Monday, October 28, 2013


I'm thrilled to be part of the HAUNTING JOY blog tour today! I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of HAUNTING JOY, a novella by the amazing Lena Goldfinch. Not only did I know I loved Lena's writing already, I was excited about a good ghost story before Halloween.

First about the book:

Joy’s new dress has a secret – one with a little supernatural history, one that’s a little more than she expected.

It all starts one ordinary afternoon, as seventeen-year-old Joy tries on some thrift-store clothes her grandmother gave her. The little white dress fits perfectly. Trouble is, now it won’t leave her alone. Soon Joy is swept up in an extraordinary journey to help a ghost complete some unfinished business. If only that didn’t involve Joy driving through dangerous intersections...or calling up her high-school crush, Nick...or getting stuck at a cemetery after dark.

Will Joy accept this ghostly challenge to be "more"? And just how far will she go to uncover the truth?

Light Paranormal Novella

Now, before I tell you what I think I asked the most appropriate *person* I could think of to review the book as well. Please welcome Bertha the ghost.

Bertha: Thank you, Lisa. We prefer the term bodily challenged. Ahem.  Finally I have an opportunity to prove that I'm an intelligent being worth listening to. My opinion counts, people!!

Me: Um, yeah. Of course it does. That's why I asked you here.

Bertha: It's just that it can be difficult being bodily challenged. People seem to assume I'm there to scare them - as if I don't have anything better to do.

Me: Yes, well, Haunting Joy...

Bertha: Of course. I did enjoy the book. I appreciated that the bodily challenged individual wasn't simply a one dimensional stereotype. She had goals, feelings, you know all things that make us human.

Me: *silence* (I'm not going there)

Bertha: It's only too bad we had to hear it from the point of view of a girl blessed with a body. BORING.

Me: Hey! You had a body once too.

Bertha: *eyes turn black* *teeth sharpen into points* *hair floats around head*

Me: Sorry to interrupt. Please continue.

Bertha: That's all.

Me: Thank you, Bertha and good luck.

As for me? I loved it!! It was a fun story, nicely balanced and well written. I give it 5 stars even if it wasn't written from the ghost - er, bodily challenged individual's - point of view.

In honor of the release of Haunting Joy, Lena Goldfinch is giving away a few spooktacular prizes! The giveaway is open internationally, and there will be three winners (randomly drawn) – one winner for each of the prizes listed below:

·         glass heart necklace (like Joy’s!)
·      A signed copy of Haunting Joy (paperback)
·      An e-book copy of Haunting Joy
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. You can visit her online at

You can find Lena at any of the following places:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cover reveal for THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE

Have I got a special treat for you today!!! My bestie, Julie Musil, has agreed to let me help in her cover reveal today. And OMG is the cover HOT!!! Like scorching. But the best part? The cupcake is as good as the frosting. Um, I mean, the book is amazing. I've read it and can honestly say WOW.

Ready?  Here we go...

Cover reveal for THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE

Genre: YA contemporary with a splash of ghosts

Manny O’Donnell revels in his status at the top of his high school food chain. He and his friends party in the mountains on a blustery night, sharing liquor and lame ghost stories around a campfire. The next morning, as a wild fire rages in those same mountains, Manny experiences doubt. He was the last of the drunken crew to leave the cave, and he’s uncertain if he extinguished the flames. Within hours, he becomes the number one arson suspect.

Santa Ana winds + matches = disaster. You’d think he would've learned that the first time he started a fire.

As he evades a determined arson investigator, Manny, a modern-day Scrooge, is visited by ghosts of the past, present, and future. He’s forced to witness the fate of his inadvertent victims, including Abigail, the scarred beauty who softens his heart. Manny must choose between turning around his callous, self-centered attitude, or protecting his own skin at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.

Julie Musil, author of YA fiction, is a chocoholic and obsessive reader. As the mother of three teen boys, she’s immersed in teen speak, drama, and gym socks. She loves to chat! Connect with her on her blog, Twitter, or Facebook

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wrestling the Internal Editor - I LET Her Win

I'm going to be doing a series of posts on common writing rules and why I think they are or aren't a good idea. We all know sometimes rules can and should be broken, but you have to understand them first. So leave me a comment (or send me an email) suggesting a rule you'd be interested in hearing my opinion on. I'll start those after Halloween (because I have a spooktacular post for you all next week with a ghost and a review). 

Today's rule is editing as you go. 

