Night Dares – A Blovel

Recently, for Pen & Muse’s Summer School, I wrote a piece for the Alternative Types of Writing segment called “What the Hell is a Blovel + Freebie Alert.” Essentially, a blovel is a novel you write on your blog. I included a ton of tidbits in that post and a freebie to help plan your blovel. So if you’re interested in starting your own, I highly recommend checking it out.

Anywho, I was so excited about the post, I decided that I was going to write my own blovel.

So here it folks. My blovel, NIGHT DARES. If you prefer reading on Wattpad or Penned, you can follow along there.


Title: Night Dares

Genre: YA horror

Summary: Six teens sneak out at night to play Night Dares – where they challenge each other to do dangerous and reckless things. When Kallie dares Jamie to go to the top floor of an abandoned Victorian house alone, Jamie is nervous. When she steps inside, she is not prepared for what she finds. Someone has been watching Jamie. Someone has been waiting.

A Note: Whether you love it or hate it, I’d love for you to comment and let me know. Encouragement and/or feedback is welcome! I’m just here to have fun with it!


Chapter One



“Go ahead, Jamie,” Kallie said with a sneer. She tucked a strand of long blond hair behind her ear. “You’re not scared are you?”

I rolled my eyes, like I wasn’t. But I was. Of course I was scared. Who wouldn’t be? We were on the outskirts of town, standing outside of an abandoned house at midnight.

We called them Night Dares. We met up a few nights a week, daring each other to do stupid things during the midnight hours.

Unsurpringly, Kallie chose me as the recipient of her dare tonight. My task was to venture to the attic of this dilapidated Victorian house and turn on my flashlight to signal that I made it

The truth was that I didn’t want to. I was scared. But Andy was here and his light brown eyes smiled at me, sparkling in the night. It was almost enough to make me feel like I wasn’t afraid. It was almost enough to make me believe I was fearless. But I wasn’t fearless. I’d always been afraid.

“You got this,” Andy assured me with a nod. He ran a hand through his messy brown hair before giving me a wink. “You’ve done worse.”

True. I had. There was that one time on the train tracks. Or that time on the bridge. I didn’t like to think about those nights. I mean, I was proud that I did those things. But it didn’t change the goose bumps that crawled up my flesh when I thought about it.

Too bad I couldn’t bring Andy with me inside the house. For protection, of course. Okay, and maybe so I could grab his hand when I got scared.  If everyone knew what a chicken I was, I was pretty sure that I’d never be asked back for another round of Night Dares again.

Kallie, Andy, Wednesday, Peter, and Ryder stared at me from the sidewalk.

“Right,” I said, motioning behind me at the house I really didn’t want to step foot in. “Okay, I’m just… gonna go then.”

Andy gave me a confident thumbs up. Wednesday looked bored. Ryder drew a line across his throat with his hand, implying that I wouldn’t make it out or I’d choke or something.

I turned, took a deep breath, and looked up. This decaying giant of a house had at least three stories. The paint was peeling and most of the windows were broken. I tilted my head all the way back to find the top room I’d need to make it to.

Wait. What was that? I could have sworn I saw something move in the window. It was there for only a moment. Now all that was left were sheer white curtains moving gently.

I turned back to the group. “Did you guys see that?”

“See what?” Peter asked, pulling his black beanie down over his curly red mop of hair.

“In the window,” I said pointing to the top floor.

Kallie crossed her arms and wore a sour expression on her face. “If you’re too scared, just say it.”

I shook my head. I couldn’t let her win.

Kallie and I had been good friends, but over the last six months I’d somehow turned into her favorite frenemy. I had a sneaking suspicion that it had something to do with Andy. In fact, she’d broken up with Andy for our high school’s star quarterback months ago. But when he dumped her a few weeks later, she came crawling back to Andy. But to my surprise, he didn’t take her back.

Kallie insisted that something must have been going on between the two of us to make him say no. The truth was, I’d been there for Andy as a friend. We’d talked a few times about how upset he was, but that was it. There was nothing going on between us. At least not yet.

“Come on Jamie,” Ryder snapped. “Hurry up, will you? I’ve got a good one planned for Kallie.”

Kallie’s face went white, as she glanced at Ryder with an expression that was begging for mercy.

We could usually fit three Night Dares into our midnight fun.  Ryder was right. I needed to suck it up and just do it. It’s not like it was my first dare. We’d been doing this for years. I just needed to do what I always did. Get in. Get out.

I inched forward, feeling my heart speed up with every porch step I climbed. The light from my flashlight wasn’t much help. The night was pitch black. There was no moon.

I should have stayed home.

I let out a shaky breath and placed my hand on the cool metal of the doorknob.

Here goes nothing.


Come back later this week for chapter two!

Thank you so much for reading!


I Love Julie Hutchings, Author Extraordinare

Do you know Julie Hutchings?

You know, this babe?

Julie Hutchings

Julie wears many hats. And not because she’s a shifty criminal with multiple identities trying to evade authorities (but she could be because she is that interesting.) Julie is a mom, author, blogger, writer, reader, encourager of people, pep-talker, advice giver, inappropriate joke-teller, and recipient of awkward text messages of my face.

17977192Her first novel RUNNING HOME  is phenomenal. She’s also participating in an anthology that I am editing and releasing this fall called The Dark Carnival. And what I’m most excited about, she’s currently writing a story about witches and it sounds like THE BEST NOVEL IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE AND I CAN’T WAIT TIL IT’S DONE.

Ahem. Anywho, what I’ve noticed is how amazing Julie is. She’s entirely honest and true. She’s encouraging when I need it. And damn, this chica is talented. So I asked myself, how can I show her how AMAZING she is?

And I realized, what could be better than a Friday celebration in Julie’s honor?

pizzaSo, take a slice of digital pizza, a glass of champagne (because pizza and champagne obviously go together), and let’s cheers to how amazing and incredible Julie is.

I’ll toast first.

And then to follow, when I told other people in secret that I was doing a Julie-is-awesome-post, they were just dying to give a toast to Julie too!

So raise your glass and follow along! Get ready to read what people had to say when I asked them the following question:

What do you love about Julie?


Julie Quote 1

Julie Quote 2

Julie quote 3


Julie Quote  5

Julie QUOTE 6



Julie Hutchings post



What do YOU love about Julie Hutchings? Why does she rock? Feel free to tweet her or leave your answer in the comments below!


With love and Julie tickles,



#ALAAC14 – Vegas ALA Conference

On Friday I took off of work, rented a car, and drove 8 hours to Las Vegas, NV to attend the annual ALA conference. ALA is the American Library Association’s annual conference and let me tell you, it’s one of the things I look most forward to every year!

This year, I drove up and stayed with my buddy (and awesome author Cara Elizabeth). Shout out to her for not only letting me stay over and cuddle her dogs, but for taking me to the best places to eat AND having shampoo that makes your hair super soft. Thumbs up. The Cara Elizabeth hotel is highly recommended.

At ALA, I’m a huge fan of the exhibit hall. In it you can find a ton of your favorite authors and snatch up some amazing upcoming books to read and review.

I took a lot of pictures, met a lot of my favorite authors, and got a ton of amazing new books that I can’t wait to share with you. So look out for a post on that soon!

Cara is so on top of things, she not only wrote a post about it, she’s going to be giving away a ton of the ARCs she left with. And I’m talking about the really popular ones! So keep an eye on her for sweet giveaways if you’re looking for some new reads or you’re part of #ALAleftbehind.

Oh, after the exhibit hall closed on Saturday, I drove the 30 minutes down to Barnes and Noble in Las Vegas and saw the awesome Fierce Reads panel, consisting of Jessica Brody, Caragh M. O’Brien, Josie Angelini, and Mary Pearson. They had some great things to say about books, writing, and wonderful writing advice like “Crap makes great fertilizer!” But more on that later too!

I just figured I’d update everyone in case you were ready to send out a search party. If I do go missing, going forward you are likely to find me buried in my ALA arc pile. Have no fear! I’ll be sharing some too!

Keep calm and read on!


Remnants of the Damned by Gavin Hetherington (and GIVEAWAY!)


I’m always looking for new horror books. Always. So imagine my excitement when I came across this novel, Remnants of the Damned by Gavin Hetherington at IFB Tours. Just look at the cover! Doesn’t it scream creepy? It looks like something out of my best worst nightmare!



About the book:

Witness the Birth of Fear.
There has always been something wrong with the sinister and secluded town of Lakefield View. For one, people get murdered on the streets and nobody does anything about it. Even if they hear their screams curse the night skies, the number of saints has diminished. But it isn’t the sick and twisted residents of Lakefield View that are the ones who you should avoid… it’s the killers, the psychopaths, the witches and the monsters you should watch out for.
Five unsuspecting workers of a picturesque café get the shock of their lives when a family member is killed before their eyes. A chain of events ensue and they are all catapulted down a spiralling road of mystery and magic, each struggling to overcome constant obstacles that threaten their lives and the safety of their families. As the mystery progresses and the secrets get darker, the friends find it harder and harder to keep their heads above water.
The only thing worse than being alone in the dark, is finding out you’re not!
Series: Abyssal Sanctuary #1
Release date: October 9th 2013
Purchase: Amazon

About the Author

Gavin Hetherington currently resides in the town of Gateshead in the United Kingdom. A literature fanatic of fantasy, Gavin began writing stories when he was young, mainly about witches and the supernatural.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see the rest of the tour schedule and reviews, check it out here!
Have you read this book? Do you have others like it you want to recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Escaped Artist (Untamed #3) Cover Reveal!

I read Untamed by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green and I loved it. A lot. In fact, you can see my rave review here. After I read Untamed, I wanted to shout from rooftops how much I loved it and just pace around a room until I could get my hands on the next installment. Well, the good news is, book two is out. It’s called Out of Control (Untamed #2) and I’ve just started reading it. Let me tell you, it is just as good as book number one, if not better!

And now, the incredible cover of book number three, Escaped Artist (Untamed #3) is being revealed today!

That’s right ladies and gents. It’s your lucky day. So grab hold of those undies so that they don’t fly off when you see the sexiness that is book three!

Behold Escaped Artist (Untamed #3)


Escaped Artist

Interested? (You should be, I’m telling you the writing in this is sexy, smart, and very clever.) Here is where you can find out more information on The Brothers Wilde and the Untamed series.

Twitter: @VG_Writes  @JinseyReese





Where To Buy


What do you think of the cover? Have you read any of the Untamed series? Let me know in the comments below!

Where in the World is Jolene Haley – April Update.

Where has the time gone? Seriously. I feel like last week it was December, and now it’s almost May.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve been so incredibly busy lately, and that’s why I feel like some of my time has been stolen out under my nose.

What have I been doing?


Lately I’ve read several books, you can check out what I’m reading on Goodreads. The most recent ones are Untamed by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green, The Babysitter I and II by R.L. Stine, and just started both the Pretty Little Liars series and Silver Heart by Victoria Green. I’ve been really lucky this April. All of them are exceptional reads.


I’m working on four different WIPs right now. One is for Camp NaNoWriMo, and I posted about it on my new project The Midnight Society (a blog for NA and YA horror). I’m also working on a secret project with the ever lovely Kristen Jett, and let me tell you, I can’t wait to share it. I’m writing another WIP about a roadtrip, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. And lastly but not least, I’m working on a project with the driven C. Elizabeth Vescio. So much goodness there.


As you all probably know, Pen & Muse is releasing our first anthology this fall, so I’ve been editing like a champ, all of the entries for the Dark Carnival Anthology. You can actually add it to your Goodreads list, here.


I’ve kind of left my blog lonely lately, haven’t I? Well, I assure you I’ve been blogging up a storm on Pen & Muse, The Midnight Society, and Pub Hub. On Pub Hub, I interview lots of awesome authors. It’s a blast! Over on The Midnight Society, I’ve written recently about Horrific Post-Its, Camp NaNoWriMo and my YA horror WIP, and the creepy story of The Smiling Man. Over at Pen & Muse, I reviewed Untamed (a book I loved SO much), I shared my excitement for upcoming release Wasteland, and I shared some awesome freebies for Camp NaNoWriMo (or for writers in general).


In addition to those things, I’ve been working my day job. It’s hectic right now. My boss went on vacation, which left me scrambling to tie up any loose ends, but at the end of the day, I take pride in working hard in order to play hard. In fact, I’ll share with you one of my favorite mottos.


Listening to Music

I’ve rekindled my love for Spotify, and I’ve made a ton of playlists for my WIPs to get me in the (writing) mood. Like this one for my Roadtrip WIP called ADVENTURE or this one for my NaNoWriMo WIP called Katherine in the Lighthouse. There are some seriously fun tunes in there, but both are very different.

30 Before 30

So I’m not thirty. In fact, I wont be for another three years, so I made a 30 Before 30 list, of thirty things to do before I’m thirty years old. Before I knew it, my list was fifty items long! Some of them include things like: picnic at midnight, get a tattoo, and be a pirate for a day. There are other items that I’m already looking to complete soon. One of the items is to do a Color Run, so I’m doing one coming up soon.

One Good Deed a Day

I bought this book for myself and I’ve already had a lot of fun doing things from here. If you don’t already know, one of my favorite books of all time, is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Stargirl lives to make herself happy and share it with others. She lives to celebrate everything in life, including the things that most would never think of. In it, Stargirl does a lot of really nice things for people who don’t appreciate it. And the book has actually inspired a series of Stargirl Societies out there, who do just that – acts of kindness and celebration. I feel like in some small way, this is my ode to Stargirl. Here is one of my favorite lines from that book. It’s about Stargirl.

Excerpt - Stargirl


What has everyone else been up to? Any good news or exciting news? Anyone else have a 30 before 30 list or love Stargirl like I do?

Let me know in the comments below!


Seasons in the Sun by Kristen Strassel Blog Tour & Exclusive Excerpt

It’s amazing to me, the success that Kristen Strassel has had since the initial publication of her debut novel Because the Night. Because the Night was published in November 2013 and it has caught on like wildfire. In such a short period of time, she has received almost 100 collective 4 and 5 ratings on her book. People have nothing but amazing things to say about it, such as this small snipper from the review of Jillian Marques on Goodreads, “Hmmm… Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. Need more? Ok, throw in some vampires. How about some mystery? Murder? Cliffhangers? Lust? Adrenaline? Obsession? Well, there you go. It’s all there.”

Imagine my excitement when I found out Kristen was releasing a prequel to Because the Night called Seasons in the Sun. It published in December 2013 and readers have been loving it. I loved it. Kristen Jett has an amazing blurb in her review on Goodreads that sums up this awesome YA novella:

Before the sex, blood, and rock ‘n roll, there was a summer spent on Martha’s Vineyard.
Before the boy became a vampire.
Before he became the hottest sex symbol with more groupie fans
Before Callie decided to save him from himself.
One summer changes everything. Seasons in the Sun. 

Seasons in the Sun Final

Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie’s sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn’t show anyone else. She’s determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she’s the one who’s wrong about him. He’s beyond her help. But it’s too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

Buy SEASONS IN THE SUN on Amazon (Only 99 cents this month!)

Add SEASONS IN THE SUN to your Goodreads!


Exclusive Excerpt from Seasons in the Sun

Keisha and Taryn had hit it off, and were chatting and laughing nonstop about things I couldn’t follow.  I guess it was just my day to feel out of place.  Tristan hadn’t brought anything with him to pass the time, no book, no iPod, and I could tell he was getting restless by the way he was fidgeting and looking around at everything.  I could see him out of the corner of my eye and it was distracting me from my reading.

Okay, I was watching him out of the corner of my eye and he was distracting my reading. Looking at him was way better than anything in my book. Before the other day, I thought people that looked like him only existed in books.

“So what do you do around here?”  He asked again.

“What do you mean?  I told you already.”

“For fun.” He smiled. I felt my cheeks redden, and not from the sun.

I looked around at all the people on the beach, who’d come from all over the world to enjoy this spot for their vacation.  They were relaxing in chairs, playing volleyball, swimming, digging in the sand.  I didn’t know how the answer wasn’t obvious to him.  “Um…this.”

“That’s it?”

“Pretty much.”

“Do you surf?”

“I swim.”

“I hear the surfing’s supposed to be pretty rad here.”

“I think people usually go up to Squibnocket.  I don’t think the waves are big enough for surfing here. That’s what I’ve heard, anyway.”

“Hmmm.” Tristan seemed disappointed.  “So working and laying in the sun, that’s it, huh?”

I didn’t think anything I said was going to impress Mr. California.  “Sometimes, I go see my dad’s band play, but other than that, yeah.  I guess I’m pretty boring.”

“No, you’re not boring,” I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks again.  “What kind of band does he play in?”

“A blues band.”

“Right on.”  Finally, Tristan seemed to approve.  “So you go to bars to see him?  I guess things do happen fast around here.”

“Well, restaurants.  I go with my parents, so it’s not like I’m doing anything too wild and crazy.”

“Yet.”  He smiled at me.

flagbannerseparator_zpsa7e40df5I found out that Seasons in the Sun is on sale this month for only 99 cents! What a steal! Make sure you pick it up while it’s on sale or at least add it to your To-Read list. You wont be disappointed.

Have you read Seasons in the Sun? Are you planning on picking it up? Let me know in the comments below!


Cover reveal: Perfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles

It always brings me great pleasure to help reveal new book covers. But because this is a book from the publisher I work for (Swoon Romance) and because it’s one of the authors I really admire (Lizzy Charles) it’s extra exciting to me.
Behold the glory of Perfectly Messy!
Perfectly Messy
Release Date: May 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
Popularity isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Justin Marshall
knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business
owner, and son of Minnesota’s next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming.
But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for
the man he’s trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen
kisses and whispered promises just aren’t enough. That is, until scandalous
photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal
during Justin’s dad’s gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play
for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect
her: he breaks her heart.

For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second
chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s
pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything.
Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the
one person he can’t live without.
Book One:


About the Author
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.
Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

Cover Reveal Organized by:

Cover Reveal: We Wont Feel A Thing by JC Lillis

When JC Lillis told me she had a new cover coming out I new I had to be involved. Why? Because for one, she’s an amazing author. Two, I loved her other book . And lastly, once I saw the cover, I was an uncontrollably mess of a person shouting, “OH MY GOD THIS COVER IS SO GORGEOUS I WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM MOUNTAINTOPS!!!”

So yeah, naturally, I wanted to be involved.

Here is the cover for We Wont Feel A Thing!

We Won't Feel a Thing


Title: We Won’t Feel a Thing

Genre: YA contemporary romantic fantasy

Book release date: March 31, 2014



Book blurb

Seventeen-year-old best friends Rachel and Riley are in forbidden love.

Their situation’s. . .complicated. And their timing couldn’t be worse—in just one month, he leaves for California and she starts college in New York. The absolute last thing they need is a reckless secret-love confession mucking up their perfect plans.

There’s only one logical option: scientific intervention.

Desperate for a quick fix, they sign up for WAVES, an experimental self-help program led by mysterious scientist David A. Kerning. He swears his Forbidden Love Module can turn passion back to safe platonic friendship in “six easy steps.”

But when you arm yourself with an untested program, side effects are unpredictable.

And sometimes when you fight love—love fights back.

We Won’t Feel a Thing on Goodreads

On Pinterest



About the book cover

I had this cover idea in my head pretty early on—the waves are a recurring image, and there’s also a Significant Umbrella in the story. I worked closely with my awesome cover designer, Mindy Dunn, who took the basic idea and made it beauteous. The book is whimsical and romantic (and hopefully funny), and I think the cover captures the tone really well. I hope you like it!


About the Author

JCL Author PhotoJ.C. Lillis lives in Baltimore with her patient family and a ragtag band of tropical fish, some of which will be dead by the time you read this. WE WON’T FEEL A THING is her second YA novel; she also wrote HOW TO REPAIR A MECHANICAL HEART, because she wanted to read a book about two sci-fi fanboys in love and there wasn’t one handy. She loves koi ponds, abandoned amusement parks, and peanut butter & banana sandwiches. She hates paper cuts, cabbage, and writing bios.


Find J.C. Lillis:

On Goodreads:

On Twitter:

On Facebook:

On Pinterest:

On the web:


Happy reading friends!


5 Free (and Gorgeous) WordPress Themes

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing how important it is to have a platform and some sort of social media site when you are an author or illustrator.

But even more important than having a social media site, is the look and feel of it. This site should represent you as an artist, an author, or a freelancer. Whether you’re looking for a WordPress theme to pair with your New Year’s outlook or you’re window shopping, here are five WordPress layouts that I found.

All are completely free and completely gorgeous.

5 Free (and Gorgeous) WordPress Themes


Sugar and Spice - I love this theme for it’s clean, yet feminine design. It’s actually the same theme that I have on my site currently. Below is a screenshot, but you can actually download it and preview it from it’s site. Check out this theme!



Balloons - This one is simple and some may find it too simple. I think it’s perfect for a beginner (or for a person who likes simplicity). You can find it and download it here.



WP Anniversary - This theme is a lot busier than the other two I posted, but I really like how much you can personalize this theme. Check it out here.



Asteria - I really like Asteria for how clean the WordPress theme is and I like the slider too. Check it out and download it for free here!




Stargazer - The creators of this theme call it “The Best Theme in the Universe.” It has a few impressive SEO Optimization tools and more. Check it out here.



What do you guys think?

What’s your favorite WordPress theme?