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Once Upon an Ever After – Cover Reveal

Happy Independence Day weekend! 🙂

I’m pleased to now be able to show off the cover for the companion anthology to Once Upon A Road Trip. Not too much agonizing this time around, as it’s following a matching design scheme. I think it suits the first-person narrative perfectly. ^_^

Projected full release date is 11/01/2014! Pre-order should be available soon.



Blurb: Set after the events of Blount’s debut memoir, Once Upon A Road Trip, this short story anthology focuses on the unusual courtship of Angeli and Vincent.

When Angeli left Minnesota on a post-high school road trip, all she wanted was to see the East Coast and finally meet some of her online friends. She didn’t expect to end up in a long-distance relationship with a computer-savvy Southern boy. Yet Vincent seems determined to defy the odds. To prove his intentions, he sets off on his own quest to visit Angeli and win her family’s approval. But along the way he’ll have to contend with her offbeat friends, trigger-happy father, and a few questionable run-ins with Northern hospitality.

South meets North this time around, and “normal” isn’t anywhere on the map.

With a thousand miles and radically different upbringings between them, can Angeli and Vincent forge a forever-worthy bond? Or are the roadblocks they face too much for either of them to overcome?



Once Upon A Road Trip nominated for a 2014 RONE’ Award!

I am VERY pleased and honored to announce that ‘Once Upon A Road Trip’ is up for for a RONE’ Award (InD’tale Magazine) in the New Adult category!!! Voting is going on now through this Sunday, the 23rd of March, so you only have a few days to show your support–if you are so inclined. 🙂

This award is reader’s choice, which means real live readers (like you!) need to head over there and VOTE! (Voting requires that you create an account to verify you are a legit human being. I’m sorry for that little inconvenience, but I hope you might consider taking the time anyway.)

Now, I’m not normally a fan of popularity contests–they remind me too much of high school. >.> But I’ll be honest…this would be some fantastic exposure if the book happens to make it into the finals.

And no, it’s not all about me. 🙂 There are a lot of great books in all the categories running this week, and over the next several weeks. So come on and show your Indie support!

Thanks for being awesome. 🙂

Review of Deception + Giveaway!

Attention Young Adult/Dystopian fans! (And fans of quality, dark adventure tales in general…) Some of you have undoubtedly noticed the sequel to C.J. Redwine’s ‘Defiance’ was released at the end of August. If you’ve been holding off getting to it until some cozy holiday reading time came your way, I’m about to light an early fire under your yule log.

Deception jkt des5.indd

Blurb:  Baalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander’s whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father’s death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it’s up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington’s army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.

But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn’t long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.

In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.

Here’s what I thought about book #2 in the trilogy:

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

The engaging second installment in the Courier’s Daughter series. At times unflinchingly brutal, and at other times…soul-touchingly profound.

Redwine shows notable growth from the previous book, weaving her story with breathless pacing, harmonious cadence, and dynamic prose. But by no means would I call this dark, epic-fantasy continuation an “easy read.” At some points, I thought the plot was beating me like I owed it money. The depraved potential of humanity comes through as savagely as the base drive for hope and survival against all odds. But any who’ve read the first book in the series should already realize this isn’t a fluffy tale for the faint-of-heart. (The author does NOT shy away from a body count.)

Rachel may be one of the strongest heroines this reviewer has ever encountered. I was able to form a better understanding of her from the very start of this book, despite the character being trapped in a wearying feedback loop of self-recrimination. Those who’ve suffered mind-shattering trauma and loss will likely be best able to identify with the internal conflict Rachel struggles with throughout the story. In that way, it’s almost therapeutic—working the reader through internal damage and frailty along with the heroine. Which segues into one of my favorite quotes:

“Maybe that’s what love is. Giving others the power to hurt you and trusting that they’ll use it to heal you instead.” – Rachel

By far, the most overall character advancement is seen in the ever-logical hero, Logan. With leadership thrust upon him by a desperate band of fleeing survivors, he’s forced to take responsibility for the welfare of a broken people he’s not sure he can save. Several side-characters come into their own in this book as well–siblings Quinn and Willow displaying the most intriguing and noteworthy development.

