Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ATO- West Thornhill

Hey all! #ATO tuesday is back and today we have our first LGBT YA author taking over! So excited about this one because I feel this is a part of the genre that can sometimes be over looked! West is here with several interviews of her own and her fellow author partners and a look into their serial YA books the Ravens Crossing. Since we are interviewing three we are only doing three questions each. And they are giving away a very special prize: 3 sets of the first 5 books of the Ravens Crossing series! Take it away guys 

West Thornhill

  • Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.

I read while I write. I use it as a distraction when I hit a wall or the flow of writing just stops. I also have the TV or music going in the background. It’s white noise for me.

  • Were you good at English in school?

Yes, it was my favorite subject. In some ways I wish I hadn’t changed majors in college from English to Classics, but I did minor in it. English was the one class where I actually felt I belonged. It opened so many doors through literature.

  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism is misunderstanding. I know there are going to be readers who don’t like the stories I create. But I would love to be able to talk with someone and possibly clear up any misconceptions they may have. They still may not like the story but that’s okay. I’m always available via email if someone has questions. The best compliment came from a friend who I was kind of afraid to have read one my books. He loved it and wants more. So, that was the best.

Andi Lea

  • Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.

I obsessively listen to music while I write, but not just any music. Every character has a playlist and unique taste.

  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

My first college writing course was an experience. I was 18 and fresh out of high school, with a chip on my shoulder. My professor sat me down and explained to me that I needed to make decisions for my characters. It’s easy to get caught up in the writing process and without an end goal it’s even easier to write without purpose. Readers want to care about your characters, even when you make the hard choices. On the flipside, the best compliment I have ever received… “what happens next?” Nothing compares to a reader asking for more.

  • If you wake up as your favorite actor, who would it be and what’s the first thing you would do?

I wake up and realize I am Ellen DeGeneres, the first thing I do is make people happy!


Amanda Corlies

  • If you wake up as your favorite actor, who would it be and what’s the first thing you would do?

I’ve always had a serious thing for RDJ, but if I was going to wake up as anyone, I’d rather wake up as his wife. Still, being a Libra, I feel I should also give the unselfish answer. I do love all the things RDJ does for children’s’ charities. So, if I was actually to wake as Robert Downy, Junior, I’d get busy using my influence and money to build a shelter for homeless LGBT kids. There are far too many of these children kicked out onto the streets simply because of who they are. It’s a serious wrong that I’m passionate about righting.

  • Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Oh, I loved working with Morgan and Holly, Sharon and Alex, my two couples from our first three seasons of The Ravens Crossing. I get really excited whenever I get a chance to use them in my current storyline. And, they will be making more frequent appearances in the coming stories, when dealing with the Bond grows more complicated for Darien and Lani. So, I’m looking forward to more shenanigans with them. There are plans for adult novels for these characters.

As far as themes, I was a zookeeper for almost twenty years. So, animals and science are my things. I really enjoy the fictional scientific theory behind The Ravens Crossing world. What if humans were the mutants who had lost many of their powers, including their connections to the Balance of Nature? What if there was another even more amazing species living among us? I’m always looking for ways to explore what the scientific study behind this discovery would be, and what it could mean for humans.

  • Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.

So many to choose from… I have a tiny little painting of a forest right above my computer screen, and I sit staring into that miniature world whenever I am trying to work out my story arcs. Also, I run a pet sitting business by day, and when I’m driving around town from house to house to walk dogs, I’m often working out dialogue. So, people see this wacky woman talking to herself while turning around somewhere because she, once again, missed a driveway while chattering away to nobody. I was thrilled when they invented blue tooth. Now, people might just think I’m on the phone – I hope.


TRCB1_513_final_thbnl TRCB2_513_final_thmbnl TRCB3_513_final_thmbnlTRCB4_final

The Ravens Crossing is a serialized, young adult, science fiction/fantasy adventure that began in 2012. The stories are published weekly at the companion website www.theravenscrossing.org. TRC is written by three authors sharing one world.

Books One, Two, and Three follow the adventures of thirteen high school friends. Secrets are hard to keep, especially when you’re in high school, and the students at Wildwood High have been hiding more than most. But, when a group of friends discover their families are keeping more secrets than the entire student body combined, they find themselves drawn together in a dangerous search for the truth. While they come into their abilities as Earth, Air, Fire, Water, or Time Gaeas, life is no longer just about who’s crushing on whom. The Thirteen must learn to use their natural talents to navigate treacherous secrets.

In Books Four and Five we follow the second generation of Wildwood kids. Living in the shadow of the Thirteen nothing is quite what it seems. When change rips through the fabric of their once idyllic neighborhood, those who stayed behind look for ways to rebuild their community. A daunting task when the worst consequence of keeping secrets is a growing lack of trust.

Follow along with Season Six on the website.

  Amanda enjoys hiking a wild and crooked road. After many years as a professional zookeeper, she returned to school to finish her master’s degree in art. A graduate of Goddard, she now runs her own pet sitting business by day and creates interdisciplinary art by night. No longer paid to feed lions, tigers, or bears, she often writes about them instead. Not only does she make up characters and create them fantastical worlds, primarily in the young adult, paranormal and science fiction genres, but she also creates images using multiple media. She was recently commissioned to paint for the Nature Conservancy. When not painting or hiking with the community dogs, she has published multiple works of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and environmental writing. Twitter theravenscrossing.org/amanda-corlies/

Andi independently published her first book in elementary school. She gave away copies of the limited edition, hand-bound book, to friends and family.  Since those resourceful beginnings she has continued to pursue her passion for creative entertainment, and improved her writing skills along the way. After working in the entertainment industry, a domestic violence shelter, and owning a business, Andi returned to college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in American Culture and Gender Studies. Currently she is working on her MFA in Media Design.

Though a part of her will always remain in Southern California, she currently lives in Virginia with her three children, two cats, and a border collie. When she isn’t writing, she is reading, or indulging her obsession with all things geek. Andi is the co-president of her local PFLAG chapter and an advocate for human rights. Enjoy her musings, shenanigans, and thoughts at http://andi-lea.com twitter Facebook 

West thinks she is nowhere near as interesting as the characters who populate the universe in her head. But she has TRCB5_finalmoments of amusing brilliance. They just tend to happen when she least expects it. You know those times when the filter between the brain and mouth malfunction. West blames it on the holes in the ozone layer.

Writing has always been a part of her life. It wasn’t until she went back to college as a non-traditional student that it became more real. West was attacked by a stray rubberband which lead to an awesome friendship and her first critique partner.

West writes stories of men in love that are very Yaoi based. Now that she’s branched out into YA LGBT with The Ravens Crossing, she’s trying to balance things out more. Twitter Instagram

  • Join us at Goodreads YA LGBT Books Group: become a free member for exclusive story content, special surprises, and behind the scenes info. Chat with Team TRC. Plus, find other great YA LGBT books, authors, and make some new friends.

  • Follow us on Twitter @ravenscrossing

  • Like us at Facebook

So what do you guys think? I loved the interviews, and it was cool to see the different answers to the same questions :) And as promised here is your chance to win one of the 3 sets of Ravens Crossing ebooks. Leave your comments below, and our takeover authors will chose their winners. You have until next monday NOV 3rd.

See you all next week

<3 always LH

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#OneVoice YA Authors Take A Stand Against Bullying

October is National Bullying Awareness Month. Entangled Teen partnered with Dear Teen Me to put together a campaign called YA Authors Take A Stand Against Bullying. Now I am not an author with Entangles Teen, I am with Omnific and Simon & Schuster. But bullying is still a pain and outrage that hits very close to home. I was the 1 in every 3 students that was bullied through elementary school all the way to college. Unfortunately bullying is something that exists even as an adult and in your work place.

Bullying can scar a person for life. It can have cause people to form problems creating bonds with others and truly being able to trust people. It causes low self-esteem, depression and can even lead to suicide.
Like I said, I have been bullied, all through out elementary school/ High school and even still, to this day, in my every day work life. Fortunately for me, after I had left college and entered the real world, I found two mentors who taught me how to stand up to bullies and helped me realize that I was better than what I let those bullies tell me I was. Because of them I have learned to shut out those bullies, pity them, and stand up for others who are being bullied and don't yet have that confidence to do it for themselves.
No one should have to face this alone.
We have to let kids/teens know that there is nothing wrong with them, and that they should pity those bullies and "friends that turn on them". Those types of people are more broken and hurt on the inside than anyone can imagine.
Everyone should have the chance to learn their own self worth and see just how special and beautiful and unique and wonderful they are, no matter what others may say or think.
And you don't have to be an author to take part in this, just take the pledge to stand against bullying each and every day ‪#‎OneVoice‬ ‪#‎YouAreNotAlone‬
And if you want to learn more, or read the articles from the Entangled Teen authors, click the link below.

  <3 always LH

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall YA Scavenger Hunt

Post Title:  YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

 I am a part of  TEAM INDIE--but there are five other teams besides mine so check them all out for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!


Somewhere in this post, you'll see a big number in a special color, remember that number and all 19 others from my indie team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 
Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
This is open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter (gotta add in the legalities there). To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by OCT 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Now that the rules of the hunt and the formalities are out of the way time to get back into the hunt!


I am hosting  SARENA & SASHA NANUA, authors of the PENDANT TRILOGY, on my blog for the YASH! Sarena and Sasha Nanua are teenage twins living in Mississauga, Ontario. They love reading books in their spare time and enjoy science fiction and fantasy novels. They have been writing books since they were nine years old. The Gemstone is their first novel.

Find out more information by checking out the author website http://thependanttrilogy.wordpress.com/ or find more about the author's book here http://thependanttrilogy.com/buythebook.html

The book this author duo are featuring for the hunt is the third book in their trilogy: THE POISONED EMERALD

The poison is spreading....

I wrapped myself in the portal’s embrace and felt my feet land on a new surface. I stood on a sandy beach that was wet and damp, causing the ground to stick to my shoes. The portal snapped shut, and I felt misty rain dance on my shoulders. Thunder sounded from overhead, and before I could comprehend the impending storm, a gash of lightning hit the hill just to the right of the river. The ground quaked below me before an explosion of sand burst from the ground.
AS WINTER ARRIVES Arica Miller is back to regular school life at Hill Valley. After resolving the disappearance of the King’s Jewel and returning it safely, Arica doesn’t expect anything else to go wrong. Too soon does Arica learn that a great evil—a poison—has spread through the Sorcerers Underworld, threatening to take away all magic. And worse, the only person who can save the magical world has been kidnapped: the king. In order to find the king, Arica and her friends must follow an ancient prophecy in which they must defeat vicious creatures, travel through mysterious forests, and restore peace to the poisoned land—no matter how dangerous it could be … In this final installment of The Pendant Trilogy, Arica learns of dark pasts, unknowable futures, and the truth of the pendant’s origin. Arica doesn't have much time left—and if she fails, the mortal and the magical worlds are both at stake.

Sarena and Sasha Nanua have a very special post, an interview that is going to be published in Teen Appeal Newspaper for Memphis Youth in Tennessee! How exciting :)

1. What is your website/blog or any other kind of social media sites?
We blog at The Writing Duo and are on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and Tumblr

2. Why and when did you start writing?
We began writing at the age of nine! We were on a trip to St. Maarten, and while on the airplane Sasha began writing a story in a journal we brought with us. I liked what she wrote, so I continued from there! We've been writing books ever since.

3. What is your favorite thing about reading? About writing?
Reading is such a fantastic experience. It's a way to escape into a new world for a while ... that's probably why we love fantasy so much! Writing is also an equally cool experience, excerpt you're the one creating the story! We have always loved writing because it's our creative outlet! Writing just feels natural! The best part is probably thinking up new worlds and stories for your readers to experience.

4. Where do you get inspiration?
We tend to take inspiration from things all around us. Of course, we obviously take inspiration from other authors--JK Rowling namely being one. If we ever feel like we need inspiration, we'll think up a random object and think of how we can add a fantastical twist! (For example, we once saw a Coke can with a kite on it ... and then built a whole idea around it in our second book, The King's Jewel!)

5. What is The Pendant Trilogy about? Where is it available (Sites/Stores)?
Our first book, The Gemstone, follows a fifteen-year-old girl named Arica Miller who is given a magical gemstone necklace from her mother. Soon after, she receives strange hallucinations which connect to her family's past with sorcery. All dating up to Halloween night, Arica has to battle monstrous creatures, suspicious friends, and an enemy keen on stealing her gemstone! (It is Young Adult Fantasy.)

6. How far do you want your book to reach? Do you see your book getting its own movie adaptation?
I suppose any author hopes their book will reach a wide audience. That's our goal! We truly believe both young and old readers would take interest in Arica's story. If our book ever became a movie, we would be ecstatic! 

7. What kept you motivated to keep writing?
We always wrote just for the fun of it. Ever since the release of our first book, when we knew people were actually reading our book, our new motivation became our readers (family, friends, and readers from far and wide!). Our goal has always been to become authors--and at a young age, we had done it!

8.How did it feel to get your book published?
We were so excited! This had always been a dream of ours. Now, when people ask what we want to be when we grow up, we still want to sayAuthor! Even though we already are ...

9. Do you have any advice for teenagers who want to pursue a career as an author?
Keep writing, despite any negatives! Writing should be a fun experience. If you really want to be an author, practice reading every day; study why and how an author writes the way they do. Soon enough, your writing style will begin to shape itself and you might just create a best-seller!

10. For teenagers, other than your own book of course, what do you recommend to read?
Some of our favourites include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Uglies, and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy! These are great for teens and even adults!

11. How old were you when your first book was published?
We were fifteen when The Gemstone was published! The next book, The King's Jewel, came out when we were sixteen, and the final when we were seventeen.

12.Do you have any advice on how to get published?
Research as much as you can! There are so many great writing and publishing books and groups out there--you could get lost in the labyrinth of the publishing world on social media! Keep your eyes open for competitions and agents who are looking for your genre of work. There are so many options, it's important to explore them all and choose the right one! And most important of all: writing a book isn't about the market; you should write something you love, despite the market and the trends. Write for you, and you will have the determination to get published!

And don't forget to enter my rafflecopter below for a chance to win a ton of stuff from me, LH Nicole! You know, I have no idea why, but for some reason the number 29 keeps popping up in my head. Huh, go figure. Well it's time to continue your hunt, but before you go look below for cool prizes to win! It's so easy how could you not want to? LOL.

Continue the Hunt! Your next author on the TEAM INDIE hunt is MATTHEW PHILLION Have fun and remember to keep track of all the wonderful and fantastical books you're going to get to see :)
Thanks for stopping by!
<3 always LH

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