Monday, February 23, 2015


 The Monster's Scribbler
by Annie Rachel Cole

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Phoebe closed her eyes and chewed on her bottom lip, torn between the need to be invisible and the need to help the girl. She opened her eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly. 

She put her notebook and some of Madison’s books into stacks on the table. “You don’t need to apologize to her. She’s the one who pushed the bag under your feet,” she said to Madison. 

“I should’ve b-been w-watching where I w-was g-g-going.” Madison’s voice was soft and low. 

 “You did nothing wrong. Jayla shouldn’t be trying to get her kicks at your expense.”  

“Excuse me!” Jayla’s head bounced from side to side. “But you are not a part of this conversation. Besides, you were too busy writing in that notebook to even see what happened. So go away. Drop dead. Or something.” 

Heads bobbed up and down in agreement at her table. 

“I didn’t have to see it to know what you did. You’ve been pulling stunts like that since kindergarten,” said Phoebe. 

“I know you. You are a scribbler. Right?” Jayla’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “Loser!” She put her fingers in the shape of an “L” up to her forehead. The girls at her table roared with laughter. 

“At least I’m not a—what do you call yourself?” Phoebe paused tapping her finger on her head. “I remember now. At least I’m not a weregerbil. How low on the shifting chain is that?” 

Snickers flickered across the room, but everyone at Jayla’s table suddenly grew quiet, waiting to see what Jayla would do. 

Jayla turned several shades of red. “I don’t need this. There’s too many freaks on the this committee.” She grabbed her gym bag and stomped out of the room, followed closely by her gaggle of friends. 

Phoebe turned her attention to Madison. “Are you okay?” 

The other girl nodded and pushed at an imaginary pair of glasses. Realizing what she was doing, she quickly put down her hand. “Thanks. You didn’t have to do that.” 

Phoebe shrugged. “It wasn’t right what she did.” 

“Way to go, Wilson,” said a black-haired girl with a pierced lip and a silver studded dog collar around her neck. “Weregerbil. That’s a good one.” 

“Yeah, I’ll have to remember that,” said the girl sitting across from her. She was also dressed in black. “Who would have thought—weregerbil.” 

Murmurs of agreement and approval rose from different parts of the room. 

“Can I sit here?” asked Madison. She had collected the rest of her books. She looked at Phoebe with the expectation of being told to go somewhere else. 

Phoebe shrugged. “If you want to.” 

Madison put her books down and slid into the chair next to Phoebe. A huge smile covered her face. 

Phoebe handed her the books she picked up. Madison took them adding them to the stack that loomed in front of her like a wall. 

“I’m Madison Rose.” She held out her hand to Phoebe. 

A little reluctantly, Phoebe shook her hand. “Phoebe Wilson.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Questions About Writing

Over the years, I have taken classes on writing, read books on the subject, and have taught myself how to create outlines that work for me. All of these things have improved my writing style and techniques, and as a result some of the things I used to do have changed too.

Last week, a former student teacher sent me an email with several questions from one of her students. I thought I would share the questions and answers with you.

Egyptian writing. Photo by Annie Cole

How do you come up with character names?

I really don’t have a specific way of coming up with character names. Sometimes a name pops into my head and I start building a character around it. I also have a “running” list of names in my outline book. When I hear interesting names or see unique spellings I like, I jot them down. I also have a book of baby names and meanings. Knowing the meaning of a name is helpful when I’m looking for character names that will identify something about the character. On-line searches are also good for this too.

I just finish working on the outline for book 3 in the Children of Atlantis series. I’ve been searching for names for my Byssolarians (you briefly meet them in book 2). I wanted many of the names to have ties with the ocean or water.

For last names, I often grab the phone book and skim through it until I find something that clicks with my image of the character.

