Kristen Simmons

THE GLASS ARROW Pre-Order Campaign

Allen Paul

HONEY THE DIXIE DINGO DOG Official Blog Tour

Donita K. Paul

TWO RENEGADE REALMS Official Blog Tour

Liz Long

A REAPER MADE

Heather Blanchard

Dark is the Sea

Daniel Price

THE FLIGHT OF THE SILVERS

Laurice E. Molinari

PILLARS OF FIRE Official Blog Tour

Jimmy Vee

SAME IS LAME Official Blog Tour

Melanie Crowder

AUDACITY

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Donita K. Paul Blog Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

Donita K. Paul retired from teaching and took up the mantle of grandma. She loves her new career as author of stories her grandchildren devour. Winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado, enjoying friends and family, pets and beautiful scenery. Her favorite part of writing is the readers.

Social Media
   




Can you catch us up from where One Realm Beyond leaves off and Two Renegade Realms begins? 

At the end of One Realm Beyond, the evil guild members had blown up the building that housed that illustrious council. Two years have passed at the beginning of Two Renegade Realms. Cantor has been involved in a systematic search for his missing mentors and Kale has been undergoing rigorous training under Dukmee. Their paths cross again when both are called upon to find facts about a potential invasion.

What inspired you to write The Realm Walker series? 

I’d been pretty much housebound for some time. Sitting in my Hobbit Hole, I looked over the many things I like about my domicile. I wondered what it would be like to step from my comfortable surroundings, through a portal, and into an exotic setting. Travelling without the hassle of luggage, airport security, and reservations would be convenient. Who wouldn’t like to go adventuring without all the mundane details? I have four seven foot book cases. On those shelves are portals to many worlds. I was gripped by the desire to provide entry into a fantasy world of my own making.

When researching dragons for this series, did you learn anything interesting or exciting about them? 

Researching dragons? Really? (Said with sarcasm and a chuckle.) This is actually one of my favorite questions. Sometimes, with students, I launch into the difficulty in this day and age in finding a dragon tack and harness shop. Also the wildlife conservation sites rarely issue permits to the secluded regions where dragons can be watched in the natural habitat. This opens up the discussion of researching myth and lore rather than fact and authenticity. What I love about dragons is that I can endow them with any characteristics I want.

Are there any characters in The Realm Walkers Series that are most like you in real life? 

There is a minor character who just wants to be helpful and be part of a bigger picture. I think that is the way I want to fit in to the grand scheme of things.

Are any of the characters based on your own children or family members in any way? 

I have a friend who is a bit like Bixby-extremely intelligent but a bit flighty, interested in fashion, crafty, and likely to follow her own inclinations rather than fashion gurus.

As a former teacher, did your experience working with students inspire your writing? 

Definitely. If so, in what ways? First, teaching very young children trains you to distill the pure essence of a truth and present it in word pictures that translate well to a child’s thought process. This knack adapts to communication with all ages. Second, interacting with students gives an author a keen sense of what needs to be addressed. What areas of weakness are hindering youth in becoming useful vessels for serving God on the high purpose of life, and on a more earthly plane, being a happy, functional human.

Do you have a favorite character in The Realm Walkers series? If so, what makes this character so special to you? 

Bridger, the bumbling dragon. Who doesn’t love a sincere but inept sidekick? His earnest desire to serve is endearing. Cantor’s dismissal of his offer is irritating and evokes sympathy and the desire to see this character exceed expectations. To me this reflects preschoolers with their limited skill set, great potential waiting to be developed, the simple interpretation of their surroundings, and their enthusiasm for “doing.”

Is there a lesson or reflection you would like readers to learn about themselves from The Realm Walkers series? 

Fulfill your potential, and always, always give others a helping hand up, rather than blocking or ignoring their climb towards achievement.

Your nickname is “the Dragon Lady”--- what prompted your interest in dragons? 

