Monday, November 18, 2013

CONTEST!!!!!!!!!!! (test run)

So, I've been a very negligent blogger recently. I could chalk it up to editing deadlines, but really it's life getting in the way. Between moving houses, a broken foot, the fall season, and the looming holidays, I'm lucky if I remember to bathe my children.

Juuuust kidding.

Kind of.

Anyway, with the holidays approaching who doesn't love having some extra cash to spend? How about a gift card giveaway (and I'll encourage you to save a bit of that cash to buy a copy of OBT in April yeah right)

Below are the fabulous little buttons I am giving away to promote Of Breakable Things. These are really for the new year, but I figure we might as well conduct a test run! December marks the FOUR month mark before the release of OBT, and four is my lucky number. I'm visiting some schools during the next few weeks, and so the contest rules are as follows:

Your fabulous name will be entered to win a gift card on DECEMBER 15th if you share a picture of yourself (or others... animals count and are actually encouraged) wearing the OBT button


1. Twitter
2. Instagram
3. Facebook

And if you wear the button during a YouTube video, you're entered twice. Just be sure to link me, so I can enter your name.

If I am not visiting your school or if you've seen me recently and haven't gotten a button, email me at, and I'm happy to send one to you.

Also, hold on to the those buttons. You'll need them come release day.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 13, 2013


"What is your book about?"

This question is agonizing. I can't seem to condense the plot of my novel into less than five minutes of explanation. Well, I can, but it doesn't seem to do it justice. And then I begin to jump around. My main character has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Most of the characters are dead. The characters can't see things until they are looking for them. Being 'spirited' is hereditary. There are so many aspects that make Of Breakable Things unique, and usually my synopsis ends up zigzagging from wall to wall like a ping pong ball.

I'm working on it. I promise. Until then, the easiest way to get a gist for what the book is all about? Check out the new book trailer on YouTube!


You can also check it out on my Goodreads author profile.

Happy Friday (the 13th)!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

YA Valentines Cover Reveal (part one)

2013 is halfway over, which means exciting times for 2014's debut authors! If you haven't already checked out the fun over at the YA Valentines clubhouse, you're missing out on GIVEAWAYS (yes, free stuff!!!), interviews, cupid's arrows, poems, videos, and cover reveals.

*record screeches to a stop*

Yes, that was cover reveals... plural.

It is my pleasure... show you

...the amazing new cover for the lovely Sara B. Larson's debut novel, DEFY! (You can get your hands on an actual copy this January!!)

Here's a bit about DEFY:

In the novel, the fiercest member of a prince's elite guard is actually a girl disguised as a boy, who gets embroiled in a deadly game of thrones while keeping her secret, and realizes she has far deeper feelings for the prince than she thought.

I know. Amazing, right??? And so, without further ado...

*Drum roll please*

Isn't it gorgeous???

So excited! Come on '14!

Check out DEFY on Goodreads!

Monday, April 22, 2013


Pretty Dark Nothing
Seventeen-year-old Quinn hadn’t slept a full night in twenty-three days. She’s terrified of the demons that stalk her dreams, pull her into a deep dark nothingness and whisper hauntingly of her death. Exhausted, Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, and Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. If Quinn can learn to trust her heart, and Aaron can discover the secret locked away in his fragile memory, their combined power could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
I'm so lucky to have Heather Reid on the blog today because it's her RELEASE DAY!!! PRETTY DARK NOTHING has officially hit the shelves!!
ALR: Heather, thank you so much for being here. I don't usually do this, but I have to begin with the cover. Absolutely breathtaking. Was it what you envisioned for PRETTY DARK NOTHING?

HLR: Yes, but better! I can’t tell you how much I love the cover. Mette Breth Klausen was the designer, and she captured the book perfectly. I actually cried when I saw it; it was so beautiful.

ALR: Can you tell us anything about PRETTY DARK NOTHING that isn't in the blurb?

HLR: Pretty Dark Nothing is full of demons, and I don’t mean the hot fallen angel, bad boy types. These demons are the evil, hairy, sulphurous kind, bent on manipulating and destroying Quinn’s life. Throw in some romantic sparks with a psychic amnesic, an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite get over, and suspension from the cheerleading squad for failing grades, all while the demons are pushing her to the brink of madness, and I hope it’s a recipe for something darkly paranormal and not quite typical.