How do you finish/start a chapter?
It took me awhile to figure this out when I started writing. Is there a set formula? No. Here’s what works for me. A chapter is like a smaller story within the bigger story. It needs to have something of a beginning, middle, and closure, but lead into the next scene/incident. It must carry the bigger story forward. When I start a chapter, I try to get the action moving as quickly as possible. At the end of the chapter, I want to wrap up the scene, but leave some questions the character has to answer, or new information/danger the character has to deal with and that will move the story forward.

Resin copy of Rosetta Stone. Photo by Annie Cole
How do you come up with an opening to the story?
Think of the story as a movie. You want to get the story rolling, without doing a huge info dump. With Guardian of Atlantis, I wanted Raven in the awkward situation of being the new girl in the middle of the school year and then immediately give her more problems to deal with.

As for the info dump, spread what you need throughout the story. You will know a lot more about your story and characters than you actually put into the story.

How do you introduce the main character and make them seem interesting?
Have the main character in a typical situation that turns out not to be so typical, but leave the reader wanting to know more or wondering why this is happening to them.
For example:  Ravens bluish-black hair immediately gets her into trouble as soon as she walks into the school building. Why did the girl make the rude comment? Why is the teacher already picking on the new girl?

How do you deliver the main character’s description?
I try to spread the description out. Instead of telling you Raven has bluish-black hair, I have a student making a rude comment and a teacher taking her to the office for dying her hair. I also let you see some of Raven’s defiance in the conversation she has with the teacher. Don’t dump the info, spread it out in the story.

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Movies I Want to See

I have to confess. I didn't watch the Superbowl for the game. I watched it for the commercials, but what's sad is the only commercial I honestly remember is the movie trailer for the new Terminator movie.

Yelp, I caught that one.

It got me to thinking. What other movies are coming out this year that I might like?

Type in a search, and you come up with a list. Everything from fantasy to comedy to action adventure. I tend to go for the fantasy/sci-fi genre.  It has always been a favorite for me.

Two of the movies on my want to see list actually come out today.
  • Jupiter Ascending (fantasy/action)
  • Seventh Son (fantasy/adventure)

The other movies I want to see are:
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (fantasy/action) scheduled release on May 15
  • Jurassic World (fantasy/thriller) scheduled release on June 12
  • Terminator: Genisys (fantasy/action) scheduled release on July 1
  • Star Wars: Episode VII (fantasy/action) scheduled release on December 18
What movies are you looking forward to seeing this year?

Monday, January 19, 2015

BLOOD, MILK, and CHOCOLATE by Cameron Jace (Book Blitz and Giveaway)

 Blood, Milk, and Chocolate by Cameron Jace 
(The Grimm Diaries #3)
Publication date: January 19th 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult


I have been accused of being malicious and evil.

I, the Snow White Queen, have a story to tell.

The true story and what has really happened. How it all happened. Why the Brothers Grimm altered the truth, letting you think it was a fairy tale. When and how the tale took place. And above all, why I did what I did. Why you haven’t been told the truth for centuries. The truth about me and the truth about the not-so-innocent Snow White.

Here is my side of the story.

You will never look at Snow White the same way again.

 Available at AMAZON


The day I was born, a single red apple grew on a juniper tree in our castle's garden.

A Blood Apple.

It was a rare fruit; the most sought after in Europe at the time. An apple of unmatched sweetness and unearthly ripeness. Some claimed it could cure the sick and enrich the poor, grant children to the sterile, and keep the soul guarded from demonic possessions. Its rarity and taste made it comparable with gold and diamonds, if they were edible. There was a well-known saying: "A Blood Apple a day keeps all Sorrow away." Few people knew why the word "sorrow" had always been capitalized in this sentence. I learned why many years later.

The single, delicious Blood Apple that grew on my birthday was even rarer. This one was the first to grow in my homeland, Styria, in seven years.

A nameless witch—we did not speak her name—had cursed my homeland in Western Europe many years before. Every time a tree gave birth to an apple, it came out grey, rotten, and infested with worms. No amount of magic or prayers managed to lift up the curse. They said the witch was the mother of all witches, that she was darker than the darkest shades of night. For reasons beyond me, she had cursed us with no intention to relieve us from her wicked omen, ever.

