YABooksPodcast's podcast

I interview Young Adult, YA, authors about their books. YA novels may be Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure, Action, Horror, or General Fiction. We talk about the author's lives, locations, work, careers, training, education, inspiration, writing methods and routines.
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Now displaying: Category: YA - Fantasy


Jan 18, 2018

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Sarah J. Moss

A Court of Wings and Ruin (05/02/2017)

Published May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,758 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#14 in Books > Teens > Romance > Fantasy
#22 in Books > Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
#23 in Books > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Fantasy


Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R.R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin--one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin--and his world--forever.

First two chapters and a bit of the third. I'm going to read you the first two.

Here's why I like these two first chapters. We don't have to wait for action to start. The protagonist's peril is right there at the begining. We learn immidiately that whether or not she finds food, could determine whether she, her sister's and her father live another week.

Information about who the family is and how they found themselves in such dire straights is introduced to the story slowly and naturally. There are no big info dumps of back story. However, by the end of the second chapter, we know who Feyre is. How her two sisters behave and fit into the plot, and how she feels about her father, his fall from wealth, and his loss of health.

On the other hand, I still can't picture Feyre. The only description we've had of her so far is that she has the same hair color as her sisters. Unless I missed it, we've been given no clue about her height and weight, how she wears her hair, or her well developed muscled that give her the strength to draw a bow heavy enough to put a killing shaft into a very large wolf.

I can see from the author's literary skill why the trilogy has done so well, and why the third book rated first place for 2017 Goodreads reader's choice awards.

Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week for episode # 99, a review of John Green's book, Turtles All the Way Down.

Dec 21, 2017

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin Mckinley

First published in 1978 by HarperTeen

So, that is the first chapter of Beauty. About sixteen pages. I love the author's use of language. Even though the story is told in first person, I hardly notice it.

The story continues with the family selling off their mansion in the city, traveling to the country and setting up shop on the edge of an enchanted forest. It takes a few twists but eventually Beauty ends up in the magical castle, alone with the fright some beast.

When Disney's Beauty and the Beast was announced, I looked forward to it with the hope that it would have the same charm as I found in this book. I think it fell way short. Even with Lumier, Cogsworth and Gaston (Or maybe because of...). In the movie, I never felt an affection for the beast as I did in reading this book.

Anyway. I hope you have a Merry Christmas or other celebration of choice. I'm going to go read Beauty for the eleventh time.

Thanks for listening and we'll see you next week.

Nov 23, 2017

I apologize for missing a week. I actually recorded these chapters a week ago, but my lap top was giving me such a bad time that I had to buy a new one. In that recording my computer cut out thirteen little snippets, so I've had to go back, re record those corrupted sentences or paragraphs and edit them in. I appologize for any errors in this episode.

This week's episode is:

Rising From the Ashes: The Chronicles of Caymin (The Dragonmage Saga Book 1)
Caren J. Werlinger
4.7 stars on 40 reviews

Published by Corgyn Publishing on February 1, 2016
Going to her Amazon author page I see that Caren has written a number of other books, including books two and three of the Dragonmage Saga

The book is listed in three catagories all ending with sword and sorcery.


Rising From the Ashes: The Chronicles of Caymin

Ancient Ireland – an era of clan wars, petty kings and invasions by raiders from the north.

As Christianity tightens its hold, magic and the old ways fight to keep their place in the hearts of the people.

Born into this world is Ash, orphaned and maimed, left to die. She is rescued by a clan of badgers and raised to be one of them. As she grows, so does her magic, until at last she comes to the attention of other humans. Some of them want to protect her; some want to use her.

When she bonds with an orphaned dragon cub, the two of them become pawns in a bid for power. Forced to flee, dragon and dragonmage embark on a quest to seek the answers as to why they were bonded and what their future holds.

Book One in The Dragonmage Saga

There are a prolog and three chapters in the Amazon preview. I am going to read the prolog and first chapter. I was going to read the second chapter, but it was way long and I still have to meet my word count for Nanowrimo. So, here we go with the prolog:

In these two chapters we're introduced to Ash and the badgers. We see her magical ability to speak telepathically with animals and the appearance of her healing powers. Dragons, while mentioned in the title and in the blurb, don't make an appearance in the beginning.