Though the identity of the killer is easy to narrow down to a handful of qualified possibilities, motives and identities are more nebulous than they may seem. And while the cliffhanger ending doesn’t leave the kind of closure or satisfaction this reviewer might have preferred, it did leave me wanting more. (I probably wouldn’t gripe so much if book 3 were already out.)


Just in time for the holidays, I have a treat for you. The quirkily charming C.J. Redwine has been so generous as to provide a signed ARC copy of Deception to one lucky participant. (And I, the blogger, hereby promise to get it to you well before Christmas!)
The drawing will run for 10 days–don’t forget to check back daily for additional entry opportunities!

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Interview with Moriah Densley

I’d like to give a warm, bloggy welcome to one of my new favorite authors, the lovely and multi-talented Moriah Densley! (Don’t miss your chance to help us celebrate Moriah’s re-release and enter the giveaway for a pair of handmade silver earrings.)

Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award winner in historical romance and ’12 NRCA “Best First Book” finalist.


“Thanks for having me on today, Angela. I’m a big fan of Once Upon a Road Trip. Dear Readers, if you haven’t read it yet, go get it now!”

Aww, shucks! ^_^ Coming from an author as talented as you, that means the world to me. Thanks for the shameless cross-promotion. 😉 (And for the record, I totally didn’t bribe you with cookies and endless devotion to get you to say that! >.>)

Tell me about your journey into publication… (Jaunty stroll in the park, or barefoot hike over broken glass?)

“More like the latter. You might say I’m a sadder-but-wiser girl. Third time’s the charm, right?

Everyone keeps saying the publishing industry is changing faster than we can keep up with. It bends its own rules, surprises lurk at every turn, and it seems to make or break you on a whim. If you’re thinking that sounds like an ex-boyfriend, I’m right there with you.

Yes, it took me a few tries to find the right fit, but I’ve learned a lot and met lovely readers and authors along the way. I’m happy at esKape Press, a new independent publisher owned by savvy bestselling authors who believe in putting the author first. They’re going to make it big, I know it.”

Well, it’s not a fairy tale insta-success for most of us. You’re in good company, and I’m willing to bet it’s built some serious character. And possibly, some serious…characters? >.> Congratulations on the new publisher! 🙂

You have two unique historicals out there now. What is it that compels you to write that particular genre?

“I adore Victorian history in all its bizarre, romanticist excess. The art, music and literature was lush and imaginative. The aristocracy adapted(kicking and screaming) to the democratic ideals creeping over from America, while the bohemian artists and temperance crusaders duked it out over sensuality vs. propriety. It was a circus of extremes.

Victorians were the original hippies – did you know they even gave their children random names like Princess Cheese, Oral, Thimble-Thrower, Minty Badger, and Toilet? (I swear I’m not making this up.) Setting my stories in the 1860-70s means I have a rich palette of possibilities. It’s license to make my characters oh-so-colorful!”

…I can honestly say I had no idea! >.> I know they say that trends and fashions tend to cycle back around and around, but that’s fascinatingly ridiculous. 😀

What does your usual writing routine look like?

“Wish I had one. I do projects boom-and-bust, so when I fall in love with a story, it takes over my life until I finish it. Then I burn out until the next time. Blame it on my artistic temperament…”

I’ll henceforth refer to this as “artistic dedication.” It certainly seems to work for you, considering the quality of your results.

Do you work with critique partners?

“And beta readers, yes! I’ve had the same critique partners and beta readers for years now, and I owe them a big thanks. They make me look good. I rely on other sets of eyes to find problems I hadn’t even thought about. I never send a manuscript out unless I have Susie, Mary, Kat, Suzanne, Nicole, and Laura’s stamp of approval.”

As a reader who has deeply enjoyed your work, I’d like to personally thank your screening team! 🙂

How likely are people you meet to end up in one of your next books?

“Very likely, so watch out! Typically a character is a conglomerate of personalities that suits the story. Just the same, I use real people as templates so often, I probably couldn’t reveal who is who without getting myself into trouble.”

Hmm. I’m not sure whether I should lay low, or risk immortalization. >.>

Tell us a little about your current Work In Progress.

“The King of Threadneedle Street, about a financial prodigy who turns the national economy upside down to get what he wants, is next in the Rougemont series and releases December 2013.

I’m currently writing Rougemont #3, featuring a character who was jilted twice in the previous books. One of London’s most eligible bachelors, he causes uproar by taking up with a black woman who *gasp!* works as a writer.

Also trying my hand at contemporary romance. Tentatively titled Starter Wife, it’s set in Las Vegas(where I live), and almost none of the shenanigans in it are fictional. The premise: A high-society housewife gets dumped by her rock star lawyer husband, and her mysterious UFC fighter neighbor keeps saving the day. Can’t remember the last time I had so much fun writing a story.”

You are one busy, diverse lady! I look forward to reading ALL of your works, regardless. But I’d like to personally vouch for The King Of Threadneedle Street–which I still think about even though it’s been months since I experienced it. ^_^ Lets give readers a quick peek at Song For Sophia…

To win a man’s heart, a woman must have the mind of a diplomat, a general, and Cleopatra, all in one.

Desperation has led Anne-Sophia Duncombe to a life of exile. Still, she is always just one mistake away from capture and a marriage she would rather die than endure. As a last resort to remain hidden from her former life, Sophia attempts a radical scheme; a life of humility and disguise.

Rumor has it Wilhelm Montegue, the Earl of Devon, is insane. A tormented war hero haunted by scandal, he is only tolerated because of his brilliant mind and swarthy good looks. His unmentionable “condition” which keeps him confined to his country home is also the source of his talent for composing music.

When a new housemaid is hired at Rougemont, Lord Devon is perplexed to find himself fascinated by her. He knows the exquisite beauty is keeping secrets but her siren’s voice draws him ever closer, and he can’t resist the intoxicating scent of danger surrounding her.

2012 RWA Golden Heart® Finalist
2012 OKRWA National Reader’s Choice Award Winner, Historical Romance
2012 OKRWA National Reader’s Choice Award Finalist, Best First Book
“5-Crown” Review, RomCon®

What advice would you most like to give to a pre-published author? (And/or…what advice do you wish you had been given early on in your career?)

“Thick skin, my friends. You have to be plucky and indomitable. Take your lumps and come back swinging. And find good writer friends to celebrate and commiserate with. That’s the good news—you’re not in it alone.”

Amen, sister! >.>

If you could have any Disney sidekick creature as a manifestation of
your muse, which one would you pick and why?

“Can I have Kronk’s shoulder angels? From The Emperor’s New Groove? Because when I’m choosing between A and B for plot elements, Z is usually the best choice.”

That’s a new one! I have no rules against a set pair… and I do have a soft spot for the big lug. ^_^

Plastic, paper, or BYOB (bring your own bag)?

“If you ask for “paper” at a Wal-Mart in Las Vegas, the cashier thinks you’re initiating a drug deal. Don’t do that. Just take the plastic and watch your back in the parking lot, because someone is trying to sell you chloroform perfume. You can recycle the bags if it makes you feel guilty.”

…I think I’m just going to chalk that one up to…erm…cultural differences? o.O

Zombies. Undead menace…or improbable, misunderstood love interest?

“The former. Although, I confess I’ve found a way to use the term “zombie apocalypse” in all of my non-historical stories. (“Tomfoolery” and “magical unicorn” are my pet terms for historicals, by the way.)

Why? What’s your take on zombies? Do tell!”

I love ‘Tomfoolery.’ We should bring it back into common usage. ^_^
As for the romantic appeal of the undead…well…I have to draw the line somewhere. >.> Call me bias, but necrosis seems like a solid reason to put up a giant STOP sign. I did however, enjoy ‘Warm Bodies.’ But I’d argue it was really more about redemption than romantic reanimation…

I’d like to thank Moriah for letting us get to know her a little better! And now, here’s your opportunity to win these: Autumn jasper and Tibetan silver dangle earrings–handmade by Moriah Densley. (I told you she was multi-talented!)

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Cover Reveal!


Once Upon A Roadtrip - Front Cover


   Well, here it is! Almost exact to what I’d originally envisioned. Multitudes of thanks to Danielle Barnum Photography and Revalis Designs for their flexibility in giving me EXACTLY what I asked for…and then giving me something that worked better. >.<

Long story short, I’d initially requested the model be walking down the center line while holding her arms out at her sides as though she were walking a tightrope. When I got what I asked for, the hubby oh-so-delicately pointed out she looked like she was either trying to pass a sobriety test, or whimsically playing “airplane” on a highway. (Bolstering his argument, he added sound effects worthy of one of our preschoolers.)

The publisher agreed with him.

I’m not at all disappointed with how things turned out. ^_^ But what do YOU think? Feel free to give my comments option a test drive.

Once Upon A Roadtrip - Full Cover

Once Upon A Road Trip – Full Cover


Book Bartering: Literature On A Budget

I’ve recently had a chance to take advantage of a free service a friend recommended to me, and I’ve been so delighted I just had to share my new addiction: PaperBack Swap. The idea of online book clubs wasn’t new to me. But two factors spurred me into finally trying one out for myself: money and time. (Or rather, a decided lack of both. >.>)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge proponent of libraries. (When I was a teenager, they were like my very own publicly-funded sanctuary.) But now that I have kids to tote around and don’t have a library within any convenient driving radius, it’s not feasible for me to use one with any frequency. Aside from that, I have a lousy memory. A 2-week deadline was almost too much pressure BEFORE my life got this complicated. >.> So for a while I begged and borrowed from my patient friends–occasionally blowing too much money while trying to combine shipping from one of the online used book dealers like Thriftbooks or Better World Books. But I tell you, NO MORE! For I have found a new resource to satisfy my mild case of Bibliophilia…

  (Note: I am not being paid or otherwise encouraged to talk about this. I just make a habit of endorsing anyone and anything I happen to find awesome.)
“We help avid readers Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.”

How it works:

  •     List books you’d like to swap with other club members.
  •     Once a book is requested, mail it to the club member.
  •     In return, you may choose from nearly 5 million available books.
  •     No late fees. No hidden charges. (Pay only media mail shipping when someone requests  one of your offered books.)
  •     Books you request are mailed to you for free. (PaperBack Swap even provides a printable mailing tag to save on time and confusion.)
  •     Sign up now, list ten books, and receive 2 free credits.

And despite what it’s name may suggest, PaperBack Swap isn’t just about paperbacks. They also enable you to trade out your collections of unwanted:

  • Hardbacks
  • Textbooks
  • Audio Books
  • CDs
  • DVDs

In addition, they provide free networking communities for reviews, recommendations, discussion forums, and live chat. (Authors, if you haven’t already, sit up and take notice!)

I realize this won’t be a solution for everyone. (You do have to wait on the postal service–and some books are so popular, they have to que you into a waiting list until a copy comes available.) There are some things that still demand the instant-gratification of an ebook, or the comforting return policy of a brick-and-mortar bookstore. But for some of you, this could be as interesting an option as it is was me. 🙂

You can check out my PaperBack Swap profile here:

I encourage you to poke around and see if it might be for you. 🙂

Tell me what you think about book bartering! Anyone else been using PaperBack Swap (or something like it) already?