ALR: My type of recipe. What was your inspiration for the novel?

HLR: I think the spark of inspiration for Pretty Dark Nothing has been brewing my whole life. As a child, I suffered from night terrors and sleep walking. Although I eventually grew out of the sleep walking, the nightmares never went away. I would dream of faceless entities and demons on a reoccurring basis. I spent my pre-teen years trying to rationalize my fear while I spent my nights huddled under my covers with a book and a flash light afraid to fall asleep for fear of what would greet me in my dreams. I kept this a secret from my friends and afraid of what they would think. The dark torture of my imagination lasted through three years of middle school and finally faded. I still don’t think my mother knows how terrified I was of falling asleep, and I have no idea why the nightmares stopped, maybe they were my way of coping with the stress of adolescence. I don’t know.
When I reached college, I went through a particularly bad time in my life, suffered from depression, illness and the nightmares returned. I wasn’t frightened like I was when I was young; I recognized them for what they were. We all have inner demons we battle, those voices that tell us we’re not good enough, taunt us, paralyze us with fear. That’s when the idea for a novel started to form. I asked myself what would happen if those negative voices, those inner demons, weren’t imagined. What would happen if they were real, and they started to manifest outside the dream world? What if they influenced things around us, and what if you were the only one that could see them? That’s when Quinn and the idea for Pretty Dark Nothing were born. I didn’t start writing Pretty Dark Nothing right away. I did some character sketches and jotted down some notes, while I spent the next several years writing short stories and articles. But Quinn’s story wouldn’t let me go. When I finally decided to give my full attention to her, she blew me away. Quinn and I battled the demons that tortured her together, and in the process, she taught me how to battle my own.

ALR: Can you tell us a bit about the road to publication?

HLR: At the age of four, I started dictating stories to my mother, who would illustrate them for me. By the age of nine, I was writing plays for friends and binding my own picture books with cardboard and string.  At eleven, I tried my hand at a first novel. (No, you can’t read it. It’s buried in a deep dark hole somewhere in the Tasmanian Outback and guarded by a three-headed dingo.)


It was then that I told my parents I wanted to be published by the age of sixteen. I also told them I wanted to be Wonder Woman, a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, a Broadway star, and an archaeologist. Those dreams faded. I never did get that invisible jet, and I would be a lot older than sixteen before I got a publishing deal, but the dream of being a writer stayed with me. After college I decided to stop dreaming and start getting serious. I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, joined a writer’s group, read books on writing, went to conferences, workshops, and most importantly, I started writing every day. Some of it was crap. Ok, at first, a lot of it was crap, but writing takes work. After over twelve years of studying, writing, and querying, my first young adult novel, Pretty Dark Nothing, sold in a two book deal to Month9Books. It’s been an amazing journey, and I’m still learning.

ALR: I've been waiting (not so) patiently for April 23rd to finally arrive. How do you plan to celebrate your release day?

HLR: I’m going to the Cheesecake Factory with my family to celebrate.

ALR: What projects are you working on now?

HLR: I’m working on the sequel to Pretty Dark Nothing, along with another YA and a dark fantasy trilogy for the adult market. I have so many ideas running around in my head that I wonder if I’ll ever get around to getting them all on paper.

ALR: Since your debut is YA, what books inspired you as a teen?

HLR: A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L Engle was a huge inspiration. (ALR's eyes fondly drift over to A Wrinkle In Time, sitting five feet away on her shelf.)

I also loved Christopher Pike Novels, VC Andrews, and Jean M Auel. I also read a lot of ‘true’ ghost stories and books about haunted places. Oh, and let’s not forget Tolkien.

ALR: We would get along marvelously. Okay, now for some random questions... 

If you could meet one book character, who would you choose?

HLR: Mr. Darcy

ALR: What's your kryptonite?

HLR: Ice Cream

ALR: One thing you can't live without?

HLR: My Kindle

ALR: Complete the sentence: Writing is...
HLR: ...some days it’s like walking naked through a thorn bush. Other days it’s like  getting a new puppy and winning a lifetime supply of chocolate at the same time.

ALR: Complete the sentence: Reading is...

HLR: ...the best way to see the world, both real and imagined.

