Posts Categorized: Author Guest Post

Wildfire by Mary Lowry ~ Author Guest Post

14 Oct, 2014 by in Author Guest Post, mary pauline lowry, wildfire Leave a comment


Julie has an obsession with fire that began after her parents died when she was twelve years old. Her pyromania leads her to take an unlikely job as a forest firefighter on an elite, Type 1 “Hotshot” crew of forest firefighters who travel the American West battling wildfires. The only woman on the twenty person crew, Julie struggles both to prove her worth and find a place of belonging in the dangerous, insular, and very masculine world of fire (while also fighting against an eating disorder she’s had since her teens). As her season “on the line” progresses so do her relationships with the strange and varied cast of characters that make up her hotshots team–and she learns what it means to put your life on the line for someone else. Wildfire is a tough, gritty, and fascinating story from an exciting new voice in American fiction.




Eating Disorders and Grief in my novel “Wildfire”
Julie, the narrator of my novel “Wildfire,” became on orphan at the age of 12. After flirting with pyromania, she turned to bulimia as a way to assuage her grief at the loss of her parents. It’s incredibly common for young women to develop eating disorders as a way to maintain an illusion of control, especially when their lives feel out of control in other ways. Julie feels very ashamed of her binging and purging and she works hard to keep it a secret.

After flunking out of college, Julie is hired onto an elite 20-person “hotshot” crew of wildland firefighters. Ironically, hotshot crewmembers throw up often as well, but for very different reasons. Hotshots throw up from drinking too much, participating in impromptu eating contests, working out too hard, putting in their first dip of Copenhagen, etc etc. And unlike Julie, the hotshots are kind of proud when they throw up–they even brag about it. It’s part of their machismo culture.

I thought it would be interesting to put Julie—who struggles privately with the shame of her eating disorder—in the middle of this group of rowdy guys who are constantly barfing as well, but out in front of people and with no shame attached. I wanted to see what crazy and fun and ultimately healing events would unfold. Also, I wanted Julie in a situation where she needed plenty of food (i.e. fuel) in order to do the demanding work of fighting wildfires. That is another thing that helps Julie to overcome her struggles with bulimia. In some ways, eating disorders can both come from and perpetuate loneliness. Joining up with a crew of wildland firefighters ultimately helps Julie to break out of her isolation and let go of the eating disorder that has been destroying her life.



About the Authormary_pauline_lowry_author_photo

Mary Pauline Lowry worked for two years as a forest firefighter on the elite Pike Interagency Hotshot Crew based on the Pike National Forest in Colorado. “Hotshots are the best-trained and best-equipped wildland firefighters, sometimes referred to as the Navy SEALs of their profession” (Rolling Stone Magazine).

Lowry has an M.A. in English (concentration Creative Writing) from the University of Texas at Austin. Lowry has since worked in the movement to end violence against women.

Lowry is a native of Austin, TX. She writes for xoJane and the Huffington Post. Her novel WILDFIRE, based on her experiences as a wildland firefighter, will be published by Skyhorse on October 7.

Website * Twitter


Salt & Storm Blog Tour & Author Guest Post

24 Sep, 2014 by in Author Guest Post, blog tour, rockstar, salt & storm Leave a comment




salt_and_storm_coverAbout the Book 


Author: Kendall Kulper

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pub. Date: September 23, 2014

Find it: Goodreads|Amazon|Barnes& Noble

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder–and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane–a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

Guest Post

The Real Places Behind SALT & STORM

One of the things I’m always happy to hear from readers is that the setting of SALT & STORM, a remote whaling community called Prince Island, feels like a real place. It is, in fact, completely made up, but as I wrote about it, I drew on a lot of my memories of places I’ve visited. You might not ever be able to visit Prince Island, but here are a few of the places that helped me capture its spirit.

New Bishop, the tiny whaling town where my main character, Avery, lives, is a combination of two towns: Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard and New Bedford on the Massachusetts coast. From Edgartown, I got the narrow brick streets and beautiful captain’s houses, as well as the idea of an out-of-commission lighthouse.

fisher house morse_house

Avery lives with her mother in the nicest neighborhood on the island, and she describes the house they live in as grand, white, and airy. You can still see some of these houses, like the Captain Morse House and the Dr. Daniel Fisher House, in the heart of Edgartown’s historic district.


Not far from these houses is the Edgartown lighthouse, which is still open to visitors. The lighthouse underwent renovations in 2007, but for much of my childhood, it was a pretty, but somewhat rundown, sight. In SALT & STORM, Avery says of the town’s lighthouse:

“Our lighthouse is something of a joke and a curiosity… [It’s] little more than an eyesore; the island’s children had long ago smashed its windows, and faded rust leached through the white paint so that it seemed as if the poor thing was bleeding.”

whaling ships


new docks

Edgartown’s docks now mostly cater to private owners, so to get a sense of a working harbor, I went to New Bedford, MA, which is still a bustling fishing center. Historic photos show how busy the docks were, but even today you can see dozens of docked boats, crowded together so thickly that their masts make a kind of forest above them.


The tiny fishing village in SALT & STORM known as Weld Haven is very loosely based on Menemsha, a working village on Martha’s Vineyard and one of my family’s favorite places to great fresh seafood. Avery says of Weld Haven:

“Haven” is a touch of island humor, because unlike New Bishop’s bathtub waters, the sea at Weld Haven’s shore bites at ships and swimmers alike with rows of jagged, rocky teeth. Only tiny, flat-bottomed fishing skiffs can navigate safely out to sea, and if there hasn’t been a wreck in those waters, it’s only because there’s no captain fool enough to try them.

In real life, Menemsha is quite safe to sail from, but I always remembered it for its long rocky jetty, which was dangerous to swim too close to and gave me the idea for a fishing village set along a rocky harbor.

Prince Island is supposed to be close to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, so I based its environment and landscape on those islands, especially the area around my family’s house. The Great Gray Slough in SALT & STORM is a marshy lake that Avery describes as:

“Half-mooned, it fits up against the island’s northwestern shoreline, only a spit of sand and grass separating its fresh waters from the salty sea. It’s desolate, even dreary, made up of nothing but quantities of pitch-black mud and long grasses barbed with fine stingers that slice open unsuspecting ankles and calves.”

The slough is actually based on a real ponds on Martha’s Vineyard, like Crackatuxet Cove, the Edgartown Great Pond, and Majors Cove (they’re all more fun to swim in than Avery, who’s not a fan of swimming, describes).


For the remote area where Avery’s family has made their home for generations, I relied on my memories of Aquinnah, a cliffy beach on the western end of the town. Aquinnah is beautiful in the sunshine but magical when it’s foggy, and I love standing at the top of the cliffs when the beach below is shrouded in fog.


The beaches themselves came from what I remembered of my time on Chappaquiddick Island. It’s possible to drive out onto the beach there, which means it’s possible to drive out to remote areas where you’re the only person in miles. These remote beaches, probably more than anything, inspired the quiet connection Avery has with her home.


About the Author


Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist for teen readers and knows more about nineteenth century whaling than she ever imagined. Her debut YA novel, SALT & STORM will be published by Little, Brown September 23, 2014. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature in 2008 and spent several years as a journalist before deciding to write full-time. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and now lives in Boston with her husband and chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd mix, Abby.



 The Giveaway

2 Hardcovers of SALT & STORM US Only

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Tour Schedule

Week One:

9/15/2014- Novel Novice– Interview

9/15/2014- The Infinite To-Read Shelf– Review

9/16/2014- All Things Urban Fantasy– Guest Post

9/16/2014- No BS Book Reviews– Review

9/17/2014- Such a Novel Idea– Interview

9/17/2014- Katie’s Book Blog– Review

9/18/2014- IceyBooks– Interview

9/18/2014- That Artsy Reader Girl– Review

9/19/2014- Wishful Endings– Guest Post

9/19/2014- Casual Readers– Review


Week Two:

9/22/2014- Supernatural Snark Interview

9/22/2014- About to Read– Review

9/23/2014- The Cover Contessa– Guest Post

9/23/2014- Imaginary Reads Review

9/24/2014- Fire and Ice– Guest Post

9/24/2014- Once Upon a Twilight– Review

9/25/2014- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Interview

9/25/2014- The Best Books Ever– Review

9/26/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post

9/26/2014- Tynga’s Reviews– Review


A Thousand Perfect Things Blog Tour ~ Author Guest Post

12 Mar, 2014 by in a thousand perfect things, Author Guest Post, blog tour, kay kenyon Leave a comment

A thousand tour

Tour Schedule

 Fire and Ice welcome author Kay Kenyon today for a guest post as part of her A Thousand Perfect Things Blog Tour.


Thousand perfect thingsA Thousand Perfect Things

In this epic new work, the award-winning Kenyon, whose work has be compared to Larry Nivens and Stephen R. Donaldson, creates an alternate Earth in the 19th century. This Earth is ruled by two warring factions—scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India).

Tori Harding, a Victorian woman, whose heart aches to claim the legendary powers of the golden lotus, must leave her reasoned world behind and journey to Bharata. In pursuit of the golden lotus, Tori will be forced to brave its magics, intrigues, deadly secrets and haunted places, to claim her destiny and choose between two lovers in two irreconcilable realms.

As a great native insurrection sweeps the continent of Bharata—Tori will find the thing she most desires, beautifully flawed and more wonderfully strange than she could have ever dreamed.


Praise for A Thousand Perfect Things

“This has become my favorite of all Kay Kenyon’s books. The science-driven men of Anglica have constructed a marvel of engineering-a bridge that crosses the ocean-but they don’t understand the mystical forces they’re facing in the dangerously seductive country of Bharata. As usual, Kenyon offers flawless world-building and a diverse cast of characters driven by conflicting and wholly believable desires. This is a rich, gorgeous, and marvelously detailed tapestry of a book.”
— Sharon Shinn, Author of Troubled Waters and Royal Airs

“Kay Kenyon has once again created a world into which one blissfully disappears, replete with magic and monsters, romance and reigning dynasties, set upon the fragile social scaffolding of mid-nineteenth century England. The story is, literally and figuratively, a bridge between the mystical and the very real, with a young heroine who a delivers a deliciously vicarious ride. Brilliantly told with elegant yet occasionally jarring prose, A Thousand Perfect Things is a masterwork from the mind of one of our best authors of compelling alternate realities.”– Larry Brooks, Author of Story Engineering

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Book Depository

Author Guest Post

My Victorian World

On the surface . . . my Victorian world in A Thousand Perfect Things is a world that Jane Austin fans will find familiar, with elegance, manor houses, and women seeking good matches. (Although of course the era of Pride and Prejudice was a few decades earlier.) It is a world of British colonialism, where younger sons are sent to (a re-imagined) India to seek their fortunes. My alternate England is a land where science reigns supreme, but where a woman, no matter how brilliant, cannot be admitted to the realm of science.

On the other hand . . . not all is so calm. England’s men of science are so enthralled by logic and engineering that they condemn an alternative way of knowing that is very real: magic. The continent of Bharata (an alternate India) is a kingdom of the most powerful magics. Tired of the colonial yoke, its mages send events of magical terrorism to England, such as enlivening iron statues and sending them on killing rampages. A 500 foot high cobra made of water rises out of the Thames and wreaks destruction. Young Tori Harding, a brilliant aspiring scientist, is lured to Bharata, followed by a shape-shifting avian creature who wants something from her. But what?

Crossing to a magical place . . . Using a fantastical and dangerous road, Tori makes the journey to Bharata, seeking out magic to aid her quest for freedom and scientific discovery. There she will encounter things beautiful, terrifying, and strange. It is a land of ancient ghosts, demon birds, fire dreams, kraken, a god with the head of an elephant, and the legendary golden lotus. Amid these magical splendors she will find the glittering court of a raja, silver tiger allies, mutiny, competing suitors, betrayal, spiritual truths, death, reconciliation, and finally, love and wonder.
I invite you into my Victorian world!– Kay Kenyon

About the Author

kay kenyon

Kay Kenyon is the author of eleven science fiction and fantasy novels, including A Thousand Perfect Things. She is the author of the critically acclaimed science fiction quartet, The Entire and The Rose. Bright of the Sky was among PW’s top 150 books of 2007. The series has twice been shortlisted for the ALA Reading List awards and three times for the Endeavour Award. Four of her novels have been translated into French, Spanish and Czech. Along with her novels Tropic of Creation and Maximum Ice, two of the works in the quartet received starred reviews from PW.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Pinterest * Goodreads * Google +

The Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/31/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Author Guest Post- Looking Up by Michelle Wilson

23 Jan, 2014 by in Author Guest Post, blog tour, deseret book 3 comments

Fire and Ice is so excited to participate in this Deseret Book blog Tour and have author Michelle Wilson here today with an exclusive blog post!

About the Authormichelle_wilson

Michelle Wilson is a native of California. Through serving a full-time mission, teaching seminary, Sunday School classes, and speaking at various firesides and conferences, Michelle has developed a love of the power and simplicity of the gospel. She believes in the healing power of laughter and chocolate. She and her husband, Jerey, are the parents of three children and live in Washington State.

Guest Post

Looking up

Thanks for having my on your blog, Heather!

I have really enjoyed the response I have gotten so far to ‘Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?’  The dual ideas of ‘learning to see’ who we are and ‘choosing to be’ are hitting home with so many.

In our hectic lives, it is easy for us as women to look beyond the mark of who we are and who we can be. We can, at times, get caught in the traps of comparing our perceived worst to other’s best, putting unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, or basing our worth on what we think others opinions are of us.  These things keep us from seeing ourselves as we really are.

That’s where the ‘learning to see’ comes us—as we learn to recognize the things that block us from seeing ourselves as we truly are and come to understand how God see us, we can begin to understand who we really are. And not only that, but what we are capable of! So many of us live underneath our privileges!  Perspective and confidence open the doors of understanding and opportunity, and allow us to walk through to find new experiences, growth and joy.

I didn’t understand that for a long time. Though my outward circumstances in life were good, I carried a weight of insecurity, fear, and sadness. I managed to hide it from most people (as we are so good at doing) but it affected my actions, choices, and priorities. I allowed myself to feel worthless and began looking around to my peers and others to make me feel differently. That worked sometimes, like when my friends told me they loved me, or when a boy said I was cute. But then, the times I didn’t get a phone call, or my friends went out without me, or my brothers were cruel to me, any feeling of confidence and worth I may have had went out the door.

My parents told me often I was wonderful, but somehow I let their role as parents turn their view of my into an obligatory compliment I didn’t allow myself to believe.

Lest you think I was a walking sad sack my teenage years, I wasn’t. In fact, I hid these feelings well. I became so adept at acting as though I had confidence and a feeling of self-worth that most didn’t know that to me that’s all it was, an act. Yes, there were times of joy, fun, and happiness. I loved my family and had some good friends. I even had a testimony of God and Jesus Christ. But, underneath the laughter and smiles, I didn’t have testimony of myself or my worth. I just didn’t feel I was good enough.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too soon after my teenage years that I began to recognize what my problem had been. It wasn’t a matter of who I was or wasn’t; it was the simple matter of which way I had been looking.

I spent years looking side to side, all around me, for the definition and summation of my worth. How did I compare with others? How did I fit in? How did they see me?  It was only when I changed the direction of where I looked that I began to see—when I stopped looking side to side, but began looking up to God for my place and my purpose did I truly begin to understand myself.

As I mentioned before, I had always had believed in God. I never doubted He was real. I even understood, in theory, that He loved me. He had always been in my life, in the background. But when I put Him in the forefront of my thoughts and efforts, I began to not only believe in Him, but realize that He believed in me.  He allowed me to see myself the way He sees me—with hope, admiration, tenderness, and love, such perfect love. Through my growing relationship with Him, I was able to see myself as He does, and, because He doesn’t lie, I had to believe Him.

His knowledge and vision are perfect. So is His love.

His love for me isn’t based on what I have or haven’t done, what kind of clothes I wear, whether I have a muffin-top or not, or what my peers think of me. Neither should mine.

His love for me isn’t dependent on how clean my house is, how cute my kid’s clothes are, are if I have an awesome Pinterest board. And neither should mine.

His love for me doesn’t diminish when I make mistakes, or fall short of my sometimes unrealistic goals for myself. And neither should mine.

His love for me doesn’t change because someone around me doesn’t like me.

He loves me with a perfect love because He can see beyond all of that into who I am and what He knows I can do. He made me. That means something. And though I still have a ways to go to become like Him, He loves me now. He sees me for who I am, and He thinks I’m pretty awesome.

I can’t tell you how that realization has freed and empowered me throughout my life. When the times of fear and doubt creep in, or I begin to worry what other’s might think, or maybe feel out of place, all I have to do is refocus and look up to Him, and I feel better. The worries and stress are put into their proper place, and I again at peace.

The beauty of this story is that it doesn’t apply to only me. It applies to you. God knows you better than you know yourself. His perspective is clear. His love is perfect. I believe He is there to help you see yourself through His eyes—the only way to see yourself as you really are. And as you look up for your worth and realize how He amazing He knows you are, you can believe Him. He is God. He cannot lie.

I used to just believe in God, and now I know that He believes in me. And nothing I can see from side to side can ever change that.

About the Book


Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?
by Michelle Wilson
Paperback, 176 pages
Published 2013 by Deseret Book
ISBN13 9781609078072
Goodreads* Amazon* Deseret Book

Product Description

• Why do clothing stores hang fun-house mirrors in their dressing rooms?

• The laundry doesn’t cry when it’s not folded, so why should I?

• Can I be confident even if an elevator calls me fat?

Michelle Wilson’s humorous yet poignant insights help women examine the limitations we place on ourselves out of insecurity and self-doubt. We have faith in God, but do we know that He has faith in us?

When we see ourselves with God’s eternal perspective, we can feel confident and whole—even in our imperfection. Just think what we might accomplish if we truly believe that we are more important than we know, stronger than we realize, and extraordinary in every way.

Find out more on the author’s website


Love Water Memory Blog Tour & Author Guest Post

13 Jan, 2014 by in Author Guest Post, blog tour, jennie shortridge, love water memory 2 comments



Fire and Ice is thrilled to be today’s stop on the Love Water Memory Blog Tour hosted by Literati Author Services. We have Jennie Shortridge, the author here to tell us her top ten favorite books and there’s a giveaway for our readers!

Love_Water_MemorycoverTitle: Love Water Memory
Author: Jennie Shortridge
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.


If you could do it all over again, would you still choose him?

At age thirty-nine, Lucie Walker has no choice but to start her life over when she comes to, up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay, with no idea how she got there or who she is. Her memory loss is caused by an emotional trauma she knows nothing about, and only when handsome, quiet Grady Goodall arrives at the hospital does she learn she has a home, a career, and a wedding just two months away. What went wrong? Grady seems to care for her, but Lucie is no more sure of him than she is of anything. As she collects the clues of her past self, she unlocks the mystery of what happened to her. The painful secrets she uncovers could hold the key to her future—if she trusts her heart enough to guide her.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Author Guest Post

Guestpost: Jennie Shortridge, Love Water Memory

The Books That Made Me Want to Become a Writer, AKA Great writers who influenced my own writing, sometimes without me even knowing it.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

I know, I know, everyone says it! But we love it because it was probably the first book we read as kids that actually felt achingly true. We felt everything Scout felt, from confused to ornery to hopping mad at the injustice she discovered in the world.

2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. I loved the adventure and the adventurer. I loved the real voice of a boy in that era. I was incensed by the racial injustice (are you sensing a pattern here?) I felt that I’d learned something important when I was done.

3. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler. My first out and out dysfunctional family story, and I couldn’t get enough. I immediately read all of the books she’d written. I wanted more and more.

4. Six of One, Rita Mae Brown. It was the same with this one, but this time there was humor as well as dysfunction. I read everything she wrote until she started writing cat mysteries. I love cats, to be sure, but not books about them.

5. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver. This story evoked so much more of the world than I knew when I read it, and so much that I wanted to know and do and feel. It felt important in an unassuming way, and I guess I would like to think I might be able to achieve that in my own work some day.

6. The World According to Garp, by John Irving. I loved this broadly funny and heartbreaking story. Just when I thought I was safely in the land of absurdity, I was crying my eyes out over a character’s loss. I read everything he wrote for the longest time.

7. Another Roadside Attraction, by Tom Robbins. Again, I was delighted at the absurdity, and felt I must be kin to this strange writer because he thought of things so oddly, so outside the norm. I always felt that way, that I was not quite on the same page as everyone else around me. Now I know everyone feels this way!

8. Yellow Raft on Blue Water, by Michael Dorris. This excruciating story told in three viewpoints (daughter, mother, grandmother) floored me in its execution, how each narrator was able to fill in the story for the reader as the other narrators couldn’t. Masterful, and an emotional read.

9. The Liar’s Club, by Mary Karr. A true story of childhood trauma, something I’d experienced but didn’t acknowledge for a very long time. I let Mary do some of the heavy lifting for me in my process, writing this harrowing and beautiful book.

10. And most recently, The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. Rarely do books feel so real and painful, and yet so hopeful and true, in the best sense of the word. It is true that we can transcend our misfortunes. Read John Green if you don’t believe me. This is the way I aspire to write.



About The Author

Jennie Shortridge has published five novels: Love Water Memory,When She Flew, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe,Eating Heaven, and Riding with the Queen. When not writing, teaching writing workshops, or volunteering with kids, Jennie stays busy as a founding member of, a collective of Northwest authors devoted both to raising funds for community literacy projects and to raising awareness of Northwest literature.

Connect with Jennie: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads




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The Princess In The Opal Mask Blog Tour, Giveaway & Author Guest Post

08 Nov, 2013 by in Author Guest Post, The Princess In The Opal Mask Leave a comment

On Wanting to Write “Someday”

From a young age I knew I liked to write and that I wanted to get published one day. In fourth grade my teacher had our class write an essay describing the field trip we’d just taken—with one fun twist: Our essays would be judged, and the top two would be published in the school newsletter the following month. Now, I’m not normally a competitive person. But that day in fourth grade I was seized with what I can only describe as “publication fever.” I wanted to win that contest, more than I remember wanting anything else.

So I got down to business writing the best essay I possibly could…and I won!!! I loved seeing my name in print, and just as important, I discovered I loved to write.
I wish I could say I went home that day and started writing. I wish I could say I started keeping a journal, but that’s not my story. My story is that it took me twenty more years to get serious about writing.
Maybe some of you out there can relate. You may have a dream, but sometimes for a whole host of reasons it’s hard to go after that dream. For me, what held me back was a lot of negative thinking. For one thing, I believed I wasn’t creative enough. I thought that writing fiction was only for the super creative people that had three brilliant ideas before breakfast. I believed I wouldn’t be good at it, and certainly no one would ever want to publish what I’d written. But in the back of my mind, I thought, “I’ll start writing…someday.”
That’s where I stayed for a long time. And then not too long after I turned 30, I had a strange experience in a restaurant while I was celebrating my friend’s birthday. My younger son was a few weeks old, I hadn’t slept in forever, and life was just HARD in so many ways. I watched my friend unwrap a journal, and something just clicked for me. I used to like to write and journal. But for so many years I’d done nothing about it.
It was at that moment that I made a discovery that a lot of people probably already know. And that is that time is a non-renewable resource. All the time that I’d spent thinking, “I’d like to write…someday,” was gone and I had nothing to show for it.
It’s my firm belief that the word someday is a dream killer. Unless your “someday” becomes “today,” you’re not going to start pursuing your dream.
So I set a goal for myself: I would write until I finished a rough draft of a novel. It didn’t matter how bad that draft was. It just had to exist. During those early months writing felt like a way to do something for me when so much of my days (and nights) were devoted to caring for others. It became a way to reconnect with the person I wanted to be when I was younger, and the person I hoped I still could be, one day.
And you know what I found as I worked on that first draft? It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. And another thing, no matter how bad the day had been otherwise, how much the children cried, how hard life seemed, I could always point back to the pages/paragraphs I wrote, and call the day a success. Because I had set a goal and I was working toward it.
Nowadays, I have deadlines I have to meet; people in publishing I need to please. But ultimately, I still write from a sense of passion, and from a place of knowing that writing brings me peace and fulfillment. I only wish I hadn’t waited so long to get started.
Whenever someone comes up to me and tells me they’d like to start writing (or painting, or scrapbooking, or take a cooking class, or go back to school, etc.) someday, I tell them to be careful not to let their dreams get derailed. “Someday” is a dream killer; but “today” is a dream maker.

About Jenny Lundquist: Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies with a minor in TESOL at Biola University. Lundquist has published two middle-grade books, Seeing Cinderella and Plastic Polly. She lives in Rancho Cordova, California with her husband and two sons.

Social Media Links: Twitter/ FacebookWebsite/Blog/ Book on Goodreads/ Author on Goodreads/ Pinterest
About The Princess in the Opal Mask: One Legend Determines the Fate of Two Lives
In the faraway village of Tulan, sixteen-year-old Elara has spent her entire life as a servant, trying to track down her real name. The name she was given before being orphaned. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Galandria, Princess Wilhamina does not know why her father, the king, makes her wear a mask. Or why she is forbidden to ever show her face.
When a new peace treaty between Galandria and Kyrenica is threatened, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face. Told in alternating perspectives, this intricate fairytale pulls both girls toward secrets that have been locked away behind castle doors, while the fate of two opposing kingdoms rests squarely on their untrained shoulders.
Giveaway: Jenny is giving away 15 copies of THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK! Enter to win by entering the Rafflecopter below.

Slayers: Friends and Traitors Blog Tour Kick Off and Author Guest Post

15 Oct, 2013 by in Author Guest Post, Slayers: Friends and Traitors Leave a comment

Happy Book Birthday!
Fire and Ice is thrilled to announce, host and kick off the official blog tour for 
Slayers: Friends and Traitors by C. J. Hill 

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2013 
by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN 1250024617

The Slayers – teens who have powers to fight dragons—are back by popular demand in this high-octane sequel, now with a new cover package!

Tori is at a White House dinner party when she hears a horrifying sound: dragon eggs hatching. It means in less than a year, the dragons will be mature and dangerous. The Slayers are well-trained, but their group is not yet complete, and Tori is determined to track down Ryker Davis, the mysterious Slayer who has yet to surface.

What Tori doesn’t bargain for, however, is the surprising truth about her powers: she isn’t a Slayer after all, but a Dragon Lord, with a built-in predisposition to protect dragons, not kill them.

How will she overcome this to save the lives of her friends?

Today we have author C. J . Hill on the site to talk about…

The accidental love triangle
I didn’t mean to have a love triangle in Slayers. It’s not that I don’t like love triangles—as I reader, I think they can be great. If I’m living vicariously through the heroine, why shouldn’t two hot, awesome guys be fighting over me?
As a writer though, I hate them. I get involved with my characters and I care about them too much. When you create a love triangle, you’re going to break someone’s heart in the end. I hate that. I don’t want to devastate either Dirk or Jesse. They’re both great guys in their own way. 

This is how the love triangle happened:  I said Dirk looked like Dirk Benedict. Those of you who are old enough to have watched Dirk Benedict in either of his hit shows (Battlestar Galactica and The A-team) know that the man had irresistible charisma, charm, and good looks. Which is why you should never put him in a book as the hero’s friend. He will hit on the heroine, and she won’t be able to resist him. (Can you blame her, really? No, no you can’t.)
When I started the scene in Slayers where Dirk and Tori discover they’re counterparts, I hadn’t planned on having them kiss—but yeah, Dirk will be Dirk. It changed the whole dynamic of the series.
This might not have been such a bad thing, except when my teenage daughter read the book, she insisted that Tori should end up with Dirk instead of Jesse.  As I wrote Slayers: Friends and Traitors I realized my daughter might have a point. To tell you the truth, at this point, I don’t know who she’ll end up with. I guess we’ll all have to read book three when it comes out to see.

Author Bio: Janette Rallison (AKA C.J. Hill) writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning

bathrooms.  Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 20 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 copies. Most of her books are romantic comedies or action because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance, and hot guys who fight dragons.  Her latest series is Slayers. Booklist called it, “More than a worthy equal of the works of Rick Riordan or Christopher Paolini.”
Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.

Learn more: Book site/ Goodreads/ Author website/ Author Blog /Twitter/ Facebook

Visit all the stops on the Slayers: Friends and Traitors blog tour hosted by Fire and Ice

Heather at Fire and Ice– October 15- Guest Post
Taffy Lovell– October 16- Review and Interview
Elana Johnson– October 17- Interview
Rebecca Lamoureaux– October 18- Interview
Heidi at Geo Librarian– October 19- Review
Robin Ambrose-October 20- Character Interview
Rachel at Fiktshun- October 21- Guest Post
Kathy at I’m A Reader– October 22- Guest Post
Shanda at LDSWBR– October 23- Review
Kathryn at Clean Teen Fiction– October 24- Review and Character Interview
Sheila Staley- Why Not? Because I Said So!- October 25- Review
Heidi at YA Bibliophile– October 26- Guest Post, Tens List
Cindy Bennett– October 27- Excerpt
Tressa at Tressa’s Wishful Endings- October 28- Review
Tamera at Being a Mom and Loving It– October 29- Guest Post
Mindy Holt- Min Reads and Reviews– October 30- Review
Kelly at Kindle and Me– October 31-Guest Post
Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Book Reviews– November 1-Review
Aimee Brown at Getting Your Read On- November 1- Review
Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– November 2- Character Interview
Amber at Me, My Shelf and I– November 3- Guest Post

Pre- Order

Blog Tour and Author Guest Post By Lisa Rumsey Harris- The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume

22 Apr, 2013 by in Author Guest Post, The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is pleased to be today’s official blog tour stop for Lisa Rumsey Harris’ book The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Bloom. We have Lisa with us today to share an exclusive post and recipe with our readers!

Confessions from an Unfoodie:
By Lisa Rumsey Harris, author of The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume
I have a confession. I am not a foodie. I eat to live. I don’t live to eat. I don’t spend hours browsing cookbooks, nor do I show up at clandestine parking lots in the wee hours of the morning to nab quality produce.  And although I wish it was different, cooking, for me, is a job, not a joy.
So when I was writing The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume, and discovered that the love interest, Dennis Cameron, was an ex-chef who was now working in a school cafeteria, I was in totally new territory. Short of watching Top Chef, I didn’t have any experience with gourmet grub.  I had to learn a new vocabulary for all his dialogue.  Dennis thought and spoke in food metaphors. I did not. And so, like any good author, I started doing research. I lurked on foodie blogs, googling terms I’d only heard in passing: ragout, sous chef, risotto, and yes, even Turducken.
For Dennis, food is love. It’s his way of creating art, and expressing his emotions. So while I wasn’t a foodie, I suddenly found myself fascinated with food. Foodlore and recipes expose so much about how people live and love. That’s what I wanted to come through in Dennis.
Dennis’s dishes revealed his character. The simplicity and quality of ingredients make him happy. That’s why he had such issues with the cafeteria food ( Side-bar: I wrote this before Michelle Obama launched her lunch-room reform campaign. Dennis would have been a fan. My children, used to chicken nuggets and cinnamon rolls in the lunchroom, are not. ) Dennis describes Treasure as spinach (a flattering comparison, in his estimation) and pictures beautiful bouquets of broccoli when he gets stressed out.  And when he falls in love with Treasure Blume, he makes butternut squash boats that he calls “a love sonnet in a pot.”
“Tasty? said Dennis. “That’s all you can come up with?” He took a bite off the same spoon. “The cinnamon is home and holidays and warmth, and the chili powder is heat and passion and adventure. I’ve given you a love sonnet in a pot and all you can come up with is tasty?”
“Really tasty?” she said” (217).
This may be my favorite food bit in the book. I dug deep into my childhood to base these squash boats on a real family recipe. Unfoodie that I am, I do have foodie roots. Like Grammy Blume, I come from pioneer stock. My family recipes, handed down from generations of farmers and ranchers, feature simple ingredients and yield enough to feed the threshers.  One recipe starts out “Kill and clean six stewing hens . . .” no joke!   And so for Dennis’s love sonnet, I decided to use the recipe that meant love to me as a child.

This recipe has Dennis’s epicurean chef spin, but the heart of it is my grandmother’s hubbard squash pie recipe. We eat it at Thanksgiving while the rest of the world is eating pumpkin pie. In it, I replaced hubbard with butternut, because it’s so much more friendly and easier to use than hubbard. The skin is so thick and tough on a hubbard that the recipe begins with my grandmother’s admonition to split the squash with an axe.  With butternut, you can skip the ax. Then you need to peel the rind, and clean the squash (if you’re my grandma, you save the seeds for the next year’s planting). Cut and cube, then boil until soft. Next, mill the squash (which is pushing the squash through a tough strainer with a big paddle).  

Once you have your stewed and strained squash, the recipe for Dennis’s Love Sonnet Squash pie is easy:
2 cups stewed and strained squash
2 cups cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
1 cup brown or granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Mix squash with milk, sugar, beaten eggs, salt and spices. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour into pie tin lined with pastry, (or in the book, Dennis uses hollowed out squash shells). Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 30 minutes.  And in the end, you’ll have a creamy, custardy, earthy delicious piece of my family history, and Dennis’s love for Treasure Blume.

Book Summary: With her love of sweaters, goofy hair, and awkward manners—not to mention her family curse—Treasure Blume knows love is not in her future. That is, until she matches wits with Dennis Cameron, a divorced chef with a six-year-old daughter. Full of mischief, mayhem, and laugh-out-loud humor, this is an unlikely love story you’ll want to read over and over again!

About the author: Lisa Rumsey Harris is from Downey, Idaho, where she grew up writing stories and riding horses. She graduated magna cum laude from BYU with a degree in English and a minor in Humanities.She honed her writing skills while working at BYU Development Communications, where she wrote brochures, letters, and conducting notes for President Merrill J. Bateman. She received her Master’s Degree in English in August 2003.

Sparked by the experiences of her own grandmother, Lisa’s thesis explored the dissonance between real ranch women and the representations of ranch women in literature. She presented her findings at the Hawaiian International Conference on the Arts and Humanities.

Lisa’s passion for the American West is rivaled only by her passions for teaching and writing. She began teaching Honors Writing courses in Fall 2003. Her teaching inspiration is her own mother, who as Lisa’s high school Spanish teacher, taught her the importance of finding innovative approaches to encourage active learning.
As a writer, Lisa has won numerous awards for her short stories, essays, and cowboy poetry, including a Sunstone award in the Brookie and D.K Brown Memorial Fiction Contest. Lisa lives in Orem, Utah, with her multi-talented husband, her adorable sunshine daughters, and her ancient Siamese cat.

Learn more on Goodreads/ author website

Author Guest Post on Irish Travellers by Dana Michelle Burnett

18 Apr, 2013 by in Author Guest Post, Once 2 comments

First off, thanks for having me on the blog!  It’s always such a treat to meet new readers and introduce them to my characters.

Once is the first book in my Gypsy Fairy Tale series and it centers around a secretive group of Irish Travellers and a family of the Tuatha De Danann that hides among them.  I always wanted to write something about fairies and while I was researching fairy lore, I discovered that the first rulers of Ireland were a magical tribe that gave birth to the fairy legends of today.  

Wow!  Now how was I supposed to put THAT in a book and have it make any sort of sense?  I kept at my research, adding to my notes over the next year, but I never could really figure it out.
Finally, thanks to my daughter’s love of magic shows, an idea began to percolate.  What if members of the Tuatha De Danann were working in a circus or carnival?  Their magical powers would go unnoticed because they wouldn’t be hidden.  Hmm…..Now how am I supposed to make THAT work?  Oh, the problems of a writer!
The final breakthrough came one night as I was watching television.  There I was, not writing, not even thinking about writing, when My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding came on.  I was thrust right into the secretive world of Irish Travellers.  

Here was a group of people with old world ideas regarding behavior and honor, a people that lived on the outskirts of society, and a people that could be seen as logically traveling with or as a circus. Hmm…Irish Travellers….What if they were hiding a really big secret….What if they were hiding the Tuatha De Danann?
Okay, so I had my premise.  The rest was easy.  Girl meets Irish Traveller boy, boy turns out to be part of the magical Tuatha De Danann tribe, girl falls for boy, and then the bad guys show up.  At least that’s the very shortened version.
So, how about some Traveller Trivia?
  • Irish Travellers often speak a mingled language known as “The Cant”, making it difficult for outsiders to understand them when they speak amongst themselves.
  • Irish Travellers have very strict rules involving encounters between unmarried couples. Often a chaperone will accompany a young couple on all of their dates.
  • Irish Traveller women rarely drink alcohol, if ever.
  • Irish Travellers are in a constant battle for their rights. In the past few years, they have lost land battles in the UK, the most famous being Dale Farm.
  • Gypsy is actually a derogatory term for both Irish Travellers and Romani.
It was difficult to research such a closed group, but I have come to admire the quiet determination that seems to exist in them and has made it possible for them to survive despite discrimination.  I could easily see them as being the good guys like in my story.

About the Author: 

Dana Michelle Burnett spent most of her life writing short stories and sharing them with family and friends. Over the years, her work was published in numerous commercial and literary magazines  including Just Labs, Mindprints: A Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, and many more.  Her short story John Lennon and the Chicken Holocaust was include in The Best of Foliate Oak 2006.  

Dana Michelle’s Spiritus Series introduced the idea of a ghostly romance and became a Kindle bestselling series.  She’s an avid reader of anything dark and romantic.  Dana Michelle lives in Southern Indiana with her dancing diva daughter and an assortment of pets.
Dana Michelle loves connecting with her readers find her on facebook/ twitter/ Goodreads/ Pinterest

Book Summary for Once: Gypsy Fairy Tale #1

Beautiful. Secretive. Magical. You envy their freedom, but you are distrustful of their ways. A strange carnival has come to Corydon, Indiana and the Irish Travellers have captured the small town’s attention–but it’s Harmony who’s attracted theirs. 
Harmony sees the Travellers everywhere and just like everyone else in town she’s curious. But once she meets the mysterious and captivating Kieran, Harmony’s life takes an exciting and chilling turn. 

Up until now, Harmony never believed that fairy tales or myths were real, but Kieran and his family belong to an ancient tribe called the Tuatha de Dannan and someone else has discovered their secret. 

An ancient battle is about to begin again, and now no one is safe, especially Harmony. Can Kieran resist the urge to be with her or will his feelings put her in the crossfire?