Pre-order The Last Wish of Sasha Cade and receive exclusive gifts!

I am so excited for my first hardcover book! This is also my first agented book, which makes it very special to me. To celebrate, I’m giving away exclusive swag to everyone who pre-orders The Last Wish of Sasha Cade. You can pre-order the hardback or paperback (both release on the same day) before October 1st, 2018, and fill out the form to receive the gifts.

Here’s what you get:

  • A signed bookmark
  • A sticker (it’s super cute)
  • A signed bookplate (personalized, if you want)
  • A wish bracelet.

I also have a grand prize that will be given to one winner chosen at random from all of the people who pre-order. Woot!

To find out more info, or to request your gifts, head over to my Pre-order page.

Why should you pre-order?

A high number of pre-orders tells bookstores that this book is in demand, and they’re more likely to order it for their store. Libraries (including schools) are more likely to order a copy, and most of all, it tells my publisher that they should take a chance on me with a second book deal. 🙂

Plus, you get all this cute swag!

And did you know that if you pre-order on Amazon, they will only charge you the lowest price? For example, books are priced at $17.99, but Amazon always discounts them (usually to around $12) when the book goes on sale. So, if you pre-order at $17.99, Amazon won’t charge your credit card until the book releases, and you’ll get the cheapest price they’re offering it for. It’s called the Pre-order Guarantee. Win win!

Interview with Alisha Sevigny, Author of Summer Constellations

 

I recently read an ARC of Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny and I loved it so much I had to make sure as many people as possible know about this young adult novel. So I reached out to her and got an interview.

Your new novel, SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS, releases on May 1st from KCP Loft. Tell me how you first got the idea for the book.

As a writer we are always pulling bits and pieces from our lives and this book is very close to home. I grew up in a large family in a pretty remote part of Canadian wilderness.  My parents couldn’t afford to fly us all out for family vacations every year so we did a lot of camping. I remember lots of road trips all over the countryside, alternately reading books in the back seat (didn’t get car sick back then) and scrapping with my sisters and brother in our massive suburban. “She’s on my side of the seat!” 😉

How long did it take you to write the first draft?

I’m a pretty slow writer and the first draft took a while. It’s hard to say because I’m one of those people who goes back and fixes things up as they write so by the time they’re done they have a pretty polished first draft (the con side being that it takes FOREVER). Maybe a year or two?

I absolutely love the campground setting. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

The campground is based on one just outside my hometown. The Pacific West Coast is magical and something everyone should check out once in their lives. The trees there are enormous old growth temperate rainforest and it’s very wild and rugged, but stunning.

Do you have any songs or playlists that remind you of the book?

I actually made a playlist for this book which I am putting on Spotify (once I figure out how). I tried to include songs that bring back those warm summer nights, swimming under the stars and first love…

How long have you been writing, and when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I used to write poetry then stopped once I got to university and learned how bad it was. I started up again after I had my first baby. I wrote my first book, KISSING FROGS, on paternity leave which we took in Panama (where the book is set) where I was inspired by local culture and myths. Canadians get one year off and my husband’s work topped up his salary so we were very lucky to do that. SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS was started after we took our second paternity leave in San Jose Del Cabo (we only have children so we can travel ;). There will be no more babies but hopefully lots more books!

If you could only take three books with you to a deserted island, what would they be?

Hmmm. Probably the first three of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager). I’ve read it over and over and find something new in it each time. She’s one of the best writers out there.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

I write anywhere, usually in the middle of chaos, but my favourite place is preferably on a balcony in a tropical country, where I can see or hear the ocean. We are an urban family in a big city and don’t own a house OR car which we make up for by trying to travel a bit more. I grew up surrounded by ocean and mountains and I really miss it and find nature stimulates my creativity.

If you could steal a fictional character and put them in one of your novels, who would it be?

Hmm, this is tough. I do have a MG series set in Ancient Egypt I’m working on and the main character Sesha, daughter to the Pharaoh’s royal physician, is a bit how I’d imagine Claire from Outlander would be (if she were a young girl who growing up in Ancient Egypt).

What’s next for you?

I’m also trying to finish my next YA contemporary called Palm of My Hand, about an intuitive palm reader and her mother, who’s a tarot-reading fortune teller. I’m pitching it as a pinch of Jane the Virgin meets Practical Magic.

 

Thanks, Alisha!

Want to know more about Summer Constellations? You can find it on Goodreads, or pre-order it on Amazon. I’m also giving away an advanced reading copy! Use the link below to enter by April 29th. Open internationally!

Giveaway

Enter to win an ARC of Summer Constellations. 

2018 Spring YASH is here!

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!

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 GREEN TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red 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 GREEN 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 April 8th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting Steven Dos Santos on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Steven dos Santos is author of THE TORCH KEEPER novels, a Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic series. Book One, THE CULLING, was released by FLUX Books in March of 2013, and named an American Library Association 2014 Rainbow List Top Ten Selection. His novel, DAGGER, a Young Adult Paranormal Espionage Adventure, was released by Evernight Teen in September 2015! He is a passionate advocate of LGBT rights.
 
Find out more information on Steven’s website here!
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
 

This is a deleted/alternate scene in The Culling, when malevolent Slade plunges the Recruits into the Sea, shortly after their first meeting. Originally, the entire second act of the novel depicted Lucian and the gang battling the elements, trying to reach the main compound as one big survival test. During revisions, the middle of the novel evolved into more of a training segment, which made greater sense, given the Recruits lack of military skills. Unfortunately, this little hallucinatory snippet, which highlights Lucian’s love for his mother and brother, Cole, as well as his fears, was lost on the cutting room floor.

 

I somersault through the air. My stomach roils as it struggles to keep up with the rest of me. Then I plunge down the same endless tunnel my mind’s been tumbling through ever since the last time I saw Cole on Recruitment Day, his face growing further and further away the more I reach out to him. Icy needles rip through my skin. Something punches the breath from my lungs. I try to gasp, but my mouth fills with salty ice.

So this is what it feels like to drown. Many times I thought death was a visitor to be welcomed, but now that it’s knocking at my door, I want to bolt the lock shut, run away, cower in some dark place where it won’t find me.  My body convulses.  Each jerk pumps fear into my veins. As the darkness envelops me, my last thought is that I’ve failed my little brother before I’ve even begun.

The blackness turns to a murky gray, growing lighter and lighter until my eyes squint

against bright sunshine.  I’m in a lush field, painted in the most vivid green I’ve ever seen.  Standing as tall as my eyes can see is The Lady from Cole’s story, her torch burning brightly, book clutched to her bosom.  She’s staring off at her gleaming city, a skyline of the tallest structures I’ve ever seen.

Then she turns her gaze on me. Huge eyes pierce my flesh.  I bow my head.

Shame washes over me. I’m unworthy to meet the benevolence seeking me out.

“Lucian,” her voice calls, and I shrink from its power. But I’m drawn to it like a tired sun

to the western sky.

When I gather enough courage to meet her eyes, she smiles at me. I gasp. It’s no longer

the Lady’s face. It’s my own mother’s. And nestled in her arm is a baby instead of a book.

A baby I know better than I know myself.

Cole.

My mother continues to beam. Though she’s no longer the size of a statue, she’s grander

than a thousand Ladies. Gliding toward me, she looks more beautiful and alive than I’ve ever seen. Her hair is long and full. Each strand imprisons the sun’s rays, unlike the scraggly gray patches that came away with each caress as she lay dying on that weathered cot.  Her cheeks swell with pink, not sunken and pasty.  But it’s her eyes that touch me the most. They’re vibrant and warm, filled with traces of something I’ve barely glimpsed in my sixteen years, let alone on my mother’s face.

Is that hope she’s looking at me with?

I want to throw my arms around her, ask her to forgive me for failing her and Dad and

losing Cole, let her know I can’t go on without her.

I can’t go on alone.

But she continues to beam at me, holding out the baby.

I take the infant from her and stare down at his face.  He’s so tiny, so helpless. He needs

When I look back up at my mother, she’s gone, as are The Lady, the City. Everything.  In panic, I turn back to the bundle in my arms, and find only an empty blanket.

He’s gone.  Cole’s gone and I’ll never see him again. The bright day surrenders to dusk, then night.

 

***
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me and several more authors! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 19Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the green team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
GIVEAWAY
I’m also hosting a giveaway on my blog! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a $10 Starbucks gift card, Swag from my new book, and a bookish decal from my Etsy shop!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! >> Austin Aslan

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade ARCs are here!

I can’t describe the feeling of getting a box of advanced copies of my book in the mail. If you don’t know what ARCs are, they’re “Advanced Review Copies” of a book, books printed and given out to marketing professionals, booksellers, librarians, bloggers — basically anyone who can help build early buzz for a book before its release day. Not every book gets physical ARCs. Some are digital ebooks only, posted to Netgalley or emailed to reviewers. Some books don’t get advance copies at all. That was the case with my first 4 book deals.

It might be silly, but getting a physical ARC of my book has been on my author bucket list for over a decade.  It’s something I’ve wanted for at least 13 years. For the last 10 years I’ve been actively pursuing it, writing bad novel after bad novel until they finally started to get a little good. I’ve seen countless authors post photos of their own ARCs over the years and I always wondered, will it ever happen to me? Will I ever get that book deal? Will I see my book in a bookstore? Do I have what it takes?

Honestly more often than not, I thought it was a hopeless dream, but I kept writing. I almost gave up, and then I got a digital book deal. Then a small publisher book deal. Then I got an agent, and now I’ll have hardback books in the bookstore this October.

I wasn’t one of those overnight successes, with debut novel fame, but I’m all the more grateful for this book because of it. There’s something so special about working hard for something and then finally getting it. Sometimes I can’t believe it actually happened, and then I think back to 10 years ago and the person I was, who also thought it would never happen. But I’m so glad the past me kept trying. If you had told me 10 years ago that it would take this long, I’d have probably quit. But that’s the great part about having a dream… every day you have just enough hope that it’ll come true, so you keep working for it. If this is you now, don’t give up. It might take a while, but that time is going to pass anyway, so keep dreaming. Keep working. You’ll be glad you did.

 

PS- Enter to win a copy before you can buy the book! I’m giving away a signed ARC on May 1st, 2018 to one person who signs up to my newsletter through this form. < Click this link and enter to win!

Cover Reveal for THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE!

Cover Reveal for THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE!

 

It’s HERE!

My beautiful cover for my new book is here! I am so excited to share it with you all. This book is the book of my heart, my favorite book baby of all time, and I was so thrilled that my publisher captured the heart of this book so perfectly with the cover.

You might not know it, but authors don’t get much of a say so in their book covers. We’re at the mercy of the publishers, and I got so lucky with my wonderful publisher KCP Loft!

I’ll stop babbling now… scroll down for the cover of THE LAST WISH OF SASHA CADE!

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ISN’T IT GORGEOUS?

Here’s the summary:

 

The day Raquel has been dreading for months has finally arrived. Sasha, her best friend in the whole world, has died of cancer. Overwhelmed and brokenhearted, Raquel can’t even imagine life without her.

And then a letter from Sasha arrives. Has she somehow found a way to communicate from beyond the grave?

In fact, Sasha spent her final weeks planning an elaborate scavenger hunt for the friend she would have to leave behind. When Raquel follows the instructions to return to Sasha’s grave, a mysterious stranger with striking eyes is waiting for her. There’s a secret attached to this boy that only Sasha – and now Raquel – knows.

This boy, Elijah, might be just who Raquel needs to help her move on from her terrible loss. But can Raquel remain true to herself while also honoring her friend’s final wish?

 

Pre-order today:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

What I’ve been reading while stuck on the couch

As you might know if you follow me on social media, I broke my ankle 2 days before Christmas. I had to get surgery, and plates and screws, the works. THEN, I was hospitalized when the surgery gave me 2 blood clots in my leg. It’s been a long, painful, boring, miserable 46 days, but I am finally at the point where I feel a little better every day. In 4 weeks, I’ll get to start walking with the boot cast! By summer, I’ll be fully walking again.

In the meantime, I’ve been tearing down my TBR list like crazy. I’m reading eBooks, real books, and listening to audiobooks at night while I work on puzzles. It’s all in an effort to pass the time until I can do normal things again, like laundry. (My wheelchair doesn’t fit in the laundry room. I haven’t even driven my car since last year, ya’ll.) As boring as it gets being homebound and stuck on my butt all day, I am loving the fact that I have time to read.

Here are some of my favorite reads! Some are new, some are old, and all are fantastic.

ROAD TO EUGENICA

This book actually releases TODAY but I got an early copy a couple of weeks ago. It’s a sci-fi romance that I’m completely obsessed with. And the best part? It’s the first in a series. BRING ON MORE!

 

OUTLANDER

I am SO late to the Outlander game. Truth be told, I actually started reading this book probably about 7ish years ago during the down times at my old day job. I don’t think I got more than 100 pages in before I gave up because historical books aren’t really my thing…. then, as time went on, I saw it everywhere, saw people I admire raving about it, and then noticed that there was a TV show, too. I decided to pick it back up again. And WHOA. I’m in love! The books are scary huge and there’s several more of them, but I’m ready for the challenge.

JOYRIDE

This one was a random library book I chose based on the cover alone. I mean, how cute is that? It ended up being a heartwrenching tale of a girl’s struggles to get her parents back into the US, and the boy she meets along the way. There was a thrillery ending that I didn’t see coming, and I was hooked. Check out JOYRIDE if you haven’t already.

 

FIRE IN ICE

FIRE IN ICE is another first in series book (YAY!) from my author friend Jenn. She sent me an early copy of it and I was totally hooked from the first chapter. It’s got superheroes, (we know I love them), romance, and it’s set in a more contemporary setting, so even if you think you don’t like sci-fi type novels, check this one out. It’s SO GOOD!

Next on my reading list:

THE SHADOW AND BONE TRILOGY

This is another series that’s been out a while, and I’m totally late to this as well. I actually read SIX OF CROWS and its sequel, CROOKED KINGDOM last year and fell so utterly head over heels in love with those books, it was insane. I can’t believe I waited so long to pick up that gorgeous hardback with the black pages from the bookstore. I saw it a million times and never read it until recently. The Shadow and Bone trilogy was actually published before Six of Crows, but it’s set in the same universe. I’m so excited and scared to dive in, because the way Bardugo hooked me the first time was pretty brutal. I’m pretty sure these books will also wrap around me and make me obsessed. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing, when you’re stuck on the couch for several more weeks!

Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments. I could use more recommendations!

My shaky start to 2018

It’s a new year.

It’s time for my annual goals blog post where I list out my professional and personal goals for the year, and eagerly and methodically tick them off one by one as the months go by. However, I’m finding myself stuck this time. That’s a first for me, the person who has a spreadsheet of my monthly budgets going back to 2011 and a closet organized in ROYGBIV color order. I am incredibly organized, put together, and always on top of things.

Until now.

I know my current predicament isn’t the end of the world, but it certainly feels like the end of happiness for a while. Two weeks ago, on Christmas eve eve, I was carrying an armload of wrapped presents down the stairs and I tripped and broke 2 bones in my ankle. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the horror I felt when I looked down and saw my ankle bent around the wrong way. My husband called 911, and I was taken to the ER and told I needed surgery. Pins and metal plates — the works. My doctor said I’ll be in a cast for at least 8 weeks and then several weeks of a walking cast and then several weeks of physical therapy after that.

Thanks to insurance being useless, my surgery was denied and cancelled the day before I was supposed to get it. We called dozens of surgeons and couldn’t find a single one in the Houston area who takes my marketplace insurance. Now, after 17 days of being stuck in a recliner in the living room, I’ll finally get the surgery I need to begin healing. Only I have to pay it all in cash.

And when I say “cash”, I mean “debt.” This has been painful, frustrating, infuriating, and depressing. I’ll be paying this off for years to come. As a full time writer, I don’t get the luxury of living off my book income alone. Book advances are few and small, and I spend most of that money on promoting my books. I have yet to receive any royalties on my traditionally published books because they haven’t earned out. I rely on money from my self published books and freelance writing to pay most of my bills.  I also substitute teach a few days a week, run an Etsy store, babysit, and live frugally.

When I checked my planner and saw that I’m due for a “2018 Goals Blog Post”, I felt completely empty. It’s January 7th. I should be finishing up writing chapter 7 of my new WIP that I should have outlined in the last week of December. I filled out my Passion Planner weeks ago and I should be checking off items on it every day. But I’m not. I haven’t done any of that. I haven’t written or outlined or even brainstormed because the pain meds make me too woozy to function. I had to put my Etsy shop on vacation for two weeks because I didn’t have the strength to make orders, and I lost 30% of my monthly income from losing my ability to substitute teach. By the time I can teach again, it’ll be time for summer break.

I feel totally lost. I have no idea how long I’ll be unable to work to the capacity that I normally do. I’m feeling my plans for the year slipping through my fingers, and I can’t seem to nail down any actual goals this time. My first hardback book releases in the fall, and by then I hope I’ll have my stuff together, but for now, I am just taking it one day at a time. One of my biggest fears is being realized, and that’s that I’ll have to find full time employment to pull myself out of bankruptcy, which will mean my writing career gets put on the back burner.

I do not feel that I’m in a place to ask for donations, but many people on Twitter have asked how they can help me during this unplanned downtime and financial crisis. The best way to help is to buy my books. That way you can help me keep my bills paid and also get something in return.

My favorite self-published novel is Motocross Me, a YA series about Hana Fisher, a 17 year old who moves to live with her dad on his famous dirt bike track. She quickly learns that the extreme sport is filled with hot guys, and soon not one, but two of them are racing for her attention. Click the link below to get Motocross Me in eBook, paperback, or audio:

books2read.com/MotocrossMe

 

 

 

 

My Etsy shop will be closed from Jan 8-9th while I recover from surgery, but if you’d like to place an order later, you can use the coupon code NOVA15 to get 15% off. I sell bookish decals and items and can custom make any decal you’d like. You can find my shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/NovaBookish

So that’s my New Year. Broken and laid up in a recliner for who knows how long. I am so grateful for everyone’s kind messages and words of encouragement. This is the first time I’ve ever broken a bone, and now I have two broken bones to contend with, but having bookish friends to chat with while I’m stuck here has been a total lifesaver. The book community is the best community and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

My 2018 has started off on a bad note, but I’m hopeful that it’ll turn around soon. Let me know your bookish or writerly goals in the comments. I need some inspiration!

xoxo,

Chey