Well said.
Heather, thank you so much for taking the time to swing by the blog! Best of luck, and congratulations!!!

Heather ReidHeather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and dreaming up new novels to write.

You can visit Heather's website or blog or find her online via Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Month 9 Books is a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens… where nothing is as it seems. Month9Books will donate proceeds from each of its annual charity anthologies to a deserving charity. Individually, authors may donate his or her advances and royalties to a charitable organization. Month9Books will also release 10-12 non-charitable titles annually. GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is Month9Books’s first Middle Grade release. Month9Books is distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG. You may visit www.month9books.comfor more information.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


What I learned from Read Across America at CHS...



-Kids will do anything to get out of class. This includes wearing a giant Clifford costume.


-There are amazing teenagers out there, ones who volunteer to write articles, who participate in book clubs even though it's "social suicide"(their words, not mine) and who spend their afternoons making goodie bags for presenters.

-Many teens prefer to read (and write) Fan Fiction. Especially because it's free.

-So many teenagers enjoy writing, but they are afraid to share it. They create personas on writing websites like Wattpad and FanFiction.

-People ridicule Twilight while secretly wearing their Team Edward shirts under their clothes.

-Storytellers steal the spotlight. I suppose animation is in their job description, however.
(The amazing Ming Diaz painting faces in between storytelling performances)

-Horror is in.

-Teens love free stuff! (Who doesn't??)

(Students with their Month9Books swag)

-When participating in a panel at a school, include students. They offer fresh and honest opinions.

-I'm out of shape when it comes to adding an entire school day to my life. Exhausting.
-Meeting other authors is so refreshing. Much love for Brigid Kemmerer. She rocked her presentation. (And she was smart enough to bring candy for the kids...)
-School still begins way too early in the morning.
-I will always miss teaching.
-And finally: Media Specialists deserve higher salaries. (Shout out to Geri Cvetic at Chesapeake High School. She's the real deal. Those kids are incredibly lucky to have her.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Next Best Thing Blog Hop

It's The Next Best Thing Blog Hop, and I've been tagged! Thank you, Phil Siegel, my fellow YA Valentine, whose YA debut, THE BREAK-UP ARTIST, will be released May 2014 by Harlequin Teen!

My turn:

1. What is the working title of your book?


2. Where did the idea come from?

I dug deep on this one because I don't think I've ever truly answered this question. Usually, I just tell the story about my sleep-hating son who forced me to make up stories while I incessantly rocked him. But that doesn't really explain how the idea came to me, does it?

There are so many things in my life I can't control- the weather, sickness, tragedy. Having children makes this fear all the more daunting. But when I'm writing, I control the world. I control everything. So what was the most powerful thing I could tackle? Death, I guess.

OBT is a nonconventional 'life after death' story. The main character is broken in more ways than one. But, I could invent a world where she could be fixed both mentally and physically. Fixed, and then some.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

YA paranormal

4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For Alex Ash, give me Twiggy (Lesley Lawson) at 17.

The boys? They are whoever you would like for them to be:

...although I can't deny there is a hint of Chace Crawford in their genetics. It's in the smile.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A girl meets death with opens arms in order to find her lost love, only to find her lost history and hidden strength along the way.

6. Is your book self published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Of Breakable Things will be published spring 2014 by Month9Books.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Originally, I didn't write Of Breakable Things to be published; I wrote it to get the story out of my head. I only worked on it maybe once or twice a week if I had time. So, I wrote for about a year until the entire 800 pages left me alone. Needless to say, once I decided to take a stab at submission, I needed to take a (few hundred) stabs at the word count.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Let's be difficult and go with authors instead. Mix in a little Victoria Schwab with a dash of Sarah Dessen, and a sprinkle of Madeleine L'Engle.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See questions 2 and 7.

10. What else about your book might pique the readers interest?

Without body, Alex is left with mind and spirit. And without the boundaries of a physical shell, her mind can produce some radical things. Emotions inhabit everything from air to objects to words, and Alex can't see (or understand) many aspects of the world until she knows to look for them. In a world the mind can manipulate, it is difficult to understand reality, but Alex learns that love can withstand the cracks, and perspective might be the most breakable thing of all.

I'm tagging Bethany Crandell, the fabulous writer of the upcoming debut, SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS! My sister in agently crime, OneFour KidLit, and YA Valentines!

