There’s a reason they keep comparing it to the zombie apocalypse…

If you do not open the gate for me to come in,
I shall smash the door and shatter the bolt,
I shall smash the doorpost and overturn the doors,
I shall raise up the dead and they shall eat the living:
And the dead shall outnumber the living!

~The Descent of Ishtar (Gilgamesh)

If you’re feeling like you’re living out the opening montage of a post-apocolyptic thriller right now, you’re not alone. Humans have a tendency to look for patterns, especially when they’re afraid. And the hopeless outbreak plot line is one that we have repeated over and over again in popular fiction, right back to Mesopotamia.

But even back in Mesopotamia, the zombies themselves were never more than a symbol of a larger fear. Something to fight when the thing you’re afraid of is invisible, ever-present.

Sometimes that fear was gods and their unknowable tempers, or magic and its mysterious ways, monsters or extra-terrestrials, with their alien desires. Things that could change the people we loved into something unrecognizable. Something that could change us, if we weren’t careful. Then, we learned to be afraid of things like radiation, bacteria, sleeper spies,  or viruses. Subtroped within each of these fears was the certainty we’d doom ourselves by flying too close to the sun. We’d try to bring back the dead in experiments gone terribly wrong, a miraculous cure for disease would backfire, our meddling with nature would do us in somehow. 

But the thing about horror stories is they’re designed to be exercises in thought. A way to let our brains work out the what-ifs, to follow our fears to the worst possible conclusion and put down the book, safe and sound. Unfortunately, when a similar enough situation plays out in real life, your mind is going to grab on to that repeated pattern and follow it to the conclusion. So if you’re feeling a slow, creeping fear of the inevitable right now, there’s a chance you’re reacting one of the following ways.

Denial. Everyone is overreacting. Nothing is wrong. I’m going to prove it. See, look at me, out and about.

Depression. We’re all infected, what’s the point?

Panic. If you don’t have all the things, how will you and your family survive?

Anxiety. Gotta keep those eyes glued to the screen, because if you don’t know what’s coming, you don’t know how to react.

If you’re finding yourself feeling like any combination of the above, do yourself a favor and engage  in activities that aren’t plot worthy. Turn off the news. Stop reading articles. Don’t watch or read anything in the disaster genre. I get that intellectually, you know you’re not actually in a zombie movie, but subconsciously, your brain may not be convinced. The more normal (while maintaining social isolation) things you do, the less this feels like a plot line. The less this feels like a predictable plot line, the less your brain will grip that pattern.

 

Ask Me Anything: Ana

Ana sent a question through my Ask Me Anything link! If you’d like me to ask a question to answer in future blogs,click here:

Question: Hello, first of all I want to tell you that I am a big fan of yours, and that I am fascinated by the characters in your books. I have some questions for you: Do we follow the stories of Persefone and Hades? Or maybe Ares and Aphrodite too? a book of little stories about them would be great.

Answer: Hi Ana! Thank you for your kind comment! You have no idea how much it brightens my day to hear from a fan.

In general, the Persephone trilogy focuses more on Persephone and Hades myths, with other mythological characters taking supporting roles, while the Aphrodite trilogy focuses more on Aphrodite heavy myths with Persephone and Hades (among others) taking the supporting roles. In future books, Persephone and Aphrodite will take supporting roles as I explore the major myths for other goddesses, like Artemis.

So you will see more of both, likely even as point of view characters, but they won’t be the protagonists for any further stories. Just side characters.

2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Kaitlin has
read 0 books toward
her goal of
52 books.
hide

 

I love the Goodreads Reading Challenges. This year, I’m challenging myself to read a book a week. I read all the time, but since a chunk of my reading life is critiquing unpublished manuscripts or samples, I can’t log them on Goodreads. I love critiquing for my writers group and for my students, but I need to read outside of editing mode.

I learn so much as a writer by reading, especially when I read genres I’m less familiar with. So this year I really want to challenge myself to read classics and unfamiliar genres.

But to start with,  I’m reading The Toll by Neal Shusterman. What’s your first book of the year?

Ask me anything question from Tasha

Tasha sent the following question through my ask me anything form.

Name: Tasha

Comment: Hey! Big fan of The Daughters of Zeus books! I was wondering if there are any plans to continue the series or possibly some short stories just to get a little update on how everyone is doing. Or if there is plans to make a spin-off series?
Thanks so much for the question, Tasha. I’m always so happy to hear from people who enjoyed my books :D.
I do plan to write a trilogy featuring Artemis and Otrera as they navigate all the changes that occurred at the end of Venus Rising (and hunt down some escaped souls). All of the characters will make an appearance throughout the trilogy through dreamwalking or interactions.
I do have some short stories planned, and I’m planning to release those in an omnibus edition of each trilogy.
I can’t give you a date for those stories or the trilogy, because right now I’m swept up in my NANOWRIMO project. But I should have an update in January.

Venus Rising Audiobook

Venus Rising Audiobook

Did you know I narrate my own audiobooks? As of today, you can get the entire Daughters of Zeus series on audible. Check out my latest release in the Daughters of Zeus universe now.

Venus Rising

The final battle….

Aphrodite is in big trouble this time. She’s stranded on the island of the Damned – without powers and without her beloved Ares. Worse, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the demigods figure out she’s a goddess. If that happens, she’ll wish she were dead.

Help arrives in the form of an unlikely ally. But Medea has her own demands, and if Aphrodite wants to survive – not to mention find Hades and the weapons cache – she has to meet them.

But all their plans take a back seat when they find themselves in even more pressing danger. When Medea moved the island, she rendered it unstable. Now it’s breaking apart and sinking. In the chaos, the demigods have risen up, blaming the gods for their misfortune. Nobody is safe from the demigods…especially a Pantheon sympathizer like Aphrodite. And they’ve come up with a deadly test to uncover any imposters.

Aphrodite knows she can’t do this alone. It will take the whole Pantheon to get her out of this mess. Unfortunately, they’ll have to find her first….

Writing on Wednesday

light women young lying

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With time stuck between one clock-tick and the next, the few remaining citizens of Tenebris had needed to find a new way of keeping track of time. Fortunately, the human city locked to theirs in the adjacent realm had only been nudged off course in the Breaking. Time might have been a touch out of step in Befort, but its people still rose and fell with the sun.

Which was how Korova knew it was nearing lunchtime before he neared the source of the strange energy signature that had penetrated the fog. He picked his way through the shattered streets of Tenebris, hand outstretched as though he could feel the wayward energy of the school children between the thin fabric of the realm. He traced Celeste’s steps, occasionally stopping to breathe in an errant feeling.

As he reached an intersection, a jagged spike of sorrow knifed through Tenebris followed by an outpouring of emotion from Celeste Knight so intense it pierced the realm like a beacon.

Korova drew near it like a moth to a flame.

He peered through the fog and spotted the distraught girl. “What a lovely snack,” he murmured, hand extending as if he could reach through and caress her face. The Grieve gave a furtive glance around and, satisfied the girl had not been noticed by his brethren, dropped a shield around the tree she rested against.

She dropped out of sight to those in both realms.

Quick as a thought, he shifted into Befort, growing impossibly large in the lurking shadow of the trees.

“Sleep,” he whispered, clawed hands stroking her pink hair. “I will take your troubles away.”

The girl fell into an instant slumber.

Writing on Wednesday

Here’s a scene from my work in progress: Knightfall

black and white person feeling smiling

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Tenebris

The clock had always just struck thirteen in the realm of Tenebris. The fateful hour’s knell hanging suspended over the frozen wasteland in an ever-discordant chime. It was the type of sound that reverberated through a body, setting the teeth on edge before the blissful relief of the next note.

But that note had been stolen, along with the next heartbeat, the next breath, the very next moment. Unfortunate timing, really. The realm could have frozen mid-hour on a beautiful spring day instead of mid-chime on a winter’s night.

But just this once, perhaps the punishment fit the crime.

The only movement in the realm was the rustle of shadows returning to the palace. An ancient building forever caught in the act of turning to rubble. Spikes of flame that failed to flicker erupted from holes blasted from the fortress walls. Jagged pieces of stone hung just above the ground; suspended dust sparkled in the sky. Amidst the destruction, Queen Gethen had managed to carve out luxurious quarters for herself and her three remaining Grieves—four now.

Only the Grieve, Korova, awoke when Celeste Knight entered the human city of Befort, carrying with her a delicious slew of pain, sadness, fear, anger, and desperation so intense that it pierced the fog between realms for entire seconds before it blinked out, cloaked and shielded with an inelegant hand.

Korova closed his eyes, casting out his awareness to search the shadow realm for his fellow Grieves, but they were of course all present and seemed blissfully unaware of this latest development.

The Grieve’s too-pale lips stretched into a disturbingly wide grin as he pondered the amateurish shield crafted around the girl. “Interesting.”

When Celeste’s feelings pierced the realm again, Korova hastily crafted a shield of his own to cover the human town.

