My Guest: Rebecca Ryals Russell

Let me introduce you to Rebecca Ryals Russell, another guest hopping along the Muse Blog-a-Thon Trail. After you read about her writing, you will be treated to an interesting and surprising aspect of her life.

Rebecca is well known as the Yellow Hat Writer. Hey, Rebecca, where’s the yellow hat? Never mind, the one you’re wearing is lovely.

Rebecca writes MG and YA Dark Fantasy and Horror while living with her family in a Victorian house on five acres of North Florida countryside. She also runs a Vacation Rental Log House on the property: Florida Black Bear Cabin. ( )

She is a fourth generation Floridian. She was born in Gainesville, grew up in Sunrise, lived in Orlando and Jacksonville before moving outside Lake City to care for ailing parents.

The daughter of an Elementary-school principal and secretary, for fourteen years she taught Middle Grades, preferring English and Creative Writing. She had several students’ works published in anthologies as well as her own poetry, photography and stories. Her main interests are her four children ages 22, 19, 17, 11 and Irish hubby of 35 years. She enjoys spending her time writing, drawing, going to movies, reading, discussing philosophy with her 17-year-old son.

Over the course of the next few years she has several books being published.

Be sure to check out the special interactive Middle Grade Reader website for tons of information about Stardust Warriors as well as the other projects Rebecca has in the works.

Leave a comment for Rebecca’s posting. One commenter will be chosen at random to win a FREE ebook or other PRIZE, such as an illustrated calendar, keychain, cover art notepad. You can’t win if you don’t comment. More details available at

Rebecca is adept at creating complete worlds (steam punk) for her fantasy series, The Seraphym Wars. Here are glimpses into some of Rebecca’s books.


14-year old Zarena spends time with a Holy Order of Clerics on their hidden world of Revrum Natura, while she receives training in Martial Arts, Herbology, Astronomy, Weaponry and Mind Control. Destined to become the leader of the Vigorios, child warriors, who will assist the Seraphym in the war against the demon-dragons of Dracwald, Zarena grows up in a hurry. Lonely and homesick, she meets a Mermaid who encourages her to talk about her training. Is this new friend too good to be true? Zarena learns a valuable lesson about trust and betrayal—a lesson that will serve her well as leader of the Vigorios.

I regret to say I could not get the cover of Prophesy to download.


For centuries the residents of Solsyl lived in peace and harmony with the planet. Then the dragon-demons arrived, causing the Great Shuddering. Majikals from everywhere scurried to find shelter from the evil while humans hid. Laud regretted his rash decision of exiling the demons on Solsyl and asked one of his advisors, a member of The Conscientia, to protect his people. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of Revrum Natura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. But Narciss, ruler of Tartarus and King of the demons, desperately wants what Jeremiah has sworn to protect—a Prophecy of Narciss’s future doom. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible.

But forever is a long time to protect something without ever letting down one’s guard.


17-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, struggling with inner demons resulting from an attack when she was 15, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s recent murder as well as many other atrocities in the news. She meets sweet and sensitive Michael, who explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen warriors with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. He accompanies her on the quest, but harbors a secret past that ironically would destroy all the faith she has placed in him. A handsomely roguish Scientist with suspect motives haunts her dreams and makes sudden appearances in unlikely places, while a sensual dragon warrior defends her against her will.

Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?




April 2011-Odessa, Seraphym Wars YA Series-available at Amazon

July 2011-Zarena, Stardust Warriors MG Series

September 2011-Prophecy, Seraphym Wars

October 2011-Don’t Make Marty Mad (adult Horror story)

November 2011-Jeremiah, Stardust Warriors

January 2012-Harpies, Seraphym Wars

February 2012-Laman, Stardust Warriors

April 2012-Mercy, Stardust Warriors

June 2012-Magaelbash, Stardust Warriors


You are going to enjoy reading about the memorabilia Rebecca would put in a garage sale.

I just can’t believe she could really part with this stuff. It’s worth more than money; although, some of it is probably worth a lot of moola. 

Both of my parents died recently, as in the last seven years; so I’ve had to deal with getting rid of a lifetime’s accumulation of their stuff. And both were ‘collectors’, so there was A LOT of stuff. I still have some I haven’t been able to sell, but will soon because I’m tired of dealing with it. So one day I thought. “What about having a Teenaged Garage Sale? How fun to recall the things that were so important to me at the time.” And so, here’s my list. Now remember, I grew up in the 1960’s, graduated from high school in 1974. So some of this stuff will sound completely alien to you and some of it, I realized while making the list, is popular again. How funny is that?

