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

Artemis Grey’s Path to Publication Post

All right everyone, this is the post I’ve waited for. The post that has me crying the happiest ugly cry ever imaginable as I type these words.

My critique partner, Artemis Grey, is here to tell her Path to Publication story!!!!

*wipes tears with sleeve*

I’m crying because I’ve believed in her for so long, and really am so very very happy this book has finally been published!

Artemis and I “met” forever ago (years!!) when she commented on a blog post I did for Pimp My Novel, and we’ve stayed in contact ever since. Public comments on blogs moved to private chats via Facebook and emails, and then one day we exchanged pages, and the rest is history.

She was vital to making me not look like a complete idiot with the horse and injury scenes in all three of my books, totally “gets” my characters and doesn’t hesitate to call me out when they or any part of my story lines aren’t flowing well, and taught me the epic phrase, “Awesomesauce”.

*wipes more tears on sodden sleeve*

And now, without further ado, here is Artemis Grey…


IMG_7981 (1)First off, I want to thank Christi for hosting me on her Path to Publication today. Also, anyone who’s read and enjoyed Catskin, take a moment to also thank Christi, because I’m not being dramatic when I say that Catskin would not have been published without Christi. I literally would never have submitted to Clean Reads if not for Christi’s foot on my tuchus, shoving me onward toward publication.

My journey began in childhood, with the oral stories told to me by my grandmother on my Mom’s side of the family, and my Great Great Aunt, and Great Aunts on my Dad’s side of the family. Mom’s side brought tales of mountain hollows, witchy women, ghosts and superstition, both that of Appalachian folk and of the Cherokee. Dad’s side brought stories of Irish rabble-rousing, Scottish mayhem and Italian superstition. It was all fodder for my developing mind, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write my own versions of the stories I’d been told. Eventually, I began writing completely new stories.

The first novel I wrote, sank into the swamp. So I wrote a second novel. And that one sank into the swamp. So I wrote a third novel. That one burned down, fell over and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth novel turned out to actually be worth reading. Unfortunately, it was also a dystopian, and while everyone seemed to love it, no agents wanted to rep it. What I didn’t know at the time, was that the first book of the Hunger Games was due out in just a few months, and so behind the scenes, everyone in the industry already knew that a glut on dystopian YA was about to hit the country. Dystopians which had already been repped, sold to publishing houses, and were in the works to be released in the same wave as the Hunger Games. So I moved on to a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, there was also a fantasy, and several others.

But in the middle, amidst years of writing, working on other stories and partial novels, came one that Christi insisted right from the beginning would be The One.

That book was Catskin. I’d never written a contemporary YA before, and never had a male main character. Yet, Catskin popped out of me without me intending to write it in any particular way, or in any particular voice. Catskin went through some major revisions, complete rewrites in some places, and though I started submitting it to agents–and getting rejections with feedback–I continued working on it as per the feedback I was getting from prospective agents. I know this is not how you’re supposed to do things. It’s the opposite, of what you’re supposed to do. but at the time, I was so tantalizingly *close* to getting an offer of representation, that I just wanted to make Catskin as good as I could. Finally, the day came when Christi told me to stop futzing around with it and leave it alone. If it wasn’t “good enough” for an agent or publisher, she said, then it wasn’t meant to be wherever or with whomever I was sending it to. So I listened to Christi, and kept sending Catskin out, and kept getting “almost” rejections.

Then Christi told me to just eat my concern and submit to Clean Reads. So, I listened to her again. And she was right. I woke up on the second day of my September 2015 vacation, in a slot canyon in Utah, and unexpectedly heard a bing from my phone as it somehow got enough service to inform me that I’d received an email. An email that contained a contract and offer for publication. I reread that email about a dozen times in the first three minutes, absolutely, fanatically convinced that I was somehow missing something, a catch, or a sentence saying “but unfortunately”. There was none. It was real. I had been offered a contract.

Of course, I completely freaked out and emailed Christi in a panic along the lines of “HOLY FREAKING SH*# WHAT THE H*$% DO I DO???” Christi’s response went something like “CONGRATULATIONS! I’m not surprised. I knew you had this in the bag 🙂 Now, read your contract.”

There isn’t much more to tell. We went through edits, which–again, thanks to Christi–were pretty dang light, and I had the immense benefit of being able to help design my cover, and even use the artist of my own choosing. The astoundingly talented Erin Kelso was able to bring Ansel and Catskin to life, and I could not be happier with the end result! Now, to get book two finished and repeat the process all over again…



Back cover copy:

Sometimes the only way to find yourself is to go missing…

Shy, eighteen-year-old albino, Ansel, thought that letting the runaway girl with the injured ankle sleep in his parents’ shed was a good idea. That was before she passed out in his shower, woke up in a panic and accidentally attacked him. Any average guy would have called the cops but average isn’t Ansel’s style.

When she refuses to tell him her real name, Ansel nicknames the girl Catskin, after one of his favorite fairytale characters, and begins the dubious task of earning her trust. It’s not an easy thing to do, but a few awkward conversations later, one thing is clear: Catskin doesn’t want to be the way she is, she just doesn’t think she can change. Ansel knows from his own experiences that seeing the world around you differently doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, something he intends to teach Catskin.

While the details of her past remain elusive, Catskin creates a new place for herself with Ansel and his family, and develops her own brand of normalcy. Then a terrible accident leaves her hovering near death, and Ansel is forced to contact her estranged parents. But there are secrets hidden in the life Catskin left behind. Dark secrets that chased her all the way to Healy, Alaska and Ansel’s actions unknowingly provoke a shocking confrontation between the wealthy world Catskin was born into, and the starkly average one she now shares with Ansel.

Refusing to give up the imperfect girl who fits perfectly inside his heart, Ansel prepares to go to war with Catskin’s father. But in the end, Catskin might be the only one who can save herself.


Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D2MWR62

Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/Catskin-Artemis-Grey-ebook/dp/B01D2MWR62

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catskin-Artemis-Grey-ebook/dp/B01D2MWR62

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/catskin-artemis-grey/1123543424?ean=2940157746711

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/catskin-1


About the Author:

Artemis Grey was raised on fairytales and the folklore of Appalachia. She’s been devouring books and regurgitating her daydreams into written words since childhood. She can most often be found writing by a crackling fire or rambling barefooted through the woods and mountains, napping (yes, napping) on horseback, searching the depths of random wardrobes and wriggling into hollow tree trunks. In her downtime, she herds cats, which is just as entertaining as it sounds. She hopes to make her readers look at the world they’ve always seen, and see the world they’ve always envisioned.

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://greyvale.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artemis.grey

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Artemis-Grey-851681138247610

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreyArtemis

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Artemis-Grey/e/B0089BO30U

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6154946.Artemis_Grey

Email: greyvaledesigns@gmail.com


TC Booth’s Path to Publication Story

Today I’m featuring TC Booth’s Path to Publication story. Welcome, Tammi!


me 2First, I’d like to thank Christi for hosting me on her blog.  My journey in writing began at a young with the love of poetry. I won my first poetry contest in third grade and had my picture taken for the paper. It was a pretty big deal.  Thinking back over my childhood, I realized that my mind was always geared to be a writer. My imagination stirred up interesting plots and characters even in play time.

As an adult, writing became my escape from reality. There’s nothing like getting lost in story I’m writing.  I shared stories with my family and eventually began to write children’s stories for my class.  I decided to give a try at publishing one of the children’s stories I wrote. It was published, and the feeling of seeing my characters come to life was unbelievable. Unfortunately, I was naïve in the world of publishing and didn’t have a positive experience.

Lesson learned, I did my homework when I decided to take the step into publishing of my young adult novella. I found a critique partner and paid someone to professionally edit it before I submitted it to Stephanie at Clean Reads, then Astraea Press.  She sent me book contract and Beyond Vica was published six months later.

Last November I took on the challenge of NaNoWrMo. A challenge it was! In order to try and reach the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month, I had to get up at four thirty each morning to write before school started. I didn’t make the goal by the end of the month, but managed to hammer out 43,000 words. I finished up the novel in December, had it edited and submitted it to Stephanie in February. My first young adult novel, To Be Honest, came out in July of this year.   I’m very grateful for Stephanie and all of the support at Clean Reads. Publishing with Clean Reads has been positive and professional in comparison to my first experience.

I haven’t had success if finding another publisher for my children’s stories, but will try again eventually.  Right now, I feel my niche is young adult contemporary fiction.  The topics I choose to center the stories around are relevant to young people today. I absolutely love to create the characters. There is nothing like seeing your work published and characters come to life. I’m truly blessed to be able to pursue my passion.


ToBeHonest_1400x2100After a freak accident left Starla Emerson with a deformed hand, her self-esteem dropped and her anxiety rose. She tries desperately to avoid attention at Cedar High. Star relies on her best friend Ally for moral support, along with her crush worthy boyfriend Jared.

Starla’s world is turned upside down when her family moves. She finds herself the new girl at Centerville High School where she’s the target of an Internet bully. Newfound friends help Starla plan a counter attack to expose the bully. The plan backfires and lands Star in a mountain of trouble.  Will she have the courage to be honest about who was involved in her plan? Once the truth is out…there’s no turning back.

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble




Author Bio:

TC Booth was born and raised in a small town in Northeast Ohio where she currently teaches. She lives with her husband and four children ranging in ages from 13-23. Her pets include one dog named Sammy, and two cats- Sheldon and Sasha.

TC Booth views books as the best form of entertainment and her escape for life’s stresses. She prefers reading a book over watching a movie, and writing over almost any other way to spend her time.

When not attending her children’s sporting events and running them around, you’ll see her writing on her laptop, iPad, and even jotting ideas down on her phone apps.

She enjoys the escape from the adult universe into the adolescent world. The passion in which young people experience life is contagious and the driving force of her writing.

Author Social Media Links:






Jane McGarry’s Path to Publication Story

Hello everyone! Today I’m featuring the Path to Publication story of fellow Clean Reads author, Jane McGarry…


JaneMcGarryFirst off, I would like to thank Christi for the chance to share my path to publication.

My journey was not the typical “major in English, then attain an MFA” route many writers take. In fact, if someone had told me a decade ago I would now be a published author, I would never have believed it.

Growing up, I loved to read and the passion only increased with age.  While I have a soft spot for the classics, I explored just about every genre of fiction I could get my hands on.  There was something about the themes in Young Adult books—the countless possibilities of life at this age—that spoke to me.  The more YA I read, the more ideas for stories I had.

The problem was I wasn’t a writer. My whole life, I had made up stories, but always kept them to myself. While reading was encouraged in my home, the arts were not mentioned as a possible career path. No one ever told me I couldn’t pursue a career as a writer, but the obvious undertone was one could not actually make a living in any artistic endeavor. As expected, I majored in business, and upon graduating from college, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a decade.  My job was interesting and allowed me many wonderful opportunities, but I cannot honestly say I was passionate about it.

When my first son was born, I left work to become a full-time mom.  A few years later, son number two came along.  While I was passionate about this job, it was exhausting on every level. In the rare quiet moments I found, writing became an escape. Never did I feel as authentic as when I was putting words on paper. The idea for Not Every Girl was formed and I would jot down notes on random scraps, napkins, whatever I could find. Still, the thought of sitting down to pen a full novel seemed too overwhelming, especially while chasing after two kids all day long.

But then, I had a milestone birthday and did an inventory of my life to that point. Finally, I asked myself the questions I should have asked way back when—Why not give it a try? What is the worst that could happen? And so, I wrote and wrote some more, squeezing it in at naptime, in the car at school pick-up, at sports practice, and after bedtime. If I had a free minute, I used it to write.  Then miraculously one day, it was finished—a horrible mess of a first draft, but hey, finished nonetheless.  While I worked on editing the manuscript, I learned everything I could about the publishing industry.  My revisions and research took me literally over a year to complete, but by the time the story was ready, I felt prepared to send it out into the world.

