Another Book for Krysten Lindsay Hager!

I featured Krysten’s Path to Publication story back in July of 2014. It’s an inspiring story about overcoming obstacles, and you should CLICK HERE to read it.

She’s been busy, and now has another book to show off to the world! Congratulations!!!

Krysten Lindsay Hager

Best Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

BestFriendsForever453x680Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition.


I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that’s when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.

My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a close‑knit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the “ʺThree’s Company”ʺ hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, “ʺWish you were here,”ʺ but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.

“Ready for bed, hon?” Mom asked coming into my room.

“Yeah, just signing off.”

“Okay, sleep well.”

I got into bed and hoped I was reading into things, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.


Book Trailer:

Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in both True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?

Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

Buy Links:


Amazon international:



Connect with Krysten:






I’m Back…and I Brought Fun Meme’s!

friday high five

Wow! It’s been a while since I posted here on the blog, because I’ve been hard at work whipping my next book, Tainted Dreams, into shape. Now that it’s done and with my publisher, Astraea Press, I’m back at the blog and hard at work on my next book.

I’m thrilled to announced that my publisher has set a tentative release date for Tainted Dreams…May of 2015!

Which means edits and galleys are coming for me over the next two months…

Editing through a kid's eyes

Easy reading is hard writing

editor cat

How about you? How have you been?

Helen Pollard’s Path to Publication Story

I’m interrupting my blogging break today to introduce fellow Astraea Press author, Helen Pollard, and share her Path to Publication story.

Without further ado, here’s Helen…


Helen bio picAs a child, my love of writing grew from my love of reading – especially Enid Blyton’s ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ stories, which I devoured every night long past my bedtime by the light of the street lamp outside my window. I loved the way she created whole new worlds, and I wanted to do that for myself.

In my teens, encouraged by one English teacher in particular, I experimented with moody, dystopian, apocalyptic … typical teenager stuff!

And then in complete contrast to that, in my early twenties I wrote my first full-length romance. This was an unexpected direction for me – I’d picked up a couple of romances to read (more by accident than design), quite enjoyed them despite my inner cynic, and in the arrogance of youth, decided I could do just as well myself, if not better.

Well, it probably wasn’t bad for a first attempt. Even though it was rejected by the publisher I sent it to, their reply was an individual one, complimenting my style and suggesting I submit something else.

Encouraged, I wrote another romance. It was rejected with a generic letter this time. I started a third. That was rejected too.

By this stage, I had two small kids, a house to run, no sleep and no time. I gave up.

Over the next few years, as I looked after my family and returned to work, I appeased my creative streak by experimenting with handicrafts.

In the meantime, my daughter was doing nothing but write, and clearly loving it. My fingers began to itch to hit the keyboard again. I’d had an opening scene for a humorous chick-lit novel in my mind for years, and the day I decided to type it up, it was like opening the floodgates. While I wrote, I also researched the craft itself and updated myself on the world of publishing – a lot had changed since I’d last tried!

Two years later – it was a long book and I’m an obsessive edit-and-polisher – I began sending it to agents, entering a soul-destroying cycle of post it off – wait weeks if not months for a rejection letter or indeed, get no response at all – re-polish it – send it somewhere else – repeat.

After two years of that, I decided the manuscript should take a long rest at the back of the drawer, although I still love the story and hope to find a home for it eventually.

With a small spark of determination still hanging on in there, I went back to writing straight romance, and Warm Hearts in Winter was born. It took me about six months to write (I still work full-time) and three months to polish it to within an inch of its life.

As I wrote, I researched romance publishers, and when I read about Astraea Press, my instinct told me to go for it. To my delight, they offered me a contract, and a few months later here I am, a published author.

It’s been a long haul – not just the writing, but the learning process too – but I’m so glad I rediscovered my love of words – and that someone else has shown faith in my work!

Helen Pollard coverCan two hearts thaw on the midwinter moors?

Forced by circumstance into the world of temping, when Abby Davis accepts an assignment in the wilds of Yorkshire as personal assistant to a widowed novelist, she assumes he is an ageing recluse.

Thirty-something Jack Blane is anything but. Still struggling to get his life and writing career back on track three years after his wife’s death, Jack isn’t ready for a breath of fresh air like Abby.

Snowed in at his winter retreat on the moors, as the weeks go by and their working relationship becomes friendship and maybe more, Abby must rethink her policy of never getting involved with someone at work … and Jack must decide whether he is willing to risk the pain of love a second time.

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble:



About the Author:

Helen Pollard writes contemporary romance with old-fashioned heart. She firmly believes there will always be a place for romantic fiction, no matter how fast-paced and cynical the world becomes. Readers still want that feel-good factor – to escape from their own world for a while and see how a budding romance can blossom and overcome adversity to develop into love … and we all need a little love, right?