About the only thing I knew about fantasy when I started writing, was dragons showed up in the stories. Honestly, I had no qualifications to write in this genre. Do you have a favorite dragon species to write about? I love the talented mini-dragons in the Chronicles. In Realm Walkers, I’m intrigued by the mor dragons who are shape-shifters and companions to the heroes. And, what can you tell us about the dragon species in The Realm Walkers series? Most mor dragons have three shapes, their normal form, their fleeing form, and their resting form. A mor dragon might shapeshift into fish to help his constant to cross a river, lake, or ocean. Then he might become a goat to blend in with his surroundings and not attract attention. Bridger is phenomenal in his ability to transform himself into a multitude of inanimate objects as well as other animals. His sister pours all her talent into presenting her dragon form in a fashionable array and has forfeited the other two useful forms she might have had.

What’s coming up next in this exciting series? 

The last book in the trilogy deals with an ancient prophecy of three realm walkers saving the worlds of their jurisdiction and re-establishing order in the guild. There are plenty of surprises in how this comes to fruition.


Deserted Island: 
If Cantor D’Ahma was stuck on a deserted island and only allowed to take 3 things with him, what would he choose and why?

Realm Walkers don’t get stuck! He’d wait for a portal to open or even create one if needed. When he travels he always has at least three hampers: food, money, and weapons. Just as a side note: Bixby’s three hampers are crowns, clothes, and food.



In book two of the Realm Walkers Series, Cantor, Bixby, and Dukmee must band together to find the storied realm walker Chomountain after the devastating attack by the corrupt Realm Walkers Guild. But what they discover while traveling turns their mission upside down and they must now find a way to restore Chomountain.

You can purchase Two Renegade Realms at the following Retailers:
        


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Donita for making this giveaway possible.
7 Winners will receive a Copy of Two Renegade Realms by Donita K. Paul.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

{Nerd Blast} Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones



Print Length: 331 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 146817326X
Publisher: Diantha Jones; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B007FH32Q0



Official Book Blast for Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones.

This is a book blast, you will post the promotional info we provide you with, including the giveaway. No reviews required. Please mark your Calendar.


She has a destiny so great that even the gods fear her.

Constant hallucinations and the frequent conversations with the voices in her head, have earned eighteen-year-old Chloe Clever the not-so-coveted title of "Whack Job" in her home town of Adel, Georgia. Fed up with prescription meds and therapists, she wishes for a life where she is destined to be more than the butt of everyone's jokes and mockery.

Be careful what you wish for has never rung more true.

After a vicious attack and learning that her favorite rockstar is an Olympian god, she is thrust into her new life as the Oracle of Delphi, the prophesier of the future. Setting out to fulfill the prophecy she has been given, Chloe learns of how great she is to become, all the while fighting mythical monsters and trying to outwit the ever-cunning Greek gods who harbor secrets of their own. While on a mission to discover the Most Beautiful, she strives to uncover the mysteries of the demigod Prince who has sworn to protect her with his life…and threatens to win her heart in the process.


You can purchase Prophecy of the Most Beautiful at the following Retailers:
 


Book Nerd Spotlight

Diantha Jones was born the day thousands of turkeys sacrificed their lives to fill millions of American bellies on November 22 which also happened to be Thanksgiving Day (Her mother says she owes her a turkey). She is a Journalism graduate who is working hard to be a career novelist (of books, not Facebook posts). When not writing or working, she is reading on her Nook or Kindle, getting drunk on Red Bulls, being hypnotized by Netflix or on a mission to procure junk food.

The Oracle of Delphi fantasy series is her first series. She is also the author of Mythos: Stories from Olympus, a companion series, and there is another fantasy series in the woramazonks.


Social Media
PINTEREST | AMAZON

   

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

UpcomingTours

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Daniel Price Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

I'm an L.A. author with two very different novels to my name. One's a comedy set in the world of public relations. The other's a sci-fi saga about superpowered people on an alternate Earth. I'm not entirely sure how that happened.