All of this changed the day I blossomed from my mother's womb into this life. No one knew how it was possible, or why it happened. Everyone said I was going to be a special princess who'd prosper and grow and maybe rule Styria one day.

The servants in our castle drooled at the sight of the single red and ripe apple. They stared at it as if it were the fountain of youth that could quench their thirst and wet their seven-years-long dried souls. Some of the servants sank to their knees and thanked Pomona, the Goddess of Fruits whom no one had ever seen, for her blessings.

But only fools thanked Pomona, for the rest of our land knew it was me who had saved them. I possessed the power to defy "the witch whose name we don't speak."

The birth of me, Carmilla Karnstein, daughter of Theodora and Philip II, was a miracle like no other in centuries. I came to this world with a revelation, a sign, and some kind of rapture: the first Blood Apple in seven years.

Little did I know then that it wasn't a lucky coincidence, that I wasn't just a fairy tale made up by the poor and wishful peasants of Europe. How would I have known that I was part of the universe's plan in an eternal feud between good and evil?

The arrival of a beautiful child, the blossoming of apples, and the end of a curse were only a prelude to an epic tale of love and sorrow.


Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters. I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. 

The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales.     

I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.



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Friday, January 16, 2015

Cover Reveal: Everlost by Candace Knoebel

Today, I have the honor of revealing the cover for  
Everlost  by Candace Knoebel.  
Everlost, the 3rd book in The Night Watchmen series 
will be release this summer. 

About the Author

Candace Knoebel is the award-winning author of Born in Flames-book one in a young adult fantasy trilogy. She discovered in 2009 through lunch breaks and late nights after putting her kids to bed, a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. And an outlet for all the voices residing in her head.

Published by 48fourteen in 2012, Born in Flames went on to win Turning the Pages Book of the Year award in February of 2013. In January of 2014, the last book in the trilogy, From the Embers, was released, thusly completing the trilogy. She now works on the Night Watchmen Series, while guzzling Red Bulls and pretending to be a ninja on Heelys. 

Everlost by Candace Knoebel 
(Night Watchmen #3)
Publication date: Summer 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

About the Book

One truth will unravel them all.

Faye Middleton thought the worst had come to pass the night she and her friends barely escaped from Ethryeal City and the clutches of the evil Priestess Clara. Officially shunned from the Coven, Faye is forced to lay low in order to come up with a plan to bring Clara down.

At Jaxen’s childhood manor, they were supposed to be safe from any outside issues, and they were… until his long-lost mother shows up. Determined to win back what she lost so long ago, Evangeline reveals a secret that could shatter their beliefs, or be their saving grace.

Now, with two Covens searching for Faye, they must find a way to start over. With the help of the Rebellion, they begin the arduous task of forming their own army. However, the choices they are faced with leave them questioning everything they’ve ever known.

To Celebrate the Cover Reveal of Everlost, Everlasting is free today only at Amazon
Get your copy!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The New Year Goals

Plans for the New Year.

It doesn't matter what you call them, it all means the same--coming up with a list of things you want to accomplish.

For the days surrounding the New Year, the media was filled with articles on the topic of New Year's Resolutions. Even various television advertisements  jumped on the bandwagon, especially the ads for anything tied to fitness and weight loss.

Each year I set goals I want to achieve during the year. Here are my 2015 goals:
  • Write book 3 of The Children of Atlantis series. The outline is finished and I have finally started writing the story.
  • Outline book 4 of The Children of Atlantis series. I have a base idea for the story. I just need to work on the outline.
  • Edit book 2 of the Wisteria Mountain High series.
  • Write 4 to 5 blogs per month. I want to make it more interesting. If you have ideas you want to read about, let me know.
  • Work on the stress issues in my life.
  • Work on my weight issue.
It's not a long list of goals, but they will keep me busy this year.