Rock The Vault: Celebrating The Urban And Rural Setting Thesaurus Duo

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'm so excited to host Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi on the blog today to celebrate yet another awesome writer's resource. I've been using The Emotion Thesaurus for a long time so when I heard about their Urban and Rural Setting Thesaurus release I had to jump on the bandwagon. This event is huge and there are some really cool prizes in store (check them out below). So take it away ladies...

It is a writer's job to draw readers into the fictional story so completely that they forget the real world. Our goal is to render them powerless, so despite the late hour, mountain of laundry, or workday ahead, they cannot give up the journey unfolding within the paper-crisp pages before them.

Strong, compelling writing comes down to the right words, in the right order. Sounds easy, but as all writers know, it is anything BUT. So how do we create this storytelling magic? How can we weave description in such a way that the fictional landscape becomes authentic and real—a mirror of the reader's world in all the ways that count most?

The Setting Thesaurus Duo

Well, there's some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Urban Setting Thesaurus: Police Car.

And there's one more thing you might want to know more about....

Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT. At the heart of Writers Helping Writers is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking...if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!

Cover Reveal: Darkest Dawn

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I'm so excited to share my newest release AND the amazing cover!! Darkest Dawn is the first in a two-book series from Carina UK releasing September 17, 2015!

One desperate journey for the truth

Returning to Willows Lake eleven years after her mother’s tragic death, Sloane Baker knows she will finally get the answers she needs! She always suspected that there was something more sinister at the heart of the accident that claimed her mother’s life, but a cryptic note could be the key to her past…

Two lives changed forever

The small town has always seemed safe to Brianna Taylor – until a mysterious new girl arrives who looks exactly like Bri! Now everything Bri knew has been thrown into question and Sloane’s arrival has changed the world of Willows Lake forever.

Strange things are happening in Willows Lake. But when they turn deadly, Bri and Sloane must find a way to save each other or risk losing everything they hold dear…

Pre-Order now on Amazon 

Guest Author Spotlight: Natasha Hardy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Today's Guest Author Showcase in my weekly series features Carina author Natasha Hardy. Welcome, Natasha, and thanks for coming by for a visit!

Please tell me about yourself and your book(s).

I live in Sunny South Africa, and am a wife, mum, runner, reader, drum player, summersaulting, foodie writer.
So far I’ve written fantasy fiction which I adore as a genre.
My books are set in South Africa and in the ocean- two of my favorite places-  and are about mermaids. (Not the “singing and dancing” type, but more the “survive and thrive in a hostile environment” type.)
My writing style has been described as lyrical fantasy and the most fun has been developing the characters, worlds and cultures my cast live in.

What tips would you give to a writer who is just starting out?

Trust in your instincts as a writer and love what you write, because at the end of the day it’s your name on the book.

What are some things that have surprised you as an author?

A few things actually,
First off, how characters, for me at least, really do come alive, and they’re damned bossy too!
Then there’s the surprisingly stimulating chaos of the editing process which- although hellishly stressful- has pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of as a writer.
The roller-coaster after publication day has also been an interesting journey.
The amazing author friends I’ve made. What a great group of people!
Interaction with fans.

What books and/or authors would you say have been your biggest influence?

I’m a relative newbee to fantasy fiction so the biggest influencers in this genre would be , Terry Pratchett- Mort was a stroke of genius, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and my all-time favorite C.S. Lewis’s Narnia

What genre would you like to write for that you’ve not tried yet?

I’d like to try my hand at kids’ fiction, in the line of Roald Dahl.

If you could have written any bestselling book today, which would it be?

I think Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

Do you plan your books out from start to finish in advance or do you let the story and characters take you where it will?

I have a rough outline in mind…it really helps to know what the end will be, although I’ve found it changes along the way more often than not.

Where do you get the inspiration for your characters and books?

All of my books so far have been sparked by an idea or a concept. I find the natural and human mysteries of our planet absolutely fascinating, so I tend to find an idea I really like and then build the concept and the characters around it.

