FREE READ

by Emily Ann Ward

Shifting Light: a fantasy/romance novella from the Protectors Series

Today, we have the AWESOME author Megan O’Russell and her book The Tethering. 

The Tethering by Megan O'Russell

All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.

Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover.

When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?

You can preorder this book TODAY through the Kickstarter project!  But let’s hear from the author herself if you want to know more about The Tethering.

Megan! Thank you so much for joining me on my blog!

What’s the first sentence of The Tethering?

Jacob Evans sat in the front row, looking back whenever he could at the new girl two rows behind him.

Fill in the blanks: The Tethering is like [book/movie/TV show] meets [a different book/movie/TV show].

Example: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Claire is like Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman meets Harry Potter.

This is the hardest question I’ve had to answer, and I’m honestly not sure what to say. There is magic, and love, and lots of epicness. There are wizards called the Dragons, but not actual fire breathing dragons. There is death, but the emphasis is on life. And there’s a flying fox. So I would say The Sorcerer’s Apprentice movie meets Romeo and Juliet? Is that in okay thing to say?

What are you most excited for readers to read in The Tethering?

I am most excited for readers to see where the journey between Jacob and Emilia goes. But my husband just wants everyone to get to the last third of the book when a character named Domina appears.

Can you tell us about the title? Or is it a secret?

It is a secret but one that is revealed fully during book one of The Tethering Series.

How did you balance the romance between Emilia and Jacob and the fantasy world they live in? Did you ever want to focus more on one or the other? 

I think the romantic aspect is really what creates the drive from one scene to the next. The magic is there, present and important, but the decisions that Jacob makes are never really about magic. It all boils down to Emilia. The magic is always there, but there were times I had remind myself that these characters could do magic and I had to give them permission to do so.

On that note, are there any fantasy books you’ve read that have great romances that you can recommend to us?

Don’t judge me, but I love the Roran love story in Eragon (book one of the Inheritance Cycle). Roran is what you want your love to be, and Katrina actually deserves his love, which I love. I hate wimpy girls that boys just fawn over for no reason.

What about books you wish had more romances?

I am a huge fan of the Madeline L’Engle books. I love all the things she created, but when I was a teenager, I wished the romance could have moved a little more to the forefront.

Enough about romance! What’s your favorite thing about your magical world? 

I love, and this is going to sound strange, I’m sure, the rules that I’ve created. There is a very definite way that magic works, and finding a way for my characters to use those rules to win or lose has been one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of creating The Tethering series.

Anything you wish we had in our world?

I wish we had the ability to do the extraordinary things that the wizards in The Tethering can do, but maybe we’re all a little safer without magic.

What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?

That choices have consequences, even if you weren’t the one to make the choice. And that some things are worth fighting for. No matter what the cost, some things, some people are worth risking it all.

Preorder today, visit Megan’s website, or Silence in the Library Publishing

See more about the Kickstarter project:

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Today is my stop on the blog tour for ELECTED by Rori Shay! This is one book you don’t want to miss and is out TODAY! The kickstarter to this book is available at http://tinyurl.com/ElectedNovel.  You will be able to get a copy of ELECTED in hardcover and/or paperback with a free ebook, a lot of special limited-edition items and other free books. Don’t wait, get your copy today! Then tell us how you liked it!

ELECTED Front Cover

ELECTED by Rori Shay

Silence in the Library Publishing

YA Sci-fi

April 22, 2014

Amazon

Author Interview with Rori Shay

Fill in the blanks: Elected is like [book/movie/TV show] meets [a different book/movie/TV show].​

​Elected is like Divergent meets The West Wing

You get to go to Disneyworld with one of your characters. Who do you choose and why?​

Vienne for sure! She’s like a Disney princess anyway! At least until book number 2!​

What scene in Elected are you most excited for readers to read?​

I love the first time Griffin and Aloy meet, but I’m most excited for people to read the intimate scene between Griffin and Aloy. I am holding my breath to see what people think!​