Readers can contact me directly through Goodreads mail. I'll gladly reply to any thoughtful message, though my response time may be slow. I'm scrambling to finish the sequel to "The Flight of the Silvers."

Social Media
  



Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

If I had any “Eureka!” moments, I don’t remember them. But I do feel comfortable saying that Star Wars made me want to become a storyteller and Lord of the Rings made we want to become a writer.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

Because while non-fiction’s nice and all, it doesn’t always do a perfect job of explaining the world around us. Sometimes you need a good story to drive the point home, to illustrate life in a way you never considered before.

And when that fails, a story’s just a good way to get out of your own head for a while. I think we’d all be psychotic without that escape.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

My favorite book, by far, is The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. Even though he didn’t like having his works called “science fiction,” his novels represent everything about I love about the genre: insanely inventive concepts, a compelling cast of characters, a poignant parallel to the world of today. The Sirens of Titan has all of that and then some. It also includes one of the funniest and saddest explanations for human existence I’ve ever read. There’s no one like Vonnegut and there never will be again.

Outside the genre, I’d have go with The Stand by Stephen King. I’ve read it a dozen times now and it never fails to blow me away. He takes the entire world from pre- to post-apocalypse and makes you feel every step of the transition. It’s just an epic American horror story. No other post-apocalyptic novel has ever been able to measure up for me.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

I don’t remember who first said “Write what you want to write,” but it’s a powerful piece of advice. I wasted a lot of time worrying about the market, the audience, the arc of my career and all that other ancillary crap. All it did was paralyze me. It kept me from writing the story that had been burning a hole in my brain for years, namely The Flight of the Silvers.

In your book; The Flight of the Silvers, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?

It’s about two sisters and four strangers who survive the end of the world under mysterious circumstances and find themselves on a parallel Earth, a place where common household technology has the ability to manipulate time. Once they get there, they have a whole mess problems to deal with. New enemies, new powers, a whole alien America to process. It’s a character-driven story with action, humor, and a heaping amount of temporal manipulation. The characters bend time in a dozen different ways that have nothing to do with time travel.

For those who are unfamiliar with Hannah, how would you introduce her?

She’s the younger of the two Given sisters, an insecure actress who wears her heart on her sleeve and is often prone to temperamental outbursts. She starts the book in a very bad place, but she gets stronger as the story progresses. I’m writing the final chapters of Book Two now and I can barely recognize her from the character I first created.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Oh wow. I love that question. I suppose if I wanted to make things easier for the Silvers, I’d add Odysseus to the group. The guy’s adaptable. He’s a tough traveler. Good in a fight. I think he could help them.

Then again, anyone who’s read The Odyssey knows that bad things happen to the people who travel with Odysseus. The Silvers would probably get eaten by monsters or turned into pigs.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Amanda?

Of all the main characters, she’s the least like me. In many ways, she’s my polar opposite. So you can imagine my surprise when she turned out to be one of my favorite Silvers to write. I’m not sure what that says about me, but there it is.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

When people ask me how the Silvers series ends, I always lie. I usually tell them it ends with a big musical number. If they’re a hardcore grammarian, I tell them it ends with a preposition.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

The same advice I got. Stop thinking about the market. Stop caring what other people think. Tell the stories you want to tell and tell them exactly how you want to tell them. There is no better advice for any writer, other than “Write."

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

I spent many years as a freelance graphic artist, so I had a lot of seasonal jobs. I spent one summer creating courtroom exhibits for a law firm that specialized in wrongful death suits. It was horrible. I had to work with clients to pick out the best photos of their dead kids. The lawyers told me to find as many baseball pictures as I could. Juries apparently respond really well to dead kids in baseball gear. I did a lot of drinking that summer.

Who was your first girlfriend?

Her name was Perry and we were both six. I don’t remember her last name. I just know the relationship ended badly and somehow she got half my toys.

Tell me about your first kiss

I was thirteen. I had braces and I was very clumsy. All other details of the incident are sealed under court order.

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?