The writing is strong and the characters are believable, even if they are talking animals.

I think this is a great start to an interesting story. So if you like dragons, fantasy, and Swords and Sorcery, this book might be written for you.

Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next week.

Nov 2, 2017

Here's "Fairy Ring: Shards of Janderelle" Book 1 by Jacque Stevens
4.2 stars on 13 customer reviews
Published by Sjacquebooks on September 5th of this year.
It's in three teen and young adult indices all with the key words of Mental Illness or depression. The author is a full time nurse working in mental and developmental health and wrote her first novel as a stress relief activity during nursing school.

Here is the Amazon blurb:

Fourteen-year-old Livy’s best friends just happen to be fairies.

With them, she defeats snow monsters and discovers lost treasure, running wild through her apartment complex. Game after endless game. That’s how it works with fairies. They might be illusions, but they helped her cope when her father walked out, leaving her to care for her drug-addicted mother alone.

Then Child Protective Services swoops in, sending Livy to live with her father, but that doesn’t stop the fairies from tagging along. The illusions that helped her in the past now cause nothing but trouble—preluding fires in chemistry and sword fights in gym. It isn’t any wonder her stepmother thinks she’s crazy, maybe even on drugs like her mother. Forced into therapy, Livy tries to conform to her new life. But when the military precision of her stepmother’s household becomes too much, she crosses the fairy ring to a dream world where her imagination can run free again.

Her scars transfer from one world to the other. So does a death. With her family ready to have her committed, Livy must unravel the truth behind her so-called schizophrenic delusions before they take another life—hers.

Fairy Ring: Shards of Janderelle is a darkly humorous and magical tale with elements of A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness), Calvin: A Novel (Martine Leavitt), and other young adult stories that blend the borders of contemporary fantasy and psychology. It explores teenage/family drama, mental illness, and a fantasy world that might be too good to be true.

The Amazon preview has the prologue, the first two chapters and part of the third. I'm going to read you the prologue and first chapter.

The first time I read this I had a hard time skipping from the prologue to the first chapter. While this prologue was used as it is supposed to--showing us pivotal scenes from the past. I immediately forgot that the first chapter was not just a continuation of the previous and was confused until I realized she was older. When I read this out loud to record it, everything made much more sense.
I wish there had been some cue about the passage of time between the two.
That said, it was my only real complaint about these two chapters.
I really enjoyed the spell/vision action of the Yeti fight. It was fun and creative and gives us a concise look at the nature of Livy's two fairy friends.
Knowing that the indices for this book include Mental Illness, I wonder now and then while reading this, if the fairies are just Livy's imagination. Hallucinations are classically what we think of when we consider mental illness, but that would be too simple. Alcohol abuse, drug abuse, depression and homelessness are also symptoms of mental illness that are much less glamorous, but probably much more common.
I give this book a four and hope that I'll get a chance to read further.

Sep 28, 2017

Katherine Dell is a young adult fiction author fascinated by the supernatural and the stories that surround them. She began her writing endeavours in 2011 when she wanted to reinvent herself from her previous career as an event planner. When she’s not writing, she can be found in cold hockey arenas sipping coffee, working on her tan at little league games, or trying to keep her dog out of her many gardens. She lives with her husband, two boys, and fur babies, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Be careful what you wish for.

After moving from Vancouver to isolated Hazelton, BC, high school senior Rachel Barnes hopes she’ll finally find closure and a sense of direction after tragedy has torn her family apart. When she and her friends discover the old spirit box her grandmother gave her, they see it as a chance to wish their troubles away. But the Great Spirits—deer, crow, bear, and the mythical wendigo—give away nothing for free.

So instead of worrying about fitting in and finding a boyfriend, Rachel finds herself in a race to control the malevolent spirit who’s taken up residence in Mason Allen, who she fears and craves in equal measure. What began as a harmless game forces Rachel to confront her past—and offers her a future she never imagined.

Step into a reality that is not as it seems in Book 1 of the Harmless series.


Sep 21, 2017

Charlotte Leonetti is an up-and-coming young author. Her debut novel, Heartshire High, was written when she was just 16, in the moments between school, friends and family commitments and she is already working on her second novel. Charlotte decided to self-publish at seventeen, as a way to learn about the publishing industry and to connect with her readers. When Charlotte is not writing, she is avidly reading, and since 2015 she has been writing book reviews on the popular teen website Sassy Peach Reads. In early 2017 she beat 1,200 other applications to win one of five 1st places in the ScholarTrips contest for her essay ‘Jump’, sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance.

What grade are you in now?
When did you get the idea for Heartsland High?
What was your process for putting it together
How many times did you rewrite/edit?
Who was you editor?
Published August 15
#386,467 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#437 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Being a Teen
#704 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Friendship
#1167 in Books > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Being a Teen

Heartshire High takes the reader through Celia's move to a new town in her senior year, living with a less than caring dad, dealing a new school and having to make new friends. While Celia is focused on just surviving her last school year, and counting down the days until graduation, Bunni befriends her and leads her into the woods, and into a world of drugs, parties, and death.

Once Celia discovers the mysterious death of Tim, she can't help but dig into what happened. While the whole town tries to ignore what happened, Celia starts to ask questions which lead to her having even more questions. What really happened to Tim? Was it murder? Is somebody not telling the truth? Or is she prying into something she shouldn't be?

Sep 7, 2017

Keeper of dragons, the prince returns, keeper of dragons book 1
By J.A. Culican
4.4 stars on 113 reviews
Amazon blurb:
A mystical calling.
On his 18th birthday, Cole learns that he is a dragon fated to save all that was deemed true.


Cole's life spirals into an uncontrollable battle for life or death. First, he learns that his family isn't really his own and his birth parents are dragons. With that legacy comes a special calling; devoting an eternity to protecting all true beings from creatures bent on controlling the Earth and bringing an end to dragons.


As the newly-minted Prince of Ochana, Cole is also the Keeper of Dragons and his first task is to keep the nefarious farro-fallen fairies-at bay. With no formal training, no control of his mahier-dragon magic, and fear like he's never experienced before, will Cole be able to reach outside of his human side and embrace his destiny in time to defeat the farros?

The Amazon preview has the Prolog, chapter 1 and most of chapter 2.
(READ the Chapters)

You've heard the blurb, so you know more about what is going than Cole does, even after the first chapter. Though I bought the ebook, I've read as much of the second chapter as is included in the preview, and Cole still doesn't know what he's in for.
I don't think the prolog gave us enough background to be considered a prolog and should have been called Chapter 1. A prolog should tell us information about the story or its characters that will enlighten us in subsequent chapters as to why they act as they do, or what has set up the plot. In my humble opinion, if there had to be a preview for this book, it should have shown us Cole's birth parents handing him off and giving us clues about their true nature and why they wouldn't be able to raise him safely in their kingdom. That's not the way this author works. They would rather hide information, perhaps for some great reveal, than give us clues about what is happening.
Between what we learn in the prolog and the first chapter, I think they could have been combined into one.
Dragging information out of a character annoys me. Characters should stop interupting others and let them speak. And I expect them to spill the beans and not feed me any of this, "You'll understand when we get where we're going."
"Cole, we're dragons. You're a dragon and we need to get going."
Are there still questions in the reader's mind? Of course. Cole now knows what we know from the blurb, but none of us know how this works and what will happen when he gets to dragon land.
So, what am I saying about this book's first chapters? I'm giving it 4 stars. It got a lot of good reviews. It's sitting at #6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Interactive Adventures, so I feel there is potential for a good book. I would read on for a few more chapters to find out if the author creates any real conflict other than only refusing to tell us what's going on.

Aug 31, 2017

Wendy Terrien
"The Rampart Guards"
After his mom disappears, Jason Lex and his family move to a small town where he has no friends, no fun, no life. Things get worse when he’s chased by weird flying creatures that only he can see--Jason thinks he’s losing it.

But when Jason discovers new information about his family, he’s stunned to learn that creatures like Skyfish, Kappa, and the Mongolian Death Worm aren’t just stories on the Internet--they’re real and they live unseen alongside the human race. Many of these creatures naturally emit energy capable of incinerating humans. An invisible shield keeps these creatures hidden and protects the human race from their threatening force, but someone, or some thing, is trying to destroy it.