Thus began the dreaded cycle of query, rejection, revision, repeat—and believe me there was a whole lot of rejection.  But, the advice I constantly came across was to not give up, to believe in your work and eventually the right fit would present itself. When I discovered Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press), I was impressed with their philosophy. So once again, I sent out a query. A few weeks later I was thrilled to be offered a contract and I was on my way. Despite the detours and bumps in the road, I am both humbled and grateful my path has led here. Now, I look forward to the journey that awaits.

noteverygirlcoverOlivia Davenport’s plan is destined to fail.

She is going through with it anyway, of course. After all, it is the chance of a lifetime. The unreasonable rules of others should not stand in her way.

In her small kingdom of Stewartsland, Olivia trains with the squires and harbors a secret dream. She longs to become a knight under the command of the Master-of–Arms, who just happens to be her father. He has indulged her passion so far, but they both know a simple fact – girls may not attain knighthood. Dismayed by the constant discouragement of her ambitions, she makes an impetuous decision to disguise herself as a boy in order to sneak on a mission. The consequences are not at all what she anticipated.

When her deception is revealed, she is sent home in disgrace; however, an unexpected turn of events puts her at the center of a dangerous plot against the King. The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws, yet these pale in comparison to her newly awakened emotions. She finds not only her life at risk, but also her heart, when the aloof Prince Liam begins to affect her in ways she never thought possible. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional.

Buy Links: 


Barnes & Noble

About Jane: 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 a good book and said cat. It is her belief that a good book, a loyal pet and anything made of chocolate can brighten just about any day.

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

Connect with Jane:

Author website:


You Tube Book Trailer:


Facebook link:


Twitter link:


Instagram link:


Pinterest link:


Path to Publication: Wendy May Andrews

Today’s Path to Publication story is fellow Clean Reads* author Wendy May Andrews

*(Astraea Press changed their name to Clean Reads)

Without further ado, here’s Wendy…


Wendy May AndrewsThank you for the invitation, Christi, to tell my story.

I have been an avid reader since I learned how around the age of four. My aunt got me hooked on Regencies when she introduced me to the books of Georgette Heyer. I was reading multiple books each week like most avid readers. It’s really an addiction. While I had written during school, it never really crossed my mind that I would be capable of producing such a thing as a finished book.

After I got married, my husband had a hard time understanding my book addiction. I could get lost in a book and he would feel quite ignored. Finally, one day, in frustration, he asked, “Why don’t you write one of those books instead of reading them all the time.” At first I scoffed at the idea, but then it took root and I decided to give it a try.

I wrote to a favorite author, Eloisa James, asking how one goes about becoming an author. In hindsight I realize that was a silly question as each person’s path is different, but she graciously wrote me back with some suggestions, including the advice to join Romance Writers of America. I did and have been learning ever since. RWA is a wonderful organization that offers classes and articles to help you grow as a writer.

My first efforts, Tempting the Earl, actually got published in 2010 but that small press was bought out and my momentum was lost. I wrote several manuscripts in the meantime but struggled with finding a publisher willing to publish my clean/sweet romances. I will admit that the sting of rejection interrupted my writing several times.

Finally, I gave myself one more year to work on it. My writing was taking up too much time if it was only going to be a hobby. I started writing a new manuscript for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) November 2013. I started with a fantastic title idea and proceeded to write the book. Ironically, as the book developed that title no longer fit and The Duke Conspiracy was born. When it finally was finished, my critique partner helped me find a list of publishers who were accepting Sweet Historicals. That is when I learned about Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press). The acquiring editor, Stephanie Taylor, had one revision suggestion and then she offered me a contract. It has been a thrilling ride ever since.

Now that I have found Clean Reads, I’m hoping to polish up my unpublished manuscripts and submit them as well as finish this year’s NaNoWriMo manuscript and finally write the story for my fabulous title. Really, there are way more ideas than there is time.


TheDukeConspiracy453x680A spying debutante, a duke, and a conspiracy. Can love be found despite their feud?

Miss Rosamund Smythe, the only daughter of a baron diplomat, is finding the Season to be a dead bore.  After her stint at spying while in Vienna with her father, she wants a higher purpose in life than “just” being a wife.

His Grace, Alexander Milton, the Duke of Wrentham, wants a quiet life with a “proper” lady as his wife after the tumultuous childhood he had.  His parents had fought viciously, lied often, and Alex secretly wonders if he was even his father’s son.

Rose and Alex grew up on neighboring estates and have been best friends since she was four years old but a family feud has torn their friendship apart.

At a Society event Rose overhears a plot to entrap Alex into a marriage of convenience.  Her loyalty to their old friendship as well as her knowledge of the conspirator, Sir Jason Broderick, causes Rose to overcome her aversion to Wrentham in order to warn him of his danger.  Alex’s complicated childhood has caused him to despise all forms of deception so Rose avoids telling him how she knows so much about Sir Broderick.

When Rose is abducted by Sir Broderick to prevent her interference, Alex must deal with his own conflicted feelings to help her rescue herself. Can they claim their happily ever after despite the turmoil?

About the Author:

Wendy May Andrews has been reading whatever she could get her hands on since the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. Wendy lives in Toronto with her own real-life hero. When not writing or reading, they love to travel wherever the mood takes them.



Social Media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WendyMayAndrews

Twitter:  @WendyMayAndrews

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble


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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ&feature=youtu.be

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:  http://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Forever-Landrys-Colors-ebook/dp/B00UIP1N5S/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1427190173&sr=1-2

Amazon international: http://authl.it/B00UIP1N5S

Barnesandnoble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/krysten-lindsay-hager

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/best-friends-forever-19

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/best-friends…-forever/id979714114?mt=11

Connect with Krysten:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Mya O’Malley’s Path to Publication Story

Today fellow Astraea Press author, Mya O’Malley, is sharing her Path to Publication story.

Without further ado, here’s Mya…


FullSizeRender-5I’m going to start my story from a young age, because that is when I first started my path to publication.  I’ve always loved to write and I started creating my stories for my grandmother around the age of eleven. My first series of short stories revolved around a mermaid theme, which is interesting because I’ve just finished writing a young adult mermaid book. My grandmother was so excited to devour these tales of mythical creatures that it encouraged me to write more.  I wrote plenty, more short stories and poetry. Flash forward many years and my poetry continued, although I never really considered publishing any of my poems, perhaps because I considered them to be my own private thoughts.

I focused on a career as I received a bachelors’ degree in special education and became a teacher. Before long, I had a beautiful young daughter to enjoy.  Writing was always in my thoughts, but I was busy creating a place for myself and writing was pushed to the side for a while. Throughout the course of my career, I maintained the belief that one day I would write a novel. I wanted to convey my passion for my experience as a special education teacher, making a difference in the life of others.  With the dream still in mind, I pursued a graduate degree in reading and literacy and then thirty additional graduate credits.  I was in the routine of writing essays for my courses and truly enjoying the process. I remember feeling pride when I was finally finished obtaining my graduate credits. I was proud of my accomplishments and I knew right then and there that I would start that novel because I was back in the writing mode. This time, my writing would be for myself and I could finally pursue my dream of creating a novel.

Where There is Love initially took me over two years to write. I felt lucky to have my summers off to focus on my writing.  My main character is Mia, a special education teacher. I wanted Mia to help a troubled high school girl reach for her dreams. In the process I wanted Mia to experience a sense of fulfillment and purpose. It hit me that Mia should have a challenging past, one that she struggled with in her adult life. I like the idea that as a teacher, Mia served as a role model for her student and that sense of responsibility enabled Mia to reach for her own dreams and overcome her past obstacles in the process. I submitted my story to many publishers and agents, only to be turned down. I realized that I would need to develop a thick skin if I wanted to publish a book.  Because writing is my passion, I kept at it, considering and implementing some of the suggestions that I received during the submission process. The story changed many times, even after I received a contract for publication. I revised it until the manuscript stands as it is now, a story about a young woman facing her past and opening her heart to love.  Although Where There is Love, published by Solstice Publishing, is not my first novel to be published, it will always be special to me since it was the first novel that I wrote.

My very first novel to be published is At First Sight. This is a fun story of a divorced young woman out in the modern dating world. Pressured by her friend to give online dating a try, my character Annie initially resists the idea, only to find herself giving in. Annie’s experiences are hilarious and disheartening.  Annie would like to believe that love at first sight truly exists. The question is, will Annie find it? I was thrilled when Astraea Press offered me a contract for this manuscript and even happier to see my story out there for others to enjoy. Working with so many wonderful authors in the company was a great experience for a new author, I’ve learned so much about writing and marketing from fellow Astraea Press authors.

Discovering that writing contemporary romance was something that I was so passionate about, I wrote a paranormal holiday romance in which a widow is visited by her late husband in disguise. This story is absolutely one of my favorites, it’s sweet, funny and heartbreaking all at the same time. Astraea Press offered me a contract and If You Believe released on November 18, 2014, just in time for the holidays.

Once I gained more experience in the writing and publication process, I found that I had many stories to share with my readers.  I’m excited that another manuscript of mine was accepted by TouchPoint Press. The Calm After the Storm is another one of my favorites. I got the idea for this story several years ago during Hurricane Sandy.  I had some time on my hands because school was cancelled for days and my house lost power for over a week.  Looking around, I saw the devastation, it was all over the news. An idea struck me when I noticed utility trucks coming to help restore power in my area. These vehicles were workers from down south, Georgia, Florida and Texas. It was wonderful that these workers traveled to help those affected by the storm. I thought to myself, what if one of these workers fell in love with someone in the northeast?  This book took me about a year to write and was put on hold for a while as I was revising and working on other projects. When was I was offered a contract by TouchPoint Press, I was excited to accept. The Calm After the Storm is due for a late January release.

The path to publication has been filled with many emotions, happiness, frustration and excitement. I would tell aspiring authors to keep at it. Have others critique your manuscript, accept advice, don’t be discouraged. There’s nothing quite like holding your own book in your hands, it makes up for all of the challenging times. My journey in writing has filled me with happiness and a sense of purpose. I now spend a big chunk of my writing time marketing my books and thinking up creative ways to reach my readers.  I have recently started writing another contemporary romance and I look forward to experiencing the entire process once again, starting right from the beginning sparks of an idea.

At First SightAnnie Morgan, a romantic at heart, is holding out for the singular idea of love at first sight. Making a deal with her best friend, Annie reluctantly agrees to go on exactly five online dates out of seventy-six potential suitors.

Based on past relationships, Shane Nicholls is convinced that all women are trouble. He avoids drama at all costs, but somehow it seems to find him around every corner.

Can Annie and Shane break through all the obstacles, twists and turns of the dating world and find themselves in one another’s arms or will stubborn pride tear them apart? Annie and Shane find that love at first sight really can happen if you truly believe.

At First Sight

Buy Links: Amazon     Barnes and Noble    Kobo   Smashwords  itunes

Trailer:   At First Sight 

IMG_0025-2Mia Dennsi is a beautiful young woman who has experienced a challenging childhood. As an out of work teacher, Mia accepts a position for home schooling a troubled, misunderstood teenager. Mia makes it a priority to help Cassidy overcome her challenges and reach for her dreams. In the process, Mia experiences healing of her own; she is faced with issues she must now come to terms with.Mia finds a rare friendship in Jamie, her caring and attractive neighbor. The relationship starts off as friendship, but will Mia let this healthy friendship bloom into something more or is she destined to a repeat the vicious cycle of making the same mistakes over and over again? Through the various twists and turns of Mia’s love life, the reader cannot help but root for this character to succumb to true love.

Where There is Love

Buy Links: Amazon

Trailer:  Where There is Love

IfYouBelieve1600x2400Melody considers herself lucky that she has already found love once in a lifetime. Her love story, however, abruptly came to an end; all hope of finding love again disappeared the day she lost Jack.

Jack knows that Melody’s heart is big enough to give love a second chance, the challenge lies in helping her meet just the right man. Not sure if he’s an angel or a ghost, Jack finds himself searching for a man to make Melody feel alive once more.

He had no idea how difficult it would be to face his conflicting emotions while finding this man. To top it off, he only has until Christmas Eve at midnight to help Melody fall in love.


Buy Links    Amazon    Barnes and Noble

If You Believe Book Trailer


Connect with Mya via Social Media

Website:  Mya O’Malley-Website

Facebook:  facebook.com/myaomalley

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/@MyaOMalley

Blog- myaomalley.blogspot.com

Pinterest- Mya O’Malley-  www.pinterest.com/myaomalley

Tumblr- myamalley.tumblr.com

Email- http://www.myaobooks@gmail.com

Amazon Author Page- amazon.com/author/myaomalley


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:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O2BOMWU

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00O2BOMWU

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/B-N-WarmHeartsInWinter

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/warm-hearts-in-winter

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/481257

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:

Facebook:  http://tinyurl.com/FacebookHelenPollardWrites

Website & Blog:  www.helenpollardwrites.wordpress.com


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.

http://lindacovella.com/ 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).


Lucie Ulrich’s Path to Publication Story

Today’s Path to Publication story is by fellow Astraea Press author, Lucie Ulrich…


383617_2482960047113_1406066125_n (1)I was born to write, but didn’t realize it until I hit my mid-forties.

My jobs took me from airline agent, to stay-at-home mom, to home school mom, to substitute teacher, to performing arts director at a private Christian school. Somewhere in there, I joined my church’s drama team. I always loved drama, and performed in several middle school plays, but when I reached high school, my fears and insecurities took over, and I never tried out for a single production in four years.

Fast forward roughly 21 years after graduation, and I’d written my first skit for church. It wasn’t great, but it was rewarding. A few years later I headed the team, and wrote everything we performed. During those years, I felt the nudge to attempt a novel. My first thought was YA, seeing as I worked with a lot of youth on the drama team, and was, by then, subbing elementary to high school students. After several attempts, I realized YA wasn’t for me.

When my daughter asked me to accompany her to Holland, where she was participating in a dance/worship week, I brought along a half dozen large yellow legal pads. While my daughter danced, I wrote the beginnings of my first romance novel while sitting under a tree, listening to a small stream close by. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting.

I based my first novel in my hometown, and it ran a whopping 150k words—way too long for a romance novel. Not having any formal writing training, I ran it by some friends who thought it was the best book ever. Needless to say, they knew less about writing than I did. Lol! Not long after that, I read M.K. Malone’s debut novel, Divided Loyalties. I loved it and emailed the author to tell him so. I soon learned he was a she, and we got to chatting via email. I asked to join her online critiquing group, which was very much out of character for me, and she agreed. Learning from her was amazing and much appreciated. We moved on to a much larger group, but I’m still friends with three of the main participants in the original group.

The people at The Critique Circle not only broadened my education, but helped me develop thick skin. My first book, Broken Vessels, was run through the site twice before I felt it was ready for publication. It didn’t take long to realize large publishing houses don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts—especially from first time authors, so I submitted my work on ECPA, a Christian publishing site that (for a reasonable fee) allows authors to post a query with sample chapters, which is then made available to a host of publishers for 6 months. It took two go-rounds, but my book was picked up, and soon released as an ebook.

Two years later, my second book was released by Astraea Press. I had all the information needed per their submission guidelines, when I was lucky enough to come across their FB pitch party, which made things really easy for me. When the party was over, I was asked for a full manuscript.  My first, and hopefully not last, AP book The Rose Ring, was published in July.

TheRoseRing-LucieUlrichWith a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation.

Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.

When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lucie Ulrich took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to her–until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else’s was so strong, that once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.

Lucie’s first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for “Broken Vessels,” her first published work.

No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.


Website: http://www.lucieulrich.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/inspywriter?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter: @LucieUlrich

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823505.Lucie_Ulrich

Buy links

Amazon           B& N            iBooks 1       Smashwords       Kobo