Oh God. The second one. Who wants to break someone’s heart like that? It’s devastating.

When was the last time you cried?

When I read that last question.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

The 1990s. You had all this cool technology but it still pre-dated the social media craze. I would never want to be a teenager in the Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr era. Good lord.

What is your greatest adventure?

As weird as it sounds, my unequivocal answer is “cancer.” I got it in 2006 and it changed everything about my life. It was like being taken apart and reassembled. I can’t recommend it as an experience, and I hope to God I never get it again, but I know I’m a better person for surviving it. There’s so much in my life that I wouldn’t have today if I didn’t get that kick in the ass. And that includes The Flight of the Silvers.

Where can readers stalk you?

You can learn everything about me at www.danielprice.info or find me on Twitter as @SilversGuy. I was dragged kicking and screaming onto Twitter by the Penguin publicists, but now I love it. It’s a terrific place to interact with readers and authors.



Without any warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white. The electricity falters, and airplanes everywhere crash to the ground. But the Givens are saved by three mysterious strangers—fearsome and beautiful beings who force a simple silver bracelet onto each sister’s wrist.

Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone.

Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, the Givens suddenly find themselves elsewhere, a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.

Soon, Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—an acerbic cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had (and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted), the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them…before time runs out.

PRAISE FOR THE FLIGHT OF THE SILVERS:

“An absorbing adventure with a fresh take on both the parallel-universe and the paranormal subgenres. You’ll get pulled in.” 
Kirkus, starred review

“VERDICT: This first volume in a planned trilogy is fascinating sf; Price’s strong, engaging characters and fast-moving plot will keep readers on their toes. Highly recommended for fans of apocalyptic and dystopian fiction.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Price deserves credit for creating immediately relatable characters whose motivations are understandable even when not so commendable. But he deserves out-and-out praise for doing so while constantly upping the temporal ante…Any hours spent reading The Flight of the Silvers will be time well spent.”
BookPage

“Daniel Price has given readers the first installment of what promises to be a well-wrought sci-fi saga, colored by intriguing ideas and complex characters adrift in a wonderfully weird world. The Flight of the Silvers is thought-provoking, cinematic in scope…and very, very good.”
The Maine Edge

“The cast is engaging and the author has created an alternate-reality world that is both bewilderingly different and reassuringly familiar…A highly imaginative exercise in world building that also features characters it’s very easy to care about.”
Booklist

You can purchase The Flight of the Silvers at the following Retailers:


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Daniel for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post with Liz Long


Book Nerd Guest Post

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a Social Media & PR Strategist includes writing for LeisureMedia360 (Roanoker, bridebook, Blue Ridge Country magazines) in Roanoke, VA.

She currently has four books out. The Donovan Circus series has best been described as "X-Men meets the circus with a murder mystery thrown in." Her second book Witch Hearts, is a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. Her newest title, A Reaper Made, is a fantasy about a Reaper who must work a little magic to save her family's souls from demons. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Social Media
   



The Greatest Thing I Learned at School

The greatest thing I learned at school wasn't actually something taught in class, but rather something you learn by interacting with others. As the product of a military father and southern belle mother, I quickly learned how to speak politely with adults and kids alike; in school, I realized that not everyone is cut from the same cloth and while that's usually a great thing, sometimes it means that others aren't as kind. For me, it's important to treat everyone as they'd like to be treated, to respect everyone and handle them with kindness. Even the jerks - I know it sounds cliche, but it's true that bullies pick on others for a personal reason. Whether they have problems at home or are insecure or any number of reasons, they pick on others because it makes them feel strong.

I dislike bullies. I always have and even to this day, some of my feelings on bullies show up in my novels (for example, Lucy from the Donovan Circus Series can't stand bullies and it's a deciding factor for why she gets on board with leading her group of circus misfits). However, I know from experience that sometimes standing up to them can be quite eye-opening for them. It's not that I called them names or made fun of their home lives, either, but rather gave them the opportunity to talk if they wanted. For some, it was simply a matter of having an avenue to express frustrations and offering them a verbal rather than physical way of getting that anger out. I managed to overcome bullies by showing them kindness.

I was a quiet kid in high school; it wasn't until my junior year that I began to find my niche within color guard and marching band, but even then I managed to stay under the radar. I wasn't in the cool kids group and quite frankly, didn't want to be. They didn't treat everyone as they should have. They ignored the quiet kids, berated the gay kids, and picked on the nerds. Ten years later, thanks to social media, I'm seeing those same cool kids with two divorces before they hit 30 and watch as they try to become friends with those same nerds now running successful businesses or the gay kids writing screenplays in New York.

Thanks to the people at school, I learned how to pay attention to others outside of the classroom. I listened to how they treated waitresses and baristas, how they reacted when a problem occurred, or even how they treated their own parents. I can usually tell within a few minutes if I want to be friends with a person based on their interactions with others. I know that school gave me the ability to interact with others my age and figure out more about myself - who I wanted to be and how I wanted to be treated. It's something I take with me everyday in my adult life and I have my teachers and peers to thank.

So basically, follow my mom's golden rule: Be Sweet. It gets you a lot further than you'd think.



Grace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human. When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened.

She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone. Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity.

A REAPER MADE SPECIAL EXCERPT:

Death created Reapers to collect souls. My mentor told me most of these Reapers have been around since the dawn of time, watching over humans and ensuring their souls are appropriately handled. As the population increased, the number of souls needing help to pass over became too great. Because Reapers can’t procreate, however, Death gave his first Reapers - “the Trues” - the ability to create new Reapers. We were called “the Mades,” and originally began as humans. We are born, then we live, and when we die, some of us are chosen (offered, really) to carry on with these immortal duties.

I was still relatively new to the whole Reaper gig, so I’d been assigned the older souls at a retirement home. In life, I’d been in nursing school and spent most of my free time volunteering at the hospital, so working with those who were already expecting death was easier than say, those who fought against leaving this earth. In time, I would learn how to calm those souls and help them pass over, but until then, I was happy to help with the souls who already had their bags packed.

I’ve always felt I was one of the lucky ones, being asked to be a Reaper - I think being chosen for such an important duty says that I did well in my short human life. It’s not to say Mades were unusual, because we’re not. My mentor said the increasing population in the last few centuries had led Reapers to regain control and bring Mades to our world. Mades and Trues alike could select humans who would be worthy of helping with their purpose. With more of us around, we could be sure souls were cared for and passed on rather than left to hang around the earth - or worse.

I was nineteen when I died; a drunk driver hit me while I headed home one evening after a volunteer shift. The drunk driver walked away without a scratch. I, on the other hand, died instantly upon impact, my soul jerked from my body to wander around the scene and wonder what the hell happened. I screamed for help, trying to reason with every deity I knew as I watched the blood trickle down my still face.

“No one can hear you screaming, child,” a voice had sounded from behind me.

I’d whirled around to see a strange looking man standing there. He was stout, with a boxer’s build, but his gentle expression gave no hint of aggression. His attire, while not unusual, still seemed from a different era: his shoes worn, pants that stopped short at the ankles, thin white shirt, and black suspenders. Perhaps in his mid-thirties, he had a shock of messy ginger hair and a thick, wiry beard to match. His bright blue eyes popped against a ruddy complexion.

I couldn’t hide the waver of fear in my voice when I asked, “Who are you?”

He took another step toward me, a slow, fluid movement that I hardly noticed. “My name is Tully.”

“I don’t want to die, Tully.”

“You weren’t supposed to go this soon,” he’d said. His voice had an Irish lilt that almost sang to me as he spoke. “But I’ve seen you at the hospital, watched you with the patients. You have a way about you.”

“Doesn’t help me much now, I’m afraid,” I’d responded. His calm demeanor somehow put me at ease despite the situation.

“Oh, but it does, child. You have a gift. Do you know what I am?”

“I was sort of hoping you were an angel.”

He had shaken his head, an amused smile on his face. “No, I am what’s called a Reaper.”

“You’re Death?”

“Reapers are not Death, nor do we carry it wherever we go, according to certain tales. We appear to the dead and take their souls home.”

“To Heaven?”

“That I cannot say; only they will know once they pass into the afterlife. We are, however, allowed to make certain…offers to those we deem worthy.”

I’d crossed my arms over my chest and given my body another stricken glance. “You can bring me back to life?”

“No, child, you are no longer meant for that life. Do you want to continue helping others?”

“How?”

“You could be a Reaper, like me.”

I’d scoffed. “How does that even work?”

“There’s a whole world out there you don’t know about, child. I can show you, teach you how to be one of us.”

“What’s the other option?”

He shrugged. “To move on.”

That was three years ago. Tully was my mentor now, teaching me how to be a Reaper. Even now, I know deep down that I chose his offer to become a Reaper because I was scared of what I’d meet on the other side. The unknown frightened me enough to keep me where I was, and so I accepted Tully’s offer to learn what it meant to guide souls to their destinies. Sometimes I wondered what would’ve been, but when I got that warmth in my chest from helping a soul move on, I knew I’d made the right choice. Tully had seen it in me and I was grateful to him for the chance to feel like I was still worth something. And actually, I turned out to be good at it. Tully wasn’t placating me when he said I’d had a gift. Souls were a lot like hospital patients; reaping souls in my retirement home was similar to my old life.

As it turned out, Tully was right about that “whole other world” part. The wealth of knowledge I’d gained about my new existence was almost frightening. Reapers were nonthreatening, peaceful, and stayed neutral on all terms. We had to; we weren’t the only things that harbored souls and it was our job to make sure we got to them before anything else - like demons - could.


You can purchase A Reaper Made at the following Retailers:


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Liz for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of A Reaper Made by Liz Long.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post with Melanie Crowder


Book Nerd Guest Post

Melanie Crowder is a writer and educator living on the Colorado Front Range. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. This is her second novel.

Social Media
   



What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style? 

Here’s the thing about voice and style: even if it’s unique, I don’t want just one.

Let me explain.

When I first started writing, I had no clue what I was doing. I was just winging it, using the novels I loved as textbooks. I actually wrote two books that way. I had no idea all that I didn’t yet know about structure, point of view, voice, metaphor, emotion, character, etc.

No idea.

Those first two books were hopelessly derivative.

I could have kept writing that way. Maybe I wouldn’t have ever found a unique voice or style. Maybe I would have just gotten really good at mimicking someone else’s. But that’s not the kind of writer I wanted to be.

So I went back to school.

In my MFA program, we were made to study hard, but we were also encouraged to play, to experiment, to push the boundaries of what we were comfortable with. Trying new things is scary. After all, you might fail. I did sometimes. But I also learned how to channel that perspective that is uniquely mine, those qualities that are essentially me into whatever piece I was working on, whether it was fantasy or memoir, humorous middle grade or a YA novel in verse. Each one of those projects wants a different voice. Each one of those stories wants a different style.

I don’t want to get stuck with just one. I want to write them all.

I come from a musical family. A Crowder, in fact, is a minstrel. If you sit my sister or cousin down in a circle of musicians, they can make beautiful music come out of whatever is passed to them—mandolin, guitar, accordion, banjo, violin, cello—you name it. I can’t even comprehend the mental gymnastics that allows them to do that, but I know when it comes to my writing, to voice and style, I don’t want to always be playing the same strings either.

Here’s my advice:

Study hard.

Push the boundaries of your comfort level.

And most importantly, give yourself the freedom to fail.

Over time, you’ll develop the skill to bring you to whatever voice your story calls for, and whatever style it wants.



The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history

A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.
Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.

You can purchase Audacity at the following Retailers:


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Melanie and Penguin for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Audacity by Melanie Crowder.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway