Sunday, October 28, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 10/28/12 #SixSunday #EVERTWO

Well hello there, Six Sentence Sunday buddies! 

Here is another sneak peek into my work in progress - the second book in The EVER Trilogy. 

Working title: EVER TWO (Because I'm sooooo creative. lol)

Because I am going to be flying in the near future, I've decided a bit of airplane fun would be appropriate. 

I balled my sweatshirt into a make-shift pillow and closed my window. I didn't think I’d be able to sleep, but sleep found me, however restless it was. I kept waking up because I could feel my mouth hanging open, or because the kid behind me kicked my seat. 
At one point he even pulled my hair when he grabbed the top of the seat to yank himself up. That was a pleasant experience. 
Then there were the dreams. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

COVER REVEAL! Anthony Mathenia's PARADISE EARTH: Day Zero

By Anthony Mathenia
When the ground quakes and blazing balls of fire fall from the sky, a religious sect interprets it as the fulfillment of long-held prophecies foretelling the end of the world. The members flee to their religious sanctuary, believing that this global cataclysm is the portent of a new paradise of eternal happiness.
Inside, one cold and starving man struggles to hold onto his hope for the future. He’s sacrificed everything for his faith in the prophecy, including his family. As the tortuous night drags on, he struggles to hold onto his hope for the future and grapples with a lifetime of beliefs, and expectations. If he survives to see the paradise earth, will it be worth it?
Paradise Earth is a deconstruction of faith at the end of the world and beyond. The first volume of the trilogy, Day Zero, will be published by Curiosity Quills Press on December 21, 2012. Week One and Forever After will follow.

Anthony Mathenia is a novelist and freelance writer. He has a romance serial titled Happiness: How to Find It published weekly by Curiosity Quills Press, and an offbeat travel column on VAGABOND
PARADISE EARTH: Day Zero is Anthony's debut novel. He was raised in a religious cult and sincerely apologizes for waking you up on Saturday morning in order to recruit you.
You can follow Anthony's journey on his website, Twitter or Facebook. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SPOOKTACULAR Giveaway Hop! #Spooktacular

Check it out! 

I am so excited to have come across this amazing giveaway! Let's all send a HUGE thanks to Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer for putting together such an enormous giveaway!

What do you have to in order to win?

Just enter! It's as easy as that! Hop around to the 500+ blogs to check out the massive amount of awesome prizes!!

Can you believe it!?

*faints from all the awesome* 

As you can see, I am giving away two copies of EVER. One is paperback, and will be available to contestants within the US only, and the other giveaway will be for an e-copy and can be sent worldwide!

For entrants in the US ONLY:

For entrants WORLDWIDE:

*This amazing giveaway is hosted by I am a Reader not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm.*

Monday, October 22, 2012

A day late and a dollar short: #SixSunday 10/21/12


I forgot to schedule my post for yesterday's Six Sentence Sunday! And as you can see, if i don't pre-schedule my post, I forget about it completely. 

So, without further ado, here is YESTERDAY'S Six Sentence Sunday teaser. I know you've been clicking 'refresh' since yesterday, haven't you? (lol) 

A sneak peek at EVER TWO: 

Maybe it was just time I sucked it up and took control. If people were after me, wanted to hurt me, I couldn't just sit back and be Toby’s damsel in distress.
“Who wants to hurt me, Toby?”
His knuckles tightened on the steering wheel at the same time he exhaled a sigh. I tried to brace myself for whatever crazy explanation would come. I mean, I’d already learned that ghosts exist with Frankie, and then the existence of soul collectors with Toby, so what could be next? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are you looking for a #CP?

Are you looking for a critique partner? 

Maybe you are looking for someone to read your manuscript and give you the absolute honest truth ... or even just someone to beta read your manuscript, and tell you if they are confused, etc ...  

In order to help you get ready for the upcoming pitch contests, I'd like to provide you with a place to speak up and ask for what you need. 

Sooooooo, please comment below with the following:

  • Your Name 
  • What you are looking for: CP or BETA (CP = An actual critique partner who will line edit/line critique, or BETA = just a reader to give you some thoughts/feedback, but won't edit.)
  • Manuscript Title
  • Genre/Sub-Genre (this is important so we can pair you with someone in the same area)
  • Completion Status (how far along is your MS?)
  • Email Address (please use precautions when adding your email address. See my example below)

So, FOR EXAMPLE, if I were going to comment below, I'd say this:

Jessa Russo
Beta Reader
YA Paranormal Romance
Incomplete (20% finished)
emailjessarusso [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, October 15, 2012

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT! #EVER's #FlashFiction GHOSTS (and the girls who love them) Blog-Hop


Today is THE day I announce the winner of the blog-hop! 

We had a tremendous turnout, and some really amazing entries. I enjoyed reading all of them, as I love flash fiction, and having the chance to force you all to write my favorite stuff - ghosts and love! - that was priceless! 

I truly appreciate all of you who entered, and thoroughly enjoyed your entries. 

Thank you to all who voted, and a HUGE thank you to my team of judges! 

A quick reminder of just who those judges were:

Jessa Russo (ME!) - Contest Host and Author of EVER, debuting 10/1/12

Liz Norris, Author of UNRAVELING

Nicole Wolverton, Writer and Creator of the ever-popular #5MinuteFiction series!
Laura Hughes, aka Mittens Morgul , Writer and all around awesome person.
Tamara Mataya, aka Feaky Snucker, Writer and BEST CRIT PARTNER EVER.

Now, to catch you up on the details, the contest entries were required to write a flash fiction piece between 350-1000 words, with the them of ghosts and love. Once posted, entrants were chosen for the final round by the most votes (from other contestants, their peers, etc.) Once those top finalists were announced, I sent my awesome judges to work, and they have spent the last week or so reading those top six entries, and letting me know their favorites. 

Amazingly enough, the vote was almost unanimous! Crazy! 

A quick reminder of what this person has won:

One (1) First Three (3) Chapters Critique by Julia A. Weber

One (1) Query Critique by Krystal Wade, Author and Editor at Curiosity Quills

And now for the BOOKS!!! 

One (1) signed print copy of EVER by Jessa Russo (That's ME! Yay!) 

One (1) signed print copy of UNRAVELING by Liz Norris

One (1) Kindle e-book copy of WILDE'S FIRE by Krystal Wade, and a matching, SIGNED POSTER!

One e-book copy of FADE by A.K. Morgen

One e-book copy of ONE GHOST PER SERVING by Nina Post

TWO (2) e-books from Micheal Shean!

One (1) e-book copy of FAMILY CURSEMAS by Rod Kierkegaard

One (1) e-book copy of SKUNK-APE SEMESTER by Mike Robinson

One (1) e-book copy of RETURN OF THE CROWN by Millie Burns

FOUR (4) e-books from Vicki Keire! FOUR! 

From Chronicles of Nowhere Series: WORLDS BURN THROUGH and SHADOWED GROUND

So, without further ado, I present you with our winner!

Finalist #3: Tamara Walsh!
Her entry was chosen by five out of the seven judges! 

Here's her winning entry:

My father is obsessed with where people go after death. He swears Heaven and Hell are legends of parallel worlds. He claims the energy released during death propels a soul into the world beyond this. He thinks if he traps that energy, he can travel worlds without the inconvenience of dying.  He experiments on the most vulnerable souls—ones with no shields. Ghosts.  

 “Morrigan-Persephone! I said get my voltage-amplifier!” 

I frown at my full name. Like naming me after the goddess of death wasn’t bad enough without tacking on Hades bride. Someday, when I’m free, I’ll only answer to the nickname he hates.  Mori.

At my desk in the corner of the cavernous lab, I deliberately knock my schoolwork to the floor. 

My father mutters, “Clumsy bitch.” 

I crouch, slowly gathering my things. My eyes flicker to the tiny plexiglass room in the lab’s center. White candles and salt encircle it. Ghost prison.

Behind the plexiglass walls, Jack watches me.  Contrary to beliefs, ghosts aren’t transparent. Except for radiating a soft luminescence, Jack is just a hot seventeen-year old guy.  Dark, perpetually-mussed hair and eyes the color of the torn jean-jacket he’s been wearing since his motorcycle skidded off the bridge.

His voice fills my mind. “Get him the amp.” I shake long blond hair over my bruised cheek, hiding what happens when I don’t obey my father. Jack bangs on the glass. “It won't hurt me.It's okay.Please, Mori." He can't be sure about that, but I reluctantly stand.

All ghosts sound different. The angry ones hurt, like knives carving my mind. The sad ones are like prickly burrs. The lost--icy water. But Jack…Jack’s all summer.  

“Godamn it, Morrigan!”

I hurry to hand my father his voltage-amplifier. He snatches it, glaring. His latest experiment involves slamming electricity through Jack.

 Returning to my desk, I glance at Jack's cell. Nobody else would see him huddled in the corner. They’d see an empty room.

My father loves bragging that his experiments on my mother during her pregnancy made me into his secret weapon. He doesn’t care that my mother died from his experiments. He cares that I’m “extraordinary.”

 I see ghosts. Hear them. I sense when someone’s dying. I find my father souls. Even knowing ghosts feel pain, knowing how many disintegrate after my father’s experiments, I’m too scared to refuse. I’m as bad as him.

My father stands. Thin and balding, he appears harmless--except for he’s holding something like electrified prongs. As he approaches the glass room, Jack shuts his eyes.

With every step my father takes, I remember.

Jack in the hospital, his charcoal hair sketched across the canvas of bandages. He melted my defenses, even then.  I tried to stop my father from taking him. I woke in the lab, bloody and bruised. Jack was already behind glass. Dead-- his essence imprisoned. He still asked, “Are you alright?”

I pretended I couldn’t see him.

 Jack wouldn’t give up.  

Mid-way through the first week he was yelling in my head. “I know you hear me. I can tell!” By the end of the second-- begging. “Please? Just look at me, Mori.”

That’s what won me. Not Morrigan. Mori.

I remember Jack’s grin when I finally looked into his eyes. “There. Was that so hard?”

His dimple deepening when I answered, “You’re a pain in the ass.”

Over the months, Jack became my first friend. I finally tried stealing my father’s key to release him. It took weeks to recover from the beating. And somewhere in all that, our friendship became…more.

My father approaches Jack and something in me snaps.

Then I’m running, skidding on the linoleum. As my father steps into Jacks room, I crash into him. He stumbles as Jack yells, “Mori! No!”

But sixteen years of fury is exploding. Kicking, screaming, I grab for the glowing prongs.Everything happens so fast…

 My father jabs wildly with his weapon.

 Jack dives in front of me.

 The electrified-prongs pass through him...and slam into my heart.

Excruciating pain. Roaring pulse. Flash-grenades of memories and emotions that aren’t mine. My face hovers before me. But not the weak, bruised girl from my mirror. This girl has a bright smile, autumn-sky eyes, hair like sunlight. In Jacks eyes, this fearless girl is me.

I crumble. The pain slips into numbness. Calloused hands help me stand. Only…my body’s still on the ground. Strong arms surround me. “Don’t be scared.”

Jack’s breath is warm. He’s solid. Alive. I’m not.

He turns me. “Look.”

I gasp. An archway hangs in the air—showcasing a Technicolor world. Jewel-like birds trill in kelly-green treetops.  Puddles of rainbow flowers splash the emerald hills. Cobblestone ribbons unspool towards the horizon.  

 “We’re free, Mori.” We step towards the doorway together.

My father breathes. “It worked.”

 I turn back. He’s smiling fanatically. He doesn’t see his dead daughter--just the doorway.  In killing me, he finally opened it.

Jack and I move like one person. In some ways, we are. I feel his emotions, see his memories. When my father hit us with that current, part of our souls…melded.  Jack loves me. It’s all I feel, all that matters.

To my father, we’re invisible. He steps towards the door. Jack and I thrust our hands towards him. The whole, “ghostly-moving objects” is crap. Ghosts don’t have enough life-energy to move dust. My father should walk right through us.

Instead, he flies backward, crashing to the floor. For a split-second, our eyes meet. Somehow, he sees me. I flip him off and slam the door. The handle melts. Maybe I am extraordinary.

My father screams.

 Jack laughs. “Nice! Now come on!”

As we step through the archway, it disappears. The grass is downy-soft. The air smells like I’d imagine starlight would. But I’m not looking around. I’m looking at Jack. He leans in. My whole world becomes his mouth, soft and hot against mine.  

So, it turns out my father was wrong. Heaven’s no myth. It’s right here in front of me. 


And congratulations to ALL of the finalists, and a huge THANK YOU to all who entered and voted!! You guys made this such a fun experience for all involved!! 

But wait! There's more! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner of the *no participation* (rafflecopter) giveaway is Kelly Heinen!!! 
Thank you for entering! Please send me your address so I can send you your signed copy of EVER and some swag! 

***Both winners, please contact me at emailjessarusso [at] gmail [dot] com ***

Cover Reveal! CRIMSON HUNT #NewAdult by Victoria H. Smith

The Crimson Hunt (Eldaen Light Chronicles, #1) 
By: Victoria H. Smith
Release Date: November 12, 2012
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction Romance

College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

Add THE CRIMSON HUNT to your Goodreads TBR Shelf!

About the Author:

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes. 

Victoria H. Smith Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

The Crimson Hunt Playlist 

Cover Image Designed by: Michelle Johnson

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 10/14/12 #SixSunday #WIP #EVERTWO!

For today's Six Sentence Sunday, I am giving you a never before seen sneak peek into the next book in The EVER Trilogy: EVER TWO! (Yes, that is the fancy working title. lol) 

Here you go!

I thought back to his question and remembered the timer on the stove, and what it had said the last time I’d glanced at it.
“About thirty-five minutes.”
He stopped laughing, pursed his lips, and looked up to the side as if pondering something in his mind.
A wickedly sexy grin pulled at his mouth.
“Yup,” he nodded to himself, “that should do it!”
He sprinted over to me from the doorway of the kitchen, and before I could even react to what he was doing, he’d flung me over his shoulder and I was flailing like a crazy person in his arms. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Did you hear the news!? HOLIDAY PITCHFEST is coming! #PitchMas

Our Holiday PitchFest is coming!

What is a Holiday PitchFest, you ask?

Well it’s an event full of awesomeness that Tamara (@FeakySnucker) and Jessa (@JessaRusso) are working on! 

This will be a three-day event (you will not have to participate in all three days if you don't want to) where your peers will first help you hone your Twitter/Blog pitches and then you will have the chance to pitch your manuscript to your dream editor or literary agent!!! 
*All manuscripts must be completed and polished. If they are not completed and polished, we suggest finding a critique partner - and hey, that's how the two of us found each other! 

We are currently compiling a list of super awesome publishing houses and literary agents who will participate, and we're really excited!

So Happy Holidays to YOU, right?!

The schedule for the Holiday PitchFest will be as follows:

Tuesday 12/4:

Wednesday 12/5:
{35 Words or Less}

Thursday 12/6:
{140 Characters or Less - obviously}

Follow along with the hashtag: #PitchMas

Specific details and the list of editors/agents participating will go up in November. Please stay tuned! 

Meanwhile, if you have ANY questions, or if you need help finding a critique partner, please contact either one of us privately or comment below!

Psssst ... please spread the word and grab the button!

Holiday PitchFest 2012

Partners in ParanormYA tour stop! "I'm a SURVIVOR"

Mystery and mayhem teamed with heartache and overcoming. Follow PIP here.

Abby and Indigo Standing Tall: I’m a Survivor!

Neverlove and Givin’ Up The Ghost are two very different stories. Both are YA Paranormal, but Neverlove is darker, more controversial in subject matter. Givin’ Up The Ghost is lighter, cozier.
So what do these novels have in common? One of the themes briefly touched on in our novels is bullying. It is an unfortunate reality for many teens.  We hope to show, in our books, that the bullied can become strong and empowered.
Abby, the MC in Neverlove, would rather be judged and bullied than for people to know the awful truth about her situation:
Worst of all, anger at herself for letting it go on. For years she hid his abuse with long sleeve shirts and turtlenecks, even in the heat of summer. She hid her sleepless nights behind layers of makeup and heavy liner. Being teased as the Goth girl was a compliment compared to the truth.

Indigo, the MC in Givin’ Up The Ghost, also faced bullying and would rather hide her abilities from people than face others knowing the truth about her so-called gift:
“People will think I’m crazy like they always do – this is a new beginning for me. I’m making friends.”
Simon lifted his eyebrows so high, it crinkled his forehead and made him look forty, instead of seventeen.
“Well, okay. No friends yet. But I will,” I insisted. “And when I do, I have to leave all this craziness out of it. And besides, this is a job for the police, and there’s no way I’m going to tell them I’ve seen the ghost of Bart Bagley – they’d commit me – or burn me at the stake for being a witch!”
Both girls are fortunate in meeting friends who accept them for who they are. Since these books are both paranormal, their friends include ghosts, shadow-jumpers and cleansers.
For Abby, she has her fellow Cleanser and roommate Tegra:
Back in the room, goodies littered Abby’s bed. Taking a deep breath, she recounted her life since her brother died. Walter. Her too-busy mom. Pretending the Goth girl look to keep people from the truth. Writing it out in her journal took the sting away, made it easy to share with Tegra. Not a single tear dropped. Though the same couldn’t be said for Tegra.

Indigo has a friendly ghost in Franny:
Franny shook her head, complaining about the lack of what she had to work with. “Close your eyes and relax, dear. You’re going to be a whole new person when I’m done with you.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of.” I sighed in resignation and closed my eyes. I supposed I could go shower again if I looked totally hideous. My skull tingled as Franny’s chilly fingers worked on me. I wondered what it said about me that my first ‘girl time’ session since moving here was with a bossy prostitute ghost.

Corona Zschusschen
Friend or Foe?

Murder victim Bart Bagley is not content to merely roll over in his grave. He wants his murderer caught and he wants teenage ghost whisperer, Indigo Eady, to help him.

It becomes obvious that Bart’s temper lead to more than one disagreement, but is it enough to want him dead? With nothing but a cold trail and a hot list of “friendly” suspects, Indigo and her friends race to find the killer before they become the next victims.

Indigo Eady is not clumsy. At least, that’s what she keeps telling everyone. Can she help that the overactive spirit community of Sabrina Shores causes her psychic abilities to short-circuit? It’s unfortunate that her cute new friend Badger is often on the receiving end of her mishaps. At times, she is positively hazardous to his health. Even so, sparks start to fly in more than one direction...

Heather McCorckle of CP Designs

For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V'Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil's off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.

Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?

To purchase your copy of Gwen Gardner's GIVIN' UP THE GHOST:

To purchase your copy of Angela Brown's NEVERLOVE: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 8, 2012

18 THINGS by Jamie Ayres COVER REVEAL!

18 THINGS by Jamie Ayres
Can eighteen things save a life? 
Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.
Then Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible. When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.
Alls she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her.
 Just as she’s finally embracing the joys of YOLO, her therapist reveals a big secret and Olga’s world is shaken. In the past year it took eighteen remarkable things to change a life, but nothing she believed about her mission is true.
 Now she doesn’t just risk losing her true soul-mate forever, she risks losing her very soul.

A little about Jamie: 
Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches very young adults as a public school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. She lives in southwest Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She spent her youthful summers in Grand Haven, Michigan and this setting provided the inspiration for her debut novel, 18 Things. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she's thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you. 

Congratulations, Jamie! Your cover is GORGEOUS!  Can't wait to grab a copy when it comes out in two months! SQUEEE!!! 
You can stalk Jamie here: