L.E. Fred’s Path to Publication

Today L.E. Fred has agreed to share her Path to Publication. Without further ado, here’s L.E….


Path to Publication



Devon Alexander is a 15 year-old teenager coping with the monotonous reality of his average life. His life receives an interesting reprieve as he has his first realistic dream of a spaceship. The strangest thing about the dream is that he seems to be the only one on board who isn’t in a dream-like trance. Before he can figure out anything about the dream or his strange shipmates, he manages to wake up. The next day, Devon catches a news story about inexplicable comas taking place all over the world. Devon’s life becomes increasingly interesting as he recognizes some of the victims from his spaceship trip.

Devon and an unlikely group of other teens start devising a plan to find out who is behind the strange dreams and the comas. Their plan is not only successful but immerses them in to the fantastical world that only resides in dreams. While in the dream world, the teens learn about the power of teamwork, a new world of culture, and their hidden potential to be heroes.

Suspenseful, funny at the worst times, and just a hint of teenage romance, Lucid takes a group of young adults and throws them into a fantasy world that they only thought could exist in their dreams. In a sense, they’re right.


Lucid Buy Links:








Author Bio: 

L.E. Fred is a perpetual dreamer who writes about worlds both within and without this realm. With a degree in psychology, L. E. Fred tends to get lost in the mind, the greatest adventure of all. L. E. Fred is currently traveling the world, finding more adventures to inspire new tales of dreams and beyond.


Connect with L.E.:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/only.but.a.dream

Blog: http://marsjaws.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/marsjaws

Website: http://lefredwrites.wix.com/marsjaws

Bethany Swafford’s Path to Publication Story

Bethany is here today to share her Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s Bethany…



First of all, I’d like to thank Christi for having me here today! I hope I don’t ramble too much!

“Why don’t you write a book?”

I didn’t grow up with a desire to write. For the longest time, I was content to enjoy the worlds and characters others had created. Writing short stories and essays to amuse my family and myself was enough for me. The older I got, though, I began to realize that the majority of novels contained sex scenes that I didn’t want to read.

Obviously, the solution to this problem was to do what my family had been encouraging me to do: write my own book with the standards that I searched for in books. How hard could it be, right? As I discovered, many rejections later, it wasn’t easy at all. “Sex sells” as they say and I rejected all offers to smut my story up a little.

Being the stubborn individual I am, I decided maybe self-publishing was the way to go. I had a story to share with anybody and everybody. And it went…well enough. I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was doing though and I know now that it could have been so much better. But that’s when the doubts started to hit me. Had it been the right decision to self-publish? What if the reason I’d been rejected all those times was because I wasn’t good enough?

By this point, I’d started another novel and it sat, unfinished, on my computer for over two years because I couldn’t shake those feelings. Every few months, I would open the file, reread it, change a few details or add a few paragraphs, and then leave it again. Finally, I worked up the courage to hand those six chapters to my mom and get an honest opinion. The next day, she came back to me and had just one thing to say: “Where is the rest of it?”

Well, now I had to finish it, if only so Mom could know how the story ended. Once that first draft was done, I still didn’t know what I was going to do with it. Again, it sat in all its imperfect glory. A few months later, I joined Donna Feyen on More Than A Review as a book reviewer and that’s when I was introduced to Clean Reads, a publishing company that held its books to a high standard of content.

I wanted my book to be with other novels that had the same clean standards and finally I knew I’d found just the place. Out came the manuscript and I began editing. After months of work, I hit the submit button and tried not to think about it, all those previous rejections haunting my dreams.

Sooner than I expected, I received the email with a contract attached and the rest is history. A Chaotic Courtship was released in August and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

Now friends and family ask if I have another book waiting in the wings. I just smile and say, “Not just a book. I have several.”

bethany-coverTwenty year old Diana Forester, a country bred young woman fears that her inexperience and uncertainties has driven Mr. John Richfield away. On arriving back home from London, she learns that he is already there, ready to continue their acquaintance. If Diana thought that it was difficult in London, courting takes on a whole new aspect when Diana’s younger siblings become involved. She finds herself dealing with her own feelings, her sister, her younger brother, jealous members of a house party, a jilted suitor, and a highwayman as she falls in love with the charming Mr. Richfield.

