Air Awakens Affinity Tour: Windwalker


If you have spent time talking to me or have read some of my tweets on Twitter you may have heard me mention a book called Air Awakens by Elise Kova. This book has become one of my top reads of 2015 and probably one of my favorite books. (Under Harry Potter and Percy Jackson!!) I won’t spend too much time on here fangirling, so if you would like to know more you can check out my review here or come find me on twitter and just ask/talk to me about this wonderful book and/or author! I will be happy to chat with you!!

We have an Air Awakens Fan Club on Goodreads and they were nice enough to come up with a fun idea! We are doing posts about our affinities!

What are affinities? Well, let me try and give you a quick version. In Air Awakens you are introduced to two types of people: Commons and Sorcerers. Commons, like it sounds, is people with no magic. Sorcerers, are those that have affinities for certain elements. Each element has their own characteristics and abilities.

The types of affinities are:

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Check out this page on Goodreads for more information on the affinities. 

Each affinity sounds amazing. For some people, it may be easy to figure out which affinity you are. For others, it may not be as easy. So thanks to the lovely Elise Kova, we have a quiz that will help anyone figure out what they are! Just click: Affinity Quiz!  to take it.

I have to admit, I am one of those people that had to take the quiz. I felt like every affinity described me in some way, but at the end I was lucky enough to get:


You are most at home in open spaces and have no fear of heights. The wind is your greatest ally and with it you can levitate objects and listen to whispers. You do not enjoy being pent up and value freedom highly.

You have a deep connection with the world and no one can hold you back. Many covet your power to Project your mind beyond your body and manipulate greater forces of magic.

You are just like: Vhalla Yarl

Here is a link to Elise’s post that has more information on Windwalkers. 

I am beyond happy I got this result! I feel like this describes me in so many ways! I will say, I also feel like Waterrunner would match me as well. I actually took the quiz again and switched one answer and got Waterrunner as the end result. But both are my favorite elements so I’ll take it!! Both have a sense of freedom and healing qualities, and that is what I love about them.

One of the questions we are asked to answer along with finding out our affinity is what we would do for a day if we actually had this ability. This can be a bit tricky to answer because I only know a small amount about the abilities and powers of a windwalker, but I know one thing I would do. FLY!!!

I have always wanted to fly. Just to enjoy being free, gliding along the air while seeing the earth below. Yes, I am aware I could do this with a plane, but I have a slight problem: I’m terrified of heights! So I have never been in a plane, nor do I actually have a desire to run and get in one. I have a strong fear of falling from heights, but windwalkers need not worry about this. I would take advantage of this fact and have the time of my life flying around. I could so have like a Harry Potter moment and grab a broom to sit on just to have a bit more fun. I mean, who hasn’t read Harry Potter and wanted to try flying on a broom? Quidditch anyone?

There are more things I would probably do with the ability to control air, but for now that is the only thing that is coming to mind.

Have you read Air Awakens yet? If you have not gotten a chance to read it yet and would like to join us, we are having read along on Facebook soon! We are going to read Air Awakens as a group before Fire Falling comes out in November! We would love for you to join us. If you have read it then come join in for a re-read or you could just come chat with us! The read along will have discussions, questions, teasers, deleted scenes, giveaways, and more! Here is the link: Air Wakens Read Along! 


What do you think your affinity is?

Did the quiz come out like you thought it would?

What would you do for a day with your affinity?

Did you read Air Awakens? Do you want to?

❤ Lauren

Musings of Romina Russell


“Don’t write what you know; Write what you want to know!”
By Romina Russell, YA author of Zodiac

When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with exploring our universe and imagining what might exist beyond Space; but since science has never been my strong suit, I worried I would never make it out of Earth’s orbit.

Even after I started writing fiction, I still didn’t trust myself enough to tackle a Sci Fi book because the same trite advice kept echoing through my head: Write what you know, write what you know, write what you know. And science was always something I definitely didn’t know.

I spent too many years trying to write stories that were deeply rooted in my own reality, but that familiarity also made it harder to envision different possibilities for my characters. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when I finally decided to experiment with something different, that I landed my first publishing contract.

ZODIAC was completely new territory for me. I wanted to water down the science by crossing Sci Fi with high fantasy—only it backfired when I realized I knew as little about astrology as astronomy. After thoroughly researching the Zodiac signs, I found that my ideal main character was nothing like me: Rather than an obsessive and analytical Virgo, Rho is a selfless and intuitive Cancrian. It was my first experience writing what I didn’t know, and it brought me right back to why I originally fell in love with writing—so I could follow my imagination anywhere.