How has your writing changed since you first started writing?​

I write much better now that I’ve practiced the craft more. I write for all five senses, meaning, I want readers to be able to feel, smell, hear the scenes I’m writing. So I try to write descriptively so you feel like you’re there with the characters in the book.​

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?​

Keep going no matter how many rejections you get. Just don’t give up.​

What’s the worst?​

I think when people just tell you what they don’t like without telling you what they did like about a piece of writing. It’s hard to change without having that glimmer of positivity. ​

What are you working on now?​

A picture book and the third book of the Elected trilogy!​

What do you want readers to come away with after reading Elected? ​

I want them to have an appreciation for protecting the environment and the natural resources, animals, and people in it.​

Blurb

It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond the borders.

As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.

 

pastedGraphic.pdf

Author Bio

Rori Shay is an author living in the Washington, DC area with her husband, daughters, black lab, and cat – just not quite in the same exciting circumstances as ELECTED’s main character, Aloy. She enjoys running, gardening, reading, doing yoga, and volunteering with the Dwelling Place non-profit.  Rori is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Find her on Social Media:

WebsiteFacebookTwitter & Goodreads

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

~Kindle

~Items seen in ELECTED such as a marriage binding (temporary tattoo)

~Hemlock soap

~Necklace as seen in ELECTED

~Signed paperback copy of ELECTED

~Optional FaceTime or Skype session with the author for 1/2 an hour (can be used one-on-one or at the winner’s book club, etc.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Noah Movie Review

By
April 19th, 2014

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah was a movie I was unsure about when I first saw the trailer. Why is everyone white? What’s Emma Watson doing in biblical times? But then I got kind of excited about it: an epic movie about the Bible, not a cheesy one meant to pull at your heartstrings? (I’m looking at you, Son of God.) Sign me up.

credit: http://fwcbirdseyeview.com/

Then the reviews started pouring in. It was received well among critics, but my Facebook friends list had other ideas. It was unbiblical, the director had no business taking the liberties that he did, no Christian should see it, etc. Bloggers and reviewers posted scathing reviews, calling it “sinister” and “anti-Christian” and criticizing the atheist’s director.

My parents liked it. I wasn’t too surprised at that, being that they tend to go against the flow of what most evangelical Christians think about things. I trusted their judgment, so I wanted to see it. I even posted a clip from Jon Stewart criticizing people who didn’t like that it was biblical with the disclaimer that I hadn’t see it (and the clip is pretty funny and on point, as Stewart always is).

Well, I finally saw it myself on Tuesday. It was not what I was expecting. At all. I thought there’d be a few things off from the story. There are quite a few parts of the story, though, that can’t be found in the Bible. As far as I know, they’re not in rabbinical writings, either. I know this is what annoyed many believers — they wanted a book to screen adaptation without any interference.

I kept thinking, “This is weird”, but I found myself liking certain parts of it. I liked that the fallen angels were incorporated into the story. I liked the romance between Noah’s son and the girl Noah and his wife adopted. I liked the barren landscape the family trekked across. I liked the conflict with Ham, who felt alone, and with Ila’s barrenness. The battle scenes kept me on the edge of my seat; the corruption of men and women had me understanding’s God choice; and all the characters had drive and motivation.

Once they were on the boat, though, the story really slowed down. It was full of false conflict — will Noah kill everyone? We know the answer to that, but they still tried to make things dramatic. It came off as melodramatic and theatrical instead. I was much more interested in the storyline with Ham and Tubal-Cain. I left the theater thinking the movie could have been thirty minutes shorter.

There was one main thing, theologically, I had issues with. For example, the idea that the Creator gave Noah the choice to decide whether humans were worth saving. Really? Why would the Creator put the fate of beings he made in his own image into the hands of one man? It’s a hard pill to swallow. The fate of man is in the Creator’s hands, not the hands of some humanHe wanted humans to survive so we could start anew. He had a plan for Noah’s line: to birth Abraham, to make a covenant with him, and to choose Israel as his chosen people.

