraid to burn it all down if it means making things right. But as high school races toward its inevitable end and the hornets begin to swarm from all directions, Atlanta must decide how much of herself and her growing group of friends she is willing to risk…before it’s too late.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

About:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Goodreads

 

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Riders by Veronica Rossi

Riders by Veronica Rossi

About:

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen–Conquest, Famine, and Death–are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now–bound, bloodied, and drugged–Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for–not to mention all of humankind–he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

Goodreads

 

 

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And I Darken by Kiersten White

And I Darken by Kiersten White

About:

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Goodreads

 

 

 

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Endure by Sara B. Larson

Endure by Sara B. Larson

About:

At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to be married. But their lives are far from safe. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Even worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of the evil Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, which soon leads her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory.

When she arrives, what awaits her is deadlier than anything she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as Alexa knows it. Will she be able to gather the strength to free herself, protect the love of her life, and save the land? Will there ever be true peace?

Acclaimed author Sara B. Larson has woven a stunning, romantic, and evocative finale to the Defy trilogy that is sure to leave readers breathless until the very last page.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

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The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

About:

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Goodreads

 

 

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Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

About:

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

About:

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

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The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

About:

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Strutskie

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Strutskie

About:

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

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A World Without You by Beth Revis

A World Without You by Beth Revis

About:

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his concerned parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending The Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”

At The Academy, Bo falls in love with Sofia, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Sofia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofia, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age. 

But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time — that he somehow left her in the past, and now it’s his job to save her.

Goodreads

 

 

 

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The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

About:

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

Goodreads

 

 

 

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Kingdom Blades by Melissa McPhail

Cephrael's Hand by Melissa McPhailThis is the fourth book in Melissa McPhail’s A Pattern of Shadow & Light series. There is no information on it other than she thinks it will be release this year and I CANNOT WAIT! It’s epic fantasy and brilliant and I highly recommend it. Since I don’t have info on this fourth book, here’s the Goodreads for the first book in the series, Cephrael’s Hand.

 

 

 

 

What books are you looking forward to in 2016?

Katie Doyle

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Recent Reads

January 12, 2016     Katie Doyle     Reading

RecentReads

It’s been far too long since I’ve done one a Recent Reads! I’m going to try to make it a monthly feature, so there won’t always be this many books… Though I can hope, right? 😉

For those new to WRL, Recent Reads is when I go over the books I’ve read recently and leave a mini review. (And this is where you think, “Duh, Katie. Duh.” And I’m all like, “I know.” *nods*)

Anyway, ONWARD!

INKED by Eric Smith

Inked by Eric Smith

About:
Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.

Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.

And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can’t escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.

But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.

Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.

Review:
This was a fun book. It took a while to get into it and I would’ve loved a bit more about their journey, but in the end I thought it was well told. There’s a bit about Dreya that seems like a bit of a problem with keeping with the plot, but other than that, I enjoyed the book.

Goodreads

Stars:
3 tatted stars=)

ZIA, THE TEENAGE ZOMBIE by Angela Scott

Zia the Teenage Zombie by Angela Scott

About:
Zia would give anything to be a typical teenager… again. Heck, she’d settle for being a vampire or smelly werewolf, but a member of the walking dead? The lowliest of all the monsters? No way! Nothing is worse than being a skin-sloughing, limb-losing, maggot-housing, brain-craving undead girl. Nothing.

It wouldn’t be so bad if humans didn’t insist on “Living Impaireds” wearing bands to keep their insatiable appetites in check. And if LIs want to coexist with humans, then rules must be followed, no matter how ludicrous they might seem. Why do undead teenagers have to go to high school anyway?

Zia does her best to blend in and go unnoticed, but when a new group of LIs are bused in from another school and she finds herself part of a growing horde, all bets are off.

Besides, rules are meant to be broken—especially when an unbeating heart is pulled in two different directions.

Review:
I LOVED this book! To be honest, there aren’t any books by Angela Scott that I don’t like. She has the teenage voice down pretty well and does an amazing job of getting you into the characters’ heads and rooting for them. It’s no different for this book. I rooted for Zia from the beginning.

Goodreads

Stars:
4 undead stars

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

About:
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Review:
WOW! Once I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters and the story and how it all fit together. The prose was beautiful and I found myself falling in love with the words just as much as I fell in love with the story and the characters. I cannot recommend this book enough. Seriously. Go buy it now!

Goodreads

Stars:
5 beautiful stars

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowel

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

About:
Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

 

Review:
This book. I can’t even adequately describe my feelings about this book. I loved it, I hated it, I wanted to marry it and throw it in the trash. It’s a must read. The parts that pissed me off had nothing to do with Rainbow Rowell’s writing, and more to do with the fact that she created characters so real and so worthy of absolute hate. Not Eleanor or Park though. They were the heart of the book. As the main characters, they propelled the story forward in a way that made my heart swell and my eyes leak in joy and pain both for them and with them. I will admit that the book affected me so much that I had to put it down and let it sit there for several months before I could finish it because I was afraid of how it would end. I was certain I knew. Turns out I didn’t and I am so glad I was wrong.

Goodreads

Stars:
5 huge damn tear-shaped stars

Convergence Point by Liana Brooks

Convergence Point by Liana Brooks

About:
Agent Samantha Rose has already died once…and knows the exact date she’ll die again.

Having taken down a terrorist organization bent on traveling through time to overthrow the government, Sam figured she was done dealing with the unbelievable. Finally out of backwater Alabama, she’s the senior agent in a Florida district, and her life is back on track.

Until a scientist is found dead. And then an eco-terrorist. And then a clone of herself…again.

As the pieces start to fall together, they paint a picture that seems to defy everything we know about time and physics. But the bodies are all too real, and by partnering up with Agent MacKenzie once more, they might just figure out what’s going on. And when.

 

Review:
AH! I loved the first book in the series and that love only continues into the second book! There’s mystery, romance, and a hell of a lot of action! Sam is my Patronus and Mac is my new book boyfriend=)

Goodreads

Stars:
4 enthusiastic timey-wimey stars

Katie Doyle

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#IWSG: Sticking to Your Goals in 2016

January 6, 2016     Katie Doyle     Writing

Sometimes, goals are hard to keep track of. So, I've decided to keep track of them by using the sticker method. I'd love for you to join me. All you need is a calendar of your choice and a pack of stickers and you're set!

If you’re anything like me, goals are hard to keep to. I make a goal and I end up procrastinating until the last minute and stress so much, I’m like a rubber band ready to snap at any second. I need accountability.

So, I’ve decided to start using the sticker method.

I started seeing Victoria Schwab talk about it a couple of years ago. I thought it was a neat idea, but that’s it. As I heard more and more about it, I got more and more interested. Then I recently saw Liana Brooks talk about using it. I thought about it for a while and I decided that it was time.

The sticker method, for those who don’t know, it’s when you use stickers to track your progress. It can be in anything from writing to exercise to the pieces of gum you chew every day. But, with my tendency to forget about goals until the deadline is looming, I will use mine for writing related things.

star method 2

Some things will be as often as possible, if not every day. Others will be once or twice a week.

I’m hoping that by seeing my progress, or lack thereof, I’ll be able to achieve my goals at an even pace instead of rushing at the last minute to finish it. It might also be useful to see what days are more productive and what days aren’t productive at all. I’m hoping I’ll have more productive days than not.

star method 1If you’re interested in joining me in this little experience, all you need is a calendar and some stickers. They don’t have to be stars=) You can use whatever calendar and stickers you want. And, if you don’t have a calendar, I found a site where you can download one for free. They have several designs so you can find one that works for you.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

How do you keep track of your goals?

UPDATE: Thanks to Twitter, and especially Brighton Walsh, here’s a link specifically for a planner for writers that you can order on Amazon. Excuse me while I “buy with one click”…

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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG). Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, we post the first Wednesday of every month. You can find out more and sign up at the blog and join the Facebook group.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Katie Doyle

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New Year – New Goals

January 1, 2016     Katie Doyle     Life

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year! I hope your 2016 is fantabulous!!!

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2015 was an interesting year.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, discussed my depression, published two novellas, and got a job. The depression and fibromyalgia are under control with medication. The books are doing well considering the little amount of marketing I do. And the job is pretty easy and affords me time to work on writer things while there.

Improving myself was the goal of 2015 and I think I did really well. How did 2015 go for you?

At the beginning of the year, I posted about my goals. They were broad and not specific, but I’m going to go over them a bit to discuss what worked and what didn’t.

  1. Say Yes More – I don’t really know if I said yes more in 2015 or not. I guess I did considering I participated in a couple of Facebook events for releases and cover reveals, as well as a couple of holiday-themed Facebook giveaway events. Even getting the job was a Yes in a way.
  2. Say No More – I can tell you absolutely that I said no more in 2015. There were things that I just couldn’t do for various reasons, some time-related, others related to number 4.
  3. Do Something Creative Every Day – This was hit and miss. There were plenty of days where I did creative things. Not all of it was writing. I learned how to make bracelets, I got an oil painting kit, I started trying to teach myself to draw, and I learned how to do more graphic design stuff. I didn’t do things every day like I had wanted, but most weeks went by with me doing something creative at least a few days.
  4. Take Care of Yourself – 2015 was definitely the year of self-care. I allowed myself limits. I acknowledged and followed through when my body and mind said I needed a break. I didn’t push myself. I invested in me. There were times when I had a billion and a half things to do, but I stopped because I could feel the depression worsening, the fibromyalgia flaring, or my brain space shrinking. I took more time for me and I’m better for it.

All in all, I’d say 2015 was a good year.

New Year – New GoalsNew Year - New Goals

 

I’m going to keep things from last year and incorporate them into this year, but now I have specific goals in mind.

  1. Reading – I want to read at least 40 books this year. It’s down from my Goodreads Challenge of 50 books in 2015, but that’s because with everything going on, I was unable to complete the challenge. It’s a failure on my part though. This year, I’m going to immerse myself in other worlds to not only enjoy the books, but to learn from them. Bring on the books!
  2. Writing – I have two writing projects this year. The first is an urban fantasy that I’m still the in the brainstorming phase of. I’ve gotten a couple of scenes done, but the scope demands an outline. It’s been a while since I’ve outlined like this, instead pantsing all of my stuff and fixing later. Doing it this way is much slower for me, but I also have a much more polished first draft. The second project is the continuation of my Grimm Tidings series. That one is still stewing and not even in the brainstorming phase. With the way things went in 2015, I’m not going to load myself down with “a billion things that need to get done by next week or my goals of 2016 are ruined!!!” Instead, I’m going to allow myself all year to finish both projects.
  3. Blogging – You might have noticed the changes in my blog over the last few weeks. I’ve been tweaking here and there to make Writing, Reading, and Life easier to look at and something that fits with my personality and the books I like to write. Also, posts. Those are important. So, I took part in a blog challenge that helped me figure a few things out. Which means I will be posting more and those posts will be more relevant to Writing, Reading, and Life. I think you’ll like what I’ve got planned=) I’m still working on fixes and changes here and there, so over the next few weeks, things might change completely or only a little bit depending on what works and what doesn’t. Have any pointers? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
  4. Life – Just like last year, I’m going to focus on self-care. Turns out that getting a job was a form of self-care, so I’ve got a good start. The family has split the chores and we help each other out, so that if there’s a day where my spoons are extremely limited, I know they will step up.

And that’s pretty much it=) I look forward to seeing what 2016 brings!

What are your goals for the new year?

 

 

Katie Doyle

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How to Avoid Star Wars Spoilers in Tweetdeck

December 16, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life

Star Wars is coming! My family is so excited we’ve decided to watch one movie a night until we get to see it this weekend. Unfortunately, that means we won’t be able to see it until after many other people have. This increases the possibility of seeing spoilers.

Fortunately, I’ve figured out a way to remove all spoilers from my Tweetdeck until after I’ve had a chance to see it. It also removes any mention of Star Wars, just to be on the safe side.

So, here, without further ado, I give you the steps to do the same. It’s incredibly simple=)

  • In Tweetdeck, click the little Gear down by the bottom.

Settings

  • From there, click the Mute settings and select the Text Content option. Then, in the “Using” space, put Star Wars and click Mute. I also suggest doing #StarWars (with the hashtag) in addition so that accidental mentions don’t get by you due to that pesky little space between words. Also, any other permutation of Star and Wars put together (no hashtag-no space, all lower case, all upper case, etc.)

Tweetdeck Mute

  • Ta-da! You’re done!

muting star wars

Once you’ve seen the new movie, you can go back in to settings and remove the mute setting for Star Wars and #StarWars easy-peasy.

Anyway, I hope you are all having a fabulous December!

 

 

Katie Doyle

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#IWSG: When You Get the Busy Signal

December 2, 2015     Katie Doyle     Insecure Writer's Support Group, IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Last month, I completely forgot about the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. It was two weeks later when I realized I had missed it. I had just started my first full week at a new job, was busy trying to finish up the last bits of Ash and Snow, and trying to build up my independent business as a Le-Vel brand promoter. Add to that the stress of the holiday season sneaking up on me, a daughter who’s medicine quit working properly, and planning and starting the first draft of a new WIP and I was walking around with a busy signal following me everywhere.

Now that I’ve been working for a month at my new job, I have a better hang of it. I’ve even gotten quite a bit of authorly and promoterly things done while at my day job. I still do the work my bosses bring me, but I’m offered enough time in between to do the other things necessary.

