Thursday, June 14, 2012


YES!!!!! We're releasing an all new Taken by Storm ebook. And here's the brand new cover. This is Storm's third cover. I love this one. It feels much more like Michael and Leesie to me. What do you think?

So, why a new ebook? I get to have my talented son, Rob, design a new cover, for one. Plus, the old Taken by Storm ebook is unreadable unless you download it to a big computer screen. (Picture me with a cartoon red face and steam blasting out of my ears.) Not good. Penguin still controls that one. My wonderful agent convinced them to return the rights to me, so I can produce this new ebook that has fully scalable fonts and works on all devices--from smart phones to iPods to Kindles. All you need is a free Kindle app. We'll release a paperback with this cover, too.

I added a special bonus poem, "Airport Good-bye." It fits between Storm and Unbroken Connection. I wrote it for Michelle at Windowpane Memoirs who launched the "Don't Break the Connection" blog campaign.    

The ebook is not on sale yet, but you (or a friend because I know you all have copies of Storm) can score a free  ebook if you participate in Kathy Sokol's book bomb for her new ebook, Caribbean Crossroads, today. Scroll down for details. There's lots more great free gifts, too. This is my first ever book bomb! Let's do our best to make it rock.

Celebrate the release of CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS by Connie Sokol with a special price today!

 I have a special offer for you—it’s only good for today—Thursday, June 14, 2012. Purchase CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS  from for only $1.99. Then email with your order confirmation/receipt. Once Rachelle receives your order details, she will email you an amazing selection of over 10 free gifts from Connie Sokol and several others!

 Here’s what’s in store when you purchase CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS  today:
(All items will be emailed to you from Rachelle after she receives your order confirmation.) You can purchase the Kindle Edition HERE for $1.99 today! Paperback also available.
To celebrate the launch of her new romance novel, Connie Sokol- author, speaker, and life coach is offering two incredible free gifts when you purchase CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS TODAY. 

  • ·         You’ll receive a free Ebook of Life is Too Short for One Hair Color-- A humorous collection of anecdotes and helpful tips to survive being a woman, wife, and mother. Laugh a little, lighten up a lot, and take something from each story to practically and positively help you change your life and perspective–one tip at a time.

  • ·         Mp3 file of Get Organized -- Need extra hours in the day? You can find them today! Learn how to realistically streamline repetitive tasks such as bill paying, laundry, meal planning and cooking to create FREE hours for what you need most. Discover a fabulous organization formula to use in ANY area of your life for more effective time management. Get organized and stay organized to enjoy a more fulfilling life!

  • ·         Shear Luck free ebook by Heather Justesen—a romance novella-- When salon manager Chelsea Robison walks into the restaurant next door, she's surprised to run into her teenage crush Vaughn Krenshaw. Though he is still mourning his wife's death, he can't help but take a chance and ask her out. As things start getting serious, family pressure about dating again, and rumors from his past surface, making the chance for happily ever after look farther than ever.

  • · offers the ultimate money management spreadsheet! Create and monitor your budget. A free alternative to Quicken.

  • ·         TheSeedtouch--An Epic Fantasy Romance by Rebecca Lyn Shelley
 When Keil's father succumbs to dementia, she disguises herself as a man to save her family. But her quest is threatened when she accidentally bonds with a man who has traded all his wealth and land for the addictive drug, tam. Furious, she rejects her new bondmate and takes control of the landholding that she believes will keep her family safe.  But the tam is spreading and will soon destroy not only her land but also all life if she cannot find a way to stop it. Like it or not, she's forced to team up with her bondmate to save their world. 

  • ·         Angela Morrison is the author of Sing me to Sleep, 2010 Goodreads Choice Nominee and USA Best Books 2011 winner for Young Adult Fiction, and the critically acclaimed Taken by Storm saga. Her free gift: All-new Taken by Storm ebook. 

Mormon girl, Leesie, has life figured out until devastated Michael lands on her doorstep. Originally published by Penguin, this intimate novel is a rare journey into a Mormon teen's inner life. Ebook includes a never before published scene and free chapter from Unbroken Connection (Book #2). Follow Angela's new "liv2writ" blog at

  • ·         Enjoy the incredible YA Paranormal Bestseller--Bound   by Christine Bryant.
     When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with.

  • Three free ebooks from award-winning author Karen HooverThe Sapphire Flute ( Book 1 of The Wolfchild Saga) Seven Keys and seven guardians born to save a dying world.  AND
  The Armor of Light (Book 2 of the Wolfchild Saga), TheMisadventures of a Teenage Wizard, Book 1: Two Souls are Better Than One
Chased by dragons. Saved by a Pegasus. Sharing his mouth with a wizardly spirit.

  • ·         Amy Chandler’s free gift offering--Where are your photos? Sign up today for a FREE account and get those photos out of a box, off your computer and into 100% customizable beautiful books your whole family will cherish!

Why a book bomb? A book bomb is when a large group of people purchase a certain book on a specific day on Amazon. This pushes the book's popularity up the Amazon ranks, which in turn gives the book more visibility to Amazon shoppers. That’s the goal today for CARIBBEANCROSSROADS. Grab your copy and help us celebrate! Just remember to email Rachelle with your order receipt! 

So feel free to pass this on to your friends and shout it out on FB, Twitter, etc. We’d like as many people as possible to benefit from these bonus gifts. Connie is giving an extra gift to you just for spreading the word about the book bomb. Visit and click on the green button to share for a FREE audio download of "CoachCast: Joy In Womanhood"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Michael's First Words

I've got some exciting news that I'm bursting to tell you. Tune in tomorrow for the big reveal.

For now, enjoy how Michael transformed from questions in my brain to words on the page. He surprised me!

Vermont College and Answers
from "Storm's Story" on
Monday, April 14, 2008

In July of 2002, I started to discover the answers to the questions that kept swirling in my brain.

The summer before, I’d gone to SCBWI’s LA conference. I came away impressed that I needed to professionalize my writing skills and start taking myself seriously as an artist. I began searching and discovered Vermont College’s amazing low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. Here was a master’s program, devoted to the children’s/YA field, that I could do while being a mom in London, Ontario.

The toughest thing about the application was finding a writer to recommend me. I had zero contacts and connections. No critique group. No SCBWI friends in Canada. My academic contacts were stone cold. But I sat by an lovely woman in LA who had given me her card and lots of encouragement, Naomia Zucker (BENNO’S BEAR). She was kind enough to write a recommendation for me. Voila! I got in.

The keystone of the VC experience is the two weeks spent in residency prior to the intense semester spent studying one on one with some of the best writers in our field.  My first residency was July 2002. I was nervous and scared and fell absolutely in love with everyone and everything (except the mean girl clique and the dorm beds). The lectures, the workshop experience, my wonderful classmates. Wow. Overnight I had a writing community. In that very first residency I got to hear Katherine Patterson, Karen Hesse, Tobin Anderson, Norma Fox Mazer, and many more.

The graduate assistants ran a session to introduce the new students to free writing. We were told to remember a sound, to put our pen to the page, and not stop until they called time.

Michael’s voice flowed out of my pen and filled up the page.  Here’s what he said:

I jump in and start breathing through my reg. The sound of sucking in, blowing out fills my head. My gut tightens like it always does. Sploosh. Swoosh. Bubbles flow out the back. Face down. Air out. Descent. Suck in. Long count. Don’t hold it. Blow out, blow out, blow out, smooth and slow. My bubbles interrupt the deep blue serenity of the world below. Then a short blast of air for buoyancy control. Quiet fin strokes. Arms glued at my side. The ocean of wonders opens to my view. Coral fronds of orange yellow pink green sway . . .

It’s just a rough free-write, but here it is. The first hint of the guy whose voice would haunt me with his story for months and months that turned to years and years.

This is the scan of the actual free write. I gave the original to BYU when I donated my papers to their special manuscript collection.

Since then, I've become a huge fan of free writes. I use them all the time--especially when I'm stuck. I give myself an assignment, put it beside my bed, and in the morning right after I wake up pick it up and scribble away. Visit my new liv2writ blog for a rambling post on free writing

Monday, June 11, 2012

How Michael came to inhabit my brain

One of the miracles of creating fiction is characters. None have haunted me quite like Michael. Here's how he came to inhabit my brain.

Hurricane on the Horizon
from "Storm's Story" on
Thurs., April 10, 2008

A few years ago my husband and I were diving off Cozumel, Mexico. We had sunshine at first, but halfway through the trip the weather turned nasty. Dark skies. Rain. We still dove. Nothing much stops a boatful of determined divers.

This is me and my hubby on that trip.

We headed out in the rain, joking around and relaxing into the easy camaraderie that divers share.  We started out with a deep wall dive. Darker than usual, but still cool.

In Cozumel, there are always currents. Rather than fight them, divers float with the flow and the boat follows. When our tanks empty, the guide releases an orange marker and the boat, meets us up top. You don’t have to work very hard. Just float and enjoy the scenery. I tend to get cold if I’m not kicking. I’m a swimmer at heart so I like to kick.

After the first dive, we huddled in the boat getting rained on. My teeth chattered away. We’d gone deep, about a hundred feet, so we had to wait an hour to lower the amount of nitrogen in our blood before we could go down again. (Technical dive term: off-gassing. More than you wanted to know? Sorry. I won’t tell you about the guys peeing off the back.)

This is the boat we dove on in Cozumel 
To the south of us the sky was a thick bank of wicked clouds. A newsy guy who had just arrived informed us that our rain and those clouds were what was left of a hurricane that had just hit Belize. “Category 4,” he said. “It hit a boat of divers, and they all drowned.”

None of us believed him. Divers don’t drown. And no one would be out in a hurricane. Rain, sure. But a hurricane? That’s insane.

He insisted it had happened. And he was right. A live-aboard boat docked in what they thought was a safe port. They were wrong.

Over the next several months, I followed the story closely. I found news articles on the internet and watched the memorial grow on the website of the dive club who had chartered the boat and lost so many. I felt a kinship with those dead divers. The clouds that killed them rained on me, too.

I began asking myself, “What if?” What if the only survivor of a similar fictional accident was a guy whose parents drowned.  How did he survive? What happened to him after? Who would he live with now? Where would he go?

And, most important, who would love him?