Music or no music when writing?

No music while I’m writing, but music while I’m thinking about the story really helps, particularly if
there’s a mood or theme I’m struggling with.

Favorite snacks/drinks while writing?

Water…boring I know!

Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

I like both.

What are your thoughts on the current trend of making books into movies?

I think it’s brilliant.  I think a good movie needs a lot of background plot and detail for the cast to do their jobs well.  Books provide that detail as well as so much more insight into the characters.
The only down side is if too much of the story is changed in the book to script conversion.

Favorite genre that you like to read?

Fantasy Fiction and historical fiction.

Who is your all time favorite book character?

Aslan in Narnia.

About Water:

About Fire:

About the Author:

I feel very blessed to be able to spend a lot of my time writing and the rest of my time looking after my two sweet little boys and my wonderful husband.

Having studied my Honours in Corporate Communication and worked in various organisations as a PRO, and Marketing and Communication Executive,  I started writing when my life was a series of chaotic 'have to's', and I needed a world in which I could escape. 

Since I began writing  everything has changed completely and my writing journey has led me into amazing worlds and introduced me to fantastic characters, some of them mythical, others closer to home, but all of them as real as I can possibly get them.

I am so grateful to God for this amazing journey and my family, friends co-authors, editors and readers for the unending support and kindness that floods so much of my life!

Guest Author Showcase: Karen Aldous

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Today's Guest Author Showcase in my weekly series features Carina author Karen Aldous. Welcome, Karen, and thanks for coming by for a visit!

Please tell me about yourself and your book(s).

Thank you for inviting me Katlyn, it’s a pleasure to be a guest on your lovely Blog and I wish you every success with your new title. I write Contemporary Romance and was first published eleven months ago although it’s been a dream for years. My careers have been mainly in property and travel which continue to play a large part of my life but I’ve now increased my writing time. I live close to my family in a Kent village where part of my first novel The Vineyard is set. My main character Lizzie is a single mother who has settled on the stunning French Riviera, in the city of Cannes. When visiting her mother back in Kent, she meets her mother’s toy boy who is suddenly following back to Provence for reasons unknown to her!! The second novel is entitled The Chateau which is set in West London and on the beautiful Swiss Riviera, Montreux. Gina discovers more than she bargains for when she meets the gorgeous Ollie Martin but will he be instrumental in her quest to free an unsettled spirit? I’m currently writing my third and planning my fourth to be published with CarinaUK this year.

What tips would you give to a writer who is just starting out?

Write from the heart the book you want to write and, complete it. Edit, then send it out. No editor or agent can read blank pages. And it doesn’t have to be a work of art. Make it as professional as you can. I would also recommend joining an organisation such as the Romantic Novelists’ (RNA) Association New Writer’s Scheme (NWS) or go to an appraisal service offered by agents and editors in the Writers & Artists Yearbook. Both around £120.00. The RNA will also offer lots of other author support and networking opportunities/events. I continue to attend and, now feel in a position to be helping other new writers. I would also thoroughly recommend a local writing class. The one I joined and, still attend is based in Dartford. The Write Place, run by author Elaine Everest, has not only provided many of the skills I needed to improve my writing but again, the support and encouragement writers so need.

What would you say has been your biggest challenge as an author?

Writing my second novel. The Vineyard received such lovely reviews so my biggest fear and challenge was writing the next one, which is The Chateau. I was so fearful it wouldn’t be received as well as the first.  I didn’t want to disappoint my readers. Now the same is happening with my third!

What would you say has been your biggest success as an author?

Readers enjoying my books! There is nothing more satisfying than hearing a reader say or, a review to say they ‘loved it’ or ‘enjoyed it so much I’m reading it again’. That to me is success, although I can’t deny the buzz I feel when a book reaches #1 in a category on Amazon and climbs the rankings. It can be a very rewarding occupation.

What books and/or authors would you say have been your biggest influence?

Earliest - Barbara Taylor-Bradford’s – A Woman of Substance, Jilly Cooper – Riders.  More recent titles, Jojo Moyes – Ship of Brides, Victoria Hislop, The Island, The Thread, Numerous titles - Jill Mansell,  Freya North, Fiona Walker, Carole Matthews, Leah Fleming, Annie Groves, Sue Moorcroft. I could go on!

What genre would you like to write for that you’ve not tried yet?

I have to admit, I have difficulty with genres as you can see above, I love a good story with drama, emotion,  a sense of place, history, family and romance so I would probably have to write the story and then decide where it fits. As long as I write a gripping read, it can go anywhere!

Do you plan your books out from start to finish in advance or do you let the story and characters take you where it will?

I begin with a framework so that I know the beginning, the pivotal moment and the end; understanding the main characters internal and external conflicts.  From there fill the gaps gradually working with a timeline and chapter/scene list.

Where do you get the inspiration for your characters and books?

It usually begins with a sense of place. A location can really inspire a character. Lizzie in The Vineyard came into my world when I visited the stunning landscape of Provence and wouldn’t leave my head until her story was penned. A local walk across a valley also provided the setting for the Kent Vineyard. The Chateau was inspired by a dream, the spirit of Agnes-Francesca was struggling before my very eyes but instinctively I found out where she was and so, I returned to Montreux and the Chateau de Chillon on Lake Geneva to carry out more research. Nearly everywhere I go, a new character emerges from a building or a setting from which I build the character’s world.

Music or no music when writing?

A mix. I like to play something romantic when my characters get intimate. Something moody and bluesy to create emotion, something lively and sunny to brighten and lighten the tone and then, at times utter quiet. Just to concentrate my thinking.

Favorite snacks/drinks while writing?

Desperately try not to snack. Grapes or almonds if I have to. Tea, coffee or water for a drink.

Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

Like most people, I Iove the physical book but I think after four years, I’m loving my Kindle more. I get everything on tap and it goes everywhere I go.

What are your thoughts on the current trend of making books into movies?

It’s great. A story is transported to a wider audience and, us writers can earn more.

Favorite genre that you like to read?

Commercial fiction, romances mainly but I’ve read many classics.

Who is your all-time favorite book character?

Jane Austen’s Lizzy Bennet, a sharp witty, strong woman who knows her own mind.

What three things must you have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Notebooks and pens for writing and an ipod for music.

About The Vineyard: 


  It’s been five years, and Lizzie Lambert has decided it’s time to try to make things right with her estranged mother.

She’s made a success of things in Cannes, she’s bringing up a lovely little boy on her own, and she’s ready to put the past behind her.

But it seems Lizzie’s mother has moved on as well. She’s moved her toyboy – a muscle-bound vintner named Cal – into the family home, and given him the run of the land that was meant to be Lizzie’s inheritance!

Cal’s wine business frequently takes him to France, and suddenly wherever Lizzie goes, he’s already there – meddling, giving unsolicited advice, saving her little boy’s life and stealing her heart. But none of this changes the fact that he’s her mother’s lover… 


About The Chateau: 


 Can young hearts ease a restless spirit? On the shores of stunning Lake Geneva, Gina Remy is celebrating her brother’s wedding – when the figure of a woman appears hovering above the water, beckoning to her. Ghostly visitations do not happen to Gina - a self-confessed control freak with her own successful property business, she prides herself on being level-headed. But as she is tormented by dreams and visions, her perfect life begins to unravel, and she knows she needs to help this ghost find peace if she’s to get any of her own!

Enter Ollie Martin, an Anglo-Swiss property developer who’s sexy as hell and knows it. His arrogance annoys Gina, but he’s the only one who will take her seriously… and the closer they come to understanding the quest the ghost has set for them, the closer they get to one another…

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble


About the Author:

Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland and Italy would be her favourite. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in 'Karen's World'. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives - but struggle to control them! And, of course there's always a gorgeous hunk or two!