Mounted 1000 piece puzzle of Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings

12-string acoustic guitar

Several notebooks filled with poetry and short stories

A few old 35mm cameras

Several photo albums of black & white photos, artistically shot

Brown leather wedge chunky high-heeled shoes, quite worn

Dark purple hip-hugger double-flared bell bottom jeans with a wide brown leather belt

Nylon multicolored halter top that ties behind the neck and at the waist, worn with white hotpants and no bra

Black fishnet stockings and shiny black knee-high boots

Wild and colorfully flowered button-up tunic with a split from bottom to bellybutton and matching hotpants (short shorts)

Pucca shell necklace just like Drew’s (who sat in front of me in English Lit and I had a major crush on; he was a surfer and wore sandals to school!)

Flower-Power sheer bedroom curtains and matching bedspread; neon pink, lemon yellow, lime green flowers the size of my hand

Iggy Dolls (trolls) with neon hair and brush

Clip-on roller skates and key (These clipped to the bottom of your shoes, then slid to fit and tightened with a key. But after going about three feet would have to be tightened again; over and over.)

The Monkeys, The Beatles,  vinyl albums and portable record player

Homemade, quilted, full-length skirt with elastic waist. (Made by my mother for Christmas when I was about 12, I lived in this skirt all winter—it was like a blanket. I think I still have it someplace in the closet.)

Buick Special painted turquoise blue with a black roof, no AC (rubber-bladed fan on dashboard),  family owned (bought from Grandpa for $800 earned on my first part-time job working Saturday mornings as a claims taker for Allstate Insurance Co.),  3 foot-long ‘Go Turtle’ decals on both rear fenders (ordered from Turtle Wax car wax company), Ooga horn installed by Daddy.


Rebecca, thanks for visiting us at Stories a la Mode today. This blog is certainly in a different mode.

My Guest: Barbara Ehrentreu

Today we have with us on the Muse Blog Tour—Barbara Ehrentreu. During this past year, I have been getting to know and like Barbara, even though it is an online friendship. We aren’t just sisters in the Muse Family. Our books were accepted at the same time and Lea announced that the Muse “was being invaded by the Barbaras.” So we have kept up with each other through emails and on the Muse Gab Room and the Muse Author’s Site. We were both biting our nails hoping we would get permission to use quotes from Dr. Seuss in our books. And we did get the permissions. Wheeeeuuu!!! Welcome, Barbara.


Barbara lives in Stamford, Connecticut, with her husband and two grown daughters, but she spent most of her life in New York State. She is a retired teacher who now tutors children who have learning difficulties. Since she was a little girl, she has loved reading and writing. A few years ago, she received her Masters in Reading and Writing K-12 and became a certified Reading teacher.

Barbara stays very busy and wears lots of hats. She hosts Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children’s story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online. She writes book reviews for and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity Café. She is a member of SCBWI.

When she wanted to attend a workshop with Paula Danziger as the leader, she wrote three chapter of a YA story that just popped into her head. When Paula took an interest in working with her story, she was thrilled and decided it had merit. So in the next two years, she worked on finishing it.

The book became If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor and it has recently been published by MuseItUp Publishing. This is what Barbara says about Muse:

Being a part of MuseItUp Publishing has brought me another online family and I am thrilled to be one of the increasingly large members of this warm and encouraging group.

Well, mates, I’m here to tell you that Barbara has a winner here. I have just started reading the book and am just getting into the conflict. Already I can tell that Barbara knows a lot about the teen mind and the situations that come up in high school. There are issues and also some romance.


Here is an excerpt from Barbara’s novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, a young adult novel about the trials of being high school students.

 “If you have been checked on your somersault, you can jog around the gym until the bell rings.” Miss Gaylon is going to be nominated most annoying teacher in the whole school soon.

Why do we have to run now? Did I have any energy to do this?

Jennifer and I start to run, but soon she forges ahead of me. Is this a race, I wonder? Or am I so slow, she can pass me anytime she wants to? We’re halfway around the gym when suddenly I see Jennifer starting to slow down. She stops running and starts to walk. She looks almost white, and I wonder if she is really sick.

“Jennifer, are you okay?” I pass her at a slow trot.