The thing I noticed about this past month, once I realized I’d missed the IWSG post and that I was being followed by an almost obsolete noise everywhere I went, I decided it was time to take a bit of a break from breaking my back. I’m thrilled that I am able to do so much now that I’ve started to take Thrive, but there is still a chance for burn-out. These are things you learn about self-care when you have a chronic illness. So, I took to reading. Soon enough I’ll have a Recent Reads post.

I’ve also taken to watching more Gilmore Girls in the last few days. If you didn’t know, I’d never seen an episode before I started watching it a while back. You can sort of follow along with my watching it on Twitter. I’ve hastagged the binge-watch under #myfirstGilmoreGirls. Once I really got into it, though, there are fewer tweets. Still, I’m tweeting as I remember and as I have opinions.

I’m still doing the promoter thing and the author thing, but self-care is absolutely necessary for me to continue, even at my increased pace.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that when you find yourself being followed by a busy signal, try to practice some self-care. Read a book, paint a picture, watch some TV or movies. Anything that helps you take care of you.

I hope you all have a wonderful December and holiday season! It is one of the most important times for self-care=)

 

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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of every month with our insecurities or with inspiration for others facing insecurities. You can find out more on the blog, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook group!

Katie Doyle

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Ash and Snow NOW AVAILABLE!

November 24, 2015     Katie Doyle     Reading, Writing

Finally, I can say it… Ash and Snow is NOW AVAILABLE!

About the Book

Ash and Snow

 

 

Ash fought for her brother, now she has to fight for her life.

When the spell to save her brother worked, she didn’t anticipate the problems that would follow suit. It destroyed her magic and in so doing left her life force to drain away. For months, the Witch Council searched for a way to stop her inevitable death, but nothing has come of it so far. Then Ash has a dream and as soon as she wakes up meets the little girl who starred in it.

Kay Dewitt is sick. She’s also special. She knows things she shouldn’t and guides Ash to find the thing that could save them both. But the Council doesn’t believe and turns Ash’s boyfriend against her.

Ash is on her own again…Only this time two lives are at stake.

Loyalty and friendship are tested in this Snow White retelling.

 

 

 

 

You can get it in all the usual places…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | Goodreads

Keep your eye out for upcoming giveaways, and don’t forget to leave a review after you read it=)

And to everyone in the US, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving=)

Katie Doyle

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So Close!

November 10, 2015     Katie Doyle     Writing

The month of November is almost halfway done already. I’ve been working hard on getting Ash and Snow finished with final read throughs and should be able to start formatting within the next couple of days. I’m so excited that I am finally able to get this out to you guys! I’ve been promising it for freaking EVER and finally, by the end of the month, you’ll have it!

I’ve been doing a little bit on my NaNo novel, though I’ve tried to concentrate more on Ash and Snow. I haven’t gotten much in the way of story done, but the little vignettes I’ve come up with that gives info on background and will not show up in the actual book have been fun. World building is one of the funnest things for me to do when drafting/outlining. This one is different than anything I’ve done so far, which makes me even more excited to create the world.

In other news, you may have heard (or not) that I started working recently. This is a huge deal. The health problems I’ve had to deal with over the last few years just kept getting worse and worse, but I finally found something that makes me feel so much better. The exhaustion is gone, the aches and pains are all but a memory, and I’m losing weight. And I got a job OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE! No one is more surprised than I am.

Anyways, I just wanted to keep everyone updated on the goings on of Ash and Snow. I’ll announce the actual publication day soon, and expect it before the end of the month!

For now, how about a sneak peak?

A&S Quote 1

 

I hope you all have a wonderful November. Let me know how your NaNo is going! Or, if no NaNo, what projects are you working on right now?

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

Katie Doyle

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Finding the Right Keyboard

November 2, 2015     Katie Doyle     Writing

Last week, I started a new job. This job is simple. I’m a receptionist at an insurance agency. There isn’t much to it other than filing and faxing. Occasionally, I have to mail things or type up welcome letters. This means using the computer provided for me. This means using the keyboard. This means I make more typos than I ever thought possible.

The “m” is a pain. The “v” is a pain. The pressure required to make the letters show up is that of Thor’s Hammer hitting Captain America’s shield.

Seriously.

Which brings me to my topic. Finding the right keyboard.

This is definitely not the keyboard I would have chosen for myself. I’m used to the keyboard on my laptop. It’s small, sleek, and works with gravity instead of against it. On my laptop, I can type pretty fast. On this, I have to hit the backspace button more times than I hit any of the letters. I’m getting good at hitting that backspace.

It’s important to find the right keyboard for your writing. It’s a matter of what’s comfortable and what doesn’t stress your wrists too much. It’s also a matter of finding a keyboard that feels good to type with. One that fits your typing style.

I love Logitech. My last post might have hinted a that=) I like the wireless ones with the wireless mouse. I like ones with keys that don’t require Hulk-like strength to press. I like flat keys close together.

*sigh*

I’ll get used to the keyboard. I don’t use it that often, and soon enough I should be able to bring in my laptop to work on my writing. As it is, I might invest in a new keyboard to bring in to work… As long as the boss is okay with it. =)

Also a mouse.

Anyway, I hope NaNo is going well for everyone participating.

Happy Keyboarding!

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

Katie Doyle

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NaNoWriMo Must-Haves

October 27, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Writers around the world are getting ready for Sunday when National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins. It’s usually a month of ups and downs. We begin the month like this:

every word I know

And we end the month looking like this:

penny no more computer

And, since it’s the last week to finish the prep, I thought I’d share a few helpful things to get you through the month.

  1. A Good Desk Chair – You can never be too thankful for a good chair to sit in while writing your brilliant story. There are plenty of desk chairs out there, but not all of them are going to support your back. After an entire month of writing, writing, writing you’re going to need something that doesn’t cause stiffness after long periods of butt-in-chairing. This1 is my favorite: mesh desk chairNot only does it have back support, it also has mesh fabric to help keep you cool while your fingers are on fire=)
  2. Or, if you prefer a stand-up desk… – There are plenty of good desks out there, but the trend lately is all about being on your feet while you work. So, if a good stand-up desk is what you prefer, there are plenty to choose from. I really like this one2:If I have to have a stand-up desk, it’s going to be one that I can adjust as needed. Not every day is going to require the same height. Sometimes I wear shoes with different insoles and there are days when I’m taller than others (seriously… It’s weird).
  3. A keyboard that won’t kill your wrists – Typing is a repetitive thing. Repetitive things cause wrist pain. Wrist pain is a *$^&% to work with. Do your wrists a favor and don’t be too hard on them. My favorite keyboard is this one3:There are some really neat ones out there that aren’t QWERTY and are supposed to help with carpel tunnel syndrome. Try one of these Dvorak4 keyboards:Do you notice the difference?
  4. How about something comfortable? – It’s all well and good that you’re trudging along on your novel, but sometimes, it’s hard to do. Especially if you’re uncomfortable in those pants and bra… You know, clothes in general. So, a little bit of comfort goes a long way in taking your mind off the world around you and keeping you centered in your story. Try a robe5: I mean, what about this robe DOESN’T look comfy?
  5. These might come in HANDy! – I know, it’s a terrible pun. But what about some nice, warm fingerless gloves6 to round out the comfy? There are plenty of styles7 to choose from=)
  6. A necessary beverage – It’s getting cold in the US, so of course we’re going to need something to keep us warm while we’re working away. I love hot chocolate8:Of course, there are other ways9 to keep warm too… If you’re old enough that is:

Anyway, I hope you make it through looking less like Penny up there and more like yourself. Some of the things I’ve listed here might help. They might not, but you never know until you try=)

Happy NaNoing=)

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

Katie Doyle

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New Look and New Book Blurb!

October 23, 2015     Katie Doyle     Writing

Hello, hello!

I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been working hard on getting Ash and Snow ready so you can FINALLY read it=) It will be available soon enough, so if you haven’t had a chance to already, check out the first book in my Grimm Tidings series, Ash and the Prince!

I’ve decided to upgrade the look of my website because I felt like it was lacking that little something extra. Thanks to Noze Graze, I found the perfect theme=) Do you like it? I like it. I think it’s fun and pretty and pretty awesome.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve all waiting with bated breath for the blurb for Ash and Snow, so here you go!!

 

AshNSnowKindleCover

 

Ash fought for her brother, now she has to fight for her life.

When the spell to save her brother worked, she didn’t anticipate the problems that would follow suit. It destroyed her magic and in so doing left her life force to drain away. For months, the Witch Council searched for a way to stop her inevitable death, but nothing has come of it so far. Then Ash has a dream and as soon as she wakes up meets the little girl who starred in it.

Kay Dewitt is sick. She’s also special. She knows things she shouldn’t and guides Ash to find the thing that could save them both. But the Council doesn’t believe and turns Ash’s boyfriend against her.

Ash is on her own again…Only this time two lives are at stake.

Loyalty and friendship are tested in this Snow White retelling.

 

 

If you’re interested in ARCs for either book, just check out the respective pages. I have ARC request forms up for anyone who wants=)

For now, I have to go get ready for a Fall Festival. The #MiniMe is running for Queen and the results are tallied tonight! Wish her luck=)

Katie Signature

 

 

 

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Katie Doyle

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The Tale of the Sleep Study

October 14, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life

Last night I had a sleep study. For those of you who’ve never had this experience, it’s interesting to say the least.

You might know that I’ve had some health problems lately. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia earlier this year, but there’s a chance that whatever is wrong with me is something else. So, they took some blood and, after discussing my snoring problem, set me up for a way to test how much oxygen I’m getting when I sleep. When the results of the sleep oxygen test thingy came back, they didn’t even bother talking to me before setting up an appointment for a sleep study. I assumed that was a bad sign and got confirmation from the guy who was there, last night, to watch me sleep.

Yep. A guy literally watched me sleep all night. He wasn’t in the room or anything. There was a camera for him to use that I assume had night vision capabilities because it was pitch black once all was said and done.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I got there a little after seven thirty and they got me all registered as an “out-patient” and gave me directions to the sleep study lab. I got there, knocked on the door, and was greeted by a man with a black eye, long white hair pulled back in a ponytail, and a cool, calm manner. He was nice and listened as I prattled on about my books. We discussed HP Lovecraft, the story of Gilgamesh, and the usefulness of Save the Cat.

Now, I went into this not knowing what to expect. I have two friends who told me their experiences and they were as opposite as possible. One kept getting woken up through the night and the other said the bed was the most comfortable she’d ever slept on. I’m not quite sure what the point of a sleep study is if you’re going to get woken up over and over, but after last night, I think I know why.

The bed was comfortable. It was a sleep number bed, and I remember getting one for my Dad for Christmas one year. I played with the settings and claimed it was mine and he’d have to find another bed for himself. That, of course, didn’t happen, but the bed last night was incredibly comfortable. I found the perfect number and it was like sleeping on a cloud.

The bed may be the only redeeming quality of this entire experience. Now I know what bed I want when Hubs and I finish fixing up the house and pick out a new one. But the wires. OMG the wires! I had wires attached to my face, my head, my chest, and even my neck! Do you realize how horrible that neck one was? I have a thing, a phobia that I can’t find a name for, about the neck. You can’t touch my neck. I can’t watch things where bad stuff happens to a neck. I literally place the collar of my shirts over my chin to keep my neck safe from the air! And yet, here’s this guy, the nicest fellow ever, who is trying to put a wire on my neck and I just about flipped out.

I calmed down and all the wires got placed and he helped me manoeuvre myself to the bed without ripping out any of the wires. Of course, we ended up ripping out a couple of the wires. For the next half an hour, he went back and forth between me and his computer with the readings in the other room as he tried to figure out what wires weren’t working and why. Once everything was done and the computer was reading my brainwaves, heartbeat, and oxygen levels, I was set to go to sleep.

There was only one problem…

sleep study selfie

How is a person supposed to sleep with ALL OF THAT?!

After a nice round of Simon Says (blink five times, flex your feet, look to your left with just your eyes) to make sure the readings came through they way they should, he shut off the lights and left me to it.

Did you know that doctors can prescribe the number of hours you sleep? Well, they can. Especially during a sleep study. I was prescribed six hours of sleep. That meant, if I went to bed at 10pm I’d get up at 4am. When we were done, there was still an hour before my “official bedtime” so I read for about 40 minutes (IDOLS by Margaret Stohl).

I remember, once I’d sort of fallen asleep, kicking my legs and trying to find a comfortable position and then realizing that I had a lot of wires connected and just stopping mid-movement. I remember waking up thinking there was something on my face and reaching to get it off before realizing it was supposed to be there. I remember thinking the straps on my feet (Yeah, they put wires there too) had come loose and being thankful I could finally bend my legs into a comfortable position.

The next thing I know, the calm dude with the black eye was waking me up.

I’m going to tell you, the worst thing about the entire experience is the after. I had so much goo all over my head from where he stuck the wires that he brought me shampoo/body wash and a couple of towels. All I did was clean the stuff off my face before walking out the door and saying goodbye to him. I’m not a big fan of showering anywhere but at home, especially if there’s a huge hole in the ceiling where a tile was pushed aside. It’s bad enough peeing while staring into a dark void above your head, the idea of getting completely naked under it just didn’t sit right with me. That’s how horror movies start.

In the end, I was able to get some good sleep, even with the wires. I’ll thank the bed for that one. Now I’m at home watching my daughter kill zombies on the xbox while Little Man and Hubs snore softly in their beds. It’s still early as I write this and I have goo to get out of my hair and breakfast to figure out for the family.

I look forward to my nap later today 😉

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

Katie Doyle

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#IWSG: Three Months

October 7, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life

For three months, I’ve been saying I’m almost done, I’m almost done. Ash and Snow has been the challenge of 2015. When I finally decided that I would turn it all into a series of retellings, I thought that it might all go just as easily as writing Ash and the Prince had. Yeah, I did some reconstruction on that one once I decided to publish it beyond my blog and Wattpad, but it was still a bit of fun for me. I had a blast with it.

With Ash and Snow, I’ve had so much frustration that I wanted to throw my computer out of the window more often than not.

A lot of my problems have to do with my health. It started going down hill pretty quickly at the beginning of this year, and even though I have a great doctor and I kept up on everything she told me to do, my health kept going down and down and down. Fast forward to last week when I’d finally had more than enough of the constant exhaustion.

It’s hard to write when all you want to do is sleep. It’s hard to write when you have so much brain fog you don’t know what freaking day it is let alone what time or how to make words fit together coherently.

For a few months now, my husband has been expressing concern with my sleep. You see, I snore. Loudly. A lot. Enough to keep hubs up at night which doesn’t help his own health concerns. He told me it scares him, the way I sleep and snore. I thought nothing of it… Until my doctor asked me at my appointment last week if I snored. When I confirmed, she sent me home with a little machine that would test the oxygen in my pulse when I slept…

 

I wore this crazy looking contraption to bed last night. #WRL #DailyDiary

A photo posted by Katie Doyle (@katiedoyle_in) on


When she got the results back, they set me up to have a sleep study. I failed that test so horribly they didn’t even wait to call me before scheduling one with the hospital.

It turns out that you really do need oxygen when you sleep. Without it, your brain wakes you up over and over so that you can get some normal breathing in and it can get the oxygen it needs to NOT die. Which is good for ME not dying. But it isn’t good for the restful sleep everyone requires.

So, depending on the results and whether I have sleep apnea or not, I’ll either get some sort of cpap or bpap machine or they’ll recommend something else. At this point, I don’t care what happens so long as I finally don’t have to nap every. single. day… Although a friend did tell me that research says a nap a day keeps your heart healthy, so that’s something to think about;-)

Anyway, I mention all this because it’s especially relevant to the fact that for the last 3 months I’ve been promising Ash and Snow to everyone. Along with the frustration of writing an actual novel instead of a novella and having to whittle down the minor plots to make it a novella and having to rewrite most of it anyway, my personal health hasn’t helped at all.

On the plus side, things are getting taken care of. I’ve recently started taking Thrive, which is a supplemental regime in three parts. It’s helped tremendously with my energy levels and with the brain fog. I’ll talk more about that some other time, though.

As for now, I’m finally almost done with the final rewrites. I have a couple of chapters that I think I’ll be able to finish today (it’s Sunday as I write this). From there, small edits, betas, and finalization.

Finally.

Maybe.

If my health cooperates.

*crosses fingers*

Katie Signature

 

 

 

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InsecureWritersSupportGroup

This post is for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG). The brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, it is a once-monthly post by writers about their insecurities or to inspire those facing insecurities. You can find out more at the blog and join the Facebook group.

Katie Doyle

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Ignite by Sara B. Larson

September 10, 2015     Katie Doyle     Reading, review

A week or so ago, I promised more reviews and that’s what I’m giving you.

I finished Ignite (Defy, Book 2) by Sara B. Larson last night and I have thoughts and feelings. First, the book info:

IgniteMurder, kidnapping, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson’s acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion’s people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy — before it’s too late?

 

Format: Kindle

Purchased through Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Alexa guards her king, Damian, with all the dedication of any of the other Kings Guard. The only difference? She’s in love with him. He’s in love with her too, but she lies to him because she believes he should marry a noblewoman. After the battle to save the kingdom of Antion and the fight with the black sorcerer, Iker, that almost killed her and scarred half her face, she was a hero to all who had lived under the tyrannous rule of King Hector. But after the novelty wore off, she became a target for ridicule and gossip. A woman’s place is not in the King’s Guard, after all…

The story is beautifully told. I found myself wanting to read more and more and I seriously look forward to December when the next book comes out.

Alexa is the type of “strong female character” that I love. She can fight with the best of them (she actually is the best of them), but she has her weaknesses. She’s stubborn and secretive (a necessary thing in the first book). She has emotions. She’s no cardboard cut-out.

I did have one problem with the book. There was some repetition involved with Alexa and Damian’s relationship, but that’s pretty much it.

All in all, I give it four stars!

4stars for Ignite

 

 

Katie Doyle

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Let’s Talk About Mental Illness

September 4, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life

in-shadow

September is Suicide Awareness Month. It’s a serious topic very close to my heart. Not only have I attempted suicide in the past, but my father-in-law committed suicide four years ago. I have chronic depression and earlier this year I discussed my most recent battle with it. It’s a constant battle that never goes away, but it’s one that is sometimes easier, sometimes harder, and sometimes seems impossible.

Monday, Kathleen Schmidt did a series of tweets on the subject which I Storified with some of my own thoughts after. It’s long but well worth the read:

 

My own experience with attempted suicide was the lowest point in my life. I thought that there was nothing more to do, nothing I could offer to anyone. I saw myself as a burden to my friends, my family. I thought they would be better off without me. It’s years later and I’m in a much better place, but I recently started taking medication for depression again. I have opted not to do therapy this time, instead trying to implement those things I’ve learned through previous therapy sessions that have helped me in the past.

But you don’t look sick

One of the biggest problems with depression is that it is an invisible illness. That’s why talking about it openly is such a huge deal. The more we remove the stigma of mental illness and depression, the more people begin to understand it, or at least empathize with those that have it. o-HELPFUL-ADVICE-570 There have been many people who have done what they can to raise awareness about depression. Two of the most common people I associate with awareness are Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) and Wil Wheaton. And even recently, Jared Padalecki started a Represent campaign and talked openly about his own battle with depression. But Louise Gornall has one of the most amazing ways of raising awareness that I’ve ever seen. With her #InShadowSelfie campaign, she’s taken selfies to the next level. in-shadow What I love most about this campaign is the symbolism. Just like your shadow, mental illness is there with you at all times. I’ve seen a lot of the #InShadowSelfies that people have taken and it’s breathtaking. Not just how some of the photos are beautiful and well taken, but the number of people who have taken one. It helps to know that we aren’t alone, that there are others out there who face similar feelings on a daily basis. You can read Louise’s Q and A about it to learn more.  

My #InShadowSelfie for #MentalHealthAwareness. @rock_andor_roll A photo posted by Katie Doyle (@katiedoyle_in) on

 

I nominate everyone who reads this to take their own #InShadowSelfie. And I implore you to talk about mental illness and mental health. Let’s help to fight the stigma that comes with it.

 

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Doyle

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#IWSG: Writing a Sequel

September 2, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life

Writing a sequel

Things with Ash and Snow are almost ready to send to betas. If you’re interested in being one and can turn it around within a week, just send me an email. I should have it ready to send out by next Wednesday.

I’ve never gotten to write a second in a series before. Most of the books I’ve written (and now trunked) have been the first in a planned series. It’s an interesting experience to continue writing a sequel to a world that you’ve written already. When I wrote Ash and the Prince for the A to Z Challenge in 2014, I thought it was a one-off. I didn’t anticipate continuing the story until a couple of readers asked if I would ever publish it and make it a series. I thought about it and, well, it is a series now.

There are differences in a first book and a second book which make writing the second book easier in some ways and much harder in others.

Ways in which it’s easier

  1. My Main Character/s – I already know them. I know how they’ll react to certain events. I know how they think, how they move, and how they talk.
  2. The World – My world is already developed. Yes, there are some additional facts revealed, but I’ve already set up the magic system which makes it easier to know what can and cannot happen.

Ways in which it’s harder

  1. I have to introduce new characters along with old characters. This isn’t as easy as introducing brand new characters in a first book because there are times when the new people in a second book have been around for a while and you have to figure their character and how they interact with returning characters before you can write them.
  2. The stakes are higher. I can’t just retell the same story I already told in the first book, and things have to be harder to overcome, there have to be more dire consequences, and the mistakes made have to be bigger.

The biggest difference, though, is the challenge. Writing the second book in a series is much more challenging… And I’ve had a blast meeting that challenge.

And now that I’ve written the same word (CHALLENGE!) multiple times in a row, I’m going to go face more of that challenge. (CHALLENGE!)

Have you ever written a sequel or a series? What were some of the easiest/hardest parts for you?

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). You can learn more about it and sign up on the blog and join the Facebook group too.

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Katie Doyle

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That time a cop blocked me in my driveway to search for a murderer…

August 27, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life

It was Tuesday afternoon when I went outside to hop in my car and pick my kids up from school. There was a cop pulled over on the side of the highway right behind my car in my driveway…

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I’ll let Storify and my Twitter story tell you most of it:

 

 

The news article I linked doesn’t tell he whole story, but it does tell most of it. I can’t find the article now, but one news source did mention that cops had been looking for him in various areas on Tuesday for a supposed car theft and my neighborhood just happened to be one of them. I don’t know if they were false leads or what, but it was a little unnerving to find out that when I asked the officer if there was anything dangerous I should know about, there really was. I do have to say, he didn’t know it at the time, though. Tom Tharp, one of the murder victims, wasn’t reported missing until later that evening, so no one could have known that the man they were looking for was going to kill someone.

Still, with that and with the two reporters killed on live television in Virginia, not to mention so many other murders that take place every day throughout this country, it makes you think. Well, it makes me think.

It makes me think about gun control. It makes me think about safety. It makes me think about building a wall around my house to keep my kids safe from the outside world…

I don’t understand the concept some people have that going out and getting a gun will keep me and mine safe from other people with guns. It’s all just one big cycle of KILL KILL KILL, if you ask me. That whole “Kill or be killed” mentality is something that is prevalent in America today. And it’s terrifying. I don’t want to kill anyone, and I certainly don’t want anyone to kill me. I don’t see how owning a gun is going to stop either thing from happening, but stricter gun laws will help prevent it.

Anyway, my heart goes out to the victims and their families and loved ones, both here and in Virginia.

Katie Doyle

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On Reading and Reviews

August 17, 2015     Katie Doyle     Life, Reading

-Reviews are the life-blood of writers....I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the books I’ve been reading and how reviews really are what make books successful. Most of this has come about with publishing my first book, but I will say I thought about it occasionally before.

It’s easy to dismiss reviews when you aren’t published. At least, it was for me. I would do Recent Reads posts, listing and reviewing all of the books I’d read in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, my reading time has diminished quite a bit. The books in my TBR pile are growing, but I rarely take away from it anymore, which means fewer of the posts and, therefore, fewer reviews.

I didn’t often put those reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. The only reviews I put up were through tours set up by publicity firms. On occasion, I would get emails from people asking me to review their books, but I would refuse. I had this idea that I would only review books I bought and liked (mostly traditionally published, though some indie and self-published as well) or I took the option through the publicity firm’s newsletter (I receive a few every month). But, since my reading time is short, I’ve been doing fewer and fewer and reading less and less.

And it’s killing me. I need to dive into a new and amazing world again soon, or jump back into a world I’ve already read but whose story has continued through another book in the series. I’ve got non-fiction books to read that look fascinating. I’ve bought more books than I could finish in a year.

I’ve got writing to do (deadlines loom). My daughter requires my help to keep her on task with her homework. Sometimes it takes all afternoon and evening, sometimes just half an hour. My husband wants me to marathon Netflix with him and my son wants me to play with him. I have laundry and dishes and cooking and clearing out the house for an appraiser to come tell us how much it’s worth. I also have fibromyalgia which makes all my energy zoom right out the window as soon as I wake up in the morning. The spoons I have now are on loan from a week from Thursday, and I can’t nap to gain an extra because I don’t have time. Even writing this post is taking up time I don’t have. Which means I have to prioritize my time and that’s not always easy to do. I’ll be passed out in bed every night by 9:30 and still have three hours worth of work I have to do before I’m finished for the day.

Now, you’re asking yourself what all this has to do with reviews.

Reviews are the life-blood of writers. Money is good, sure, but reviews are what sell the books. Good review, bad reviews, angry reviews. It doesn’t matter what the review is.

I’ve almost missed two review deadlines just this month. I read the books when I had time and was able to finish them, but only by a hair.

So, my priorities are going to change a bit. Every day, until the appraiser comes, I’m going to get the house in shape, whether it be through washing the walls, taking excess junk to storage or the local Salvation Army/Goodwill/St Vincent De Pau. I might even plan for a yard sale at some point, but that’s if I get certain things done during the day and really, not a likely event anyway.

And then, at night, when the kids are done with their work and everyone has eaten, I will sit down and read at least five chapters of a book. When the book is complete, I will leave a review. I might not leave it on here, but I will definitely post it to Goodreads and/or Amazon.

I don’t think it will take more than a couple of days for me to get everything ready for the appraiser, so then I’ll have more time. But, soon enough, if things go the way I hope they do (*fingers crossed*) a lot of construction will begin on the house and that will take time away again.

I will keep to my pledge to leave more reviews. I will not falter in it.

Nor will I falter in fulfilling my writing deadlines. Once the chapters are read, I will write while sitting with my husband and Netflix, even if it’s just for an hour every night before my kids go to bed and I pass out.

Wish me luck, and pass me a few spoons.

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

Katie Doyle

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Review: The Demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish

August 16, 2015     Katie Doyle     blog tour, Novel Publicity

RC-DemonGabriella-Cover

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish–we’re calling them the Calish Couple—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of The Demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Calish Couple tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

My Review: This is the second book in a series, so I haven’t read the first book. Good thing you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy the second, though I would recommend picking the first up if it’s anything like the sequel. This was a fun story with an intriguing plot and plenty of romance. I give it four stars!

 

RC-DemonGabriella-Cover

 

About the book: Surviving an onslaught of dark forces took talent, strength—and allowing the Demon Abraxas into the world. Now Sabel Young’s order wants her to answer for her actions. All Sabel wants is the freedom to love the woman she rescued, Ana Khoury.
Nearly killed—and worse—in a world of magic she didn’t know existed, Ana is nursing new scars and old. Her brother wants to journey to South Dakota to confront their shared past before that opportunity is lost forever. The centuries-old feud between the demons and witches isn’t going to stop Ana from going with him.
Sabel knows there’s nowhere that Ana can go that evil won’t follow and she fears their newest ally, the Demon Gabriella, is a more profound danger than their enemies.
Get The Demon Gabriella through Amazon.

 

 

 

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About the author: Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.
Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Learn more about The Demon Gabriella‘s tour mate HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Katie Doyle

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#IWSG: ANNOUNCEMENT

August 5, 2015     Katie Doyle     Writing

AshNSnowKindleCoverI’m grumbling to myself. I have been for the last month. I’ve been working hard to make sure Ash and Snow is just right, but it’s giving me problems. I’m still working on it and it should be with betas right now. I’m close, but not close enough. At least, I’m not close enough to finish in time for the August 18th release.

Which means, I’m pushing the release date back a month. The new release date is SEPTEMBER 22 sometime at some point I swear.

I always have a habit of adding too much to my plate during the summer months when the kids are home from school. I think I can get a lot of stuff done, when the truth of the matter is, I can finish only half of what I normally do when the littles are at school. Their classes start up again this week though, so I am absolutely confident in my ability to finish the final bits of Ash and Snow, get it to betas, and polished up before the new release date.

I really hate that I have to do this, but I see no other option. I don’t want to release a book that isn’t ready.

Until then, Ash and the Prince is still free on all ebook platforms.

Katie Signature

 

 

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InsecureWritersSupportGroup

This post is for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of every month. You can find out more and sign up on the blog, and don’t forget to join the Facebook Group!

 

 

 

Katie Doyle

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Songs of Secrets Review & Blog Tour

August 2, 2015     Katie Doyle     blog tour, Novel Publicity, Reading, review

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish–we’re calling them the Calish Couple—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, The Demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Calish Couple tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book:

Book Cover Layout-CS.indd

 

Sing a song of secrets …
A shape-shifter with a penchant for breaking and entering …
A homeless boy struggling with hallucinations that could turn out to be all too real …
A monster in need of a rescue …
And a mathematical genius with a real demon of a mother …
Fate draws Theo, Gabe, Erin and Kitty to a place they jokingly call “The School for Wayward Demons.” There they learn that sinister forces threaten to invate the city of San Francisco and plot to overthrow the powers that be. Now they must choose whom to trust: the witches, the demon, or the Shaitans. Or each other.Get Song of Secrets through Amazon.

 

 

 

My Review:

I loved this book! It’s told through a rotating cast of characters and their POV. I normally don’t like books that do that, but this one integrated all the POVs so well, it really lent to the story. Kitty was my favorite character and I loved the story line of two kinds of demons. I highly recommend picking it up ASAP!

 

About the authors:

TateHallaway_ateventTate Hallaway leads a double life. By day, she’s Lyda Morehouse, a mild-mannered science fiction author of the Shamus and Philip K. Dick award-winning AngeLINK series. By night, she’s the bestselling para- normal romance and urban fantasy writer, Tate Hallaway. She’s written and published over a dozen novels (five as Lyda and nine as Tate), and together her two identities have over a decade of professional publishing experience.

Connect with Tate on her website, Twitter,or GoodReads.

 

 

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Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.

Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads.

Learn more about Song of Secrets‘s tour mate HERE.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Katie Doyle

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Ash and the Prince is FREE everywhere!

July 24, 2015     Katie Doyle     books, Life

Happy Friday!

I am pleased to say that Ash and the Prince is available for FREE on every available ebook platform!

If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, go forth and download=)

AshNthePrinceKindleCover

 

Ashley “Ash” Prince hates using magic, but that doesn’t stop her mother from forcing lessons on her. She resists except when it helps her stepbrother, Charlie.

Charlie is sick and none of the doctors knows why. When Ash has a witch dream, she is determined to find the elusive and rare Ghost Orchid—a flower that could be the key to saving him. Her mother begs her not to go because not only did Ash’s dream reveal a way to heal her brother, it also hinted at her death. But when her brother gets worse, she refuses to sit around and let him die. In a race against time, Ash and a boy she met in a coffee shop go in search of the Ghost Orchid.

Only someone doesn’t want her to find it. Family secrets are revealed and Ash has to decide whom to trust—the mother that raised her, or the boy barely knows.

Love and family collide in this Cinderella retelling.

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | KoboSmashwords | Goodreads

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Katie Doyle

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Oh, Hey! Look at That!

July 20, 2015     Katie Doyle     Writing

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. This time because of the hoopla that my last post generated. I figured I should sit back and let things cool down. They have, and just in time too=)

Tomorrow is the official release day for Ash and the Prince, but you can get it on Smashwords right now! And, it’s absolutely free=) So, if you can’t wait to get it and read it, you can download the epub, Kindle, and pdf versions of the first book in the Grimm Tidings Series.

In other news, it is up for preorder on Amazon, but I had to set the price at $0.99 because… Well, because Amazon said so, that’s why. We can fix it, though! With your help, it will be free there too, whether Amazon likes it or not=) Just go to the book page and scroll down to where you see “tell us about a lower price” right after the details section. You can let them know that it’s free on Smashwords, and, once it’s up with other retailers (and I have the links), you can use those links as well=)

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For now, I have much work to do not only with the release of Ash and the Prince but with Ash and Snow, the second book in the series, which comes out on August 18th=)

I hope you all are having a fabulous July!