Unsure who he can trust, Jason is drawn into the fight to save the people closest to him, and he finds help in surprising places. Confronted with loss, uncertainty, and a devastating betrayal, Jason must make a gut-wrenching decision:

Who lives, and who dies.

MBA Marketing
Denver and Salt Lake Comicons
Camashea press
Story Structure Safari
Lawson Writer's Academy
Wrinkle in Time
Lord of the Rings
Jeffrey Deever?
Niel Gaimen
@wbterrien twitter
Wendy Terrien Facebook

Aug 24, 2017

Under Different Stars, The Kricket Series, Book 1

By Amy A. Bartol

4.6 stars on 1230 reviews
December 2014
#424 in the paid Kindle store and #1 on three teen and Young Adult indices.

Amazon Blurb:
Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago’s foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she’ll stop running and finally find her place in the world.

That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home. As danger draws close, he must protect her until she can wield the powers she cannot use on Earth…and he soon realizes that counting a galaxy of stars would be easier than losing this extraordinary girl.

Kyon knows the powerful depths of Kricket’s gifts—gifts he’ll control when he takes her for his tribe and leads the forces that will claim Ethar and destroy his enemies, starting with Trey Allairis. Now, Kricket faces the most difficult choice of her life: whether to wage a battle for survival or a fight for love.


(Read Chapter)
The first time I read through this chapter I was laying in bed and falling asleep. I found it well written, but I missed a lot of the detail of the story. Recording this chapter tonight, the details were much clearer.
I want to know who these three thugs are and how she is going to evade them, if she gets away at all. They are obviously from another world, the world Kricket comes from--they have matching eyes. She obviously doesn't remember this world. It's clear when they tell her she's a criminal and she is wanted for disertion.
How did she come to this world and why doesn't she have any memory of the former. Inquiring minds want to know. Read on to find out. I'm going to...

Jul 13, 2017

Caravel by Stephanie Garber
This book was chosen by the Goodreads "YA Book Club" Book of the Month for July.
I thought it might be nice to try a book recommended by such an auspicious group.
4.3 on 461 reviews
Flatiron Books (January 31, 2017)
#6,586 Paid in Kindle Store
3,3,8 in three Teen indices.

Instant New York Times bestseller!
#1 IndieNext Pick!
Entertainment Weekly Must List (Grade: A-)!

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

“The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus. Grade: A-.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Impressive, original, wondrous.” —USA Today
“Spellbinding.” —US Weekly
“Magnificent.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“I lost myself in this world.” —Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes
“Beautifully written.” —Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn
“Shimmers with magic.” —Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner’s Curse
“Darkly enchanting.” —Kiersten White, author of And I Darken
“Decadent.” —Roshani Chokshi, author of The Star-Touched Queen
“Like stepping into a living dream.” —Stacey Lee, author of Outrun the Moon
“Destined to capture imaginations.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Ideal for fans of The Night Circus, Stardust, and The Hunger Games.” —School Library Journal

The first 2 chapters and a pinch of the third are in the Amazon preview and I'm going to read you chapters one and two.

What I liked about these two chapters.
I thought the first chapter was unique and gave us a lot of background and character development without burdening us with a preview. The story obviously begins at the second chapter, but we understand so much from reading Scarlett's letters from the Conquered Isle or Trisde to to Master Legend.

Jul 6, 2017

Hidden Wings by Cameo Renae appears to be the first in a series of five books. The author has a number of other books as well.
4.3 650 review
7842 in the kindle store
2,5, and 5 in three teen fantasy/religeon/spirituality
Published in Dec 2013 (Staying power)


****Descent, a Hidden Wings Novella, is included in this version of Hidden Wings****

What happens when Darkness and Light collide?

Seventeen is a life changing age for Emma Wise.
As her family's sole survivor in a car crash, she is left with a broken arm, and a few scrapes and bruises. But these are only outward marks; inside, her heart is broken and the pieces scattered.

Whisked away to Alaska, to an aunt she’s never met, Emma starts over. Secrets unveil themselves and now…she doesn't even know who or what she is.

A centuries old prophecy places Emma in the heart of danger. Creatures of horrifying and evil proportions are after her, and it will take Emma, her aunt, and six, gorgeously, captivating Guardians to keep her safe. But, if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday... things will change.

Bonus Material: Hidden Wings Inspired Poem by Amber McCallister.

Amazon Preview has the first three chapters. I am going to read you the first two.

My questions from the first two chapters:
Why is she healing so fast?
Will her two good friends play a continueing role in the rest of the novel? I like that she has two nerdy friends who have a lot of personality on their own. Emma is moving far away, from Southern California all the way to Alaska. Though, from the cover blurb, I don't have a lot of hope for that.
I also wonder about the aunt. Having absolutely no knowledge about the aunt, and then having her contact the state so quickly after the accident stretches my suspension of disbelief to an uncomfortable length. I'll read on, but I'll be looking for some explanation about their relationship.

Jun 29, 2017


In 2014, Adam Dreece stopped hoping to be an author one day. He wrote and indie published the first two installments in his young adult, steampunk meets fairy tale, series The Yellow Hoods. In 2015, when the first two books became IAN Book of the Year finalists in YA and Fantasy, he released two more in the series, as well as a novelette.

Along the way, Adam has become a fixture on Twitter and Facebook for his blog articles and willingness to help other authors. He's a frequent speaker on cons, festivals and events. He's currently working on his first science fiction novel called The Man of Cloud 9, and has a weekly serial called The Wizard Killer. In 2016 he plans to also bring out the 5th book in The Yellow Hoods series.

He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his wife and children. He is an active online mentor at, and is a busy public speaker, panelist, and author in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

May 25, 2017

Katharine and Elizabeth Corr are sisters living in the leafy English county of Surrey. They both read history at university and worked as professionals in London. Then they both stopped working to raise families, not realising that children are far more demanding than clients or bosses. When they both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious they should do it together. When Katharine’s not writing, she likes playing the harp, learning dead languages and embracing her inner nerd. When Elizabeth’s not writing, she likes sketching, dancing round the kitchen and plotting for more time free of children and cats. They can sometimes be found in one of their local coffee shops, arguing over which character to kill off next.

Can true love’s kiss save the day…?

Electrifying dark magic debut by authors and sisters, Katharine and Elizabeth Corr.

Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.

Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?



Jun 23, 2016

In this episode I interview Chris Mannino. We talk about teaching theater in high school, a trip to the alleged birth place of King Arthur, his inspiration behind his Scythe Wielders Secret trilogy, and working with Audible and ACX.

The first two books in the trilogy, School of Deaths and Sword of Deaths, are out now, with the third book Daughter of Deaths expected to be released later this year.

The series follows Suzie Sarnio, a thirteen-year-old whose world is turned upside down when she discovers that she is destined to be a Death. She always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe, but now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. As her year progresses, Suzie uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must learn and embrace the reason she was chosen to be the first female Death in a million years.

To learn more or to read an excerpt from the book, go to

Christopher Mannino's life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance/production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life. Growing up with adventure and fantasy stories filled with magic and imagination fueled him to create stories of his own.

School of Deaths began when Mannino spent a semester abroad at Oxford. On one side-trip, he became stranded on the Cornish coast, by Tintagel, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. Following a sleepless night above a noisy pub he climbed to a rocky peninsula to watch the dawn. Feeling completely alone, and attacked by winds from every direction as he clung to a cliff, Mannino imagined a character isolated in a strange world, attacked and bullied.

The Scythe Wielder's Secret is a series of Young Adult fantasy novels, which address issues of bullying, sexism, and social justice, all in a rich epic fantasy adventure world. As a teacher, Mannino hopes to inspire teenagers and other readers to dream and confront issues through their own determination.

Learn more about Mannino and his books at

Jun 9, 2016

Connie A. Walker’s interest in fantasy developed before she started grade school. Her sister, June, who was five years older, practiced her reading skills by reading to Connie. June introduced her to The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, The Arabian Nights, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and hundreds of fairy tales. Connie fell asleep every night with visions of elves and ogres, sorcerers and enchanted lands, flitting through her mind.

When her sister started junior high school, the reading sessions dwindled to a few times a week. Suddenly Connie had difficulty sleeping. She began having nightmares. She dreaded going to bed.

One night, when Connie was very tired and having difficulty falling asleep, she pretended that June was reading her favorite story to her. She drifted off to sleep and had pleasant dreams. After that, when she went to bed, she reviewed other tales she had heard, often embellishing the action and adding characters.

Within a short while, she was making up stories of her own. That was when she decided to become a writer.

When Connie was seven years old, she won an annual writing contest sponsored by her elementary school. Students in first, second and third grades were eligible to enter. She was the first first-grader ever to win. Her story, “Stop, Look, and Listen,” was about a dog who acted as a crossing guard.

Throughout elementary and high school, Connie made her homework assignments enjoyable by being creative. When doing research papers, she presented the facts within a fictional frame story or a play. Essays were often written as satires, ending with unexpected twists. Connie considered everything she wrote as a prelude to a career as an author.

While getting her Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre at Brigham Young University, she had four original plays produced: a one act comedy and a two act drama (both of which were contest winners), plus two musicals. Later, she had two other one act comedies produced. After graduation, she worked as a technical writer, a graphic artist, and a public relations specialist. In the evenings, she wrote short stories, plays, poetry, and outlined ideas for fantasy novels. She filled a filing cabinet with unpublished manuscripts. A single mother of two, Connie often found her writing time shunted aside by such things as chicken pox, science projects, strep throat, baseball games, stomach flu, and school activities—all those things associated with parenting.

In the meantime, she had to make a living.

As her children entered the teenage years, financial demands increased, and Connie felt the need to develop a career that provided a predictable and adequate income. She attended the University of Utah and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in social work. She has been employed as a foster care caseworker, a psychotherapist, and a clinical programs manager.

Now retired, she finally has enough uninterrupted time to write professionally. Her children’s book, Timmy and the K’nick K’nocker Ring, is a fantasy about a young boy who is transported to a world where his special talents are considered magic. It took first place in a local writer’s contest, Children’s Literature category, and was the grand prize winner as well.

The Spire of Kylet, a young adult fantasy, is the first book in The Wolkarean Inscription Trilogy. Katrine is a fifteen year old girl who thinks she has her life all planned out. But, after performing an act of heroisn, she is adopted into a tribe of wizards and receives their powers. Suddenly, she is thrust on a path toward a new destiny whether she likes it or not. The second and third books in the trilogy, The Eyes of Landor and Triumph at Serpent’s Head, are now available.

Connie is currently working on a second Wolkarean trilogy.

Her books are available through in paperback and kindle version.

May 12, 2016

Nancy Norbeck wrote her first story, inspired by her brother's case of chicken pox, when she was in fourth grade. She flirted with writing off and on over the years, but began to take it seriously in high school, and then in college. After teaching writing to English as a Second Language students for several years, and working on her own writing projects, she enrolled in Goddard College's MFA in creative writing program, which she completed in 2009. The Silver Child is her first novel. She currently works as a writing and creative process coach.

Nancy is a longtime fan of Doctor Who and can often be found spoiling her two nephews rotten. She lives in New Jersey and loves to travel, especially when she can go back in time via a good book.

For more information on current projects, upcoming releases, and coaching services, please subscribe at or follow her on Twitter @NancyNorbeck. She would love to hear from you.

Maia Starfield is on the run, having successfully hidden her ability to create silver just by singing—until government thugs arrived to take her away. Her mother sent her out the door just in time, giving her only one piece of advice: Find Dr. Martus.

Albert Martus has no idea why Maia was sent to find him—the doctor who delivered her 17 years ago. But from the moment she turns up, his story becomes intertwined with hers…as it has been since before she was born.

Follow this unlikely team as they discover the truth about the past and their present, the regime known as the Brotherhood, and the magical and ordinary power they each carry deep inside.

“Nancy Norbeck's THE SILVER CHILD shows us a fantasy world that is all too real, ruled by a modern Inquisition that seeks to control minds and wipe out history. Maia, the Silver Child of the title, is a natural magician who has only the faintest awareness of her powers. More important, she is alive, a vividly drawn teenage girl who must discover who she is in a time of terror. The story is big, the characters both heroic and sweet.”
~Rachel Pollack, World Fantasy Award and Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novelist

For more about Nancy you can check out (generally speaking), and more specifically, the page for the course that just ended is at They can also sign up on either of those pages to get my newsletter, which includes info about upcoming courses, writing prompts, etc.

Apr 7, 2016

In this episode I talk with Lauren Stock about going to university in Massachusetts, studying abroad, traveling, writing her first novel while in high school and collaborative writing with her father. Also, about her dachshunds.


Lauren began writing in 8th grade. After having been a voracious reader of YA novels, she was determined to create her own book. Necrobloods was completed by her senior year in high school, with her father coming on board to help. Her first story involved competing styles of magic that had to vie for control.

Enjoying the process of writing, she decided to continue working with her dad, and they are now working on the Tamzin Clarke series. This set of novels is a combination of action/adventure and paranormal/supernatural.

Lauren is now in college, looking toward a degree in writing and international marketing. When at home, she enjoys spending time with her two miniature dachshunds.

You can find her on Facebook at

Feb 25, 2016

Jasmine Kaur Dhuga was a third place award winner for the Canadian Federation of University Women Windsor Poetry Contest in 2011. Soon after, she became an editor for her school newspaper. Dhuga often uses her writing to voice her opinion on certain social issues. She resides in Ontario and is currently studying neuroscience.

"Monique Brooks has a pretty easy life. All she has to deal with is an alcoholic father, a dependent brother, and an abusive drug dealer. On top of all that, at the age of seventeen, she stumbles upon a completely different world, a world that she just so happens to be the protector of. To add more flowers to the garden, she finds out that her adoptive father wants to kill her for the power that she holds. Now, not only does she have to figure out a way to save herself, she must work hard to save the thousands of lives she has in her hands.

But that should all be a piece of cake, right?"

Jan 21, 2016

In this episode I talk with author Davidson L. Haworth. We talk about selling books at Comic Cons, book tours in Russia and Ukraine and finding information about obscure, middle-age, European towns. (Specifically Prali, the location of his three young adult historical fantasy novels.)

Davidson L. Haworth has written several novels, and he is considered to be the father of historical fantasy. He is also the pioneer of conducting full book tours strictly at comic book, science fiction, and fantasy conventions. Davidson also tours on an international circuit to promote his writings and converse with those from around the globe. In the United States he spends most of his efforts speaking at pop culture conventions and educational institutions. Davidson lives with his wife and two children in San Jose, California.

Contact him through:

Life in Prali, a small village nestled in a picturesque valley in the Italian Alps, is quiet and safe—until the gates to the underworld open nearby, unleashing the fury of the last of the dragons. Generations earlier, the dragons were driven from Prali and slaughtered. Now they have returned with only one goal: revenge against humanity.
A young Franciscan monk named Bernard, an English girl named Mary, and a knight named Leonardo are all that stand in the way of fiery oblivion unleashed by the invading dragon army. The underworld is a place of dark and mysterious magic, where threats far more diabolical than dragons lurk in the shadows.
A powerful wizard, Simon Magnus, sees the plight of the overwhelmed heroes and offers his assistance. But his intentions are far from altruistic; after the dragons destroy the villages, Magnus plans to step in to enslave the villagers and enlists the help of winged furia, demons from the underworld, to finish off the dragons. Desperate, Bernard seeks the assistance of the French leader, Clement Laurent. Infuriated, Magnus brings in Persian mercenaries to crush the resistance. Meanwhile, news that fighters from the Vampire Empire are on the march toward Prali pushes the heroes to the breaking point.
The fate of Prali rests in the outcome of an epic battle between the combined forces of good and evil. Can Bernard and his allies hope to save their village and their way of life?

Jan 14, 2016

Suzy Vadori
Young Adult Author
Suzy’s first Young Adult Novel, The Fountain was released December 8, 2015 with Evil Alter Ego Press.
Suzy’s long career building companies lends her a unique perspective in the literary world.
Suzy lives in Calgary, Canada with her husband and three children and is an involved community member. Currently, she is the Program Manager, Young Adult/Children’s Programming for When Words Collide (WWC), a literary Festival held in Calgary annually in August.
Twitter: @vadoris

Dec 17, 2015

Bryan Cohen and I talk about

Selling for copy editing better blurbs get better sales.
Sell more books show podcast...Jazzy Jim Cucral
Marshmallow elect

For the purposes of this podcast...

Co host on The Split YA Book review podcast ..... currently 50+ reviews/discussion
Author of the series Ted Saves the world.

Instructor of Selling for authors closed on Thursday

Tell us about Ted saves the world
How many books.
Has he finished saving the world?
Book 0 came out this last summer. Do you have other YA fiction coming in the future?

YA books, boys and romance. Romantic tension...
"Red Rising" by Pierce Brown
"Grasshopper Jungle" by Andrew Smith

Dec 8, 2015

In this episode I interview L.G. Rollilns and we talk about the editing process when working with a publisher, home schooling, American Sign Language, her debut novel Shadows of Angels, and Cedar Fort Publishing.

L. G. Rollins grew up in a far off land fighting dragons, stealing talismans, and traveling with dwarfs and elves. She is especially skilled at bribing giants with sweets. Currently, her husband and four kids live in Utah so that is where she spends most of her time. She may, or may not, have a Zaad Stone. To learn more about L. G. Rollins and her books visit
Shadows of Angels comes out December 8th and is the beginning of the Zaad Stone trilogy.

Dec 3, 2015

In this episode I interveiw Ana Del C.
We talk about writing books in English and translating to Spanish. We talk about the many books she has written, where she gets her inspiration, and what her practices are for writing them.


Anna was born in the extreme South along some famous beaches. She is the third child and twins with her sister Elena. She grew up with four other siblings being placed in the middle. Her mother died when she was six years old and her father never married again.
The green eyed, brown haired author found a mother in her husband's mother and loves her dearly. She accredits her mother-in-law with teaching her many things in life.

The author loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. Once married she was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected, which collections she still retains. They were the ones who wet her appetite. A few years ago she was introduced to Tolkien's Lord of the Ring's and to J. K. Rowling's writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music that she listens to every day, plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding.) She likes her clothes to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorites. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she was heard to say. "I wear what I like."

Early on in her life she showed an affinity for sewing and took classes that rewarded her with the opportunities of taking care of the costumes for the cast of four different plays, which she enjoyed immensely. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese.

At twenty-one she moved north to marry Rodney and has resided in Utah since then. Her husband, a native of Idaho, met her in her hometown. They fell in love and she came to Utah on Christmas Eve to be married two weeks later. They are the parents of three princes and a princess.

With her husband and his family she has have the opportunity of traveling to many of the states in USA, most of them camping, and to three other countries, something she enjoys very much. Soon, she would like to visit the castles in Germany and other European countries.

Anna possesses a great mind and imagination, which, with the encouragement of her husband, she set to writing. The creation of her two series of books The Elf Series and her Medieval Romance series; are the result of many years of daydreaming and now, her own laptop. You can fallow Anna in her website at:

Nov 26, 2015

In this episode I talk with Alma Alexander

We discuss her trilogy "The Were Chronicles". "Random", "Wolf", and "Shifter" which should have gone live already, but is imminently going to drop at any moment.

She edited an anothogy "River"

She can be contacted through her website at

Alma Alexander, the 'Duchess of Fantasy,' was born on the banks of an ancient river in a country which no longer exists. When she was ten, her family left Europe and moved to Africa. Since then she has lived in several countries on four continents and now lives in America with a husband she met on the Internet

She has written three million words in more than 20 books and one of her novels, "The Secrets of Jin-shei," has been published around the world in 14 languages. The heroine of her popular Young Adult Worldweavers series is as American as Harry Potter is British. The first book in another young adult series about a shape-shifting Were family will be published shortly.

When asked what she would be if she weren't a writer, she quotes Ursula LeGuin's answer to that question: "Dead."

Alma is a punaholic and a chronic worrier, one of those people who proves that real pessimists are truly born and not made. She is owned by a cat. She was born on the fifth day of July (the day after America), six years before man walked on the moon, which makes her a cancer according to the Western horoscope and a water rabbit according to the Chinese one.

Nov 13, 2015

We talk about InD'Scribe conference
her two books, November 22nd Book signing event in Ft. Meyers Florida between 1 and 4.
@bella623 on twitter
Facebook author page
Sherry Wingler, Wings of Darkness
Teema Maria Lacova, Blood Gifted
Louise White, The Calling

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