What’s most magical about a book is that it can be anything: a spaceship that launches us into the stars, a microscope that magnifies our mind’s depths, an inter-dimensional device that transports us to alternate realities. Regardless of genre, we write to explore the world around us and the worlds within us.

So with that much possibility, why would we ever want to limit ourselves to what we already know?

More About Romina:

Romina Russell (aka Romina Garber) is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on ZODIAC, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

Official Site ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Tumblr ~ Goodreads

Zodiac (Zodiac, #1)

At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.


Wandering Star (Zodiac, #2)

Orphaned, disgraced, and stripped of her title, Rho is ready to live life quietly, as an aid worker in the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn.

But news has spread that the Marad–an unbalanced terrorist group determined to overturn harmony in the Galaxy–could strike any House at any moment.

Then, unwelcome nightmare that he is, Ochus appears to Rho, bearing a cryptic message that leaves her with no choice but to fight.

Now Rho must embark on a high-stakes journey through an all-new set of Houses, where she discovers that there’s much more to her Galaxy–and to herself–than she could have ever imagined.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N


*Update Giveaway Is Over*

So not only has Romina graced us with her words of wisdom, she is also remarkably generous by offering advice for one lucky aspiring writer!!

One lucky winner will receive a critique of the first 5 pages of their MS by Romina along with a critique of an agent query letter!!

A huge “Thank You” to Romina Russell for taking the time to write this insightful post. You have been so thoughtful by interacting and giving back to your readers.

As always, thank you to everyone who has/is participating in this feature! You are making large strides in helping new writers become the best that they can be. We so appreciate all of your effort to support our community and the voices of the next generation!


Top Ten Author Duos We’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together


We are all very excited for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! The girls of The Broke and The Bookish asked us to come up with our Top Ten author duos we’d LOVE to see write a book together.  It was difficult to narrow down our options.

Melissa’s Picks

Rick Riordan and Cassandra Clare

Rick Riordan   Cassandra Clare

Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo

  Leigh Bardugo

Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins

   Stephanie Perkins

Susan Dennard and Alexandra Bracken

Susan Dennard   Alexandra Bracken

Lauren’s Picks

Rick Riordan and Ransom Riggs

Rick Riordan  Ransom Riggs

Colleen Hoover and Stephanie Perkins

Colleen Hoover   Stephanie Perkins

Kelly’s Picks

Emm Cole and Sarah J. Maas

Emm Cole   Sarah J. Maas

To write a hot steamy dark fantasy New Adult novel

Sabaa Tahir and Tahereh Mafi

Sabaa Tahir  

Libba Bray and Laini Taylor

Libba Bray   Laini Taylor

Jodi Meadows and Josephine Angelini

Jodi Meadows   Josephine Angelini

Let us know who you’d like to see write a book together in the comments below!

❤ Melissa, Kelly, Lauren

How to Write and Sell Your Romance & Erotica Boot Camp

Hi Lovelies!

As many of you know, I’m currently an intern for Corvisiero Literary Agency. If you haven’t heard me rave yet, let me just tell you how much I absolutely ADORE being a part of this agency. I couldn’t have asked for a better team of amazing women (and Ethan!) to work with and to learn from. Corvisiero is called a boutique agency for a reason: they make the experience personal for all authors, and they make sure that they are trained experts in their craft. Because of this, they are phenomenal teachers, and next week, they’re giving you all the chance to learn from them as well.

Corvisiero Literary Agency takes a lot of pride in their represented Romance and Erotica authors. These incredible authors are some amazing people, writing diverse characters in unique and fresh persepctives with pure talent to back them up. Needless to say, our agents know their Romance and Erotica genres! This weekend is the last weekend to sign up for their Romance & Erotica Bootcamp, where you will not only learn a bunch of tips and tricks of the trade, but get your queries critiqued by one of the Remance and Erotica agents in our agency. AND, get this, you get a free book too!! How can you all pass up this opportunity?!

Here’s the low-down:

“Romance and erotica novels make up a significant percentage of all adult fiction in the book industry. Generating approximately $2 billion in sales per year, the market is indeed competitive, but it is vastly large and the profits can be anyone’s. All authors need to do is produce a good product and know how to sell it.

Good romance needs to enthrall the reader carefully and tactfully in a way that the love story is entertaining, enchanting or exciting, and just as important, believable. The reader’s journey will follow the character’s journey with a promise of emotional and intellectual satisfaction as the happily ever after is achieved.

But in such a competitive market, how do you make sure your book stands out as a quality submission? How do you walk the fine line between capturing the attention (and purchasing power) of readers of different ages and different background? How do you find the best agents and markets to submit your work to? How do you know when your book is a romance, work of erotica, new adult, or women’s fiction story? How do you decide when your work is ready for an agent or if you should self-publish?

In this brand new Writer’s Digest Agent One-on-One Boot Camp starting October 12, 2015, the literary agents of Corvisiero Literary Agency will answer all those questions and more. They’ll also critique your work and allow you to ask questions you during online Q&A sessions.

Registrants will hear a tutorial on how to craft an amazing romance/erotica story, how to prepare the submission, how to choose between traditional publishing and self-publishing, and how to choose the right agent/help; then they will submit their work – either query letter and first 5 manuscript pages, or first 10 manuscript pages to be critiqued by experienced agents at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

This program will show writers of romance and erotica the following:

  • What the difference is between romance, erotica, new adult, and women’s fiction—and why it matters to understand how the categories differ
  • How the different categories or genres are viewed, who the target readers are, and how that affects what agents and publishers you will target
  • Why an agent will tell you, “I love this story, but I can’t sell it”
  • How to start your work strong and create engaging characters for both editors and readers to love
  • How to craft a interesting and likeable story—focusing on the elements of each category
  • How to create a story arc that works, thinking in terms of standalones and series potential
  • How to create interesting conflicts with satisfying resolutions
  • How to decide if you should follow a traditional or self-publishing model—which choice will work best for you and for your project.
  • How to prepare a successful submission package
  • How to avoid the common mistakes that sink submission chances, such as:
    • talking down to your reader
    • not having a redeemable or well developed character, solid plot, or strong hook
    • having a story that begins too slow or other plot development or pacing issues
    • not following guidelines
    • not choosing the right agent or editor
    • boasting about the work to sell it instead of describing it in the best possible light

Here’s how it works:

On October 12, 2015, you will gain access to the online tutorial presented by literary agents from the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. Also following the tutorial, writers may log onto our discussion boards and ask your assigned agent critiquers questions related to revising your materials. The agents will be available on the boards from 1-3 p.m. (ET) on October 13 and October 14. No later than Friday, October 16, attendees will submit either their query letter and the first 5 double-spaced pages of their manuscript or the first 10 double-spaced pages of their manuscript to be critiqued. The submissions will receive feedback directly from the boot camp literary agents.

The agents will spend up to two weeks reviewing all assigned critiques and provide feedback to help attendees. (The agents reserve the right to request more materials if they feel a strong connection to the work and want to read more; note that multiple agents have signed writers before from WD boot camps.) No later than October 30, 2015, agents will send their feedback to writer attendees.

Only registered students can access the discussion sessions. You’ll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers.

Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.

In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive a download of “How to Get an Agent,” an on-demand webinar by literary agent Carly Watters.

BONUS: Free with registration to this boot camp, you will receive Nothing’s Sweeter than Candy an erotic romance by Lotchie Burton (choose from epub, mobi, or pdf format).”

How Do I Sign Up?

You can find the sign-ups, all of this information, and more at the link below:

This is an amazing opportunity! Don’t miss it! I wish you all the best of luck, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on Twitter (@YAFantasyFan) or via e-mail ( If I can’t relay an answer, I can definitely relay your question to one our lovely agents. =) 

Have an amazing weekend and remember…

❤ Kelly

Musings of Rachel E. Carter


“Does music play a part in your writing process or help inspire you?”
By Rachel E. Carter, YA author of The Black Mage

I remember the first time I listened to music while reading. It was fourth grade and the living room was too loud to concentrate so I took out my CD player & headphones (yea, I just dated myself lmao) and finished the book with music in the background. For some people music & books compete for attention and they can’t focus on one while they are doing the other, but for me it’s the opposite: it helped me focus. Shortly after that first discovery I began to call certain songs “theme music” for various books, and listening to that “theme” song would take me right back to a favorite scene. The way people used to watch music videos? I had mini-music book/scene-trailers in my head.

Shortly after, I started to picture my own scenes in my head every time I listened to music. It became a kind of game to see what each song’s scene would be, and I began to wish I could read about the scenes I’d imagined -since they weren’t already in a book or movie and I liked reading, I decided I would try to write them. One of the first bands I remember clearly being inspired by was Evanescene. Evanescene is kind of a darker, dramatic rock band with a lot of sad/love-struck/morbid lyrics and a classically-trained singer. When I heard their songs I saw ravaged towns at night with demons wandering the streets and a boy and girl battling in shadows trying to survive, I saw a haunted house made of glass and a killer hunting a girl within, I saw a love-struck girl dying trying to get the boy to notice her and another trying to save the one she loved. I saw a million scenes and as I started to write it was really fun to listen to my scene’s songs because it helped amp up the writing atmosphere and make me more excited to write. This feeling never quit.

Now? I listen to anything and everything. My mom was a classical violinist so I listen to classics, movie soundtracks, pop, rock, country, folk, whatever I feel like to fit my writing mood. In my series The Black Mage I have created several folders in my iTunes for each book’s playlist. This helps me get a general theme for each book, and keep track of my favorite songs for each scene.

A month or two after each book is published I release my “Book Playlist” on my blog for curious readers, to see what I was writing to when I was writing “that kiss scene” or “that major battle,” etc. I feel very passionate about music and books because music –be it the beat, lyrics, “feel”- is what inspired I would say 70% of my favorite scenes. Sure, I write to silence or come up with awesome ideas in my head through dreams/watching movies/reading other books occasionally, but I am very music-oriented (even though I can’t sing or play an instrument) and am obsessed with making imaginary movie trailers or music-book scenes in my head since I know my books will probably never be made into actual movies.

Want some examples of what I listened to & pictured in my head for The Black Mage?

  • Anthem Lights “Circles” >> First Year (TBM #1): main character Ryiah feels like she is never good enough and has to work hard to keep up with the other more privileged students including the arrogant prince Darren she keeps running into, this is her theme as she slowly starts to get better.
  • Linkin Park “Hit The Floor” >> First Year (TBM #1): Ry has to fight another student in a giant training arena for a competition. This song really helped get into a fight mode.
  • Kelly Clarkson “You Love Me” (it’s a song about rejection, a guy who claims to love a girl but in truth just breaks her heart) >> Apprentice (TBM #2): Ryiah’s relationship with the main love interest, Prince Darren, who can’t seem to make up his mind about her. They have a very roller coaster, hot-and-then-cold relationship.
  • Marie Digby “Feel” >> Apprentice (TBM #2): when Darren asks Ryiah to dance and while dancing she & him both battle growing feelings for each other even though they can’t be together.
  • Papa Roach “No Matter What” >> Apprentice (TBM #2): when Ryiah and Darren are almost killed in battle and instead of running away, Darren turns back to help save Ryiah (who is too injured to escape) even though they are supposed to hate each other.
  • Florida Georgia Line “Headphones” >> Candidate (TBM #3): sweet Ryiah and Darren moments.
  • 30 Seconds to Mars “End of All Days” >> Candidate (TBM #3): Ryiah coping with losing someone she loves & turning down a darker path, losing hope in humanity and hating herself as her loyalties to all she loves is tested.

So am I alone or does anyone think music and books go hand-in-hand? What are your favorite songs to listen to while reading, or use while writing?

More About Rachel: 

Rachel E. Carter is a young adult author who hoards coffee and books. She has a weakness for villain and bad boy love interests. When not writing, she is usually reading, and when not reading she is usually asleep. To her, the real world is Hogwarts and everything else is a lie.

The Black Mage is Rachel’s first YA fantasy series, with many more to come. She loves to interact with fellow readers & aspiring writers, and here is a list of places you can find her:

Official Site ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Tumblr ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

First Year (The Black Mage, #1)

First Year (The Black Mage #1)

99 cents on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and KOBO through 10/31/15!!!

Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice-follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage…

For 15-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead -the realm’s most notorious war school for those with magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every “first-year” is given a trial year to prove their worth -and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail -and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship, she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve -and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat… Still, nothing is ever as it seems -and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in -herself. Will it be enough?

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon (INT) ~ B&N ~ KOBO ~ iTunes ~ Book Depo

Apprentice  (The Black Mage, #2)

Apprentice (The Black Mage #2)

She survived a trial year at the Academy, but that was just the easy part…

Now sixteen-year-old Ryiah is an apprentice of Combat, her school’s most notorious faction of magic. When she finishes she will be a mage, but in order to do so she has to survive four years with a training master she hates and her old nemesis, Priscilla. To make matters worse the unwanted attraction Ry feels for her sometimes-friend-sometimes-rival Prince Darren is at an all time high –even though he is betrothed to the very girl she can’t stand.

Really, the only bright spot to Ryiah’s new life is the time she spends with her friends, including an older apprentice named Ian, who she finds herself thinking about quite often.

Just when things start to get comfortable they take a turn for the worse. An apprentice is killed in a rebel attack and several mages end up dead. Unwittingly, the apprentices find themselves in the midst of a budding unrest between Jerar and its northern neighbor, Caltoth. For Ryiah the impending conflict means many things, but as her apprenticeship draws to a close she finds her biggest problem at home.

Unfortunately for her, Darren’s not going anywhere.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon (INT) ~ B&N ~ KOBO ~ iTunes

Candidate (The Black Mage, #3)

Candidate (The Black Mage #3)

Coming October 27th, 2015!

Welcome to the Candidacy. Where dreams go to die.

Twenty-year-old Ryiah is a black mage of Combat, but she is not the Black Mage. Yet. She’s had her eyes on the legendary robe for as long as she can remember, and in just one year she will have a chance at her country’s prodigious –and only- tourney for mages… Too bad she is going up against a certain non-heir. The one person she has yet to beat.

Meanwhile Ry has a year to prove herself in her new role as a war mage and the prince’s betrothed. Neither is quite what she expected and complications arise on both fronts. War is on the horizon, and with so many enemies the kingdom of Jerar’s fate is more than ever at risk.

The Candidacy finally arrives, but it’s only the beginning. Nothing can prepare her for what comes next.

Goodreads ~

A huge “Thank You” to Rachel for being so amazingly flexible and for writing this guest post! I love the GIFs! =)

As always, thank you to everyone who has/is participating in this feature! You are making large strides in helping new writers become the best that they can be. We so appreciate all of your effort to support our community and the voices of the next generation!

Waiting on Wednesday: Candidate



Title: Candidate (The Black Mage, #3)

Author: Rachel E. Carter

Publisher: Astraea Press

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: October 27th, 2015


Welcome to the Candidacy. Where dreams go to die.

Twenty-year-old Ryiah is a black mage of Combat, but she is not the Black Mage. Yet. She’s had her eyes on the legendary robe for as long as she can remember, and in just one year she will have a chance at her country’s prodigious – and only- tourney for mages… Too bad she is going up against a certain non-heir. The one person she has yet to beat.

Meanwhile Ry has a year to prove herself in her new role as a war mage and the prince’s betrothed. Neither is quite what she expected and complications arise on both fronts. War is on the horizon, and with so many enemies the kingdom of Jerar’s fate is more than ever at risk.

The Candidacy finally arrives, but it’s only the beginning. Nothing can prepare her for what comes next.


About the Author:


Rachel E. Carter is a young adult author who hoards coffee and books. She has a weakness for villain and bad boy love interests. When not writing, she is usually reading, and when not reading she is usually asleep. To her, the real world is Hogwarts and everything else is a lie.

The Black Mage is Rachel’s first YA fantasy series, with many more to come. She loves to interact with fellow readers and aspiring writers.


Why We Are Waiting:

Lauren: I love a good fantasy read, as most people that talk to me will find out, so when Kelly told me about how much she enjoyed this series, I couldn’t help but want to join her! I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but hopefully I will soon! This story sounds like a fun one to read, and I can’t wait to experience it.

Kelly: Emily from Midwestern Book Nerd has been nudging, and nudging, and NUDGING this book into my line of sight for so long. She raves abou this author, and for good reason! Not only is Rachel an amazing writer and story teller, but she’s also a wonderfully kind person. Plus, seriously, this is an edgy NA series about a powerful young woman who is BA. You all know me well enough to know that I’d be all over this series!

❤ Lauren and Kelly

Ten Bookish Habits We Want to Quit


It’s Tuesday! Which means another Top Ten Tuesday featuring 10 Bookish Habits We Want to Quit. Top Ten Tuesday weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Kelly would like to quit…

Buying entire series without reading the first book
Personalizing every book I haven’t read.
Trading and lending out books.

Melissa would like to quit…

Stop feeling guilty about honest ratings.
Being an introvert at book events.

Lauren would like to quit…

Starting books at midnight


Stop purchasing books and visit the library more often.
Procrastination: writing, scheduling, and publishing book reviews.
Misplacing bookmarks in our blankets
Overbooking ourselves

Let us know what book habits you want to quit in the comments below!

Don’t forget we have our GIVEAWAY happening for The Young Elites!

❤ Melissa, Lauren, Kelly

Book Blogger Creativity Project: Quiet YA Books (Yellow Team)


Hello everyone! I’m excited to be the first for my team to post during our Book Blogger Creativity Project!

What is BBcreativityproject? Excellent question!! I am lucky to be friends with the very talented and awesome Nori (@ReadWriteLove28) who has come up with a fun way to get veteran and new bloggers together in a huge blogging project. For all those that joined in on the project she split into different teams, each team coming up with a blog topic. For more information on BBcreatvityproject you can click the link here. For more information on Nori you can check out her blog here, or find her on Twitter here!

I’m glad to announce I am a member of the fabulous Yellow Team! I have enjoyed getting to know the lovely people on my team, and look forward to working more with these fantastic bloggers! The members include:

Our team picked the topic of Quiet YA.

This is a chance for the members of the Yellow Team to talk and spread the word about books that may not be as well known as the big titles we see all over Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.

There are many books that are well worth the read, but sadly more popular titles can take over the social media sites and these wonderful books may not get the spotlight they deserve. So here is a chance to find some books we think you need to check out!

The book I picked that I think needs to more attention is:

Air Awakens by Elise Kova.

Air-Awakens-Cover-Cover-Reveal  A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all -the Crown Prince Aldrik- she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

You can add it on Goodreads by clicking here!


If you follow me on Twitter, there is a good chance you have seen me talk about this book. After reading Air Awakens, I have added it to my favorite reads of 2015 and have talked about it a lot since then.

If you are wanting a book with interesting characters, an entertaining plot, emotional moments, and adventure full of magic and excitement, I would highly recommend Air Awakens! The writing is beautiful, and the words will wrap you in and keep you hooked page after page.

Air Awakens is the first in a series that is self published by Elise Kova. The fact that it is self published is one of the reasons there is not a lot of media attention. I’m usually one of the people that stay away from self published books, but I’m glad I took the chance with this one! A bonus for this series being self published is the release dates! Book one was released in August, book 2 will be released in November! That’s right, no waiting a year to find out what happens next! After ending the first book, I can’t tell you how excited I was to find this information out.

The book itself is not the only amazing part. The author is also something magical. Elise Kova is such a sweet and entertaining person. I have recently gotten a chance to befriend her on Twitter, and have spent many days just in awe over the fact that I have conversations with an author of a book I love! Even if you have not read her book, she will still take the time to talk with you. She has joined in on Nori’s Twitter chat #RQWN a few times, so she may be someone that people recognize. You can find Elise on Twitter here @EliseKova.

If you are looking for a new read, this debut novel from a debut author is a good choice! You can click here to read my review!

Is this a book that you may be interested in? Do you have any books that you feel are not read enough? I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below!

I hope you enjoyed this first post and I can’t wait to see what my team members have in store for everyone!

❤ Lauren

Musings of S. Usher Evans


Beta Readers And Why They’re Amazeballs!
By S. Usher Evans

Every writer is going to have a different process for how they get their manuscript reader-ready. Being a self-published author of four books (the last one coming later this month, more on that later), I’ve developed my own system of benchmarks that I hit before I press that publish button. The most important one is the beta reader step.
A beta reader, in my definition, is a reader who looks at a complete manuscript and provides feedback on what I call the “big rock” issues. So if you said your elf is going on a ship, and then in the next scene he’s in a cave. Or if you haven’t done a good job in your worldbuilding and the reader can’t picture your fantasy world. Or, more pressing, if the story is any good. A beta reader doesn’t normally pick up on the “you missed a comma here” stuff, at least in my view.

If you’ve ever published anything, you know opinions vary. That’s why it’s good to stick with four or five beta readers so you get a wide variety of input. Just as your readers pick up on different things, your betas will come back with different things. The key is to know your story well enough to tell the difference between the comments you want and feedback you take as a general note to be clearer. For example, in my dragon book, I had a beta reader leave me a ten paragraph essay on how I should make the fantasy world more like 18th century Scotland–except the book didn’t take place there. I took that as a general commentary that I needed to make my worldbuilding clearer.

So who should you pick for your beta readers? It really depends. For my space pirate series (brace for obligatory “I have a new book coming at the end of this month and you can check it out here“), I’ve started to circle the wagons around a core set of readers. Since I’m working on #4 in the series, it doesn’t behoove me to enlist readers who’ve never read the first three. Therefore, I chose some readers who were super into Razia who could help me with continuity and characterization. For the dragon book, since it was a personal allegory to my own struggle with anxiety and depression, I wanted beta readers who’d never even heard my name to check if the story was actually interesting. For my romance work in progress, I chose readers who wrote romance to help me with all the kissy stuff.

Above all else, you should choose readers who you trust to give you honest feedback and readers whose feedback you’ll actually listen to. After all, you want to make sure your baby is as perfect as it can possibly be before you send it out to the sharks of the literary world.

About S. Usher Evans

Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series and Empath, both published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Find S. Usher Evans on the below social media:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

Conviction (Razia, #3)

Conviction (Razia #3)
Coming October 28th, 2015


Razia is in trouble. Captured by a fellow pirate, she now finds herself back on probation with a bounty worth zero credits. In the cold reality, she begins to question herself and everything she has been working towards all of her life–and what she’s willing to do to reclaim her glory.

Piracy is a game. What do you stand for?

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iBooks

Alliances (Razia, #2)

Alliances (Razia #2)

Piracy is a game. Whom do you trust?

Lyssa Peate has found a tenuous balance between her double lives – the planet-discovering scientist and space pirate bounty hunter named Razia. No longer on probation, Razia still struggles to be thought of as more than a chocolate-fetching joke, and Lyssa can’t be truthful to those closest to her. But both lives are turned upside-down when feisty government investigator Lizbeth Carter shows up to capture the same pirate Razia is after.

Lizbeth’s not interested in taking Razia’s thunder; rather, she convinces the caustic bounty hunter to help solve a mystery. Somebody’s hiring pirates to target government ships, and there’s a money trail that doesn’t make any sense. From the desert planet of D-882 to the capital city on S-864, the investigation leads them deeper into a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of the Universal Government – and to one of the most painful chapters in Lyssa’s past.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Double Life (Razia, #1)Double Life (Razia #1)

Piracy is a game. How much are you worth?

Since she was a little girl, everyone – from her father to the Great Creator himself – told Lyssa Peate the same thing: she’s worthless. But when she becomes the pirate bounty hunter Razia, she can see the price tag on her own head. Employed by one of the four pirate syndicates, she uses bank transactions and her considerable wits to capture rival members. At least, she would be if Razia’s boss ever gave her a chance. It’s a man’s world, and all she’s allowed to hunt are purse snatchers while she languishes on probation.

To pay the bills, she’s stuck in her old life as Lyssa, discovering and analyzing distant planets and selling them for cash. She’s doing just enough to stay out of trouble, pretending to be continuing her father’s mysterious research while away for long periods of time. Her slimy boss is always asking questions and even assigns one of her younger brothers, Vel, to intern with her. Already struggling to keep the balance between her double lives, she tries everything to rid herself of the kid…

…until the universal police mistake Lyssa’s intern for Razia’s hostage.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble



Lauren Dailey is in break-up hell.

Stuck between moving on and letting go, she puts on a brave face while crying herself to sleep at night. But when a mysterious voice promises escape from her sadness, she is suddenly transported to a new world. And in this place, the slightest touch pulls her out of her tortured emotions into the mind of another – an empath.

The villagers – sweet Aerona and her mischievous twins, wise Siors, and hunky Cefin – welcome her and the blessings her empath powers bring. But this world is not without its dangers. The Anghenfil, a fire-breathing monster, has haunted the village for decades, and has a taste for empaths. And that mysterious voice promising escape from sadness? It’s sounding more like a whisper tinged with smoke and embers.

Can Lauren keep the monsters in the mountain and in her head at bay? Or will she succumb to the darkness like the empath before her..

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Being the agent and beta reader that I am, I have to completely agree with this post. Beta readers can save your entire manuscript and sanity! Seriously, I can’t even tell you how many queries I look over and send back, advising them to get more beta readers. I can’t tell you how many indies I’ve read that need more beta readers! Beta readers can and will save your career! Remember this when you finish your manuscript!

A huge thank you to S. Usher Evans and all of our participating authors, agents, publicists, etc. We can’t do this without you, and we love you so much for helping so many young writers achieve their dreams!

❤ Kelly, Lauren, and Melissa

Cover Reveal: Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword

Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted 

Drakeland SwordAbout the Book:

Title: Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword
Release Date: November 6, 2015 (11/06/2015)
Author: Keira Gillett
Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan
Narrator: Michele Carpenter
Series: Zaria Fierce Trilogy, Book 2



Summary in a Nut-Shell: Zaria Fierce must undo the damage she and her friends caused when they accidentally aided Olaf in his quest to release the dragon, Koll.

Full Summary: If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you’d never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing towards the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures, but also many more perils… something sinister lurks beneath the surface following her every move, haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it’s too late?



Pre-order on Amazon: E-book

Praise for Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest (Book 1):

“Are you in the mood for an old fashioned magical jaunt? Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett is a classic “perilous adventure” book for middle grade readers.” Jennifer Bardsley, The YA Gal

“A captivating blending of fantasy storytelling with today’s technology. At the base of this tale is deep, abiding friendship that stands the tests of time, adventure and even danger.” Kathy Haw, Goodreads Review

“A great book with a lovely story and amazing characters. It’s a fantasy and adventure book that will be the delight of Narnia fans and those looking for a bit of Norwegian folklore thrown into it.” Ner, A Cup of Coffee and a Book

“If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure dipped in fantasy, look no further. This book kept me on my toes with its many cliffhangers and plot twists; it was quite hard to put down at times.” Meredith, All ‘Bout Them Books and Stuff

“I love when a story jumps right in and hooks me like this one did. I highly recommend you look into it if you are in the mood for a fun adventure. I also recommend that you get it for any book loving middle schooler you know.” Emily, Midwestern Book Nerd

Illustrations by Eoghan Kerrigan:




Filip slung his window open and tossed out his backpack. It landed in a thump in the hedgerow. Aleks pulled it out and slung it over his shoulder with his own bag.

“How’re you getting down?”

“Hopefully with your stargazer.”

“Then why toss down your bag?” Aleks asked, exasperated.

“Just in case,” Filip said with a wink at Zaria.

She suppressed a smile. She looked to the others, “Does anybody have rope?”

Aleks and Geirr both nodded. Then Geirr unzipped his bag and pulled out a neat coil from on top. He tossed it to Filip, who snatched it up as it sailed by the window. He disappeared into his bedroom and reappeared moments later slinging the coil out the window. It unraveled to the ground.

“Good,” Filip said briskly. “It’s long enough. Now let’s see if it holds.”

Filip quickly scaled the side of the house and they gathered their belongings preparing to dash. Without warning, Mrs. Storstrand stuck her head out of a bottom window and shrieked at the sight of them.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

“Run!” Filip shouted, grabbing his friends’ sleeves and rushing for the street.

Aleks cursed and threw Filip his backpack while slinging his own around to the front and unzipping a pocket. He looked frazzled as he dug inside the opening. Mrs. Storstrand was quick. She was already out of the house and chasing after them. She threatened life and limb and the most terrible of all – letting Filip’s father know what he was about.

At last Aleks found the stargazer – a shiny purplish egg-shaped object perforated with stars – and almost dropped it in his haste. After a brief fumble, Aleks located the largest star, and hastily jabbed his finger into the hole. Just like that, Mrs. Storstrand froze mid-run. But so too did Christoffer, Filip, and Geirr.

Aleks looked at Zaria and to the others. “Damn,” he hissed. “Wait! How are you not frozen too?”



Pre-order on Amazon: E-book

Keira Gillett author 

pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.


Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (zariafierce)

Eoghan Kerrigan IllustratorIllustrator Bio: Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures. He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects. He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls.


Social Media: Twitter (eoghankerrigan), Facebook (eoghankart)

Michele CarpenterNarrator Bio: Michele Carpenter is an artist at heart, with a passion for acting. She and her husband (also a voice actor) often work on projects together and help one another through the journey. Together, they have three kids. Michele’s children love to hear her read stories and beg her to edit her narrations in the same room with them so they can listen too. It’s partially for this reason that Michele has come to feel a personal responsibility to only record books that aren’t inappropriate for children or young adults–at their respective age levels and according to the maturity levels of the books they’re able to read. “We never know how long we have on this earth and I’d rather leave behind a legacy of books that I’m not ashamed to have my friends, family and even future grandchildren, listen to forever.”


Social Media: Twitter (michelecvoice), Facebook (michelecarpentervoice), YouTube (micheleyoutube)