There were also theological differences that I didn’t have a problem with at all. No, nobody ever said God. (I think Jon Stewart must have been referencing to a scene in the trailers, because I don’t remember that line in the movie. And I was watching for it.) But aside from Aronofsky’s strange choice to say Noah would decide the fate of the last humans, it’s pretty clear who is in charge. The Creator. Men think they’re in charge, but that’s our way, isn’t it? Thinking we rule our own fates.

The Creator never spoke directly to Noah. Instead, Noah has dreams, premonitions, and he visits his grandfather, Methuselah, for guidance. I’m not sure why Aronofsky went with this instead, but I appreciated the choice. It’s rare today that God speaks directly to any of us. We can’t hear his voice as clearly as we can someone standing right next to us.

This choice felt like it an effort to bring the story onto our level. The Bible is full of stories where we say, “That never happens today.” Who knows why? It could be our lack of faith, but whatever the reason, we don’t often get black-and-white directions from the heavens. So, I liked that choice. I liked that Noah heard from God in subtle ways, but he was still confident in what he had to do. He believed without seeing the Creator.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~John 20:29

And one last thing: my favorite part of the whole movie was the sequence of creation from Noah’s story in the ark. It’s too new of a movie to have too many clips online, but that was an awesome part. It showed all of creation coming into being from the voice of the Creator: the stars, the planets, the waters, the animals, and finally, mankind, created in his image. Whatever our flaws and corruption, we are created in his image, and this was not a point the movie left out. We have his love, our souls are eternal, and like him, we can create. Even if it’s a movie that a lot of people hate.

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Today I’m sharing an upcoming release. This is one book you don’t want to miss! The Kickstarter to this book will be available today here. You will be able to get a copy of ELECTED in hardcover and/or paperback with a free ebook, a lot of special limited-edition items and other free books. Don’t wait, get your copy today!

ELECTED Front CoverELECTED
by Rori Shay

Genre: YA Sci-fi
Publisher:Silence in the Library Publishing

Blurb:
It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond the borders.

As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.

headshot_Rori_ShayAbout the Author:
Rori Shay is an author living in the Washington, DC area with her husband, daughters, black lab, and cat – just not quite in the same exciting circumstances as ELECTED’s main character, Aloy. She enjoys running, gardening, reading, doing yoga, and volunteering with the Dwelling Place non-profit. Rori is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Author social media links:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

~Kindle
~Items seen in ELECTED such as a marriage binding (temporary tattoo)
~Hemlock soap
~Necklace as seen in ELECTED
~Signed paperback copy of ELECTED
~Optional FaceTime or Skype session with the author for 1/2 an hour (can be used one-on-one or at the winner’s book club, etc.)

Elected Giveaway

SilenceInTheLibraryLogo[print]

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Scribd now has a subscription service for books. For $8.99 a month, readers gain access to more than 100,000 books. (Some places, I’ve seen 300k, but from Scribd’s website and app, it says 100,000+)

Smashwords has worked out a deal with Scribd for distribution of self-published books into Scribd’s catalog. Your books are opted in automatically, and authors receive 60% of list price after customers read 30% of your book. The first 10% is a free sample, and the next 20% can be any part of your book. (The “any part” is only important to nonfiction writers, because who would jump to the middle of a novel to read 20% of it?)

Smashwords authors also get a free subscription for a year, which is valued at about $100. You should have received the email already — once you activate your subscription, you can see the available books you can read yourself. Scribd also allows you to make an author page. You can see a screenshot of mine here:

Scribd Profile

Scribd Books

It has all the books you’ve authored, which makes this a great link to share on social media. The interface is smooth, and readers have the option to read your book in “Standard” or “Book” view.

Scribd Single Book

Scribd Single Book

They’ve also been quick to update their catalog. I unpublished a few free short stories on Smashwords because they can be found in a collection, and within days, they were taken down from the Scribd view.

Scribd is available online in your browser and you can also download apps for it. You can login with Facebook, or you can make a new account. So far, from a writers perspective, Scribd seems pretty promising. They have a great interface I like directing people to.

I don’t know how many reads will come from such a subscription service. Plenty of people will pay for a subscription, but only read one or two books a month. For Oyster Books, a similar service, as of February 28th 2014, I had no reads for either of my author names. I don’t think it’s going to be extremely lucrative, at least not unless your name is well known. But I’m still glad I have the opportunity to have my books in these catalogs.

I will be posting Part 2: For Readers, on Guild of Dreams April 15th. What do Scribd and Oyster Books have to offer readers? Is one better than the other? Visit us on 4/15 to see! I will eventually repost it here, too.

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A Week in Pictures

By
April 4th, 2014

I found a prompt recently from DuolitShare a photo from your life for each day in a typical week.

It’s harder than I thought it would be! Mainly because for the past couple years, my routine has changed a lot. I got back into school, which meant my schedule changed every couple months with new classes. Now I’ve graduated and I have my degree. I’m working at a bookstore where my schedule changes a lot, and also working at home on the side, so my day-to-day activities aren’t that consistent. But I like pictures, and I’m up to the challenge!

Sunday

For the last couple months, I’ve been working on Sundays. I work at a local bookstore, and it’s a lot of fun. I get a discount and I have to exercise self-control daily. I work with great coworkers who make awesome displays like this:

(c) Book Bin East

Every now and then, they’ll trust me with a display, too. Imagine that.

Monday

I live in a great city and a great state. Even though it’s been the winter, every now and then I’ll actually get outside and breathe in fresh air! We need to be planting our garden soon, actually, and soon it’ll be warm enough to have fires in the backyard.

(c) Emily Ann Ward

Tuesday

(c) Girly Girl Book Reviews

The daily highs and lows of a writer.

Wednesday

I have two cats, and they do stuff like this:

(c) Chris Ward

I also do a lot of stuff on my Macbook while sitting on that couch (as I am right now), so this is a fitting picture.

Thursday

I love my family, and we constantly have a coupe group texts going on. Throughout the week, I get gems like this from my sister Bethany, who really wants me to write Promising Power (it says Mom, but she used her phone):

(c) Emily Ann Ward

As you can see from the date and the old layout, I am taking way too long.

Friday

Friday, I try to get ready for Shabbat on Saturday. I have different degrees of success. But nights are usually when I hang out with Chris and my friends. And we do stupid stuff like this.

(c) Cara Eggers

Saturday

I set aside Saturdays for rest and for God. Or I at least try to. Occasionally, it’s the only day of the week we’re together and we can both go shopping, or I just sleep in and watch Netflix all day. But usually, Chris and I can be found at our congregation with our second family. I’m not sure if anyone in those pictures would be comfortable being on some random blog, so I’ll leave you with me dressed up for Purim as a Persian Cat.

(c) Chris Ward

That’s my week. Exciting, huh? I didn’t even mention the hot lava or the princess who is in another castle.

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My Writing Process Blog Hop

By
April 1st, 2014

My awesome author friend, Celesta Thiessen, tagged me in this writing blog hop. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to answer the following four questions. I’m up for the task!

1) What am I working on?

Promising Power, the last in the trilogy of the Protectors series. I’m finishing a big story, one I’ve been working on for years. Characters are moving into place as things come to a close. It’s crazy! Here’s the most recent sentence I’ve written:

These reminders, these memories, were too painful right now, cutting into her and threatening to take over.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Good question. And a hard one! I know everyone’s a little different, every author has strengths and weaknesses and their unique styles. Personally, I try to focus on the relationships that are driving the plot. How my characters interact with friends, family, lovers, and enemies is important to me. I want it to be realistic. It’s one of the reasons I love writing, to see how humans relate — or don’t relate at all — to one another.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I like playing with the impossible, with magic and those things we never see in real life. It’s fun. Anything can happen. I also like writing young adult because it’s such a transformative time in our lives. Characters learn so much as they come into their personality and become their own person.

4) How does your writing process work?

I get an idea and I start writing. Once I’m a little bit into the story, when I know it’s not just a passing fancy and I want to write an entire book, I will step back and do some rough outlining. I ask what the characters want, how their wants conflict with each others’ wants and needs, what I want to accomplish, and try to figure out how I’m going to do all of that. Then I write the rest of the book. A first draft, if I’m working on just one at a time and not jumping from book to book, will take me 3-4 months to finish.

 

I didn’t really have the initiative to tag anyone, though those were part of the instructions. I know! I’m horrible! So, if you’re a writer, tell us, what’s your writing process?

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Recently, the publisher I work for, Entranced Publishing, shut down. You can read the entire strange account of what happened on Writer Beware’s blog. I will summarize here: Entranced had a promising start with a mission statement to put out quality YA and Romance books. The staff was experienced, and we took our time launching and editing books. Unfortunately, through a series of mishaps, the press slowly went downhill.

As you can read in the post, many of these things can be attributed to our Executive Editor, the woman in charge of everything. She was the one who had access to financial accounts and vendors who gave her sales reports. Staff and authors were paid once, last summer, and haven’t been paid since.

My point in making this point is not to slander Ashley. I’m not interested in that. She knows what she did, and now dozens of other people do, too.

I posted a blog post called Navigating Ebook Publishers nearly two years ago, giving tips to authors on how to examine ebook publishers. And yet, I ended up working for one that would prove to be a short-lived juncture that left authors with orphaned books and staff with nothing to show for their hard work. What did I miss? What did the authors miss? Were there glaring signs that we were blind to? Were the authors just desperate for their work to be published?

No. Entranced was very promising when we first started out. We had a strong contract. We had a good staff that was organized well. But the person in charge failed everyone else who put their trust in her. She started strong, but after too many mistakes, she wasn’t interested in mending them and doing things right, or in stepping down and finding someone to actually take over. She persisted for months after it was clear things weren’t working, then she placed responsibility on “Bob” and shut the press down.

While I stand by my previous post, I’d also like to offer authors these extra tips:

Look for transparency.

It may seem rude or nosy, but you’re trusting these people with your hard work. Ask exactly who will be involved with the financial statements. See how many people will be in charge of the publisher’s account. Tell them you want to know what kind of accountability will be in place. Ask how often you’ll get statements. Some people aren’t going to feel comfortable asking this, but you can point to this exact situation and use it for your reasoning.

Wait.

If it’s a new press, you can always let things sit for a year. If there are problems, they’ll be exposed in time. They may be smoothed out or they may kill the publisher, as ours did. There is nothing wrong with not taking the risk on a new publisher.

Sometimes, you can do all the right things, and you still end up in a situation like this. Entranced authors weren’t desperate, and neither was the staff. Things like this happen.

I know we’re all ready to move on to bigger and better things. Hopefully our experiences can help other authors (and editors and cover artists and other staff members) avoid publishers who seem promising but are led by people who can’t follow through on those promises.

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Write What You Know?

By
March 28th, 2014

How many times have you heard the writing adage “Write What You Know”? This is a saying so old, that who originally said it has been lost. Of course, it’s attributed to Mark Twain, but what quote isn’t these days?

(c) Adam “Ape Lad” Koford: http://apelad.blogspot.com/

But this quote… what does it mean for writers? I certainly don’t think it means write only what you know. If all writers did that, we’d all be writing memoirs or thinly veiled autobiographical novels.

For example, I write fantasy, even though I’ve never fulfilled a prophecy. I write from a male’s point of view even though I’ve always been a female. Many of our writing assignments in classes are writing from strange points of view (once I got an assignment to write from the perspective of a table) or writing about things we’ve never experienced firsthand.

I’ve also written about relationships I’ve never been apart of: I’ve written as an only child, I’ve written about battles and wars.

Yet always, something will surface in my writing that I have firsthand experience with. It’s inevitable — I’m human and I’m writing about humans. (Even if I weren’t writing about humans — if, say, my characters were cats, I’d probably be humanizing them. Plus I’ll always be writing for a human audience.) So, I may not know what it’s like to lose a parent, but I know what it’s like to love a parent. I may not have ever been to the catacombs of Paris myself, but I know what it’s like to be

This has never been a problem for me as a writer. If I haven’t experienced something myself, I just imagine what it’d be like. I’ve always been an empathetic person, and I think this really factors into my writing. If I can’t imagine what it’d be like, I do research. What is it like to be shot in the side? What’s the weather like in New York during April? It’s not hard to figure out those things for someone who is interested.

Emotional things are harder to figure out. If you’ve never experienced PTSD or been a parent or suffered from anxiety, how do you write about it? It’s a different kind of research, but you can figure it out. Psychology classes and articles; talking to others who have experienced that emotion can help. Reading other fiction can be an invaluable tool, too. You can see how such-and-such author dealt with it.

Not interested in reading? As the King said,

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ~Stephen King

You may not know what you’re writing, but you can know enough to make it believable. You can even know it, in a way, by experiencing it through your characters. You know how some parents live vicariously through their children? Writers can live through their characters. So can readers.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” ~George RR Martin

Sometimes you want to write what you know, but if you don’t know, you can still write.

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Today, I have a guest post from the fantastic Lisa Nowak. Her book, the McCall Initiative, is set in my very own Pacific Northwest! and guess what? The first episode is free. Read about how she got the idea, and more about the book…

* * * *

Almost a year and a half ago, while my husband and I were driving to a friend’s house, he told me about a story he’d read in the Portland Mercury. According to the article, fifty years from now much of the United States will be devastated by climate change. The Pacific Northwest will remain relatively unchanged in comparison, which will result in an influx of climate refugees.

“That sounds like a great set up for a dystopian YA novel,” I said. Within minutes, I had the basic premise outlined. The Pacific Northwest, disgruntled over the population boom, secedes from the United States to form its own country with a closed border. Wealthy Americans want to buy their way in, so poor people begin disappearing off the streets. Naturally, I needed a romantic aspect, but I wanted to give it a twist. I decided my protagonist would be a girl whose family had disappeared, and the love interest would be the boy whose family had displaced hers.

Over the coming weeks, the idea grew to include an existing political movement to form a bioregion called Cascadia, Portland’s major league soccer team and its rowdy band of fans, the Timbers Army, and a rock star-turned-activist who becomes the first president of the new nation. My husband, friends, and fellow writers supplied me with myriad excellent ideas and educated me about the subjects of history, politics, computer science, medicine, and soccer.

Several writers I know have been experimenting with serialized stories, and this idea seemed perfect for that venue. I envision it much like a season of a television series. Each short episode gives you part of the story, with the entire plot-line playing out over a nine-book “season.” I currently have the first three episodes published, (you can buy them individually, or as a box set) and the fourth will be released in early March. If you aren’t sure this is for you, fear not. You can try the first episode absolutely free at any of the retailers listed below.

McCall Initiative cover

What if the Pacific Northwest seceded from the United States?

The climate change that’s devastated all but the Northwest corner of the U.S. has been around since before Piper Hall was born. She doesn’t spend much time thinking about it, the secession that created Cascadia, or the closed border, erected to keep out climate refugees. All she wants is to get through high school and earn a medical degree so she can pull her family out of poverty. Piper’s sure her little brother’s stories about poor people vanishing are just rumors—until she comes home to an empty house. Losing her future, her family, and her freedom and forced into hiding, Piper has to find a way to get to the bottom of the disappearances. But the only one who can help might be the very boy whose family has displaced her own.

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