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Author Bio: For as long as she can remember, Bethany Swafford has loved reading books. That love of words extended to writing as she grew older and when it became more difficult to find a ‘clean’ book, she determined to write her own. Among her favorite authors is Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.

When she doesn’t have pen to paper (or fingertips to laptop keyboard), she can generally be found with a book in hand. In her spare time, Bethany reviews books for a book site called More Than A Review.

Jane McGarry Celebrates Another Release!

You first met Jane when she hosted my blog in June of 2015 and shared her Path to Publication story. She’s back today, celebrating another release!

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Olivia Davenport is looking forward to her future. After all, Prince Liam has professed his love and King William has promised her a reward for her role on a recent mission. She fully expects to continue her knightly training while enjoying a blossoming romance with her Prince. The King, however, has other ideas, appointing her as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Helen.

Thrust into unfamiliar territory and left to fend against the malicious women of court, Olivia feels awkward and confused. With the help of her new friend, Kat, and her sister, Anne, she tries to find her footing among the courtiers, their protocol, and the added complication of Jocelyn Crawford, a lady who has her eyes set on becoming Liam’s bride.

When, a disturbing prophecy puts the safety of the King in question, fear spreads through kingdom. Intrigue abounds at the palace with an enigmatic witch and a strict Friar at the center of the controversy. Olivia must use her training and instincts to unravel what is truly going on in order to protect the King. Through it all, she questions if she will ever be able to fit into Liam’s life and if, in the end, their love can prevail.


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“Excuse me, Sir Davenport, Lady Davenport,” says a voice, and suddenly Liam stands beside us. “But I would very much like to have a dance with your daughter.”

“Of course, Your Highness,” Mother replies in awe, dipping into a curtsey.

My acknowledgement is a much stiffer bow of the head. The moments with my family had briefly smothered my worry, but now it hurtles back full force. He takes my hand and I follow him onto the floor, silently praying my knees don’t give out from the terror that rises in me like the tide. One hand fits on the small of my back, the other grasps mine. His palms are uncharacteristically sweaty.

Something is definitely wrong.

I look into his beautiful, blue eyes. They swim with misery. Now that I am going to find out the reason, I am not sure I want to anymore.

He clears his throat. “I didn’t want to have to tell you in public, but I can’t let the night pass and deceive you.”

Not good.

At my silence, he continues, “Somehow Jocelyn has influenced my father. He wants me to court her, to give her a fair chance, because he considers her a more suitable match.”

There she sits now, right next to King William, her usual smug expression in place. Our monarch absently surveys the room. The monarch I saved—who praised me for it—stabs me in the back without a second thought. I should have left him to die in that escape tunnel.

“And what do you think of that?” I ask pointedly.

“Naturally, I protested…abundantly, but…” He stops, won’t meet my eyes.

But? But cannot be good. But can only be disastrous.

I stop moving and we stand looking at each other like mannequins while

couples rotate around us.

“But what?” I whisper, the cacophony of music and chatter turning into an otherworldly buzz while my senses brace for the impact of his answer.

“But…my father told me if I did not give Jocelyn a fair chance, he would not only send you from the palace, but ship you down to Prescott and arrange a marriage for you there. I don’t

know what to do, Olivia. I don’t know how to fix this.”

A barrage of thoughts leap to mind, none of them in any way accepting of this information. Send me away? Ship me to Prescott? As if I were livestock? And arrange a marriage? So many protests, I hardly know where to begin.

The music ends and couples saunter off the floor. Liam and I stand alone in the center.

Eyes will be upon us soon if we remain here like statues.

With every ounce of composure I can muster, I curtsey and hear my voice say, “Thank you for the dance, Your Highness. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Then, I walk away.


JaneMcGarryAuthor Bio: Reading was always a big part of Jane’s life. Over the years, creating stories developed out of this love. Finally, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel and that was when Not Every Girl was conceived.

She lives in New Jersey in a house full of boys, including one over-indulged cat. When she is not running around with her family or writing, she can be found curled up with said cat and a good book.

You can visit her online at: www.janemcgarrybooks.com .


Connect with Jane:

Author website:


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Debra Daugherty’s Path to Publication Story

Today Debra Daugherty is sharing her Path to Publication story! Without further ado, here’s Debra…



If I had to pinpoint an age when my writing career began, I’d have to say at age ten. That’s when my stories and poems were first published in my school newspaper. Seeing my name in print made me want to become a writer. Over the years I continued to write children stories, mostly to entertain my nieces and nephews.

In April, 2012, I traveled to England with a tour group. We stopped at Grassmere for lunch before visiting Dove Cottage, the home of the poet William Wordsworth. While sipping tea with two of the ladies from my group, Ilana and Sara, I learned they were writers. I told them I dabbled in writing, and they encouraged me to join SCBWI and submit my stories.

I joined the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators in May, attended my first writer’s conference in June, and by the following year, December, 2013, my first picture book, CALAMITY CAT, was published as an e-book by MeeGenius. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt took over the company in August, 2015 and my PB is now under contract with them. Hopefully, it will be added to their Curious World website in 2017.) I also had two short stories published in Guardian Angel Kid’s e-zine. I know this sounds like a success story, but I have a file drawer filled with rejections to prove how hard I worked.

At the conference in June, 2012, I connected with writers in my area and joined their writers group. We meet once monthly and critique each other’s work. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without their help and support.

Online writing courses followed, as well as two more conferences. And I never stopped submitting my work. (I average three rejections a month, but rejections are good. I learn from them, and they show I am trying.)

I love pitching stories on twitter, and the February 3rd #Pit2Pub led to Clean Reads publisher, Stephanie Taylor, offering me a contract for THE DRAGON’S RING.

From the day I signed my contract, February 23rd, to the present, it’s been a whirlwind of a ride. Edits, line edits, proofs and Galleys passed quickly. The cover art by Amanda L. Matthews, AM Design Studio, turned out amazing. I couldn’t be happier or more pleased with my experience with Clean Reads and with my publisher and her wonderful staff.

My highs and lows are many. I wrote THE DRAGON’S RING years ago and didn’t save it on my word processor. I remember the tears when I realized all my work was lost. Starting over from scratch, I rewrote my story from memory, remembering to save it this time. I sent it out a couple of times, then tucked it away in a drawer. (It had a different title then, THE PRINCESS, THE UNICORN AND THE GOLDEN RING.)

After attending the SCBWI conference in 2012, I dug out this fairy tale, and took another look. My princess sat at the castle and waited for her knight to accomplish his mission. Too outdated. I revised the entire manuscript and turned the princess into a heroine, rescuing her knight each time he encountered trouble. Ilana, with whom I’ve kept in touch, generously offered to read and edit it, and her edits showed me what I needed to do to polish the story.

I submitted my story to a few agents/publishers, but kept busy with other work, too. Two publishers actually favored it during the #Pit2Pub, (Pitch to Publication), last February, but it was Stephanie Taylor from Clean Reads who saw my vision and gave me a chance. That’s a major high.

Now for the lows. Since January 6th of this year I’ve had medical problems and was seeing several doctors. February 3rd I had a sonogram scheduled; but it was cancelled, so I spent the day pitching my stories on twitter. (Everything happens for a reason. If I had gone for the sonogram, I might never have joined in the #Pit2Pub twitter party, and might still be searching for a publisher for THE DRAGON’S RING.)

I had the sonogram a week later, and then a biopsy. March 4th I learned I had endometrial cancer, Stage 1, and would have to have a total hysterectomy and removal of some lymph nodes.

My surgery was performed March 14th. All the time leading up to the surgery, I continued writing and working on my book. I sent the pre-edits in before my biopsy, and my line edits were returned before my surgery. After the surgery I had more editing to do, and was thankful for something to keep my mind occupied while I recuperated at home.

Time for some highs. My cancer doctor believes the cancer was removed, and he decided I didn’t need radiation or chemo. I must have check-ups every three months, but the prognosis is good. This means I can continue writing, and hopefully, publishing many more books.

My path to publication has taken many years, almost all of my lifetime, and I’ve overcome many hurdles and obstacles to be where I am today. One must love writing to keep at this craft, as it can be a desolate path at times, but when something wonderful happens, such as seeing your book in print, or in my case for sale online, the hard work, sleepless nights, revisions and editing seem worth it.




Sir James Trueblood is determined to capture a unicorn so he can marry Princess Isadora. The knight begins his quest, not realizing the Princess is following him in disguise. On his journey Sir James encounters a witch and a dragon. With the dragon’s ring his mission is a success, but then he learns the unicorn will die if not set free. Now he has a dilemma; marry the Princess or free the unicorn.



Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J73OAUG#nav-subnav

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-dragon-s-ring

Smashwords  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/654404


Book trailer link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ODAHd23OzQ


Author Bio:  Debra Daugherty is from Central Illinois and is a member of SCBWI, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She enjoys living in the country with her two dogs, a Chihuahua named CeCe, and a rescued American Stratford Terrier named Honey. Besides writing children stories, Debra loves to spend time with her family, travel, and browse through antique shops. Publishing credits include CALAMITY CAT, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and THE DRAGON’S RING, Astraea Press/Clean Reads. She’s also had two short stories published in Guardian Angel Kids’e-zine.


Connect with Debra: 

Email: ddaugherty329@gmail.com

Twitter – @dmddeb

Website: http://ddaugherty329.wixsite.com/authordebradaugherty


Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/DebraDaughertyauthor

Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7579797.Debra_Daugherty

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ddaugherty329

J.N. Tomczak’s Path to Publication Story

Today J.N. Tomczak stopped by to share her Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s J.N….


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I wish to first thank Christi for having me as a guest on her blog and the opportunity to share my path to publication.

As it so happens, my journey had a bit of a “late to the party” kind of start.  But hey, better late than never, I always say, because I never in a million galaxies would have thought I’d pursue a career in writing.  My initial idea for EDENHART’S RIVALRY, the first installment in my High Fantasy/Adventure series, KINGDOM OF THE FAERIES, didn’t come until after I discovered my love for reading.  From the point I could learn to read up to seventh grade, I was reading in the wrong genre the WHOLE time!  I literally picked the easiest and most boring books in the school’s library, just so I could pass a stupid AR test.  I was a seventh grader, reading on a fourth grader’s reading level.  Compute that for a moment.  You can assume my comprehension skills were TERRIBLE—and they were!

But all of that changed the moment I picked up what would literally become my favorite book and what sparked my imagination.  I own the book, naturally, and it’s called THE LONG PATROL by Brian Jacques, one of many in the beloved REDWALL series.  For such a thick book, I read it in a day, and I was left breathless.  It astounded me that words on a page could make me feel so many emotions.  It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me fearful and anxious, and it also made me cry.  And that’s when I wanted to write something that could connect with readers the same way this book connected with me.  And so four weeks later and three filled notebooks, my path to publication began.

Being only thirteen at the time, I was still immature and ignorant as to HOW to publish a novel.  And remember I said my reading comprehension skills were terrible?  Well, that included grammar.  The first draft was cringe-worthy and riddled with noob mistakes.  But that’s OK on a first draft.  They’re always crap, and if they’re not, well, aren’t you just a special, little snowflake I envy so much.  So I dedicated a few years learning about publication and how to query an agent.  I sent out only a handful.  The best rejection letter I received asked if I had any other projects to send them for consideration, since the one I sent wasn’t what they were looking for at the time.  Of course, I didn’t have any other finished manuscripts, so I had to move on.

So I spent all my time learning more about my craft instead of acquiring scholarships by the time I was in my senior year of High School.  My family didn’t have big expectations for me.  Whatever I wanted to do, they were there to back me up, and they knew this was my passion.  I kept notebooks filled with all my acquired knowledge, and I used that to polish up EDENHART’S RIVALRY, until I finally deemed it publishable.

And that’s when a fellow church goer and author friend of mine told me about her publishing company called Clean Reads and that they were currently seeking submissions from all genres.  I had this good vibe, and I decided to go for it.  It took a few months, but I was so relieved and thankful when the founder of Clean Reads and its chief editor, Stephanie, contracted me.  Besides my wedding day, it was one of the happiest moments in my life.

Overall, if you truly want to be a writer, you must first be a reader.  Learn from the best.  Study the craft enough, and I promise you, it WILL pay off.  It took me almost eleven years, but it was so worth it.  But you have to be patient and dedicated.  And this is with anything.  Not just writing.  If you truly want to be good at something, you have to take it seriously.  Is it possible to write a book in a day?  Absolutely!  But writing the story is the easy part.  What follows next really tests your strengths and weaknesses.  Remember: quality takes time and effort.  Publishing a book takes guts!

Currently, I’m waiting for the green light on EDENHART’S RIVALRY’S sequel.  But while I’m waiting, I’m working on an entirely new project at the moment—a reimagining of Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland, and I aim to have the first draft completed by the end of next month.  Wish me luck!


A dark power is rising, and a kingdom is in dire need of a leader when the King of the Faeries falls in battle. Or so, that’s what they’re led to believe, but his only heir and daughter, Aurora, suspects murder.
But when she and her loyal friend Percy, the Captain of the Elite Guard, discover an ancient prophecy foretold by the enigmatic Faerie Sorcerers, Aurora finds herself an unwilling pawn in a dark plot that will threaten everything she holds dear.
Her courage and magic will be her greatest weapons if she hopes to succeed where all others have failed. But will she? Aurora must ask herself this very question: just how far is she willing to go to save her kingdom, and at what costs?


Author Bio:

Julianne grew up on a small farm in central Arkansas and now lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband. When not writing, Julianne loves playing video games, listening to music, hiking, and binge-watching Falling Skies while eating non-nutritional food.

Author Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14918148.J_N_Tomczak

Website: http://jntomczak.weebly.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JNTomczak

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jntomczak/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/juliannetomczak/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J.N.Tomczak/

Sophia Whittemore’s Path to Publication Story

Today I’m thrilled to introduce fellow Clean Reads author, Sophia Whittemore, who generously agreed to share her Path to Publication story.

Oh, and you should know that Sophia’s first novel released before she graduated from high school!!!

Without further ado, here’s Sophia…


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I started writing to overcome social anxiety when I was little. Being a late bloomer/ only child, making friends was harder to do than making enemies. So imagination and storytelling became my outlet. I’d sit in the library reading every book on mythology (I also happened to read a lot of mythology because it was on the shortest shelf, and before I had a growth spurt, the lowest shelf was the only one I could reach).

When writing became something that I seriously considered doing for life, I searched out for publications and magazines sometime around eighth grade. By my sophomore year of high school, I’d snagged a couple Midwestern Writing Awards. By junior year, I was published in a literary magazine. By my senior year of high school, I had learned the merits of hard work.

Despite my father’s battle with cancer and my mom’s with diabetes, I kept on writing. I eventually published the first of my Impetus Rising Series by the start of my senior year. By that point, I had an entire box full of rejection letters that I’d garnered over the past year, but that didn’t faze me.

Clean Reads became my first publishing family, and it introduced me to a world where writing wasn’t just a dream, but instead, a reality. I’ll be attending Dartmouth College this fall with the knowledge that hard work will get me everywhere, so long as I have the support of my friends and family.

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“Isak was love. Isak was bravery. Isak was death.”

Her lover has been cursed. Her mother has been kidnapped. Her best friend’s soul has been stolen and his body deformed. And Diana is afraid that she too is turning into a bloodthirsty monster, just like her father.

Awoken from an enchantment placed on her by her treacherous lover, the half-Impetus god, half mortal Diana is flung into a war between mutant shadows and the Impetus beings. Diana must navigate a world where queens torture their faithful knights, human children play with giants, and magic has darkness within it. Diana knows she has some power within her, some sleeping evil that demands to be set free. But is she truly her father, or is she her own person?

Secrets are revealed to her about the cursed Prince Isaakios that she never knew before, secrets like the women he once had in his life, or the havoc he once wreaked upon the Earth. How far will this twisted love go for Diana before she is broken? Or will she break before she even gets the chance to save the world one last time?



Sophia Whittemore is a Dartmouth student and multiracial author with an Indonesian mother and a Minnesotan father. She has had book signings at Barnes & Noble for her Impetus Rising Series, available on Amazon and other outlets, the first book published when she was only seventeen. She has been featured as a Standout in the Daily Herald and a Rad Reads author in Girls’ Life Magazine. Her love for the English language manifested itself in eighth grade when she went to the Scripps National Spelling Bee and has continued with other languages such as Spanish and Indonesian. Her prior publications include “A Clock’s Work” in a Handersen Publishing magazine, “Blind Man’s Bluff” in Parallel Ink, and winning multiple awards in the Best Midwestern Writing competition for high school writers. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois with her family and food-loving mini schnauzer called Tiger. Drawing on inspiration from her two cultural backgrounds, Sophia lives a life playing tennis, traveling, and writing about her dual life experiences through other characters in her works or on her blog.



Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiawhitte

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Authorsophiawhittemore/

Instagram: @authorsophiawhittemore

Tumblr: http://authorsophiawhitte.tumblr.com/

WordPress: https://sophiawhittemore.com