Another Release for Ashley Stambaugh!

Readers of this blog first met Ashley when she did a Path to Publication post in March of 2014. CLICK HERE to check it out.

ashley-stambaugh-author-photoAnd now, she’s celebrating another release!

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You have to have the dark to see the light.

Over a month has gone by since Melina won her internal battle between good and evil. She and the elders have been vigilantly waiting for Maura and Adelia to enact their plan, but there have been no signs of them anywhere. Then one day, Melina sees a Noxin demon lurking behind an old building. As more and more demons start to appear around town, she begins to worry that their plan may have already been put into play.

While Melina tries to figure out what the demons are up to, she starts to notice a sudden increase in her negative emotions, which in turn seem to be amplifying her powers. At first, she likes how strong it makes her feel. But when she realizes that her newly acquired demon powers are the cause of her sense of empowerment, she wants nothing to do with it. Even though she has reversed her demon powers to do good, she still sees them as coming from an evil source and fears that by using them the evil she fought so hard to overcome will rise up in her again.

But as the demon activity increases, and the people in her town, including all the people she cares about the most, start to display strange and violent behavior, Melina finally understands that if she wants to stop the demons and help her friends, she must embrace not only the good in her but also the bad. Because the only way to truly empower herself is by finding a way to use them together.

 

Excerpt

She turned to look at the front of her store and saw that the huge front window had been completely busted in, allowing the chilly winter air to blow right through the room. The rest of the store wasn’t in any better shape. Broken glass, splintered wood, and burnt, ripped up books and paper covered the entire floor. She felt like she should be having déjà vu, seeing as how her store had been destroyed by Noxin demons before, but there was a difference this time. She didn’t have her friends to help her pick up the pieces.

Before she was able to get teary-eyed again, she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She turned around and saw that Walter was back, and he had Phinneas, Cecil, and Helene with him. They all nodded at Henry, who nodded back at them, and then they all returned their focus to Melina.

“Hi,” Melina said as she gave them all a slightly confused look. “What are you all doing here?”

“I thought it was necessary to tell them what’s happening with you,” Walter said.

Melina pulled her robe a little tighter around her and turned her gaze down to the floor. She wondered if they were disappointed in her for not telling any of them sooner.

“Melina,” Phinneas said as he took a step toward her. “None of us blame you for feeling the way you do. The fear you have of your anger and of your demon powers is completely valid. But it’s nothing to be afraid of, or ashamed of. I’ve told you before, not everyone is all good or all bad. We all have good and evil in us.”

“Yes,” Melina said as she nodded her head. “I remember you saying that. But then you also said that we just have to choose which one is going to win, and I chose good.”

“And I’m so glad you did,” Phinneas said. “But just because you chose good and were able to reverse the demon powers to use them for good, doesn’t mean that the bad aspects of the demon powers aren’t still a part of you, too.”

“Melina,” Walter said as he took a step toward her. “To truly embrace all of your powers, you must accept not only the good aspects of them but also the bad. I can only imagine how strong it must make you feel when your emotions amplify your powers, but instead of fighting them and trying to stop them, feel all of those emotions and use them in a good way. Use them to empower yourself.” He paused for effect and then continued. “You have become a force to be reckoned with. You just need to learn to accept them and then control them.”

Melina’s eyes were filled with tears again. His words reminded her of what Lee had told her—that she needed to accept all of herself. She knew they were both right, but she still couldn’t let go of her hesitation and fear.

“But what if it makes me susceptible to being taken over by evil again?” She bit down on her lip as she stared over at Walter with eyes full of distress.

He gave her a reassuring smile. “I know you’re scared, but I also think that you know, deep down, that you’re not going to be taken over by evil again. This is just how the demon powers are going to work in you. We all experience negative emotions, Melina. But it’s what we do after the emotions arise that matters. We can act upon those negative feelings and let them control us, or we can feel them, acknowledge them, but then choose not to act on them. And instead of letting them control us, use them as motivation for something good.” He was silent for a moment then said, “You have to have the dark to see the light.”

Melina sat quietly as his last words sunk in. She had never thought of it that way, but he was right. She had both light and dark in her, just like everyone else, but she just needed to make sure that her light always shone brighter.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY3LYYJ

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/empower-ashley-stambaugh/1124771929?ean=2940157073169

 

About the author 

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

 

 

Social media links

Website: www.ashleystambaugh.blogspot.com
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/ashleystambaughauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashleystambaugh

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8054295.Ashley_Stambaugh

Emily Steward’s Path to Publication

Today’s Path to Publication is by Emily Steward. Without further ado, here’s Emily…

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emily-bio

Even before I knew what a writer was, I loved to tell stories. One of my first memories is telling bedtime stories to my mom and brother. After they fell asleep, I would continue to tell the story for a long time afterward. I even used to tell stories to God because I figured he got tired of just hearing everyone’s problems all day.

In kindergarten, I discovered the people who create stories are called writers. I decided then and there, that one day I would become a writer. My teacher was extremely encouraging and I attribute a lot of my early writing passion to her.

Over the years, my dream went by the wayside, but it was always in the back of my mind. After taking a few writing classes from a local college, I got the confidence I needed to feel like I had at least some talent.

I kept waiting for the perfect idea, or for inspiration to strike, but it never did. Finally, I’d had enough waiting and decided it was time. I started writing with nothing in mind except I wanted something magical to happen to this young boy named Bobby Brown. Well I managed to write nearly a third of my novel before I decided it might need some sort of loose outline. It took me several years and a lot of revisions including changing Bobby Brown to a girl named Penelope Gilbert (RIP poor Bobby) and switching my audience from young adult to middle grade.

When I was ready to start submitting my manuscript to agents, I drove down to the local office supply store and bought a bunch of manila envelopes, paperclips, and stamps. Then I went to the library and printed off several copies of my first chapter. I soon realized the majority of agents now prefer digital submissions. Oops! I think I sent one whole submission through the mail before I dropped that and started sending emails. At least I’m well stocked with manila envelopes and paper clips in case I have a postal emergency one day.

After a few weeks of sending queries, I received my first rejection. I was elated. It made me feel like an official writer! When I received my second and third rejections, it wasn’t quite as thrilling. But I knew this was all part of the process, so I pressed on. My inbox was soon full of lovely, (only slightly) soul crushing rejections.

I got a glimmer of hope when an agent requested my full manuscript. I continued to refine my book through critique groups and submit more queries while I waited for the agent with my full to get back to me. It took over a year before I heard back from the agent. No feedback, no comments, just a simple, “This isn’t right for me.” After that, I started delving into a new project, thinking my novel might just not be publishable.

That’s when I got some interest from a publisher during a contest. Well I’d been looking for an agent, but since I hadn’t gotten any takers, I thought I’d go for it. Plus, I loved the company and their cover art. We had a really good Skype chat, but they decided to put their middle grade lineup on hold. They were still interested enough to ask if they could contact me once they started putting out middle grade books again. That was tough to get my hopes up, but it was nice to know they still wanted it. Just not now.

After that, I finally got the email I’d been waiting for. An agent read my book in just a few shorts days. She loved it, and wanted to set up a time to talk! We scheduled the call and I read a bunch of articles on what to do when receiving “The Call” which is usually a call to see if you are a good fit before they offer representation. I tried not to get my hopes up, but all signs pointed to her becoming my agent. The day of the call, I got up really early because I knew her time zone was ahead of mine. I kept my phone at full volume while the morning turned to afternoon, and afternoon to evening. I was on edge all day, but the call never came.

That was really disappointing to say the least. I may or may not have wallowed a bit with a carton of ice cream and lots of chocolate.

Another opportunity came up to do a Twitter contest called Pit2Pub. I didn’t know if I was ready to go through it all again, but friend convinced me that I had nothing to lose. A publisher called Clean Reads asked for my work. I sent it in and a short time later had a response sitting in my inbox. I had to read and reread the simple message for what they were saying to actually sink in. “I think your book would be a great addition to Clean Reads. I’ve attached a contract below, email me if you have any questions.” I couldn’t’ believe it. Just like that? After all this time, just like that? Seemed too good to be true.

I researched the publishing company like crazy. When I felt comfortable, I took the plunge and signed. Now everything’s been a whirlwind. My husband Chad got to do the artwork, which may not have happened with another company, and I love the idea of being a part of a publishing house that puts out quality material without compromising their values.

My path to publication didn’t go exactly as I envisioned, but what in life does? There were a lot of ups and downs, and things in the publishing world move so incredibly slow. However, God had a plan all along. I just needed to be patient, and persistent. I love so many things about the company I signed with, and I think there are great things to come. Now I can finally say that I’m a published author! How great is that?

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pen-coverWhen 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she’s sure she’s going crazy. But she’s not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky.

Author Bio: Emily Steward spent the better part of her childhood dressed as a ninja and trying to convince others to call her ‘Ace.’ When she wasn’t saving the world from evil samurai, she could usually be found in the branches of a tree reading a good book. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, and dog Bentley. Though she seldom dresses as a ninja now, her adventurous spirit remains as does her love of tree climbing and reading good books.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Penelope-Gilbert-Children-Azure-Steward-ebook/dp/B01LTGUPC6

Barnes & Nobel: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/penelope-gilbert-and-the-children-of-azure-emily-a-steward/1124585350

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/penelope-gilbert-and-the-children-of-azure

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/664338

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Emily_Steward14

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emsteward14/

Website/Blog: https://estewardblog.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/emilyasteward

 

Another Book For Annie Douglass!


More than just a coloring book, this inspirational activity book will help you relax, unwind, and enjoy some creative fun while hiding God’s Word in your heart. 
The 35 separate verses and passages are printed in colorable word art with decorative borders, blank on the back to make them easier to remove and frame or display, if desired. Each one is accompanied by two different activities or puzzles featuring the verse or key words from it. 


Hide it in Your Heart is an ideal Scripture memorization aid for Christian schools, homeschool programs, Sunday schools, or your own personal use. Children and adults will enjoy learning, practicing, and meditating on these artistically presented verses from the New International Version Bible. 
 
Proceeds from the sale of Hide it In Your Heart will be donated to www.Christar.org to help provide a translation of God’s Word for a particular people group in East Asia who do not yet have the Bible in their own language.
 
Here are a few sample coloring and activity pages from Hide it In Your Heart. If you’d like to color them or complete the word puzzles, click here to access a PDF that you can download and print.
Hide it In Your Heart is available in paperback on Amazon. Click here to order your copy for $8.99. 
HOWEVER, you can get it for 15% off if you order it here on CreateSpace with coupon code JZBVVBH8The code can be used an unlimited number of times and will not expire, so feel free to order as many copies as you like for family and friends. Hide it In Your Heart makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys word puzzles, coloring, or God’s word! 
You’re welcome to share the code with others, too.
Happy coloring!


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About the Author:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in
Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and
her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at
Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since
her childhood, and to date has published thirteen books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, five anthologies of her
students’ poetry, and a Scripture coloring and activity book). Besides writing,
her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction),
scrapbooking, and international travel.


 
 
Connect with Annie Douglass Lima online:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sign up for author updates and receive a free ebook of “interviews” with characters from her fantasy series: http://bit.ly/LimaUpdates