And I'm also going to tag my fellow Month9Books author, Vanessa Barger, whose debut YA, A WHISPERED DARKNESS, will be published in spring 2014! Here's her author page!

YA Valentines

Confessions of a bookaholic: My prediction is that in 2014, I will need to file for bankruptcy. The cause? The ridiculously insane amount of money I will spend on the new titles being released.

To cope, I can turn my worrisome head in the direction of some embarrassing dares, interviews, book chats, and other shenanigans involving bookishly nerdy love. I'm talking about this hilarious, little group of debut writers: the YA Valentines!

2014... 2/14... all sorts of adorable. Head over to check out the website, and if you're feeling especially vicious this morning, shoot a "cupid's arrow".  You want to know what that is??? Click on the link!
Spoiler Alert: There are already two arrows posted, and they involve singing, mermaids, rapping, and cookies. No, I didn't make that up.

There have also been some totally fab interviews, so if you haven't already clicked out of my lame little blog to check it out, do it now!

Oh, but just in case you're still here :) Today, there's a cover rave involving yours truly!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Interview with author Shannon Duffy

This morning I am fortunate to be hosting Shannon Duffy, author of the fabulous new middle grade fantasy, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA!

Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of Valta is a magical, fast-paced story that takes readers on a journey they won’t soon forget. It has enough mystery, intrigue and wonder to keep readers up, lamp lit, and reading into the night.

ALR: Shannon, thank you so much for joining me today! Congratulations on the release last week! How has everything been so far?

SD: With the anticipation of the release over, I'm still excited/nervous to see how my little story will be perceived. It's a whole journey, and I love it all.

ALR: I'm thrilled to have a new adventure series to recommend to the middle graders in my life. Can you tell us a bit about the book?

SD: Gabriel Stone is a sixth grader and while hiking with his two best friends, Brent and Piper, he finds a magical crystal. After getting sucked into a dying parallel world, they are sent on a quest to save Valta. But this quest comes with a lot of danger along the way and if they don’t succeed, Valta will die and they’ll never get back home to Willow Creek again.

ALR: How did the idea for Gabriel Stone come to you?

SD: Well, once I decided to write a book for my son Gabriel, the idea was just there, honestly. I know that sounds weird, and I did plot more out as I went along, but the basic story was just there waiting to be told.

ALR: And when readers flip to the final page of your novel, what do you want them to feel?

SD: I hope they feel both satisfied and longing for the sequel to the story, GABRIEL STONE AND THE WRATH OF THE SOLARIANS.

ALR: What has been your favorite part of the publication process?

SD: One of the best parts is seeing your cover for the first time. It’s such an adrenaline rush to see your book come to life before your eyes. I think I may have even cried.

ALR: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

SD: Don’t give up if this is something you truly love, take a writing course, find critique partners, read, and practice, practice, practice. And if you can afford to hire a freelance editor, even better. It’s like having your own personal coach. Be patient, and above all, have fun with it!

ALR: Anything you can share with us about what you're working on now?

SD: I'm currently working on a contemporary thriller that I'm having fun with.

ALR: Okay, some random quick picks!
If your life was a song, which one would it be?

SD: Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

ALR: Pick one superpower.

SD: Definitely to heal sickness and disease.

ALR: If you could go back in time, where/when would you go?

SD: To see my grandmother. I’d tell her how much I love and miss her and get in one last hug.

ALR: Shannon, thank you so much for taking the time to swing by the blog today! Congratulations again, and I can't wait to continue the journey with Gabriel in The Wrath of the Solarians!

About Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of Valta:

Gabriel Stone is a twelve-year-old boy still reeling from the unsolved disappearance of his mother. With a dad who’s hard to relate to, and mounting pressures at school, Gabriel lets off steam by hiking in the place where his mother was last seen. There, Gabe and friends find a crystal that proves not only beautiful, but magical beyond their wildest dreams. Only, magic and beauty come with a price: in order to return home, they must save the dying world of Valta.

GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is perfect for the classroom. Reading and Teacher Guides are available. Contact Caroline Patty at: educationm9b@gmail.comto request guides. GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA also makes a great gift for readers ages 9 and up who enjoy fantasy stories like THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and THE BRIDGE TO TARABITHIA.