Katie Doyle

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Why I will no longer write YA

July 5, 2015     Katie Doyle     Writing

So, a lot has happened on the internet over the last few days. There’s too much to get into here, but if you’re involved in the YA writing community you probably already know something about it. If you’re not, then count yourself lucky. There are things happening that are very toxic.

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For that reason, I have decided to stop writing YA.

I have a couple of novellas coming out, one this month and one next month. These novellas were originally categorized as YA. For a couple of months now, I’ve debated on changing that to NA due to the age of my main character and the circumstances she finds herself in. It is most evident in the second novella, but that’s all I’m going to say about that because spoilers.

But with the recent events within the YA community, my decision was made. I cannot in good faith write young adult novels with the atmosphere surrounding the young adult community anymore. This saddens me greatly. I got my start in writing young adult, in fact, everything I’ve written to date was with the young adult category in mind. Most of what I read is young adult.

It’s heartbreaking to think that just because I’m an adult, I am not wanted in the YA community or that because I’m an adult my voice is without value. Or that my opinions on anything could be turned against me so that I’m a target just because one person has a vendetta against me for whatever reason. I’ve seen it happen soooo many times in the last few weeks, it seems to have become the norm.

What’s worse is seeing teenagers being used as a tool in someone else’s trolling of well-known authors. This has happened TWICE. Personal and private FB posts wound up as screen shots used to attack an author all because they were discussing an article written by a teenager. That teenager was then thrust into a vendetta that was not hers because someone saw her as a tool to hurt others.

I do not want to be associated with a community that does that. I don’t want to be surrounded by people who approve of that kind of behavior, and I have yet to see anyone stand against it1. I also don’t want to be around people who would see it and sit silently back. Then again, I also don’t want the internet to turn into any more of a shit show than it already is, so I don’t want people putting themselves out there where they can be attacked just for speaking up.

Anyway, it’s not like I’m some big name author in the YA community, but I don’t think that matters much. I’m going to concentrate on things that don’t give me the panic attacks the YA community has lately. Luckily, the broader writing community is still a good place to be. Maybe, one day, I’ll return to my YA roots, but I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait to see how things go.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

 

1Just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

 

ETA: Okay, so my phone let me know that my blog was getting a lot of hits and I wondered about this on FB. One of my friends messaged me to let me know that there was a lot of talk on Twitter about it which surprised me because I hadn’t gotten any mentions. I did notice some tweets from people I follow though, so I looked into it and WOW this make a lot of people mad.

I noticed that a lot of people were upset that I was afraid that “the evil teenagers” might get me, so I thought I should probably acknowledge that I did not make that clear at all. It’s adults making it toxic. They are allying themselves with teenagers so that those teenagers don’t get silenced. This, I absolute agree with. But there are other adults (like the woman using the one teenager as a tool for her own vendetta) who are attacking authors (not just male authors, btw). It’s the adults that are making this toxic. I should have been clearer and I apologize for that.

I have issues with depression and anxiety which is why I decided to step away from writing YA books. I immersed myself in the YA writing community when I first started and when things like this happen, I tend to get to the point where I have to take extended breaks from social media. The breaks have been getting longer and more frequent.

That being said, a really great hashtag came out of it, #WhyIWriteYA. If you write YA, I highly recommend you participate.

Katie Doyle

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Cover Reveal for No Interest In Love by Cassie Mae

July 2, 2015     Katie Doyle     books

I love reveal posts, but there’s nothing like having a reveal in the author’s own words or, in this case, GIFs=) Here’s Cassie with the low-down on what’s up with No Interest In Love

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Because I love GIFs, and my main character in this book, Jace, is obsessed with How I Met Your Mother, we’re gonna do the cover reveal with a series of HIMYM GIFs 😀

There’s this guy; this actor…
And his balls are so very blue.
He wants that problem rectified. And he has his chance when his agent… this girl here:
…lands him an audition for the next big Rom Com with an A-list actress who is known for really getting to “know” her co-stars.
The audition’s on set in Alabama. He’s in LA. Flights are grounded, car engine gets flooded, and the fecal matter pretty much hits the fan.
Now he has to get across the country with the girl who drives him nuts.
A girl who doesn’t know how to chill out.
A girl who doesn’t understand that he’s not interested in a relationship now… or ever.
A girl who—as he spends more and more time with her—goes from this:
To this:
And now he has a few more roads in front of him. Play it safe and keep heading toward Casual Fling Lane…
Or take a chance on the unfamiliar feelings that lead down Relationship Avenue.
And *plays drum roll* here’s the cover for it!

 

Also the official blurb 😉

Readers of Emma Chase are sure to fall for bestselling author Cassie Mae’s All About Love series! In No Interest in Love, Hollywood’s hottest young actor hits the road to chase his big break—and gets caught in a steamy love triangle.

When Jace Carver snags a minor part in his buddy’s zombie flick, he suddenly starts getting noticed all over the place. Even Hollywood megastar Carletta Ocean—known for her extensive “research” with her leading men—wants Jace for her new rom-com. The role could be a game-changer . . . if Jace nails the audition.

As Jace’s agent, Shaylene Kwak is all business—and isn’t about to let her favorite client blow this opportunity. Ever since college, Shay has been immune to Jace’s charm and rock hard body. But long hours in tight company have a way of wearing down even the best defenses. And when their platonic teasing turns into serious flirting, Jace and Shay are no longer able to resist what’s been right in front of them the whole time.

Shay knows Jace’s love-’em-and-leave-’em history with women. She’s not about to be just another notch in his belt. And it’s true, Jace has never wanted more than a one-night stand—until now. But at the end of the line, he’s got a choice: sleep with Carletta and seal the deal . . . or risk his career for a shot at true love with Shay.

Praise for Cassie Mae

“Clever, romantic, and entertaining . . . Cassie Mae is a natural storyteller.”—USA Today bestselling author Tiffany King, on Doing It for Love
“Cassie Mae is awesome! The perfect balance between laugh-out-loud funny and achingly poignant, The Real Thing is the ultimate escapist read. I didn’t want it to end!”—Lauren Layne, USA Today bestselling author of Crushed

“Cassie Mae’s writing is fresh and original!”—Rachel Morgan, author of the Creepy Hollow series
“A fabulous author who tugs on your heart strings as if she owns them.”—Jade Hart, author of Coffee and Cockpits

Cassie Mae (who dons the name Becca Ann on occasion) is the author of a few hundred—okay, maybe not that many—books. Since writing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she has published books with Random House, Swoon Romance, and Tulip Romance. She has a favorite of all her babies, but no, she won’t tell you what it is (mainly because it changes depending on the day). Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge-watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree.

Comes out December 22nd, but you can pre-order now!

Katie Doyle

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