“Just tired I guess. All of a sudden I felt a little faint. Don’t laugh. It can happen to anyone.”

“Did you forget to breathe as you ran? That could cause it.”

“Very funny, Carolyn; did I forget to breathe?”

“I thought it was. Do you need to see the nurse?”

“No, I’m fine, but I’d like to sit down.”

“There’s Miss Gaylon. I’m sure if you tell her you don’t feel well, she’ll let you.”

“This is funny. Now it’s me who needs to go to the nurse, but I’ll be okay. Just need to sit down. Once I do, I’ll be all right.”

Jennifer slows down, and soon she’s stopped completely. I look at her, and she looks way too pale. I grab her around the waist and walk her over to the bleachers. Miss Gaylon notices and comes over immediately. Jennifer looks dazed.

“Jennifer Taylor, are you sick? You don’t look good at all.”

“Miss Gaylon, I think she hurt her foot, twisted her ankle, but she’s okay now. I’ll stay here and check on her.”

“Let me see that ankle. Hmm, it doesn’t look swollen. You will be fine in a few minutes. The bell is going to ring soon. You stay there, and in a few minutes go get changed.”

“Thanks, Miss Gaylon. I’m feeling much better now.”

Jennifer looks at me with surprise and happiness.

“You are always amazing me, Carolyn. I guess I should have eaten a little more at lunch. Now I remember. I got sick after breakfast today, too. No wonder I have no energy. Thanks for helping me. I might have fainted if you hadn’t brought me over here.”

Across the gym, Becky and her partner are staring over at Jennifer and me. Becky mouths to me, “What happened?”

I mouth back, “She’s sick and needs to rest.”

“Are your plans off?” Becky keeps miming to me.

“No, she’s feeling much better now, must be her period.” This is the last lie I want to tell

Becky today. All of the lies I have told seem to be lying in a puddle at my feet.

The bell rings for the end of the period, and I race toward my locker. I change in a flash and run down the hallway to my other locker. I grab my books and streak down to the front door.

Meanwhile, I scan the halls for Brad. I don’t want to bump into him again.

I’m in a fog racing toward the front door. Brad comes from the staircase, and we are

separated by a hundredth of an inch. This time we meet face to face in the middle of the front hallway. Jennifer walks out of the gym looking a little frazzled. Jennifer Taylor looking frazzled?

The end of the world is coming. Brad sees her and walks straight over like a guided missile. “Jennifer, you look awful. What happened?”

“Brad, I’m so glad to see you. I felt sick in gym, but it’s probably not eating enough for

lunch. We had to run, and I couldn’t keep going. Do you know who helped me though? She’s like my savior—Carolyn. She got me over to a seat, and I didn’t even have to go to the nurse. What a girl.” She smiles at me. Even better, Brad smiles at me, too.

“Jennifer, it’s the least I could do for you,” I say. “Now we’re even, right?”

“Yeah, I guess we are. See you outside in a few minutes. You’re ready I hope?”

“Yes, I zoomed over and got my stuff. How about you? Are you feeling okay now? We

could postpone this you know.” I keep my fingers crossed.

“No, I’ll be fine. You’re coming over, and we’ll study, okay?”

I look at Jennifer and wonder why she didn’t tell him about the makeover.

“What do you mean you’re studying? I thought we were going to spend tonight together.”

Brad sticks out his bottom lip and pouts.

“Tomorrow night, I’ll go out with you. Remember, my parents only allow me one night a

week for dates.”

“Okay, I’ll call you tomorrow and see you tomorrow night.”

“Thank you, Brad. You do understand don’t you?” Jennifer purrs to him, rubbing her hands up and down his arm. Brad puts his arms around her and gives her a big hug. Jennifer gets up on her tiptoes and kisses him on the cheek. I’m way too jealous to continue watching this sappy scene.

I walk outside and try to forget what I just saw. Brad will never like me the way he likes

Jennifer. I don’t think she cares about him as much as he likes her, but she can sure twist him around her finger. I want to learn how to do that, too. One minute he’s angry and sullen, the next he’s hugging her. For the fifty thousandth time in my life, I wish I could.

Barbara, that is a teasing example of your story that leaves us wondering what is going to happen to these three youngsters. We just gotta find out!

Thanks for being with us today. And hey, everybody, I’m over at Barbara’s blog, also. Please drop in and learn about an aspect of Wounds—the quotes at the beginning of each chapter.


My Guest: Lawna Mackie









I’m pleased to welcome Lawna Mackie today, continuing the MuseItUp Blog-a-thon of young adult and middle grade authors. Lawna has written a fantasy titled Enchantment with some very unusual characters.

Lawna, suppose you tell us about yourself.

I have always believed in fairy tales and when I got tired of the old ones I made up my own. Each story would have a hero and heroine, but they were anything but typical.

I devoured my first romance novel when I was a teenager. I couldn’t read them fast enough. Years later I stumbled across my first paranormal romance…an injustice would be done if I tried to explain my joy when I found this genre of romance. My passion was finally in print.

Now, with the help of my bizarre dreams and crazy imagination, I have started to write and intend to share my stories with you. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

I am truly blessed. My husband is my inspiration and soul mate. We live on a small acreage in Didsbury, Alberta, with our most beloved companions, Dozer, Daisy and Mandarin.

Happy reading everyone and please stop by to visit me.

IMPOSSIBLE TO HOLD – December 19, 2011 released through Liquid Silver Books

ENCHANTMENT – January 13, 2012 released through Muse It Up Publishing

Interview with character, Threeo 

We have a new character for you to meet today…and a very interesting character at that.

Welcome, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself, and where do you come from?

Hello everyone. My name is Threeo and I’m a Hippo-Dog-Burrowing Owl from the world of Enchantment.

Well Threeo, that’s quite a mouthful. Exactly what is a Hippo-Dog-Burrowing Owl?

I resemble all three earthly creatures. I have a small hippopotamus body, and fluffy dog tail, and my head is the burrowing owl. I was created by magic.

I see. Can you tell us a little about your world of Enchantment?

Enchantment is a great world, or at least it was until she arrived. I have visions, so I knew she would come. Enchantment doesn’t allow foreigners of any sort. My master is the Enforcer for the world and he was supposed to get rid of her.

Oh my! That sounds harsh. How was he to “get rid of her”? And who exactly is she?

Meeka came to Enchantment from earth. She fell in the water and somehow managed to cross the dimension and into Enchantment. Most creatures die. Kerrigan, my master should have sent her back, but he was scared she’d perish. What he didn’t know at that time was that she is a very powerful sorceress.

Tell us more about your life Threeo.

Okay, well, like I said Kerrigan is my master, I’ve been with him for a very long time. Oh…I also have babies. Baby Threeo’s! They are born in glass tubes and I raise them. When they are old enough they go to live with others like Kerrigan. The babies really like Meeka. Kerrigan’s parents Todd and Paddy Beaver are my favorites to visit. Paddy always has treats for Threeo.

“Beaver” you almost make that sound like they are Beavers?

Yes, they are beavers, but not like your human beavers. They adopted Kerrigan as a baby. Kerrigan is actually a dragon.

So what is happening in Enchantment these days?

{He shakes his head} It’s very scary in Enchantment. I’ve had a dream that Meeka kills Kerrigan, and she destroys the world. 

Really? Is Meeka that type of person?

No, she’s not that type of person, but an evil Enchantment Counselor is going to try to capture her. If my vision is correct she will become a weapon of destruction. Kerrigan will try to protect her. They have feelings for one another.

It sounds scary Threeo. I hope your visions don’t come true. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Enchantment?

I think everyone would like our world. It’s beautiful. We have seven moons, which are actually like your sun, but the seven moons are a different color each day, making our world change color daily. We have pixies in Pixie Field, and we also spend time at Funny Fish Lake. We have Itchits and Fur Balls…everything is magical. Thanks for talking to me I do have a tendency to talk a lot. I really hope you’ll enjoy Enchantment.

Threeo, how could we not enjoy Enchantment with such an amazing cast of characters? I’m so glad you and Lawna came to visit us today. Have fun on the rest of your blog tour.

I’ll see you tomorrow on Lawna’s blog:


Hi Everyone,

No Monday Metaphor today, as I’m very busy with the Muse Young Adult and Middle Grade Authors Blogathon.

Here is where I will be appearing as guest: Monday, September 12 on Brian Knight’s blog,    Please visit and leave a comment and tweet. I didn’t mean to give the impression that this is part of the Blogathon; Brian is not a children’s writer.


Here is news from my other publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing.

Lynda Burch says, “Guardian Angel Publishing’s global presence will continue to grow as Ingram Content Group, both Guardian Angel’s innovative printer and distributor, partner and purchase more facilities around the world.”

Lynda S. Burch, Publisher


Ingram Content Group announces worldwide expansion with the launch of Global CONNECT, a print and distribution program and its first alliance with Brazil’s Singular Digital.


A colleague of mine at Guardian Angel Publishing, Nicole Weaver, at one time interned in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center for a few summers. Her book, My Birthday is September Eleven, is doing very well at Amazon. She also wrote a post on September 11 (yesterday)

 If any of you read her book to your children or grandchildren, please let me know what their rection is and I will pass it on to Nicole.


See you on Brian’s blog.

My Guest: Sue Perkins

My guest today is Sue Perkins, a middle grade author who is taking part in the Muse Blogathon for the month of September.

Thank you Barbara for inviting me to visit your blog today.

It’s my pleasure, Sue. You are very welcome. I want my friends to get to know you and your book. Isn’t it great hopping to all these blogs. We’re getting the name of our publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, before the public.

I’m quite overwhelmed by the speed of this blog tour. It seems I no sooner visit a blog – or had another author visit my blog – when the next one appears over the horizon.

A little bit about me. My name is Sue Perkins and I live in the South Island of New Zealand. I love to read and write fantasy books. Reading favorites for adult fantasy are David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Pratchett and Naomi Novik. For Young Adult or Middle Grade I love Brian Jacques, Jenny Nimmo and Terry Pratchett. I know Terry’s in twice but his Wee Free Men series on Discworld is hilarious as is his Bromeliad about the world of the gnomes.

Sue, I think many of us are familiar with New Zealand from seeing The Lord of the Rings series which was filmed in your beautiful country. It has such varied topography; many of the scenes were breathtaking.

Now tell us about your writing.

My writing career has encompassed contemporary and historical romance and I have written several adult fantasy books. I am now stretching my wings and my first Middle Grade fantasy will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in October.

I love creating worlds. Usually alternate worlds to Earth, but sometimes I imagine a hidden part of our own Earth. It’s fun to take a familiar location and weave a story around it until it shows a different face to the readers.

Spirit Stealer is set in the nighttime world of a library. After the library closes the characters emerge from the books and float around the library, scaring any children who have been accidentally locked in. These phantoms are playful but the evil green Spirit Stealer lurks in the basement. He takes control of the nighttime world, using the phantoms to drive the children into his evil clutches.

Don’t forget to visit my blog and leave a comment, you’ll find several of my fellow MuseItUp authors have visited with entertaining articles and interviews. See you there.

Thank you for stopping by today, Sue. Your book, Spirit Stealer, is right after the heart of this ole librarian. Reading your synopsis reminds me of working in the public library in my hometown when I was in high school. The oldest and dustiest books were stored in the basement. Fortunately, I never ran into anything as scary as your character seems to be.

And to my readers, I’m Sue’s guest today, so please visit her blog:

My Guest: Shellie Neumeier

THE  MUSEItUp  Blog  Tour  of Young Adult and Middle Grade authors Continues:

Today we’re welcoming Shellie Neumeier, author of Driven, to share a bit about her life and family and information about her book.

Married for almost 20 years, Shellie and her husband have four wonderful children and two goofy greyhounds.   After receiving her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, she went on to acquire an early childhood education certificate.  Shellie also served in youth, children’s, special needs and family ministries for over twenty-two years.  
Today she enjoys teaching her teens how to drive and chauffeuring her preteens across the Wisconsin countryside. And once in a while, she enjoys reading a classic tale or new suspense. In addition to writing fiction, Shellie is an avid blogger on her site and several others including,, and


Robyn loves her friends, enjoys her youth group, and looks forward to meeting cute Caleb Montague. But when a caustic news reporter challenges her school’s prayer team, Robyn must choose: defend their right to meet on campus and pray for whomever they wish or back down at the principal’s request.

Now she must learn what God wants her to do. And she had better learn fast, because there’s a supernatural enemy in town whose sole mission is to stop her—no matter the cost.

FREE E-GIFTS FROM THE AUTHOR (offered for this blog tour only)—

  • Purchase Driven TODAY and receive a personalized, signed book plate mailed directly to you plus. . .
  • Free signed bookmarks to share with your friendsWHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT Driven

    Driven is a new take on the age old battle of good versus evil.  Gripping from the first page, this is one book you won’t want to put down.

    –Leanna Kay, co-creator of – a place for Christian girls to grow in faith.

    Driven is a breathtaking book of tension, intrigue, and heartwarming emotion. From the moment I began to read until the very last word, I couldn’t put it aside. It held me enthralled!

    –Lindsay Below, author of Head Over Hand-Bought Heels
    Oily creatures of the night are seeking to destroy a group of teens at Brookfield Central High School. Their primary target? A resilient teenage girl who refuses to question her calling. But how much guilt, how much pain, and how much accusation can one human take? Laced with other-worldly plot threads akin to Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, Shellie Neumeier’s debut novel inspires followers of Christ to stand strong in God’s calling regardless of tragic circumstances. Along the way she explores tragedy in friendships and the beauty of redemption.
    –Caleb Jennings Breakey, Refining Teen Writers into Rockstars

    In the tradition of This Present Darkness and The Screwtape Letters, Driven pulls back the veil between worlds and reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against Satan and his minions. But the journey of Robyn and her friends against both physical and spiritual enemies also illustrates the more exciting truth: that ultimate victory rests with our God.

    –Anne Mateer, author of Wings of Dream, September 2011.
    Contact information

    E-mail:  neumeier(dot)shellie(at)gmail(dot)com

    Book Trailer:


Thank you, Shellie, for stopping by today.

I’m happy to say that I am visiting on Shellie’s website today, as well. After you comment here, go over there and visit with us again.


My Guest: Kim Baccellia

I’m happy to introduce my readers to Kim Baccellia today. Thank you, Kim, for visiting and sharing some things about your writing life. The month of September is an exciting one for the young adult and middle grade authors of MuseItUp Publishing. We are exchanging blog posts, and I am coincidentally on Kim’s blog today. See me and hear about Wounds at

Kim wants everyone to know that she will give away an ebook of her novel, Crossed Out, at the end of the tour. So be sure and comment on her interview.


I want to thank you, Barbara, for hosting me today.   I’m excited that Earrings of Ixtumea will be a part of Muse It Up publishing.

I can’t praise MuseItUp enough myself. 

Kim, did you always want to be a writer?

I think I’ve always wanted to write but didn’t really take it seriously until later after a community college professor dashed my earlier dreams.  Even though I thought I’d left that childhood dream behind, it didn’t leave me.  It seemed like I was always writing and even made it a big part in my classroom with my first grade students.  Later, I thought, why not take my own advice and try to finish that novel?  So I did.  It’s been a long journey for me but I’m constantly learning.

And I think we are all the richer for your persistence. Sometimes it takes a little maturity to overcome the doubt caused by unthinking and uncaring people.  

What is your working environment like?


I do have a writing loft that overlooks my backyard.  It’s filled with writing books, swag from my books, letters from editors/agents, and even some posters that help me get into the mind of my character.  I also have such things as incense from Egypt, some Muslim prayer beads (for the Muslim crossing in CROSSED OUT), Audrey Hepburn buttons, Mexican dichos (proverbs), a huge whiteboard where I map out my story, and a medallion of the Virgin Guadalupe.

Kim, you are fortunate to have this beautiful spot to ponder and write in. As Virginia Wolf says, a woman needs a Room of One’s Own.

When it’s hot I end up either writing at my table under my ceiling fan and put Pandora on with music that reflects my characters.  This year I’ve also been taking my laptop with me to a local Starbucks and just writing.  It’s great.


This chart shows that you put a lot of thought and work into your writing.

What writing magazines or other resources do you find most helpful?

I admit it.  I don’t read writing magazines that much anymore unless of course there’s a helpful article on YA.  Resources I do use though include my plotting fairy goddess Joyce Sweeney who has been wonderful with helping me plot and also giving me great suggestions/feedback.  I also love my critique buddies who have been wonderful too.  Groups I love have to include SCBWI, RWA, (I’ve taken more than a few on-line writing classes with them), and YALITCHAT.

I feel it’s important for a writer to join a professional organization that reflects their writing.  I know both SCBWI and YALITCHAT have been helpful to me in more ways than one.

Joyce is also a friend of mine; we’ll have to let her know about this interview. She had wonderful things to say about my WIP, which I hope to spend more time with when the hectic month of September is over.

What’s on your current reading list?