Special Q&A Giveaway at The Romance Reviews!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Today I'm excited to be participating in the celebration for The Romance Reviews 4th Anniversary Party! Be sure to stop by their website today to join in the fun and answer some giveaway questions for your chance at some awesome prizes

As part of the event, I'm offering one lucky winner an eBook copy of my novel, This Summer! To be entered, you will need to sign in with The Romance Reviews and then scroll down to until you find my entry which asks you to answer the question: What is the name of Hadley's best friend in This Summer.

If you aren't sure of the answer, you can follow the hint that leads to my website and find it there.

While you are there, play a round or two of their cover matching game and/or answer some of the other giveaway questions that are being offered. There's even a hangman's game that you can play!

Happy 4th Anniversary Romance Reviews! I hope the year ahead is a spectacular one for you. :D

Between These Lines by Jennifer Murgia Relaunch!

Friday, March 27, 2015

I'm thrilled to be helping Jennifer Murgia announce the relaunch of her novel Between These Lines, a young adult contemporary romance eBook being republished through Birch House Press! Congratulations, Jennifer, this is exciting news! :D


About Between These Lines:

Release Date: March 27, 2015
Publisher: Birch House Press
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook

When a Social Communications class assignment brings quiet Chase Mitman and popular Evie Cunningham together, it's a real eye-opener. Haunted and damaged in their own way, they have only shown others what they want them to see--not that they each hold a terrible secret deep inside, or that they have more in common than they'd ever like anyone to realize.

But then it happens. The sweaty palms. The kiss. And something worse . . . and Chase is there to pick up the pieces.

Knowing their relationship comes at a price, Chase’s life collides with Evie’s in the most beautiful and tragic way, until the unthinkable happens. The party. An innocent prank turns ugly. An anonymous note changes everything. And lives at Whitley Prep will never be the same.

Praise for Between These Lines:

"BETWEEN THESE LINES is an astounding story, told from alternating perspectives, about two people finding not only their true selves, but each other. Filled with heart-racing tension, this unique story left me breathless and craving more! It is Cruel Intensions meets Perfect Chemistry. I will be thinking about these characters for days to come.”
~ Jennifer Anne Davis (author of THE VOICE)

“With its perfectly realized characters and an ending that knocked me to my knees, BETWEEN THESE LINES delivers a profound message that strength can be found even in brokenness.”
~Darby Karchut (author of GRIFFIN RISING and FINN FINNEGAN)

“I was pulled in; just one more page, one more chapter, to the very end—which I never saw coming. BETWEEN THESE LINES is a touching, strike-at-your-heart story.”
~ Charlotte Bennardo (author of the Sirenz series, and the upcoming BLONDE OPS)

“YA author Jennifer Murgia (ANGEL STAR, LEMNISCATE, and THE BLISS) has created another chilling story in BETWEEN THESE LINES. Chase, restrained and reserved for a shocking reason, and Evie, trapped in a game she never entered have just found each other when the unthinkable happens. If this is star-crossed love, sign me up! Fans of Simone Elkeles and Tammara Webber will love Murgia!”
~ Laura Anderson Kurk, author of GLASS GIRL

About Jennifer Murgia:

Jennifer Murgia writes moody fiction for teens—from paranormal fantasy (Angel Star, Lemniscate, The Bliss), to contemporary gut-punchers (Between These Lines). Her latest, Forest of Whispers, a 17th century historical mystery (about witches!) was a School Library Journal Fall 2014 HOT TITLE, and a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Literature Award Winner. Look for the sequel, Castle of Sighs, to hit shelves 9.15.15 from Spencer Hill Press. In 2012, Jennifer Co-Founded YA FEST with YA author/friend, Cyn Balog. She coordinates this unique annual festival, bringing teens and fellow Young Adult authors together at her hometown library in Easton, PA. Visit her at

Guest Author Showcase: Carys Jones

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Today's Guest Author Showcase features Carina author Carys Jones. Welcome, Carys, and thanks for joining me today!


Please tell me about yourself and your book(s).

Hi! I’m Carys Jones, I live in Shropshire, England with my beautiful dog, Rollo, one eyed guinea pig Roger and my husband. I currently write for CarinaUK and Reuts Publications and have several books out that are romantic suspense and also a YA story.

Please describe your daily writing habits.

I write every weekday, always in the morning as my mind is freshest then. I divide my writing time between my own Work In Progress and also any freelance assignments I’m currently contracted to write.

I’m lucky to have a very girly themed writing room full of Disney pictures and trinkets and a bright pink wall! It’s my favourite place to be.

What are some things that have surprised you as an author?

The kindness and support of both the book blogging community and also fellow authors. Writing is such a solitary pursuit it is amazing to connect with like minded people who raise you up on your bad days and share in your good ones.  I love having people I can talk to on social media about books and writing, I’ve made so many friends through a shared love of reading.

What books and/or authors would you say have been your biggest influence?

Growing up I went through a massive Stephen King and Point Horror Books phase. I couldn’t read them fast enough and what I loved about the horror genre was its ability to surprise me.

Later in my teens I became interested in authors like Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews. What has always fascinated me within a story is how horrific events can influence and change people and the subsequent journey they go on. With my own writing I pinch bits of everything I loved growing up, all the elements in story telling which really spoke to me. 

Do you plan your books out from start to finish in advance or do you let the story and characters take you where it will?

I plan everything out in quite finite detail chapter to chapter. The moment I start a book I always know exactly where it is going to end which helps me shape things along the way. I rely heavily on notes that are hand written and strewn around my laptop and would probably make no logical sense to anyone other than me.

Music or no music when writing?

No music I’m afraid, I have to write in total silence, boring I know!

Favorite snacks/drinks while writing?

I always have a big glass of blackcurrant squash to hand when writing and reward myself for hitting my daily word target with a handful of jelly babies – only the red ones though!

Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

Hmmm. Tough to say which I prefer as both have their appeal. I like reading a physical book in bed and am guilty of turning the corner of a page to hold my spot! But I also enjoy taking my Kindle with me when I’m out and about. It’s great to have it with you on long journeys or a lengthy wait at the doctors.

If I had to pick one it would probably be physical simply because I love that new book smell!

What are your thoughts on the current trend of making books into movies?

I love seeing books made into movies. The films tend to have more depth as they are based on fleshed out characters carefully developed within the pages of a book. If I know a film is based on a book I’m much more likely to go and see it, especially if I’ve read it as then it is really interesting to what changes, if any, have been made to the story!

I’ve just finished reading Shadow and Bone and was super excited to learn that it is being made in to a movie which I can’t wait to see!

Favorite genre that you like to read?

YA! It is pretty much the only genre I read. YA books tend to be a lot of fun as they are unrestrained. I like books that test the limits, that don’t need to fall into rigid categories like romance or thriller. In YA you have books that are hybrids of all the best genres and I love that!

Who is your all time favorite book character?

Sookie Stackhouse as she’s strong, independent and feisty. I like my heroines to be full of fire!

What three things must you have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

A good book, a soft blanket and a large tub of Bailey’s ice cream!

About First to Fall:

Aiden Connelly’s first case will be one he’ll never forget.

Lawyer Aiden Connelly has traded the frenzy of Chicago for a slower pace in sleepy Avalon – and his first case appears to be as open-and-shut as he could hope for. Hired to defend a local ex-beauty queen accused of murdering her husband, he’s confident that he’ll have the case closed in record time. But below the surface lurks a darker truth…

Suddenly, a quiet backwater has transformed into a dangerous pressure cooker. In a town where everyone knows everyone, gathering evidence should be easy… but the harder Aiden searches, the more he appreciates how tangled this net of loyalties is. And as he digs deeper, Aiden begins to realise that his very first case in Avalon could be the beginning of his undoing…

About the Author:

 Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader's imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

When she's not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.

For more information about Carys please visit or follow her on Twitter; @tiny_dancer85