I know it's been said many times that you shouldn't edit as you write. The main reason being that you'll never get anywhere if you keep going back to fix what you have. But the truth is - I'm a closet editor. As I go that is. Not to the point that I'm changing the same word fifty times, but I do go back before I'm done. WHY? Why do I choose to break this rule you ask? 

Well, it could be that I'm a badass force to be reckoned with. Ha! No. 

It could be that I'm weak and can't resist the urge. Um, yeah I do have problems with patience, but no. That's not the reason.

It's because sometimes I feel that I can't go forward without fixing things right then if I recognize a problem that will wind its way through my manuscript. It's sort of like building a tower of blocks, knowing that the foundation row is wobbly. If you don't fix it early on, it's only going to get worse. 

So if I realize I'm missing a character for example (yes that's happened before), I go back and thread her through to the point I'm at before I continue. It's an important step in order to go forth with my manuscript. 

What if I'm working on a paragraph and I use a cliche? Ah. That's a bit trickier. It certainly will slow me down to fix the wording and again, most people will say NO. But... if I can challenge myself right then and there to think of a better way to say it? I do it. You know why? Because it makes me feel better about going forward. It's going to have to be done anyhow. 

See, I think that's a rule for beginners. Not to say I'm any better at writing necessarily, but it all depends WHY you're doing what you're doing. If you've never accomplished a finished manuscript you have to make that your first goal. You have to KNOW you can do it. So if you're fixing and messing about in order to avoid having to do what's tough or scary then quit it!!!

But if you're doing what you feel you should in order to build a stronger foundation for the rest and you're fully intending to go forward, go for it. 

That's my two cents about this "rule". What do you think? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ten Things That Scare Every Writer

In honor of Halloween (my favorite holiday) I'm giving you a top ten list of the scariest things writers face.

10.  Writer's Block. Some say it exists. Others deny it. Sort of like Bigfoot. But either way we are terrified of it. Don't lose the muse! BIC (Butt in chair) is the best preventative measure I know of.

9.  Sucking. Yup. We are all secretly afraid we're horrible at the thing we love most. Even those of us who are published! Weird aren't we?

8.  Missing the window. We fret, we revise, we practically bleed to get our manuscripts in their best shape. But what if by the time we get it out there no one wants to buy those anymore? Vampires? Dystopians? Eeep. 

7.  Adverbs. The lazy writer's crutch. But do I find them? ALL THE TIME.

6.  Adjectives. Those pesky, useless, lazy, overdone, oh.

5.  Running out of chocolate. Need I say more?

4.  Cliche. Have you described your MC in the first page as waking up or by looking in the mirror? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Run! 

3.  The computer crashing. It's frozen on me. Word has quit. And it kind of feels like you're watching your best friend be stabbed by a murderer. Okay maybe that's overkill. Maybe not depending when you last saved. 

2.  Did I mention running out of chocolate? How about coffee? Tea? Wine? I'm panicking just thinking about it.

And the number one thing writer's fear?

1.  REJECTION. In any and all forms. Yet we all deal with this monster at every turn. From critiques to agents, to editors, to acquisition boards, to reviews and sales. But we still hang in there. 


Why do people in horror films keep running into the dark forest? Or the empty house? Because if we didn't there'd be no point. 

What scares you?

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Invisible Friends

So while working on the sequel to THE BINDING STONE I may or may not have had the following conversation with one of the characters:

Me: This is hard. Sometimes I wish I had a little Djinn Magic so I could make it perfect with ease.

Taj: I could fix it for you. Of course then I'd be the hero.

Me: You are the hero in this one. 

Taj: Of course I am. So what's so hard then? Having trouble describing me? How about, Tall, muscular, godlike...

Me: Yeah, um, too many adjectives. Look, I hate to tell you this, but I'm going to have to put you through the proverbial ringer. 

Taj: I doubt your readers will like that. They want to see more interesting things. Things like, me saving the helpless, me outsmarting everyone else, me naked. 

Me: *blanches* Excuse me? This isn't all about you being perfect. 

Taj: Isn't everything? Here. I'll write the book. *shoves me out of chair* *cracks knuckles* 

Me: If you have your way it's going to be a very short and very boring book. 

Taj: Ouch.

Me: Taj I really have to get to work. Isn't there something else you can do?

Taj: Come on. You know you want me to grant you a wish. 

Me: How about a bottomless cup of coffee that never gets cold? 

Taj: That depends. How do you describe me in the book? 

Me: I can see that I need to banish more than my inner editor if I'm going to get this done. 

Do your characters ever bother you? Do they insist on certain things? Do you have trouble torturing them? Don't. Because that's what makes a good book!