Shannon Duffy grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada, and now lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and son, Gabriel. She’s mom to one boy, and several pets. Shannon loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions: shopping. Shannon Duffy is available for quotes, signings, video or podcast appearances, and all opportunities relative to GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA.

GABRIEL STONE AND THE WRATH OF THE SOLARIAN, Book 2 in the Gabriel Stone series will be available from Month9Books in February 2014!

Month 9 Books is a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens… where nothing is as it seems. Month9Books will donate proceeds from each of its annual charity anthologies to a deserving charity. Individually, authors may donate his or her advances and royalties to a charitable organization. Month9Books will also release 10-12 non-charitable titles annually. GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is Month9Books’s first Middle Grade release. Month9Books is distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG. You may visit www.month9books.comfor more information.
Goodreads Month9Books:
Month9Books Blogger Central:
Month9Books Facebook:!/month9books
Month9Books Twitter:
Month9Books Publishing Website: 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Interview with author Lisa M. Basso


Psychiatry, fantasy and real life come together in A Shimmer of Angels, as a young girl struggles with identity, secrets, and confronting her greatest fears. A Shimmer of Angels is for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, or perhaps has felt like giving up entirely. It touches on themes of suicide, ostracism and emotional pain. The author, personally exposed to suicide through the death of a beloved family member, will donate a percentage of sales of this novel to a suicide prevention and outreach program in San Francisco, California.

ALR: Lisa, thank you so much for being here! I imagine you were anticipating 2013 and the release of your debut novel! Did you make a New Year's resolution?
LMB: I'm usually not one for New Year's resolutions, so I didn't make one this year, but I did make a promise to myself this year. Work harder. Last year I spent a lot of time working, taking my writing to the next level, but I also spent a lot of time trying to find a balance between work and personal. This year I had a new challenge. Get as much done as I can. So far this year, I've worked on two blog tours, lived through the release of my first book, A SHIMMER OF ANGELS, and turned the second book in the Angel Sight trilogy in to my editor for revisions. So now I'm working on plotting the third and final book in the series. Not bad since it's only February.

ALR: Busy lady! A lot of people, myself included, were anticipating this release. Can you tell us a bit about the book?

LMB: A SHIMMER OF ANGELS is about sixteen-year-old Rayna who has been plagued with seeing men with wings, lost in a non-stop rotating door of therapists and mental hospitals, for several years, until her family moves to San Francisco and the sightings stop. Three months later, when Ray is just getting comfortable in her new life, she sees a set of wings on a new boy in her class on the same day one of her classmates turns up dead. Now Ray has to decide if she's willing to risk her sanity and her normal life to find out more about this boy and if he had anything to do with the death at her school.

ALR: I'm crazy about  stories that deal a bit with psychosis (pun completely intended). I don't want you to give away too many details, but when readers flip to the final page of your novel, what do you want them to feel?
LMB: After that last page, I'm hoping the readers feel the weight of what's happened to Rayna and everyone in her life. I don't want the readers to be sad by any means, but I do hope they are curious and wary and optimistic for what may happen in book two, because I sure have more up my sleeve. Cue evil laugh.

ALR: Ahem, I just have to say here...

So... are you Team Cam or Team Kade?

LMB: Aah! That's such a tough question. I'll wuss out and say I'm Team Rayna :)

ALR: A SLITHER OF HOPE, Book 2 in the ANGEL SIGHT series, will be available from Month9Books in February 2014! So, you are reliving the publication process all over again. What was your favorite part the first time around?
LMB: So far, I've enjoyed every part of the publication process. Yes, even the many rounds of revisions and rewrites. Maybe seeing the finalized cover for the first time. Since the cover is just as important as the back cover copy, it was a really big deal to me and my publisher that we get it right. And let me tell you, they got it so right. Ten minutes after I saw it, every computer in my house had the cover for A SHIMMER OF ANGELS up on the desktop. 

ALR: Writing a novel is an arduous process. Who or what inspires you?
LMB: My mom is a huge inspiration to me. She's always been the dedicated, hard-working type. While staying focused on her job and family, she also makes time for her friends and co-workers. She has the biggest heart and is the smartest, strongest woman I know.

Okay! Time for some random quick-pick responses:
ALR: What would you do if you won the lottery?
LMB: This would be fan-flippin'-tastic! I would quit my day job, but never writing, and travel, setting novels in all the places I've been.

ALR: If your life was a song, which one would it be?
LMB: Be Yourself by Audioslave. It isn't my favorite song in the world, but I love the message. As a teenager it took me a long time to find myself and be comfortable being who I really am. I use this song to remind me to be true to myself always.

ALR: If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
LMB: Teleportation. I hate flying with a capital H. But I love to travel. Thus, teleportation would be wonderful. Anyone offering it up as a possibility? No...well, not yet at least. Who knows, the future could be filled with anything.

ALR: If you could go back in time, where/when would you go?
LMB: I'd go back about twenty years and spend more time with my brother. He passed away when I was young and even another minute with him would last a lifetime in my mind.


Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?


Author of THE IRON WITCH, Karen Mahoney, says, “A SHIMMER OF ANGELS has a courageous heroine who finds herself in the middle of two gorgeous angels, a fascinating world, and a story that builds to an exciting climax - I'll be looking forward to more from Lisa M. Basso!"


Lisa M. Basso was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She is a lover of books, video games, animals, and baking (not baking with animals though). As a child she would crawl into worlds of her own creation and get lost for hours. Her love for YA fiction started with a simple school reading assignment: S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. When not reading or writing she can usually be found at home with The Best Boyfriend that Ever Lived ™ and her two darling (and sometimes evil) cats, Kitties A and B. Lisa M. Basso is available for quotes, signings, video or podcast appearances, and all opportunities relative to A SHIMMER OF ANGELS.

Visit Lisa online at:

Goodreads Lisa M. Basso:
Lisa M. Basso Facebook:!/pages/Lisa-M-Basso/340213186037936?fref=ts
Lisa M. Basso Twitter:
Lisa M. Basso Website:


Month 9 Books is a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens… where nothing is as it seems. Month9Books will donate proceeds from each of its annual charity anthologies to a deserving charity. Individually, authors may donate his or her advances and royalties to a charitable organization. Month9Books will also release 10-12 non-charitable titles annually. A SHIMMER OF ANGELS is Month9Books’s first Young Adult release. Month9Books is distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG. You may visit for more information.

Goodreads Month9Books:
Month9Books Blogger Central:
Month9Books Facebook:!/month9books
Month9Books Twitter:
Month9Books Publishing Website:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cover Reveal!

Of Breakable Things.

The title was originally Ashes to Ashes with respect to the phrase from the Anglican burial service. Furthermore, the main character's surname is Ash in association with the Ash tree, known sometimes as the "World Tree", which spans between this world and the next. I figured the symbolism was fitting in a story about the afterlife, so much so that I wanted the title to reflect it. But my publisher was right (as they tend to be). The title itself didn't have enough character.

Upon renaming the manuscript, I instantly envisioned a cover littered with glass shards and a flicker of an eye or a face in the reflection. In my wildest dreams, however, I couldn't have imagined an image so completely perfect for this story.

Here it is!

Please, also head over to the Goodreads page to check it out there:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Of Breakable Things and EDS

When people ask about Of Breakable Things, and I tell them that most of my characters are dead, their reactions are priceless. It wasn't my intention for this to happen, but as the story played out in my head the main character was ill and would die young. This made her who she was, and there were no miracles to save her.

What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome? I had no clue until I started researching. Of Breakable Things is about the fragility of life and love and perception. But Alex is the epitome of something breakable, and it wasn't until I stumbled upon this disorder that I knew I'd found something as symbolic as her.

It's difficult to describe in layman's terms, so I requested approval from the powers that be, and (rubbing hands together) here is a small clip from Of Breakable Things! We'll see if the scene makes the cut because I've altered the point of view since my edits arrived. This one is written from the perspective of Alex's best friend, Chase, as an eight year old:

He couldn’t fathom the idea that his best friend was sick. She had too much energy. When he stood next to her he could feel it like the static electricity he learned about in science class. So then how could she somehow have less life than he did?

He knew it was called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and he’d heard Alex’s doctor say things like type IV  and vascular and dangerous. He knew Alex’s mother had been sick with it, too. And her mother was dead.

                “They don’t look any different to me,” Chase whispered to his mother. That morning they had driven into the city so Alex could attend some sort of meeting. There was a huge banner outside the Baltimore Convention Center that read Learning Conference: Living with EDS. His brother, Jonas, had snorted and told Alex she was going to a freak show. Chase had punched him in the belly, and to his shock and amazement, his mother turned her head without scolding him. And now sitting outside the convention center, the people walking inside didn’t look strange at all.

                 “There are different kinds of EDS,” his mom explained, ruffling his hair. “Some are worse than others.”

                “Worse than Alex’s?”

                She shifted on the bench. “No. Alex has the worst kind.”

                Chase frowned. “She doesn’t look sick.”

                “That’s because most of it is inside her body.” She pointed to his arm. “You have tissues in there.”

                He made a face.

                “Not the kind you use to blow your nose. Your tissues hold your body together. Alex’s tissues don’t work quite as well as yours.”

                No kidding. One time he pulled on her arm to get her attention and her shoulder fell out of its socket. He cried the entire way to the hospital because he’d hurt her.

                “In our tissues we have something called collagen. And if collagen is like the glue of body, the normal person has liquid cement and Alex has cheap Elmer’s glue.”

                “Is that why Jonas says that Alex was assembled at Kmart?”

                His mother rolled her eyes. “Probably, but Jonas really shouldn’t say that. Remind me to speak to him about that.”

                Chase fiddled with the Velcro on the pocket of his shorts. “I still don’t get it.”


                “Why is it such a big a deal?”

                “Tissues support your skin which is why Alex bruises easily. And they hold your bones together which is why hers are more likely to break.”

                “But broken bones don’t kill you,” he argued. “Why did her mom die?”

                His mother’s face crumbled, and he felt that pang in his chest when he knew he’d said something wrong.

                “I’m sorry.”

                “No, don’t be sorry. I just miss her.” After a few moments, she cleared her throat. “Um, well, tissues also support your organs. Like your heart, that’s an organ. The things inside you that keep you alive, if they aren’t supported properly, you could bleed inside your body. That’s what happened to Alex’s mommy when Alex was born. They couldn’t stop the bleeding.”

                “Is that why her dad hates her?”

                “He doesn’t hate her."

                Chase looked at his mom doubtfully, but quickly shifted his attention as several people exited the convention center. His heart fluttered in hope, but his friend wasn’t among them. He couldn’t believe his mother made him stay out here instead of going in with Alex. This was all Miss Petra’s fault. Their teacher was the one to suggest that Alex’s friendship with the Lasalles might be detrimental to her health. She was always trying to put them in separate groups during class or encouraging Alex to hang out with the other girls during recess. Thankfully, Alex didn’t like being told what to do, and she ignored the suggestions. But within the past few months, Alex had broken three different bones during their adventures with his brothers. So her dumb doctor recommended she meet other kids who were “limited” like her.

                A selfish part of him wanted Alex to come screaming out of that door. Usually they joked about her illness. They would look at the bruises on her arms and laugh about what they saw… like lying in the grass and finding images in the clouds, only these clouds were stormy. She was going to be sick no matter what, so what good would it do to sit around and talk about it? Alex wouldn’t enjoy this experience. Or at least that’s what he hoped. After all, he needed her as much as she needed him.

 She just never understood that.


It's one thing to write about it, but things become completely real when the photo of a gorgeous little girl is staring back at you with a caption about her illness. A friend of mine sent me a link to a Facebook page entitled Prayers for Baylee because she recognized the name of the disorder from my description of Alex Ash. Baylee was diagnosed with isolated NK cell deficiency and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The site is meant to generate thoughts and prayers for this little girl and her family, but apparently many people are sending gifts and cards as well.


When I showed Baylee's picture to my son while we made a card, he exclaimed, "She looks like Kara!" And yes, she does resemble a friend from his preschool class, and that makes the situation even harder to swallow. I've never met this girl; I don't know her family. But to look at her photo, my heart clenches. Please take a moment to 'like' her page or to just say a prayer. Wristbands are available for purchase on their site to help with her medical expenses, but apparently cards are welcome, and prayers are the purpose.


May God bless this little angel.

Prayers for Baylee:

Twitter: @prayersforBayle

To learn more about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: