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Friday, September 28, 2012

An Open Letter to Authors

Dear Authors,

Each year, writers and artists from around the world put their talents to work to help support the March of Dimes as they work to end prematurity and cure birth defects, and I'd like to extend a personal invitation to each of you to get involved. This is a cause very near and dear to me, both as the aunt of three preemies and as a volunteer coordinator for an organization that does everything possible to keep families together while their children fight serious medical issues like prematurity.

I cannot wait until we kick off this cycle of Fandom for Preemies on October 1st. We've teamed up with the Iron Pen Challenge this time around, and will be allowing everyone to get involved in bigger ways than before. We want this year's fundraiser to be our biggest ever, but we need your help to do it. 

Yes, yours.

Authors and artists like you are very much the driving force behind the Fandom for Preemies cause. Each cycle, authors from all walks of life and all corners of the world sign on to donate a short story or chapter of a novel, which is then compiled into a huge anthology. Artists sign on to collaborate with authors to create a banner that represents their story so each piece has awesome visual representation in the anthology, too.

Anyone who donates a minimum of $5 to the March of Dimes from October 15th to December 1st receives the entire anthology, chock full of stories from popular published authors to hobby writers to those who write fanfiction or poetry. No one with a desire to help is left out, making Fandom for Preemies a truly collaborative effort in the writing community to help support a global organization doing everything it can to save the lives of the most fragile babies in every nation.

Rest assured, donors don't send us a dime. They make their contribution on the March of Dimes website via a virtual band established in honor of preemies everywhere or through another donation method, ensuring that every penny of every donation goes directly to the March of Dimes to use where needed most.

What the March of Dimes helps the medical field accomplish is nothing short of miraculous. When my nephew was born over three months early seven years ago, his lungs were incredibly damaged. So much so, he required the use of a ventilator twenty-four hours a day for years. When he came home on a portable ventilator for the first time six years ago, he was one of only 170 children in the entire state fortunate enough to live outside of the hospital with such critical respiratory needs. Today, there are over 450 young children like him in Arkansas alone living at home with their families instead of languishing in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

I share his story often, and gratefully. Ten years ago, preemies with his issues didn't survive, let alone live at home with their families and experience a normal childhood. Thanks to the March of Dimes, that's changing the world over.

Sadly though, prematurity is still very much misunderstood and overlooked by the general public. The average person doesn't realize that premature birth can happen to anyone and for no reason at all. In fact, there is no known cause of the majority of preterm births, 500,000 of which happen in the United States alone each year. These children are your neighbors' kids, your friends' kids, or maybe even your kids. World-wide, thirteen million babies are born prematurely each year, and one million of them won't survive infancy.

Kind of heartbreaking to consider, isn't it?

You can help us change this, one story at a time. All you have to do is sign on to contribute a piece of your writing (or to lend your artistic skills) to the fundraiser. What you write is entirely up to you. It can be new. It can be from an upcoming novel. It can be from that unfished manuscript you're still toiling over, or the one gathering dust in the corner. It can be young adult, historical, dystopian, erotica, or fanfiction. Heck, iif you don't have time to write, your contribution can be a copy of a published work, book swag, or a small gift card to raffle off to donors.

What you contribute doesn't matter. What matters is that you get involved! We turn no one away so long as basic guidelines are followed (no rape or incest, edit your piece, and don't write fanfiction if the original author has forbidden it), and every submission helps us thank donors in a big way. In two previous cycles, Fandom for Preemies has raised a little over $8,000.00 for the March of Dimes... five dollars at a time.

So today, I invite each of you to dash over to the Fandom for Preemies site and check it out. Read some of the preemie stories collected there. Share the links with your friends, your families, and your readers. And on October 1st, sign on to contribute a short story or donate a raffle item to the fundraiser. And be sure to keep an eye out on October 1st for the Iron Pen Challenge announcement for new ways to get involved and make a difference through something you already do every day: writing.

Everyone has a million things to do and adding this one more can seem impossible, but I can promise that getting involved with this cause will make a difference, if not in your life than in the life of someone you know. I know because I see this every day in my home, and at my job. Preemies are born into every family, in every nation, every year.
With that said, I want to mention a related project really quickly. I'm incredibly excited that sales of Fade coincide with the fundraiser this year because Curiosity Quills has generously agreed to match my personal royalty donation from now until March 2013, meaning the March of Dimes and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas will both receive 10% of net sales of Fade through March. So if you haven't grabbed a copy of Fade yet, there is still plenty of time to help us help two amazing charities. The more we sell, the more they make. And let's face it, that's a good thing anyway you look at it! :)

I hope to see all of you on the roster for Fandom for Preemies this fall! And please, feel free to pass this letter on far and wide.

Your Tireless Team Captain
Ayden K. Morgen

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog Hijack! EVER by @JessaRusso

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? 

Don't look so startled - I don't bite. 

My name's Frankie. And I'm just a regular guy. 
Well, except for the whole ghost thing, I guess. 

You’re probably wondering what I'm doing here. Well, it’s pretty simple actually. Something is coming for my best friend Ever - something I alone cannot protect her from. Regardless of how much I love her how hard I try. 

So I have to spread the word.

And I need your help to do it.

I've been a bystander for far too long, trapped in this ghostly shell for the past two years. I've decided it’s time to make myself known and set some things into motion. See, I've hijacked Amazon, Curiosity Quills Press, and blogs all over the internet to make my move. 

You're probably wondering why, right? 

Well allow me to be a bit more specific. Something isn't just coming for Ever; her actual soul is in danger. So I've decided to stay silent no longer. Word needs to spread. People need to know. 

Evil lurks in the shadows.  

To give Ever more time to figure things out and try to protect herself from the trouble that awaits her, I'm upping the publication date of our story. 

 I'm sure you can understand. I mean, souls are on the line here. 

So, with that said, EVER IS NOW AVAILABLE. Yes, you read that right. NOW. I couldn't wait any longer, so I did what I had to do to protect that stubborn girl I love my best friend, Ever. 

I had to do it. Some things are too important to wait for, and Ever is one of those things for me.

Now as you’re spreading the word about this new development, take heed this one warning:

Evil lurks in the shadows. And not just any evil. 

It’s disguised as that slick talking, good-looking bastard, Toby James ... the new kid next door. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Haunted Writing Clinic and Contest from @CuriosityQuills

From the amazing Sharon Bayliss:

There is nothing SCARIER than rejection, so this Halloween face your fears by entering a spooky writing clinic and contest by Curiosity Quills. Not only will you get help crafting your submission package, you’ll have an opportunity to win a request from Curiosity Quills. And it’s all FREE!

We will have two types of bloggers involved:

Minions: Writers with query ready manuscripts.

All fiction genres are eligible for entry, however manuscripts that fall into our “favored genres” list will be more likely to win requests. Check the submission guidelines for this list.

Super villains: Published and pre-published authors from Curiosity Quills.

So far, I have six authors signed up as super villains and I’ll publish their names when it’s final. Super villains will enlist teams of minions to mentor. Each team will have a spooky name and theme. The super villain whose minions get the most requests will win bragging rights as villain supreme.

Blogfest schedule:

Week of 10/8: Query Week – Super villains will post tips on how to craft a successful query and their own successful queries (if applicable). Minions will post their query and super villains and other minions will stop by and provide critique.

Week of 10/15: First Page Week – Super villains will post tips on writing a great first page and their own successful first page. Minions will post their first pages and super villains and other minions will stop by and provide critique.

Week of 10/22: Mentoring Week – Super villains will pick teams of minions. Super villains will provide personalized critique on their team members’ submission package. Minions from the same team are also encouraged to help and support each other.

10/31 – It’s fright night! Minions ready to face their fears will submit their query and first page to our criminal mastermind judges (three submissions editors from CQ). If they like what they see they’ll make requests and hopefully graduate some minions to super villains.

Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Stricken

Hey loves!

I figured it was about time for another round of Teaser Tuesday! It's been long enough, hasn't it? :) This week, our teaser is from Stricken. See you at the end!
"How did the fire start?" he asked her.

She shook her head, refusing to answer.

"Anya," he prompted, wishing he could leave it alone as she wanted, but he could not. "We need to know."

"Arson." The word trembled on her lips. "Someone set it."

"Did they ever find out who did it?"


"Did your father have any enemies? Anyone that would want to murder him?"

"No," she said again. "Nothing like that. He volunteered with the Red Cross and coached my softball team. He helped Aaron with the pack. Took dinner to our elderly neighbor every night. Everyone loved him."

"You're sure? What about your brother?" Kaeden pressed as gently as he could. He hated to do it at all, but they needed to be certain. They couldn't afford to chase down false leads or false hope. They didn't have time.

"No. There was no reason for anyone to do that to them. No reason," she whispered with fierce certainty.

"Don't," Kieran warned when Kaeden opened his mouth to press for more.

Kaeden heeded his blade-brother's warning and closed his mouth without speaking. He watched Anya's expression crumble into abject misery. She had nothing more to give him today.

He reached out and slipped his hand into hers, squeezing her fingers in silent apology for forcing her to face such painful memories.

Twin tears fell from the ends of her lashes to roll down her cheeks.

She didn't look at him when he moved closer, instead keeping her gaze locked on the kitten sleeping in her lap, but she did allow him to pull her up against his side. She didn't make a sound as she cried. She simply rested against his side as little tears made tracks down her porcelain cheeks.

Kaeden's heart hurt for her. The Fae were immortal, but not indestructible. As the Demon Wars had taught them eons ago, and La Morte Nera reminded them now, even an immortal life could  be tenuous. The Fae understood loss and grief. They experienced those painful facts of life just as humans did. Kaeden had never met his mother, and had been shunned by his father. He'd lost friends in battle, and had even hefted the blade that felled some of them. But those hurts, spread out over two and a half centuries, seemed like little more than the sting of bees compared to what Anya had endured in twenty-three short years.

Aww, poor Anya. Lots going on in her life at the moment! And lots going on over here, too. I still have a few more stops on Fade's Blog Tour, and I am busily writing Book Two for all of you. In the meantime, make sure you check out the Paranormal/Fantasy Pitch Contest we have going on over here! One lucky winner is going to walk away with all kinds of amazing prizes.
Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One  - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Facebook | Goodreads

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back to the Books #BlogHop Winners

We have Back to the Books Giveaway Hop winners! Sorry I didn't get this live on the 8th as promised. Apparently book release week is a little crazy. Who knew, right.? ;)

Without further ado your winners are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yay! Congratulations, Robert (digital copy of Fade), Stella (digital copy of Fade), and Kelli ($5 Amazon giftcard)!

If you didn't win, don't fret! You can still grab a copy of Fade on Amazon. And if you do, you'll have the pleasure of knowing 10% of net sales are being donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas until March 7, 2013, and 10% are being donated to the March of Dimes during that same time frame. The more we sell, the more these amazing organizations benefit. Check out and for more information on RMHCA and the MoD!

Authors and writers, don't forget to check out the exciting pitch contest announcement! We begin accepting entries this Saturday, and one will win a whole bunch of fabulous prizes, including a read of your full by a Curiosity Quills submission editor. Yay!

I'll see you on the Fade Blog Tour


Friday, September 7, 2012

Announcing the Perfect Paranormal/Fantasy Pitch Contest

Are you ready for the "Top Secret Project" announcement?!

In celebration of Fade's release today, some of my favorite people and I are hosting the:

Temporary place-holder graphic. :)
Are you toiling away on the perfect paranormal or urban fantasy manuscript or gearing up to begin the submission process? Does your story have memorable characters? Exciting action? Solid writing? A surprise plot-twist or two? Something completely unique guaranteed to blow us away? Then this is the contest for you! We want your best young adult, new adult, or adult paranormal or urban fantasy, and you have 50 words to convince us, and 2,000 words to wow us.

One winning submission will be read by a Curiosity Quills Press Submission Editor for publication consideration!

Curiosity Quills Press is an independent publisher of hard-hitting dark sci-fi, speculative fiction, and paranormal works aimed at adults, young adults, and new adults. CQ Submission Guidelines can be found here.

The grand prize winner will also receive:
*A live plot session with C.L. Parker, author of the Supernova Saga. Plot session will be one hour long, held on GChat during a time mutually agreed upon by author and contest winner. C.L. will help tighten up plot, answer research questions, and more. 
*A first page critique by Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Things.
*A query critique by A.K. Morgen, author of Fade. (Yes, me!)
*Collaboration with freelance cover and graphic artist Amber Wilson on a story or author banner or graphic for your website or blog.
*A bragging rights banner designed by graphic artist Brandi Whitmer announcing you and your submission as the ultimate winner. Banner can be displayed on blogs/websites/etc. It will also be displayed on my website here.

Plus the grand prize winner will rake in the loot with:

*An e-copy of T.M. Franklin's MORE (Release Date: 10/4/12).
*An e-copy of Jessa Russo's EVER (Release date: 10/1/12).
*An e-copy of A.K. Morgen's Fade.

Your first round judges are:

*Sarah Aisling -Debut Author of The Weight of Roses.
*A.K. Morgen - Author of Fade.
*Jessa Russo - YA Submissions Editor for CQ and Debut Author of EVER.
*Gerilyn Marin - Author of Buried.

*Matthew Graybosch - Author of Without Bloodshed.

*Alternate Judge: Bella Leone - Author of Downpour.
Submission Guidelines:
1. First five pages (2,000 words max) of young adult, new adult, or adult paranormal or urban fantasy/fantasy novel.
2. Story pitch in 50 words or less.
3. Please include title, genre, author's name, and the 50 word pitch at the top of your submission!
4. Authors can sign up via the linky (below) beginning on September 15th, 2012 at 12:01am.
5. Authors must EMAIL their submission to us no later than 11:59pm CST on October 15th, 2012.
6. Submissions should be submitted in .doc .docx or .rtf formats. Additionally, please use industry-standard formatting (ie: 1 inch margins, 12-point font, double-spaced).
7. MS must be completed by the end of the contest to be eligible for CQ submission consideration.
Now for the rest of the pertinents:

* First round judging will be held from October 20th to October 30th.
* The Top 3 submissions will then advance to the Popular Vote round (October 31st to November 10th). Submissions will be posted on the blog here, and readers will help select the grand prize winner through polling (only 1 vote per IP address, please).
*The Grand Prize Winner will be announced on November 20th, 2012.
Sounds like fun, right?!?
We will see you on September 15th to begin the madness! :)

It's #Fade's Release Day! Plus: A Huge Announcement

Released today!!
Today is the big day! Fade has been officially released! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am over this, so I won't. Instead, I'll just tell you how awesome taking this crazy journey with all of you has been, and how much I adore all of you. I have some of the greatest readers and friends in the world, and I really do mean that.

Now, if you didn't already know (hehe) Fade is on sale today! But wait just a minute before you run off to check it out, and keep reading this post. I promise you'll like it! :)

You may remember me talking about a super huge announcement I would make today, and a top secret project in the works. I'll give you the super huge announcement now, and will post the top secret project news at 5pm CST today. Writers and readers, make sure you check back because you will not want to miss that reveal!

On to the first announcement of the day!

I firmly believe in getting involved and giving back. In that vein, I am very pleased to inform all of you that I will be donating 5% of royalties for the first six months of sales (from now until March 2013) to both the March of Dimes and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

And I could not be more thrilled to tell you that Curiosity Quills has generously offered to match my donation percent for percent. That's right, loves, they will be donating an additional 5% to both the March of Dimes and to Ronald McDonald House Charities, two organizations that have been working miracles in the life of my family for years.

The March of Dimes is a 501(c)3 non-profit first established by Franklin D. Roosevelt to fight polio. In the years since, the March of Dimes has grown to a global organization, and their mission has shifted to focus on prematurity and birth defects - two issues that have greatly impacted three of the most amazing children in my life, my niece and two of my nephews.

My niece, born at 25 weeks, weighing1 lb 14oz.
My nephews, born at 27 and 29 weeks gestation at 3 lbs.

The March of Dimes has been a global leader in research into the causes of birth defects and preterm birth, in educating new moms and medical professionals about best practices for healthy pregnancy, of promoting newborn screenings to help save lives, and of establishing regional Neonatal Intensive Care programs to care for preterm and sick infants. Thanks to their work, the survival rate of preterm infants has increased dramatically over the years, we know more than ever about birth defects, and my niece and nephew (all born three plus months early) have not only survived, but are thriving.

Aloshua, who was born at 27 weeks gestation with Spina Bifida and a number of other serious medical conditions, overcomes new obstacles every day, thanks in part to the dedication of the March of Dimes and organizations like them. The baby we weren't sure would make it through the first year is seven now, and just reached his first one year hospital-free milestone! Because of the research of the March of Dimes, our little superhero has been able to have a normal childhood surrounded by the people who love him.

Niece and nephew at ages 3 (niece) and 6 (nephew).

Like the March of Dimes, Ronald McDonald House Charities is a global organization dedicated to helping children and families facing medical crisis. Over three hundred Ronald McDonald Houses exist world-wide, allowing families to stay near their children during times of illness and hospitalization for little or no cost.

Everyone from cancer patients to transplant patients to the families of burn victims and children and infants in intensive care units have found a home away from home with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. These homes allow families to remain together to support their children in a safe, loving environment that offers all the amenities of home with none of the cost, but that's not all RMHC does.
Their Care Mobiles provide free dental care year-round to underserved children, and their Family Rooms inside hospitals allow parents and siblings to catch a few moments of quiet, cook a meal, or take a quick nap or shower without ever stepping foot outside the hospital. In addition, RMHC provides grants to organizations fighting to improve the health and well-being of children around the world.  

As you can see, both RMHC and the MoD are doing amazing things for children and families around the world. My family has been touched by both organizations in big ways, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to pay it forward now. I hope you'll join us in our quest by picking up a copy of Fade, and by making your own donation to two organizations fighting to save and better the lives of the most vulnerable children.

What better way to celebrate release day than with an announcement like this?!

See you a bit later for the reveal of the top secret project! And don't forget: I'm also at Witness Protocol today, talking Fade, mythology, pet elephants, crime, and so much more with the amazingly talented Matthew Graybosch. Stop by and say hello. :)


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wilde's Meadow by Krystal Wade - Cover Reveal

The Fade blog tour is well under way, but we're switching gears here today for a very big reveal. Wilde's Meadow (Darnkess Falls - Book Three) by Krystal Wade has an amazing new cover! Check it out.

So what can you expect from Wilde's Meadow?

Happy endings are hard to find, and even though Katriona is in the middle of a war with someone who’s already stolen more than she can replace, she aches for a positive future with her DraĆ­ochtans.

Armed with hope, confidence in her abilities, and a strange new gift from her mother, Kate ventures into the Darkness to defeat a fallen god.

Losses add up, and new obstacles rise to stand in the way. Is the one determined to bring Encardia light strong enough to keep fighting, or will all the sacrifices to stop those who seek domination be for nothing?

Wilde's Meadow will release from Curiosity Quills Press on November 5th, 2012. You can follow the book on GoodReads and Krystal Wade's blog. And don't forget to pick up the first two books, Wilde's Fire and Wilde's Army!

Monday, September 3, 2012

And the Fade Pre-Release Winners Are...

We have winners to announce!

The three winners for the Fade Pre-Release Giveaway (posted as part of the Buccaneer Blogfest last month) are Shadow K, Naomi N., and Sheri L., Congratulations, loves!  I've contacted each of you with prize claiming details. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We also have a winner for the Fandom Fanatic Giveaway.

Tracey won a digital copy of Fade. Congratulations, Tracey!

If you didn't win, don't fret. The Back to the Books Bloghop Giveaway is still going on, and you can win one of two digital copies of Fade, or a $5 Amazon giftcard. You also have until October 3rd to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win one of two autographed copies of Fade.

See? Lots of chances!

Also, Fade made the cut for the Most Exciting Upcoming YA Books list. Woohoo! We're tied at #225. It's the little things! :)

I will see you all tomorrow over at Ed and Ems Reviews ro continue the Fade Blog Tour!

Four days to go!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

#Fade's Blog Tour Line-Up

Fade's blog tour has officially begun! For the next two weeks, I will be blogging here, there, and everywhere in celebration of Fade's release in six days. Yes, six days. Eek! Here's where you can find me over the next two weeks. I hope you'll stop by these amazing blogs for a visit. :)

September 1st - Fandom Fanatic - Guest Post & Giveaway (The Crazy Transition to Published Author)
September 2nd - Fandom Fanatic - Interview
September 3rd - Fandom Fanatic - Promo Fun
September 3rd - Goodreads Giveaway begins!
September 4th - Ed and Em Reviews - Guest Post (The Story Behind Fade)
September 5th - TBD
September 5th - Wilde's Meadow by Krystal Wade - Cover Reveal Here
September 6th - Author Krystal Wade's Blog - Guest Post (Shared Quirks)
September 7th - Super Special Announcement and Release Day Festivities Here
September 7th - Release Day Festivites on Facebook and Twitter
September 7th - Author Matthew Graybosch's Witness Protocol Blog - Interview
September 8th - Keeper of the Cheerios' Blog - Guest Post (My Obsession)
September 9th - Coffee Time Romance - Guest Posts (I'll be winging these!)
September 10th - Author Gerilyn Marin's Blog - Guest Post (Ghost Stories)
September 11th - Author Sharon Bayliss' Blog - Guest Post (Wolves)
September 12th - Author Jamie Ayres' Blog - Guest Post (Writing New Adult)
September 13th - Author Jessa Russo's Blog - Guest Post (TBD)
September 14th - Ed and Em Reviews - Interview
September  15th - Author Jade Hart's Blog - Guest Post
September 19th - Author Victoria Smith's Blog- Character Interview

Don't forget to check back here throughout the rest of the blog tour for contest winner announcements, and other Fade and writing related fun-times, too! :)

Want me to bring my random craziness to your blog? Email me! I love sharing the crazy.

The Back to the Books Giveaway Hop post can be found here.

Six days! Eek! 

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