Friday, December 28, 2012

Like Mother like Daughter

In an effort to refute any possible stirrings that I might be less than satisfied with my family or my life, I wanted to write a quick post to re-word my earlier ramblings.  Don't worry - I am still anything but your normal girl.  And thanks to my amazing and anything but normal mom, I am VERY happy being as abnormal as possible.  For the simple reason that she is just as abnormal as I am.  For she is not your typical mother.  So instead of my 15 reasons I suck at life...  I am posting 15 reasons my mom is abnormal in the best way:

1. She taught me the difference between paper scissors and sewing scissors (if you don't know, you shouldn't be using sewing scissors in the first place).
2. She taught me what it means to be trully independent.

2. She can sew an entire wardrobe with her eyes closed.
4. She sacrificed everything for us.

5. She took me to the library every weekend and instilled the love of reading within me.
6. She made my favorite stuffed animal and my favorite quilt with her own two hands.

7. She began working again after retirement to pay for my wedding.

8. She taught me how to chase my dreams...and catch them.
9. She always created our wreaths out of the bottom branches of our christmas trees and she made our stockings.
10. She's never grown up.  And I hope I never do either.
11. She made the Pinterest-inspired birthday parties of today look like childsplay.
12. She taught me how to make jewelry.
13. She inspires others to follow in her footsteps although she tries to cover those same footsteps up along the way.

14. She secretly videotaped the cheers and dances for cheer tryouts in seventh grade and helped me get every motion perfect.
15. When I told her I just wanted to be 'normal' when I was 8, she told me normal wasn't always a good thing and that I was perfect the way I was.

I love you, Mom!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Cover Reveal - Chosen!

I can't believe how much I've learned about creating covers over the last couple of months and I'm definitely not the best at it, but it's SO much fun!!  For my next series, I've already got a million and one ideas as to what I want the covers to look like, but that will have to wait until this series is finished (wink, wink)! 

After looking at every cover ever published, I noticed the most popular covers have a random girl in a prom dress on a beach, a rock, or lost in a forest.  As cliche as they have become, they catch my eye every dang time!!  It's incredibly maddening.  I also see alot of covers that have the Twilight complex; black and white with a color splash of red.  Just like the prom dress damsels in distress, they suck me right in too!  Damn you, you product marketing geniuses! 

So anyway, the Daughters of the Sea covers are obvious in their similarities - the color blue, see-through cryptic symbols, and the ocean.  Each cover is also pulled from a specific scene in that particular book.  So with that said below is the cover for Chosen! I'll let you marinate on what significance the lightning and crescent moon symbol could possibly have in the story line:)  Can't wait until Jan 29th!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

15 Reasons Why I Suck at Life!


After slopping through the litany of Christmas photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram featuring happy, smiling families in matching red outfits, a proud Mom standing in front of her beautifully decorated house, puppies with santa hats, and giggling babies, I got the urge to throw my computer across the room.  Not because I hate babies and puppies, but because each perfect moment of other people's lives reminded me of my not so perfect life. 

Every family has their own level of dysfunction and problems, but we don't see that on Instagram and Facebook.  We don't see the raging headaches or the maxed out credit card behind that proud Mom's Good Housekeeping-esque decorated house.  We don't see the resentment behind Dad's eyes at Mom's insisting on him wearing a christmas tree sweater.  We don't see the shoes the cute puppies devoured 3 seconds before the picture was shot.  We only see chosen snapshots showcasing the happy, happy, happy parts of people's lives.

So in an effort to remind people that no one is perfect, I'm going to do 15 days of Why I Suck at Life.  15 pictures on Instagram showing the 15 things I suck at, hate about myself, or cringe at in my life.  Not because I want sympathy or therapy, but because I think my friends out there in the twitterverse and blogosphere should see some of the not so great things about me.  Train wrecks - that's what people like to see.  Why else would anyone watch Honey Boo Boo or Cops?  It makes us feel better to know there are people out there more screwed up than we are.

I'll be adding #whyisuckatlife to my tweets, so if you'd like to join in and let us all know about your smelly feet, that toothless Uncle Barney you refuse to claim as part of the family, or your burnt brocolli casserole please do!!

Instagram: kris10day

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Twas' the Night Before Christmas - A song for Sandy Hook Elementary


 Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38,
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.......
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy.
"We're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring.
Those children all flew into the arms of their King.
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound;
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran;
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Monday, December 10, 2012

And the Winners are...!!

I have the remedy for your Holiday Stress!  I am sorry to say the happy pills giveaway has been postponed.  I found the empty bottle open on the counter last night.  I had nothing to do with that whatsoever.  True Story.  But I do have something even better!  Books & Jewelry!!

And the WINNERS of the Awaken Blog Tour Giveaway are.....drum roll.....another drum roll.... 

The Forsaken and Awaken E-books go to:
Alexandra Marta
Cassie Hoffman
Amber Nicole
Jolene A.
Natasa May
DeeDee Brinkman Griffin

The homemade Stasia inspired necklace goes to:
Shadow Kohler!
 (how kickass is her name?)

And last but definitely not least: The homemade Finn inspired necklace goes to:
Stephanie McCamy!

CONGRATULATIONS you guys!!  I will be emailing the ebook winners to find out which type of file you prefer.  And I'll be mailing out the necklaces to their new owners today!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Good News/Bad News

Bad News first: the release date for CHOSEN has been pushed out 3 weeks to January 29th!  Fret not, my Finn fangirls - it will be worth the wait!  There will be several chapters from Finn's perspective and amongst several more twists and turns, ALL will be revealed...

Good News: The Forsaken/Awaken giveaway has expired so the winners will be announced shortly!  I've got the Stasia and Finn inspired necklaces boxed and ready to ship! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chosen Countdown Widget!

I just made a countdown widget for Chosen!!  It's the little things in the life:)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Awaken Blog Tour!

Awaken hits the blog circuit for the month of November!  YA Novel Reader has once again coordinated an amazing month long tour for the second installment of The Daughters of the Sea Trilogy and I can't wait!  Below is the full list of blogs by date...

11/1/2012 - Review
11/2/2012 - Guest Post
11/3/2012 - Review/Excerpt
11/4/2012 - Guest Post
               - Guest Post
11/5/2012 - Review
11/6/2012 - Review
11/7/2012 - Review
11/8/2012 - Review
11/9/2012 - Guest Post
11/10/2012 - Teaser
               - Teaser
               - Review
11/11/2012 - Review
11/12/2012 - Guest Post
                - Review
11/13/2012 - Review
11/14/2012 - Guest Post
11/15/2012 - Review
11/16/2012 - Teaser
11/17/2012 - Review
11/18/2012 - Guest Post
11/19/2012 - Review
11/20/2012 - Review
11/21/2012 - Review
11/22/2012 - Review
               - Reviews
11/23/2012 - Teaser
11/24/2012 - Review
11/25/2012 - Review
11/26/2012 - Review
11/27/2012 - Review
11/28/2012 - Review
11/29/2012 - Review
11/30/2012 - Guest Post

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Escape

Why do people write?  Why do I write?  That’s a loaded question, but one I’ve been thinking about.  I write for a lot of reasons, but there is one in particular that’s been bubbling up to the surface lately.  It’s pretty simple really. I want to make people feel emotions they would otherwise be scared to feel in their own lives; good and bad.  If I can offer a safe, imaginary world for the reader to escape; one where they are free to feel every emotion that each scene provokes and search their own hearts as they go through the characters’ struggles and triumphs, maybe it will help them back in reality.  It might be a pipe dream, but for some reason it’s one that continues to motivate me.  So, I wanted to share something with everyone that I wrote a couple of years ago.  It’s from my own personal journal and touches on some of my own struggles…

The familiar comfort of depression falls upon my soul.  Blanketing my world with a quilt of numbness. Stitched with the fabric of my pain, it mimics sanity while my heart and soul grow weary beneath its heavy embrace.  The protective barrier built long ago to save me in every way, is never far beneath the surface.  But within its arms, I can’t reach the tools I need to cope.  My pain is quieted, my worries suppressed, and my mind goes blank.  As the wall springs skyward, my feelings are untouchable.  They are instantly disconnected from my reality and therefore exist as separate entities bound only by a silver thread of resistance.  They drift in a current of strength, circulating but never facing their origin.  I must confront this wall of strength in my heart – my weakness must prevail if I am to cope.  The strength and need of depression is neither warranted nor welcome.  Its immediate presence invokes the knowledge that something is just below the surface, needing to escape.  Needing to be listened to, healed, and comforted.  But until I can let go and allow weakness and acceptance to foster, I will lose myself once again to the brutal forces of my own defenses. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Ghosts of Kristen's Past


So, I was watching all of the TV shows that are trying their best to scare the pants off of their viewers with stories of the most haunted places in America or the scariest urban legends.  Then I saw three trailers of scary movies that are coming out in the next couple of weeks.  I felt my ears perk up as a shot of adrenaline ran through my heart and a goofy grin spread across my face.  There's nothing better than a good scary movie that terrifies you to the point of disillusioned fears that hang over your mind for a week or two. I get many, many strange looks when I try to explain that I love to be scared. 

I've always been fascinated by the supernatural world of ghosts, demons, and psychic abilities.  I see scary movies or scary trails as a challenge.  It's almost impossible to scare me.  Why, you ask?  Probably because I've already witnessed a million frightening, spine tingling, and unexplainable occurences throughout my life.  In the spirit of my favorite holiday I figured I'd share some of those experiences with you.  Some are good, some - not so much.

Messenger of Death
I've always had asthma, but over the years I've learned how to control it.  Before this particular night, the last asthma attack I'd had was when I was 12 years old.  When I was 20 and in my senior year of college, I went to sleep one night with thoughts of the History final I had to take the next day at 8am.  At exactly 2:37am, I woke up gasping for breath.  I automatically reached for my asthma spray, sat on the edge of my bed and fought for twenty minutes to get it under control.  It was unlike any other asthma attack - it felt more like someone had wrapped their hands around my throat.  Once my breathing was back to normal I started to lay back down and felt a slight wind brush across my face. Then my door which had been cracked, shut by itself.  After convincing myself I was seeing things, I finally went back to sleep.  The next morning before my final, Mom called to say my grandfather had died.  Several days later I found out he had died in his sleep around 2:30 in the morning.  His lungs had failed.

Seeing into the Past
While in middle school, my family moved to a house on 150 acres of land.  There was a turn-of-the-century farmhouse that stood behind our much newer house and a small pond off to the right.  One day while searching the property, my brother and I found an old family cemetary in the woods with tombstones so old and worn we couldn't even read the engravings.  We snuck into the old farmhouse several times and I came to love it's faded paint, blackened fireplaces, and creaky stairs.  Unfortunately, after several months my parents had the fire dept. burn down the old house since it was anything but safe.  That's when the strange things began happening. Our gravel driveway turned in front of our house and continued around the side.  One day after school, I was by myself and sitting at the kitchen table doing homework.  An old Model-T type car came bouncing down our driveway and past the kitchen window. 

Thinking my stepdad had brought home an antique car, I ran out the back door and around the house to the end of the driveway.  To my surprise, there was no car to be found.  I walked around the house but still found nothing.  Then I turned around towards the spot where the old farmhouse house had once stood.  The only thing that had survived the fire were the two chimneys on either side still pointing up at the sky accusingly.  Except on this particular day. When I turned, the farmhouse had reappeared.  After staring at it's wooden porch that no longer hung at an odd angle and windows adorned with lace curtains in disbelief for several moments, I closed my eyes tight and tried to calm my heart that was threatening to beat of my chest.  When I peeked through my eyelashes, only the two brick chimneys stood glaring back at me. 

Upon going back inside the house, I walked back into the kitchen where every cabinet and drawer had been opened.  I ran around frantically trying to close them, when the phone rang.  All I heard was breathing on the other end.  Close to tears, I ran into my room and locked the door until I saw my brother get off the bus from my bedroom window.  Noises, finding random objects in odd places and seeing doors open on their own continued to happen until we moved again after another year.

Next week I'll share some more spine tingling stories that will explain my fascination with all things supernatural....bwahahaha (that's my evil laugh)...stay tuned...

Monday, October 8, 2012

From Bald Head Island with love

The Daughters of the Sea Trilogy takes place on Bald Head Island, NC - one of my all time favorite places. I don't know if it's because you can only reach it by boat or that there are no cars allowed on the island or maybe it's just the simple beauty of it.  Either way, I wanted to share a little bit of it with you! 

This is standing on the east beach (where the House of Lorelei is located) looking toward Cape Fear.  This is the stretch of sand Stasia and her roommates would have walked to get to the bonfire that first week in FORSAKEN.  In the distance, you can see the Cape as it turns out into the ocean, creating the point.

One of the many old live oak trees that I love!

The plaque for the Frying Pan Shoals - which is also where the Light Station is located...

The Frying Pan Shoals Light Station!  This is where the Sons spend most of their time and also the location of the Cimmerian Ball (PS: there really is a helicopter pad on top)...  below is a picture looking down from one of the platforms...eek!

And last but not least, my favorite tree on the whole island......


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Breathe No More

I wanted to share one of the vices I have that inspires me to no end.  It doesn't matter what time of day, how I feel, or what is going on around me for some reason Evanescence reaches down into my soul and starts juggling it like a bunch of fire batons.  For those not 'in the know' Evanescence is a band that's been around for atleast fifteen years, probably more and they are, shall I say, on the darker side.  You won't find any sunshine or pink butterflies in their songs.  You'll find yourself in their songs.  Whoa.  Deep, right?  Well brace yourself, here's more. 

I think the best writers are those who have experienced as many emotions and as many ups and downs that life has to offer.  They are able to write from the perspective of 'this is how I felt-' instead of 'this is how I think I would feel-'  But that means embracing all kinds of things about yourself that some people might not want to embrace.  They aren't the things that you want to cuddle up with or draw all over a notebook with little hearts all around them.  And those are the things that Amy Lee writes about in her songs. 

I'm not talking about the whole three songs you've ever heard on the radio, I'm talking about the ones that you kind of have to search for (I don't cause I have all four albums which my husband repeatedly tries to throw out of a moving car).  I think her songs also reach out to a younger generation that our culture has swept under the rug.  I'm not talking about grunge or the goth kids you see running around with black lipstick and black wardrobes, I'm talking about Molly down the street that comes home from soccer practice and cuts on her arms.  The same Molly who goes to school the next day in long sleeves. The girls I follow on Tumblr that take pictures of the bruises they gave themselves or the cuts they made down their thigh.  Sometimes it's good to let yourself go to that 'dark place' might just learn a few things about yourself... 

Below is one of the songs (poems if you will) I really like - it's called Breathe No More.  You won't hear Taylor Swift doing a cover of this anytime soon...

I've been looking in the mirror for so long
That I've come to believe my soul's on the other side
Oh, the little pieces falling, shatter
Shards of me too sharp to put back together
Too small to matter but big enough to cut me
Into so many little pieces if I try to touch her

And I bleed, I bleed
And I breathe, I breathe no more

Take a breath and I try to draw from my spirits well
Yet again you refuse to drink like a stubborn child
Lie to me, convince me that I've been sick forever
And all of this will make sense when I get better
I know the difference between myself and my reflection
I just can't help but to wonder which of us do you love

So I bleed, I bleed
And I breathe, I breathe now
Bleed, I bleed and I breathe
I breathe, I breathe, I breathe no more

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Character Bio's!

To celebrate the release of Awaken, I've decided to post Bio's of all of the descendents!  I'm going to post a couple each day throughout the week!  Today I have posted the Bio's for Stasia's roommates under The Descendents tab: Carmen, Willow, and Phoebe!  They are real people in my head who I have grown to love and adore, so I wanted to share them with the rest of the world!  Enjoy!

I am so excited to announce the release of Awaken, the second installment of the Daughters of the Sea Trilogy!  It is now available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I wrote what?

I've always been a pretty private person, so the blogging world is a little daunting to me.  Not because I don't like it - very much the contrary.  The problem is that I very much live in my head.  It just doesn't come natural to me to sit down and put to words the things I feel and think on any given day.  Most of my thoughts are pretty off the wall and I can't help but wonder why anyone would choose to read about them.  Then I found myself reading other people's blogs and becoming completely engrossed.  They weren't writing about anything groundbreaking - just things about themselves, the way they think and basically what makes them who they are. 

The reason I've always lived in my own head is because I wasn't sure the world was ready for the things that go through my mind.  As I've been writing the Daughter of the Sea series, I've come to learn ALOT about how my crazy, wacky brain works.  It's been pretty entertaining.  Sometimes I feel like those possessed people you see in movies - the ones sitting at a random desk with vacant eyes continuously muttering nonsense while unknowingly writing 24 pages prophesizing the end of the world.  In an unknown language.  I'm pretty sure no demons are hovering over me; waiting for the opportune time to possess my body and scribble out their plan to take over human souls  (or are they....?)  But after I read over the chapters and scenes I write, I think - really?  I just wrote that?  How'd that happen? 

People always ask me how I come up with the intricate characters and stories, but honestly?  I have no idea.  Maybe they've always lived in my mind and are just now allowed the chance to emerge?  Who's to say I'm not stark raving mad with multiple personalities who are simply writing about each other?  I'm going to go with the first possibility - mainly because stark raving mad is not usually a desirable quality unless you're a musician or reality TV star - then it's practically required.  So being that i'm a writer, I can't claim insanity.  Although sometimes I'd like to.

So as I write each day, I'm going to try my best to be completely honest and do my best to explain the inner workings of my mind.  Where that takes me, only time can tell...or demon prophecies...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wow!  Finally home from my whirlwind vacay and the Forsaken Blog Tour is in full swing!  I wanted to make sure i posted the schedule!  Roll over each link to click and view!

Sept 1
Sept 2
Sept 3
Sept 4
Sept 5
Sept 6
Sept 7
Sept 8
Sept 9
Sept 10
Sept 11
Sept 12
Sept 13
Sept 14
Sept 15
Sept 16
Sept 17
Sept 18
Sept 19
Sept 20
Sept 21
Sept 22
Sept 23
Sept 24
Sept 25
Sept 26
Sept 27
Sept 28
Sept 29
Sept 30

I'm so excited!!!  Thank you for all of the support!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My amazingly talented editor Stacy also happens to be a fabulous artist.  The characters and scenes of Forsaken have journeyed from the pages of my book to the pages of her sketch pad.  And the result has been nothing short of incredible.  After getting over the initial anxiety (panic attacks) and giddiness (cartwheeling around my living room) of other people reading something that my wacky brain created, it's a whole different experience seeing it come to life through someone else's hand.  I can hardly wait until she is finished so I can share her art with you!  She has a way of capturing not only the physical aspects of the characters, but also their individual personalities within her drawings.  They'll be posted on the Characters Tab as soon as she's ready for the big reveal!

Monday, July 30, 2012

September Blog Tour!

Exciting News!!  I will be doing a Blog Tour in September!  You might be asking yourself - what in the world is a blog tour...don't worry i was asking myself the same thing last week.  I had a picture in my mind of a cartoon Kristen bouncing around to different blogs talking about the book.  Kind of like that bouncing paperclip cartoon Microsoft created to drive us all crazy.  But thankfully that isn't how a blog tour works.  For the entire month of September i'll be featured on a different blog each day; whether that be an author interview, character interviews, an excerpt, guest post, book review.  The premise is to get out infront of as many readers as possible, as well as collect reviews (hopefully positive!).  Once i get the tour schedule and blogger websites, i'll post more information!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Forsaken is officially available for sale on Kindle and Nook!  I am so excited I can't stand it!  All of the characters are so near and dear to my heart, I can't wait for other readers to meet them!