As a reviewer at YA Books Central I get lots of books to read.  I usually go in stages on what I love to read.  Recently some of my favorites included ULTRAVIOLET which nailed the whole sensory issue and is an awesome read; ASHES, an amazing dystopia with a Stephen King feel; SOLSTIC, a dystopia that meets Greek mythology; and UNDER THE MESQUITE, a quiet contemporary YA of a Latina who deals with her mother’s cancer.

Also I loved Simone Elkes PERFECT CHEMISTRY series.  Hot, sizzling romance with a Latino protagonist.  What’s not to love?

Sounds enticing.

What’s your favorite movie?

Hands down: Gone with the Wind.  Loved Scarlett O’Hara who was strong, passionate, and also very persistent in going after what she wanted. 

Next has to be The Notebook.  Loved, loved this bittersweet tale.

I haven’t seen The Notebook, so I should put that on my viewing list. I do remember seeing Gone with the Wind when I was a teenager and several more times on tv. I agree, it had many elements that make it great;  it’s one that I never tire of.

Kim’s book, Crossed Out, is a paranormal about a high school student, Stephanie, who sees dead people. In fact, it’s her job to help them on their way by planting the crosses she paints, hence the interesting title. But there’s more to it than that. There’s an interesting plot twist and romance. Stephanie has to choose between Mark and Dylan.

You can check out my book CROSSED OUT on Amazon and Barnes and 

It’s also available at Fictionwise.

My website is

YA Books Central review site:

I’m at Twitter as @ixtumea

My blog:

Thanks for stopping by, Kim. I enjoyed learning about your writing life and getting a small taste of your enormous imagination. 

I’ll see the rest of you over at Shellie Nuemeier’s blog tomorrow:

And please stop by here again tomorrow when Shellie will be my guest.

You are invited to Facebook and twitter these postings.


Muse Blog Hop Banner

The Muse Tour continues and the banner here shows the names of the twelve of us who are taking part.

Today I am the guest of Pembroke Sinclair. Here is the link to her blog:

Each day the postings are different so please drop by, add a comment, and tweet.

September 7, Kim Baccellia:

September 8, Shellie Neumeier:

September 9, Sue Perkins:

September 14, Charlotte “Charlie” Volnek:

September 16, Lawn Mackie:

September 19, Barbara Ehrentreu (“the Other Barbara”):

September 21, Marva Dasef:

September 24, Meradeth Houston:

September 27, Chris Verstraete


These are the dates and websites of the Muse Authors I will be hosting.

September 7, Kim Baccellia:

September 8,  Shellie Neumeier:

September 9, Sue Perkins:

September 12,  Meradeth Houston:

September 13, Charlotte “Charlie” Volnek:

September 15,  Lawn Mackie:

September 17, Pembroke Sinclair:

September 19,  Barbara Ehrentreu:

September 21,  Rebecca Ryals Russell:

September 26,  Marva Dasef:

September 27,


a correction

Rebecca Ryals Russell is just all over the cyber world these days. So I assumed she was hosting me today on Building Worlds, but I assumed wrong. It’s really another of her sites:

She has a large menu, so click on Blog.

It’s not too late to go there and leave a comment.

Muse Authors Blog Hop

 Hi Everyone,

This month I’m participating in a blog hop with eleven other MuseItUp Young Authors. If you have middle school and high school students in your family, you’re sure to find some books on this list they will enjoy. There is great variety. You can go to the Muse Bookstore to find the books of these authors and other Middle Grade and Young Adult selections. Our publisher, Lea Schizas, has published our books in record time. Yeh, Lea!! Our Muse.


Today, September 1, I am the guest of Rebecca Ryals Russell on her blog, Plotting Worlds. Here is the link:  

On these websites you will read about me and my Muse book, Wounds, which will be available on September 16. The links to the buying pages can be found in these blogs postings.

Tomorrow I will post a list of the guest appearance of these authors on my blog.

You are welcome to let your Facebook, LiveJournal, twitter, etc. readers know about this fabulous group of writers. I would love for you to follow me on twitter @ babs22582.

Here is the rest of the schedule for my appearances.

September 2, Pembroke Sinclair:

September 7, Kim Baccellia:

September 8, Shellie Neumeier:

September 9, Sue Perkins:

September 14, Charlotte “Charlie” Volnek:

September 16, Lawn Mackie:

September 19, Barbara Ehrentreu (“the Other Barbara”):

September 21, Marva Dasef:

September 24, Meradeth Houston:

September 27, Chris Verstraete

 So hop on over to Rebecca Ryals Russell’s blog and get started on this epic blog tour.

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