A Yorkshire lass, Helen is married, with two teenagers. They share space with a Jekyll and Hyde cat that alternates between being obsessively affectionate and viciously psychotic. Antiseptic cream is always close at hand.

When Helen’s not working or writing, it goes without saying that she loves to read. She also enjoys a good coffee in a quiet bookshop, and appreciates the company of family and close friends.

Find Helen at:


Website & Blog:


Linda Covella’s Path to Publication Story

Today fellow Astraea Press author, Linda Covella, is sharing her Path to Publication story!

Without further ado, here’s Linda…


Linda CLike most writers, I had a dream to be a published author.

I’ve always loved to write, but never thought of it as a career until later in life. I started out in college as an art major, and then decided I needed to actually make some money. After receiving different degrees, I came back to my original desire to do something creative with my life. I started doing freelance writing on the side on all sorts of topics, and after publishing a few articles in children’s magazines, I realized I’d found my niche, how I really wanted to unleash my creativity: writing for kids and teens.

I was bitten big time by the publishing bug as I started crafting picture books and novels. I had a dream to publish one of my children’s books, and I started pursuing it full force.

I took online writing classes, some specifically for children’s writing.

I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

And I (finally) joined a critique group. It took me a while to take that step. I was The Lone Writer, afraid to let others read my work, afraid of criticism. I met a woman in one of my online children’s writing classes who tried to convince me to form a critique group with her. I eventually realized I couldn’t achieve my dream on my own, and together we created the rules for the group and chose four other children’s writers.

This was probably one of the best things I’ve done for my writing. Together, we’ve learned the ropes of writing, submitting, and how the whole publishing process works. We’ve been together now for over 10 years, supporting each other not only with our writing, but through personal triumphs and tragedies.

For years, I wrote, received rejections, cried, revised. Wrote some more, received more rejections, wept, and revised. I could go on, but you get the idea. (The crying jags stopped after the, oh, 50th rejection.)

But I didn’t give up, and one day, “the call” came. One of my novels was going to be published. I bought Negotiating a Book Contract by Mark L. Levine (an excellent book, by the way). I negotiated by myself and got most of my requests written into the contract. The publisher and I started discussing covers, etc.

Then, bam, it was all snatched away from me when the publisher went out of business.

It was shocking, devastating, and I sank into a hole of depression. But I climbed back out. I didn’t give up. I started submitting to agents and publishers—again.

Now my dream has really and truly come true. Not only once, but twice. Two of my novels were published one week apart this July 2014: Yakimali’s Gift published by Astraea Press and The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing.

It can be a tough path to publication. You need a thick skin. You need to face the rejections and learn from them. You need support from other writers and professionals in the field. I learned all this on my own road to publication.

I wish all the best to other authors, and to aspiring writers, my little piece of advice is:

Don’t Go It Alone and Don’t Ever Ever Give Up!

How is your own path to publication going?

Yakimali GiftYakimali’s Gift

In 1775 Mexico, New Spain, 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, of Spanish and Pima Indian ancestry, can’t seem to fit into the limited female roles of her culture. Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves, dreaming of adventure in faraway lands. But when a tragic accident presents her with the adventure she longed for, it’s at a greater price than she could ever have imagined. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California.

On the four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda entrust with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria’s seductive brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo—half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel’s layers of hidden feelings, she’s torn between him and Nicolas, the handsome soldier pursuing her.

But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama’s Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself. See the trailer, read an excerpt and historical information

Yakimali’s Gift is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleSmashwords, iTunes, and Kobo.


Linda Covella’s varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children’s magazines (“Games and Toys in Ancient Rome” and “Traveling the Tokaido in 17th Century Japan,” in Learning Through History magazine, and “Barry’s Very Grown Up Day” in Zootles magazine), she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books:  the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali’s Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and middle grade paranormal The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing are her first novels.

She’s a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).


Elizabeth Belyeu’s Path to Publication Story

Today’s Path to Publication story comes fellow Astraea Press author, Elizabeth Belyeu.

Without further ado, here’s Elizabeth…


I write at work, at my desk, on my bed, at the kitchen table – in my head before I go to sleep, on scraps of paper in my pocket, in emails sent to myself. Writing, the masochistic pursuit; how sad the cries of the writer trying to outline! How savage the tearing of hair when characters refuse to cooperate! And yet I would never want to stop. Something inside me would have to die before I could even consider stopping.

I published my first book in kindergarten, and by “published” I mean “stapled pages together and colored on them.” My first novel came at age 9, when I bought a blank journal with two cats on the cover and wrote their adventures on the inside. (Pitter and Patter, my first real characters. Ahhh, good times.) In grade school there was a collaboration with my best friend about two girls who find their way to a fantasy world; in junior high came the series (scribbled in notebooks during gym class) about the group of teens with psychic powers; through most of high school I labored over a novel that I never could figure out how to end. By then I definitely knew I wanted to Be A Writer.

I did my research. I learned about agents and editors, royalties and cover art and slush piles, and I’m glad I did. I’m glad that, by the time publication became any sort of option for me, I had no rose-colored glasses about how it works.

I read book after book after book on How To Write. I took a correspondence course in high school; in college, I took Creative Writing classes, even when I no longer got credit for them. Later I joined a local critique group. All of those things were helpful, and I recommend them. But I think now that the two most valuable things for building my writing skills were first, writing – writing all the time, figuring it out as I went – and second, reading. I read just as ceaselessly as I wrote, absorbing stories and storytelling, learning the tricks of the trade on a bone-deep subconscious level. I was the kid that mispronounced words because I’d read them a hundred times before I heard them spoken, and I think there’s no better way to master language than to let it just saturate your brain like that.

In 2008 I started a new story because I was bored and alone at my sister’s house. I took the first chapter to my Creative Writing class and learned it was crap. Writers have to be thick-skinned; you have to understand that a criticism of the work is not a criticism of the writer. The work can be fixed, and that fixing process is what makes you a better writer, however much it stings. That crappy chapter was nothing worse than a false start. I did it again, and did it better. I kept writing. The crappy chapter became Secondhand Shadow.

My older sister, Misty, has long been my First Reader, the one whose feedback leads to the second version that others see. Tired of investing herself in things I didn’t finish, she demanded a new chapter of Secondhand Shadow every week. That was exactly the nudge I needed, and inside of a year I had a finished novel manuscript for the first time since junior high.

Several rounds of revision later, I started searching for an agent. There are a lot of websites out there that can advise you on that subject; one I particularly recommend, even if some of its advice might be a touch dated now, is Miss Snark (, an anonymous literary agent who blogged for several years about the querying and agenting process. I read her entire archive, and came out the other side able to piece together a decent query letter. I queried about 40 agents before my letter caught the eye of Lindsay Ribar at Greenburger Associates, and she requested some pretty intense revisions before she would take me on – but in the end I had a stronger book, and a real live agent!

Then came the awful part – waiting for the book to sell. I told Lindsay not to tell me about rejections, I didn’t see any reason to put myself through that. But as time ticks away, you know your agent is out there working and that means you’re getting rejected. It took two solid years for Lindsay to find a publisher for Secondhand Shadow, but the moment she told me about Astraea Press I knew it was going to be a good fit. They offered me a contract just a couple days before my 29th birthday, which was perfect timing – I’d been feeling very down about turning 29 (29! The last frontier of early adulthood! How is this possible!) still unpublished. Lindsay and Astraea gave me the best birthday present ever!

The work didn’t stop there; more revisions followed, mostly to make my book conform to Astraea’s exacting standards, and to fix some structural difficulties. I spent 12 solid hours at my desk, getting it done before the deadline. And after that came galley corrections. At this point I’m actually unsettled by the idea that I can’t change the book anymore. It’s out there. It’s published. It is set in stone, for good or ill.

Book Blurb

SecondhandShadow1400X2100It’s supposed to be a symbiotic relationship: the Shadow serves and protects the human Lumi, the Lumi feeds and cares for the Shadow. But when Damon’s Lumi died young and severed the bond between them, he declined to go with her like a good little Shadow. Yes, it hurts. Yes, he’s cold and hungry all the time. And yes, his own people call him an abomination. But for the first time, Damon’s life is his own, and he’s never going back.

Or so he thinks, until he meets Naomi, a pregnant college student… and bonds to her as his new Lumi. Which has never happened to a Shadow before.

Naomi has enough problems on her plate, juggling college and a crappy survival job, preparing for a baby, and getting over her cheating ex-husband. The last thing she needs is a dark, brooding fellow like Damon depending on her physically and emotionally, and hating her for it. But a vigilante among Damon’s people has his sights set on Naomi – and they both know Damon is her only chance for survival.

Buy Links: 

Amazon            Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Belyeuis 29 years old and lives in Alabama, where she supports herself, her cat, and her steadily growing TBR pile as a library assistant. She graduated from Troy University in 2008 with a bachelorʹs in English (Creative Writing minor). This is her first novel, but she has been writing since she could hold a pencil, and plans to continue until she is too senile to type.

Connect with Elizabeth

Blog           Facebook

Mary Cope’s Path to Publication Story

Today I’m thrilled to feature fellow Astraea Press author Mary Cope, who has generously agreed to share her “Path to Publication” story.

Without further ado, here’s Mary…


fB168Ujj5A3ihdvfnRJSUlDJ24TREL4IxzDoepGt6cUFirst I’d like to thank Christi Corbett for having me guest host her blog today. It is a privilege.

Before I begin my pathway to publication, I want to backtrack a little bit and give encouragement to those who continually doubt themselves. Doubt can be a destructive thing, paralyzing even, in fact…I doubted myself so much I almost never submitted my story.

The reason for my doubt came from the fact that I wasn’t a writer. And to be honest, I kept my writing a secret..from my family, friends, everybody. I didn’t want to share this desire I had. I mean who was I? A middle-aged housewife writing a New Adult Romance story? Really? But, it was fun for me, so I decided to continue.

Then something clicked. When I reached chapter 7 of my story it was at that point I knew I was going to finish. Having no idea what I was doing, I joined a local writers group. Nervous and intimidated, I sat at a table with strangers and read them my first chapter. My formatting was off, my tenses were all over the place and basically chapter 1 was a mess. But, thanks to the encouragement I felt from this group of writers I came back the following week and continued to do so.

When my story was finished, the doubt came back. I shelved my story for five months because I didn’t think it was good enough, but then I decided, “What the heck? I’ve got nothing to lose.” So, I enlisted the help of a great friend of mine and we tackled the dreaded “query letter.”

“The query letter, the query letter, it has to be perfect!” That’s all I heard from everyone, so writing the query letter freaked me out. And, if you’re in the midst of writing one, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I pushed the doubt aside and sent off my first query letter.

“Hmmm, that wasn’t so bad.” I thought, so, I sent another.
Eventually, I sent my query letter to every publisher I could think of. And, yes, I received rejections, but I also received manuscript requests, and that feeling fueled me and gave me the confidence I needed.

Manuscript rejections came, and doubt reared its ugly head again, but a few offers came in also.  I signed my first contract with Astraea Press, for my book, Beautiful One on January 1st 2014. So, I’m going to shove doubt out the door, and with a humble heart call myself a writer.

Trust me when I say, if I can do this, you can too. 🙂

Thank you, Christi, I hope I was able to encourage at least one of your followers to continue on their writing journey.
BeautifulOne_1Book Blurb:

Elizabeth Ryan is a beautiful, shy, naïve high school senior. Having never dated, she meets the boy of her dreams, Aidan Mitchell. Despite his history of womanizing, Liz is drawn to him.

Soon Liz becomes the envy of all the girls on campus, when they become a couple and her dream boyfriend sweeps her off her feet and into the dating world that is all too new and strange for her. When other guys start to take notice of Liz, Aidan is troubled with fits of jealousy.

Elizabeth then meets the ruggedly handsome, Spencer Hayes and they quickly bond over their passion for music. Liz begins to struggle with the feelings that spark between them.

In the end Elizabeth finds herself torn between helping Aidan overcome his jealousy and anger and giving into what her heart truly wants.

Buy Links for Beautiful One:

Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Contact Mary:


Debut Novelist Ashley Stambaugh’s Path to Publication

Today’s guest host is fellow Astraea Press author, Ashley Stambaugh. She’s sharing her path to publication story today, and it’s a great one!

Without further ado, here’s Ashley…


Author pictureFirst things first, I’d like to give a big thank you to Christi for having me here today!  I’m thrilled that she’s allowed me to share the details about my first novel, and how it finally came to be an actual book and not just a manuscript saved on my computer.

My journey to publication wasn’t an extremely long one, but it wasn’t a short one either.  It started back in the summer of 2009.  I had finally finished my first book, which had taken me over a year to write, and I was ready to start querying.  Or so I thought.

After months and months of receiving nothing but rejections, I had to admit to myself that I needed to rewrite my manuscript.  By then, it was the spring of 2010.  I had just had my first son, and I was working a full-time job, so I had to squeeze in writing whenever I could find the time.  A little over a year later, I was done with the rewrite and for sure that I had it right this time.  In the summer of 2011, I started my second round of querying.  And again, I received the same results.

Rejection e-mails were the norm in my inbox, and after a few months, I had finally had enough.  I couldn’t take the sting of rejection anymore, and the thought of just giving up for good even crossed my mind.  But then, in the spring of 2012, something happened that renewed my passion.  I actually received some feedback on my manuscript from an agent.  What she said to me was a rude awakening, but it was also helpful and honest.  So I rewrote my manuscript again, and I guess the third time really is a charm.  In the fall of 2013, a little over four years from when I sent out my first query letter, I finally received an offer of publication from Astraea Press.  And as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Rejection can hurt tremendously, especially when it’s given to something you’ve worked so hard on.  Trust me, I know.  But thick skin, perseverance, and not being afraid to rework your manuscript will ultimately lead to success!

I’m so excited that I’m finally able to share my first book with the world, and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


About Ashley 

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 and their comical black Pug. 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.

Connect with Ashley via Social media links

Facebook author page:


Collide Cover ArtMelina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions. 

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn’t survive.

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.

Buy Links for Collide

Amazon         Barnes and Noble        Astraea Press