“Two can play this game.”  The Grieve pushed himself off the bed, sheets undisturbed for now and all eternity.

His awareness of Celeste blinked in with a wash of anger, but Korova was ready. He moved through the room, hand caressing a mirror that reflected the terrified face of a woman long since reduced to shadow, before shifting through the walls, moving toward her presence in a burst of unnatural speed.

Celeste blinked out.

Korova’s mouth stretched in a too-wide grin as he settled in to wait.

YASH Winners!

#YASH Young adult Scavenger Hunt

It’s official…the YA Scavenger Hunt is over for 2019. But not to worry gentle readers. We will be back in 2020 with even more thrilling new reads. As promised, here are the winning results of the contests. Congrats to the many winners! Note: Individual author contest information will be added as the day goes on. If you don’t see an author’s name listed yet, never fear. Simply check back for updates to this post during the week.

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS:

Gold Team: Secret Number-395 Winner-Jennifer Jackson
Purple Team: Secret Number-1184 Winner-Katherine B.
Red Team: Secret Number-762 Winner-Katie Thomas
Blue Team: Secret Number-1401 Winner-Brittany Cornett
Bonus Entry: Secret Number-98 Winner-Carol Coutts Siepka

AUTHOR CONTESTS:

KAITLIN BEVIS: The winner of my personal giveaway was Pam!

ABIGAIL JOHNSON: The winner of my personal giveaway was Brianna Clay.

A.G. HOWARD: Stain w/sprayed edges–Austin Atkins; Splintered notebook–Alyssa Skoog; Goblin mask–Trisa; Vampire brooch–Garima Ghiraiya; YA swag pack–Madeleine Bergroth; Limited edition swag pack–Kathryn Schroeder.

AMALIE HOWARD: Joy Flynn won a signed prize pack of the Aquarathi series.

AMBER R. DUELL: The winner of my personal giveaway–a Dream Keeper ebook + Dark Consort eARC– is Saray (I’m guessing Sarah Y, but it’s all one word in the Rafflecopter).

AMY FELLNER DOMINY: I ran a DOUBLE BOOK BONUS: Two winners each receive two of my YA novels. The winners are Noma Aguebor and Beverly Gordon.

AMY MCNULTY: I had a bonus YASH giveaway. A $25 Storiarts gift card. My winner was Suzannah C.

BREEANA SHIELDS: My giveaway was a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card and the winner was Neko Tatsujin.

BRENDA DRAKE: The winner of an autographed complete Library Jumpers series is Kaitlin Whanger.

C. LEE MCKENZIE: One signed paperback copy of Double Negative to Sheri Larson.

CAITLIN SANGSTER: Shelly Hammond won the personal giveaway for a copy of Last Star Burning.

CM BOERS: My winners are: Wagering Home Paperback prize pack: Alison Weaver, Wagering Home Ebook: Morgane Gilson

COLLEEN HOUCK: Winners of a Colleen Houck book of their choice: Brian Bedard, Ayanami Faerudo, Nancy Storms, Daisy Burnett, & Shaina Pierce. Winner of the Tiger’s Dream signed set of hardbacks: Jessie Hopkins.

COURTNEY ALAMEDA: My winner is Anika ‘Pixie’ Crayon

DANIELLE STINSON: The winner of my giveaway Allisa White

EVA POHLER: Clarissa Hiciano was the winner of my personal YASH giveaway. She won a signed copy of The Gatekeeper’s Trilogy and a $25 Amazon gift card.

HEATHER MCKENZIE: Melissa Williams won a copy of RHAPSODY, Book 3 of The Nightmusic Trilogy

HELEN VIVIENNE FLETCHER: My personal giveaway winner was Brianna C.

JOSHUA BELLIN: My personal giveaway (the 3 books in the Ecosystem series), my winner: Jalyn McColgan.

JULIE ESHBAUGH: I ran a giveaway of a preorder of Crown of Oblivion on my blog. The winner is Adik (@Readinginthemorning.)

KAT ROSS: I gave away signed paperbacks of my Fourth Element Trilogy and the winner is Saray Hernandez

KATHLEEN BALDWIN: Amber Walker won a hardback of Harbor for the Nightingale.

KELSEY KETCH: I did a giveaway for 3 ebook copies of Daughter of Isis. The winners are Brittany, Crystal C., and Brianna C.

KRISTIN JACQUES: The winner of a signed copy of Marrow Charm was Britt Bryan!

LISH MCBRIDE: I gave away five copies of Pyromantic on my website. The winners are Shaina Pierce, Jennifer Jackson, Debra Larsen Branigan, Nicole Woodruff, and Anubha.

LIVIA BLACKBURNE: bonus giveaway winner during YASH: Desiree

SARA FUJIMURA: Shelly Hammond won a TANABATA WISH prize pack.

SARAH JUDE: Theresa S is the randomly chosen winner of the giveaway I ran for a signed hardcover copy of my book THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS.

SHANNON THOMPSON: Jessica Richert won a signed copy of The Timely Death Trilogy or the Bad Bloods series.

T. RAE MITCHELL: Emily Huff won the following Book Swag Prize Package:
(1) Fate & Finn Chibi Magnetic Bookmarks
(1) The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book
(1) Fate’s Keep Keychain
(1) Signed Fate & Finn (by Gabriella Bujdoso) Bookplate

YVONNE VENTRESCA: Personal giveaway winner: Crystal

YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Team

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the Gold Team–but there is also a red team, a blue team, an orange team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the Gold Team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
 
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 6th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Author photo
Today, I am hosting Constance Roberts on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Constance Roberts is a retired flight attendant who turned in her wings to stay at home with her adventurous daughter and to write. She and her husband live in St. Louis, Missouri where they spend the weekends playing board games with friends. If she’s not reading a book, she’s probably taking a picture of it. You can find her book photography on Instagram as @imagery.in.pages
 
Find out more information by checking out the Constance’s website or find more about the author’s book here!

Cbrstory33_K(1).jpg
 
WHAT IF PINOCCHIO WAS A GIRL?
Just before senior year, Penny’s car was struck by a drunk driver. Her body was beyond repair, but her mind was saved by a powerful benefactor attempting to blur the moral lines between medical science and technology.
Penny now lives as an Automa alongside others whose consciousnesses were uploaded into elite cyborgs. Together they work and perform at the prestigious Monstro Theater in Amsterdam. Though she is forbidden to leave the theater for ten years, Penny is granted every luxury her heart desires. Any skill or information she wishes can be downloaded in seconds – except the precious memories of her life before.
Despite longing for knowledge of her past, Penny makes the most of her confinement with her new companions. After an outsider exposes the truth, Penny realizes she’s been strung up in a web of lies. She wants to trust what she feels she’s known all along, but doing so would force her to face an impossible choice.When the truth catches up, it doesn’t let go without a fight.
STRUNG is a standalone novel in the Twisted Fairy Tales series. Amazon Link | Goodreads Link

Bonus Content

 

Music is a big part of Penny’s story. She is an Automa, which means her consciousness lives inside a high-tech robot. She looks just like you and me, but she lacks senses such as smell and taste. She lives along side other Automas who work as performers in Monstro Theater. Many of the songs on this playlist are actually mentioned in the book, as songs they have performed to or happen to be playing during a scene. Just for fun, I’ve listed a few below.

 

Build The Robots by Dr. Steel – This is the first song on the playlist because, well, it’s a fun song about Robots. Dr. Steel is an artist from the early 2000’s who incorporated steampunk sounds into his music and this song just fit as an opener for the story.

Lampshades On Fire by Modest Mouse – Penny and her dance troupe are rehearsing this number in the first scene of the book. In the performance they are dancing around an airship, about to embark on a new world.

Bury A Friend by Billie Eilish – I love this song because with it’s sharp sounds and whispered lyrics it really illustrates Penny’s struggle with figuring out who she is (since she can’t remember) and where she fits in this new body and new life.

Telephone by Lady Gaga – Penny and her best Automa friend, Cleo, kill this song on karaoke.
 
Tessellate by Alt-J – This song is very much the “mood” for the love story in STRUNG. I won’t say much else so I don’t give anything away.
Click on THIS LINK to hear more and check out the STRUNG Playlist on Spotify
Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Constance Roberts, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 2. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Don’t forget to 
GoldF2019.jpg
Bonus Giveaway
As a thank you for visiting my blog and participating in YASH, I’m offering an additional giveaway. Comment below with the book you’re currently reading for an opportunity to win an audiocopy of my very first novel, Persephone!
 
 
 

 

 

Announcing the 2019 Fall YASH Teams!

I’m very excited to be a part of Team Gold this season. Check out the amazing books that will be featured during the 2019 YA Scavenger Hunt. This season I’ll be announcing two very special projects, showing you the first glimpse of a brand new cover, and you’ll get to read some never before released bonus material from a bonus chapter of the Tiger Series! Get ready to hunt, people. It’s going to be a good one. 😉