Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

March 6, 2016

I swear I read a lot in February! It’s just that I read the same thing over and over and over again and that was the Circle of Nine – Novella Collection that will be (drum roll please) officially released on the Spring Equinox, March 20. (Or for those of you who have read the first Circle of Nine book . . . that holiday is better known as Ostara.) Here's a first look at my cover for the collected set. (For those of you who were following the releases of the individual novellas as e-books, you've seen the cover in its varying shades already.) 

For any author moving toward publication, the number of times you read through your book can seem infinite. At each step in the process, you read through again, checking for typos and/or formatting errors at a minimum. Now, I’m at the... Continue Reading

February 1, 2016

I have set a much more realistic goal of reading 60 books in 2016 – 4 down, 56 to go. On the first of each month, or as close to it as I can manage, I will review the previous month’s reads. As you can see below, I am an eclectic reader. January included titles from many genres—middle grade, young adult, romance, and suspense. 

Ruby on the Outside by Norah Raleigh Baskin is a sweet, sweet story for middle-grade readers on up. Ruby has a secret—a terrible secret. Her mother is in jail, and she is being raised by her aunt. Ruby navigates through her life with half-truths and outright lies until everything comes crashing down around her. While there’s no happily ever after when your... Continue Reading

January 18, 2016

Whenever I return from a trip to Honduras, I go through a culture shock of sorts. You know that feeling when you walk back into your house after having been on a trip and you think, "Is this really where I live?" because it all feels a bit strange and a bit too nice? So on my first night back I was feeling a little disconcerted and overwhelmed as I began to worry about the kids we had just said goodbye to.

Here I was sinking into my posh mattress and staring up at the perfectly painted cathedral ceiling, when just one night prior at the orphanage I had been worrying about the same thing, laying on a very basic mattress and staring up at a dubious looking bug nest hanging from the rafters right over my head. (I had tucked the sheet in carefully around my legs and arms, attempting... Continue Reading

December 31, 2015

I have failed on my Goodreads reading challenge for 2015. I set out to read 80 books this year. (Yes, I know this seems like a lot, but I have previously read 100 books in a year—so I didn’t think this was an impossible total.) But in an attempt to start the new year as a glass-is-half-full kind of gal, I will be focusing on the fact that I did read 55 books. Or I will have read 55 by midnight, because I fully intend to finish Colleen Hoover’s book “Maybe Someday” before the end of the day. I consider this a major accomplishment because Colleen Hoover’s books have been on my list to read for ages and ages. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that about once a month I share one of Colleen’s posts. She... Continue Reading

December 11, 2015

I grew up on a dairy farm, the youngest of six kids. Even though I am well into my 40s, my mother still refers to me as “the caboose.” (And I still roll my eyes.) My birth order position insulated me from some of the harsher chores, something my older siblings point out from time to time. So while I can claim the title of “farm kid,” I have to admit that I never milked cows before I had to get on the bus for school. I occasionally baled hay, popping the clutch on hillsides with regularity and sending my brother flying off the back of the wagon into the field.  (I was not a particularly skilled tractor driver.)

As a teen, living on the farm was a burden. We were too far from town, I never knew what was... Continue Reading

November 3, 2015

I am really excited that Sea of Memories (A novella collection from the world of Never Forgotten) has just been released. I adore this series and now there's more. If you haven't started this series yet, put it on your waiting-to-be-read list!  

Here's the scoop on these novellas:

Sometimes, we reach the end of a story and realize there is more to be told. This is the case of Sea of Memories, a collection of novellas set in the world of Never Forgotten. Travel with Meara and Kieran to North America where they visit her grandparents and his family. Along the way, stop at Mirage, the dance club where the couple first met, and see the encounter from... Continue Reading

November 1, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone! It's time to reveal the cover, blurb, and an awesome book trailer for the new collective by the award-winning authors of Fractured Glass, IIIII II--also known as 7. 

First, some info about the book:

Title: IIIII II (7)

Authors: Casey L. Bond, Jo Michaels, Tia Silverthorne Bach, Kelly Risser, N. L. Greene

Genre: Adult Paranormal/Historical

Length: approx. 100k words


Seven marks upon a wall.
Tom may rise, but he may fall.
Through five lives, no one dares mention,
of the sin for which he seeks redemption.
Fates will meet, and you will see,
what will thus become of he.

Are you ready for the cover?

Yeah... Not just yet! Here's a... Continue Reading

October 20, 2015

Do certain topics run in streaks for you? Does one theme pop up in different things you’re reading, watching, or doing for a few weeks? Or is it our subconscious seeking out similar topics without us being aware it? Either way—just lately—the theme in my life has been white dresses. It’s been in everything I’m reading and has a peculiar relevancy to my real life.  

Initially, in mid-September we were focused on the wedding of my stepdaughter and her fiancé on a lovely fall day in Madison, Wisconsin. The only glitch was a potentially disastrous broken zipper on the bride’s wedding dress a few minutes before the ceremony. All was fixed by a handy (almost) mother-in-law with a sewing kit and skill with a needle and thread. The ceremony continued with barely a delay. ... Continue Reading

September 29, 2015

Julie Mata is the author of two wonderful middle-grade books, Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens and Kate Walden Directs: Bride of Slug Man. I absolutely adored Night of the Zombie Chickens and am looking forward to reading Bride of Slug Man. These books would be great gifts for the teen/pre-teen readers in your life!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

As a child, I loved to read and write stories. I kept writing as an adult—I wrote news stories as a television reporter and then wrote scripts for clients after my husband and I opened a video production business. I wasn’t working on my own creative projects, though. I finally decided I couldn’t call myself a fiction writer unless I was actually writing fiction. I sat down and started my... Continue Reading

September 22, 2015

Today is the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon or Second Harvest. It’s one of the eight holidays on the Celtic Wheel of the Year that you see at the beginning of my novel Circle of Nine. Autumn is definitely one of my favorite times of the year, but I do get a little sad thinking that this day represents equal hours of light and dark and from now on the days just get shorter as we descend into winter. Brrrrr.

“Day of equal light and equal dark, time for winter’s chilling bark.”~ Onora Quinn/Circle of Nine-Beltany

I am left wondering what happened to the month of August and the first half of September. Oh, I know what I did with all of those weeks, but I am somehow surprised by the passage of time this morning as I see the browning corn, ripe apples waiting to be... Continue Reading