Excerpt, Giveaways, Guest Blog

Guest Post from Deborah Camp featuring Solitary Horseman w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

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Solitary Horseman

by Deborah Camp

 

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GENRE:  Historical Romance (Western)

 

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BLURB:

 

The Civil War is over, but the battles continue.
Callum Latimer returned from the war to a life he didn’t want and with inner battle scars he can’t heal.
Banner Payne clutched desperately to the remaining shreds of the life she’d known, but she is losing her grip.
Brought together by bad luck and cruel twists of fate, Callum and Banner forge a partnership they hope will keep them afloat even as neighboring Texas ranchers go under and their land is snapped up by opportunists.
Fate smiles on them and Callum and Banner find the missing pieces of themselves in each other.
Healing begins as their hearts are awakened. Now they must remain strong in their determination to forge a more peaceful existence and not be poisoned by the bitterness of a country still divided.

 

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Excerpt Three:

 

They finished eating, sopping up the last of the gravy with biscuits and popping the final bite of bacon or sausage into their mouths. All except for Callum, who seemed to have lost his appetite. He pushed aside his plate, nodding when Banner reached to take it away.

 

In the kitchen, she began preparing to wash the dishes, as she went over and over the unsettling conversation. So, the vigilante groups were stirring up more trouble along with memories that some people were trying hard to bury. She’d noticed that Hollis seemed to be worse lately. Sullen. Anger simmering just below the surface. Stalking off to be alone with his thoughts. Snapping at her when she questioned him about his moods.

 

Her brother was a sensitive soul and when there was unrest around him, he felt it, through and through. Living with him when he was jittery was like handling a porcupine. There was no way to touch it without getting pricked.

 

Someone cleared his throat right behind her and Banner spun around with a gasp, her wet hands flying up and slinging drops of water across Callum’s faded red shirt.

 

“Didn’t mean to startle you.”

 

“I . . . got your shirt wet.”

 

He shrugged. Banner hoped to see a softening in his eyes and she was disappointed.

 

“I’ll be back tonight, but it will be late. You go on home at the usual time.”

 

“I was mighty proud of you just now.”

 

He raised his brows and shook his head, clearly puzzled.

 

“What you said about the war and how nobody wins a fight.”

 

He held his hat in one hand and rubbed his chin with the other. “I don’t think I said that exactly. Fights are won, but sometimes the cost isn’t worth it.” He took a step back from her, running his hand down the front of his shirt and Banner watched the journey.

 

She so loved his hands. Long fingers, wide palm. She knew the tenderness of his touch and how they could trail fire along her skin. “I’ve missed you.”

 

He stared at her a few moments and something vulnerable shimmered in his eyes before he abruptly turned and walked away from her. “I need to get.”

 

“Callum!” She grabbed the back of his shirt. “Wait.” When he didn’t face her, she stepped around him. “Is something wrong? I feel like we’re on a seesaw here. Up and down. Up and down.”

 

Walking his fingers around the brim of his hat, he avoided her probing gaze. “I guess that sums it up. I’ve had a lot of time to think lately and maybe you’re right. We need to keep our heads clear and . . . well, a woman like you and a man like me . . .” He shrugged.

 

What in tarnation did that mean? Was this about her being a lowly Payne? Feeling as if he’d ripped opened an old wound, she glared at him, but he wasn’t looking at her. Finally, he glanced up and his eyes widened fractionally.

 

“Go on then.” Banner snatched his hat out of his hands and whacked him with it. “Get. I don’t have time anymore for this silly game.” His look of surprise angered her even more and she crushed his hat against his chest, making him grab it. She caught sight of Shane standing in the dining room, not hiding his curiosity at the scene unfolding. “Shane needs to talk to you. I’m finished with you.” Whirling around, she stomped through the kitchen and out the back door where the air was bitterly cold, matching the season in her heart. She would not cry! She wouldn’t! Should have known that he’d finally realize that he was too good and proper to be sporting with that Payne gal. He’d been raised to see her as filth and he couldn’t shake it.

 

Striding purposefully across the frozen ground, she made a beeline for the hen house. It would be warmer in there. Mary had already collected the eggs, but there were probably a few more that she could—.

 

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the scrawled lettering across a big white banner that had been nailed to the side of the barn and her shoes slipped in the snow. She almost fell, but regained her balance in the nick of time. Staring at the ugly message, she was aware of pounding footfalls behind her.

 

“Damn it all, Banner! Just hold up. I didn’t mean to—.” Callum’s grouchy apology stopped at the same time he did. “What the hell?”

 

JOIN OR DIE

 

A Confederate flag was nailed below the fluttering white sheet that bore the menacing order. When had this been done? Banner wondered, her mind spinning back to when she’d been out earlier. She would have noticed it then. And the men had ridden up for breakfast! They would have seen it. Someone – no, more than one person – had done this while they’d all been inside. The audacity!

 

“Sons-of-bitches.”

 

Banner looked at Callum, sharing his disgust but not the wrath stamped on his chiseled features. She touched his hand. “Callum . . .” she whispered, trying to calm him.

 

He backed away, having none of it. “No. Don’t. Not now, Banner.” Then he spun about and marched toward the house again, yelling to Shane. “Take that bullshit down off the barn and burn it. The flag, too! Do it now.”

 

“Yes, sir,” Shane said, already trotting toward the barn.

 

Banner stood rooted to the spot as Callum swung up into Butter’s saddle and rode away, the horse’s hooves muffled by the snow. Cold air wrapped around her and she shivered, her teeth rattling.

 

Looking toward the house again, she saw Seth Latimer standing on the front porch, his squinty eyes fixed on the barn. He shook his head slowly, then turned and made his way back into the house.

 

Banner went inside, too, but she stood at the kitchen window and watched as Shane jerked down the big sheet and Confederate flag. He bundled them up and set them on fire, standing near them until they were nothing but ashes scattered by winter’s breath.

 

Gone. But the malevolence had left its stain like the black hole in the snow.

 

guestpost

5 Things Every Western Romance Needs

By Deborah Camp, author of Solitary Horseman

I’m not an expert on this subject, but I do know a thing or two about writing western romances, so here are my top five things they need to be successful.

  1. An Honorable Man. The hero can be rough and tumble, devilish, roguish, naughty, and have many other tempting traits, but one thing he must always be is honorable. Even if he’s a gunslinger, a gambler, or a man who imbibes a bit too often for a lady’s taste, he must have a code of honor that he won’t break. He might do some questionable things, but he won’t do something that he knows in his heart and soul is wrong.
  2. A Kind-hearted Woman. The heroine can be feisty, saucy, smart-mouthed, shy, timid, and even a tart, but she has to have a soft heart. She might come off about as tender as a porcupine, but we must discover early on that she has a soft center. When it comes right down to it, she’ll take the side of every underdog, feed any stray that wanders into the yard, and defend any youngster who needs her.
  3. A Sticky Situation. Every novel needs a conflict. While it’s best to have a conflict in which the hero and heroine have no choice but to stick it out and find a solution to the problem together, it doesn’t always have to be life or death. The situation might be more light-hearted, but it still has to be sticky enough to bind the hero and heroine together even though there are times when they want or need to be apart from one another.
  4. A Dastardly Person. Villains can be male or female, but there needs to be someone in the novel for the reader to fear and/or hate. I think the best “baddies” are those who we can understand. We can see their point of view, even though we don’t agree with it. Just having someone be hateful and mean isn’t good enough. We need to know why they are the way they are and why they like being that way. The bad people need to have motive beyond being mean or selfish.
  5. Animals. You can’t have a western without animals! Horses, dogs, cats, cows, pigs, chickens, buffalo, wolves, and on and on. Animals add authenticity, comic relief, and entertainment/education to a story. It’s particularly wonderful when one or two of the animals almost become secondary characters. Just don’t get in the animal’s point of view. (The hound jumped up, happy to see that his master had made it back from the hunt.), That’s just silly.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SolitaryHorseman

 

Author of more than 45 novels, Deborah lives in Oklahoma. She has been a full-time writer since she graduated from the University of Tulsa. She worked for a few years as a reporter for newspapers before becoming a freelance writer. Deborah’s first novel was published in the late 1970s and her books have been published by Jove, New American Library, Harlequin, Silhouette, and Avon. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Authors Hall of Fame and she is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of the Author’s Guild.

 

Lover of the west and the people who tried to tame it, Deborah likes to write about strong, independent women and the men who are their equals. She grew up on a diet of TV westerns which have served her well. Since she appreciates men with devilish twinkles in their eyes, she likes to mix laughter in with the love scenes in her books. Also widely published in non-fiction, she writes and edits for a magazine focused on small businesses. Deborah taught fiction writing for more than 10 years at a community college. She is currently working on her next historical romance set in the wild, wonderful west.

 

Her books have been re-issued on Amazon for Kindle Direct and have attracted tens of thousands of new fans. For a list of them, visit her website.

 

Blog– http://deborahcampwritersdesk.blogspot.com/

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/officialdeborahcamp

Pinterest — http://www.pinterest.com/debbycamp44/

Twitter — https://twitter.com/AuthorDebCamp

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Solitary-Horseman-Deborah-Camp-ebook/dp/B01HFCC2UQ

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

FS_TourBanner_SolitaryHorseman
 

 

 

 

Excerpt, Guest Blog, Spotlight

Guest Blog featuring Debra Whittam’s Am I Going to Be Okay? @debrawhittam

 

 

Title:
Am I Going To Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and
Grief
Author: Debra Whittam
Publisher: Turning Point International
Pages: 253
Genre: Memoir/Women’s Psychology/Applied Psychology
Am I Going To Be Okay? is an American
story with a universal message. Ms. Whittam traces her history in the form of stories about her all too human, and sometimes unhinged family; she throws a rope to the little girl living there, and in adulthood, is able to pull her out to
safety, bit by bit.
Her history is peopled with folks from a different time, a time before therapy was acceptable, 12 steps unimaginable and harsh words, backhands and even harsher silences can be spun to appear almost normal.
She writes of a mother who would not or could not initiate love nor give it without condition, and a father, damn near heroic at times, abusive at others, a survivor with his head down and his sleeves rolled up.
Ms. Whittam approaches her past with the clear-eyed tough but sensitive objectivity necessary to untangle the shame from the
source. She speaks of the people that affected her life so deeply with an understanding of their time and place in American culture; a family not far removed from immigrant roots when men carried their own water, emoted misplaced anger, and with fresh socks and food found on the trail, were confident, unflinching and at that same time tragical- ly failing to the little ones they ignored.
Like many of us, details notwithstanding, Whittam responded by numbing, running and gunning. Alcohol gave her hope, soothed a
crushed soul for a time and wrecked her on a train, until finally she had the courage to accept it wasn’t working for her anymore. It was time to stop drinking and take inventory and accountability. It was time to accept, forgive and move forward. She healed where she was broken.
It is in the telling of this story that Whittam teaches us the  difference between just surviving and surviving well, the importance of shared introspection and a careful eye on the wake we leave behind in our actions. Her story is a guide to surviving abuse and addiction.
It is also about witnessing and dealing with the shrinking faculties of aging parents in the unavoidable circle of life. Finally, she offers a realistic sense of hope, forgiveness and a life we can shake hands with.

For More Information

  • Am I Going To Be Okay?
    Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and Grief is available
    at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB
    Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 

guestpost

Let’s Start Talking About It

 

I am a first time author so, let’s starting talking about the two questions I am asked most often by nearly everyone concerning my having written a memoir/self help book.  “How long did it take you to write the book?”  and  “Aren’t you worried about what family members will think?”  Really?  Are these questions that pertain to the author?  I think not.  What I sense is the people asking are only interested in the answer to see if THEY could do it.  So, let’s talk about this.  How long did it take to write?  I wrote, on and off, for about three years.  The most difficult part was the edit, of course.  What I thought was going to be an easy, fairly simple week or two process to get my “shitty first draft”, as Anne LaMott calls it, to a final proof copy actually took six months.  Good thing my editor knew how to handle my impatience since she told me we would start going from the first draft to revisions.  Well, after the sixth ‘first’ draft I wanted to say ‘I’m done’.  But just in the knick of time she announced we were on to the revisions.  Ah yes, now we were getting somewhere!  After the revisions to the revisions, many times over, we moved on to the changes to the revisions.  We were now in month three.  Too late to turn back yet I hated the thought of reading one more word of what was once a beloved manuscript to me.

Then, of course, we went from the changes to the changes to the changes.  Then finally, my friends, we were at the final manuscript!  Yea!  What joy.  What bliss.  At final manuscript 12 I rebelled and said ‘NO!”.

This was just in time for the Final Proof copy.  The galley or advanced reader copy as it’s called.  Great.  After three final proof copies we have now officially gone to print!  Oh my gosh.  How do people do this for a living?!

So, do you see how my answering, to the unknowing questioner, it took three years to write the book leaves me weak in the knees.  It’s not about me or what I went through, for heavens sake (!), it’s about them.  Of course it is.

Question number two is more lengthy to explain however, equally uninteresting to the one with the query.  Are they still listening as I explain that my first writing workshop was with Carol Henderson in Little Switzerland, NC where she explained to any of us thinking about writing creative non-fiction, memoir, to write as though everyone in the story has already died.  Or don’t do it at all.  That was a heady first bit of information for me as I already was sure I was the only who did not belong at the workshop.  I’m was a pretend ‘wanna be’ writer while everyone else was serious about it, better at it, etc.  However, through the next three years of writing, I kept that thought firmly in the fore front of my mind as I traveled the road of writing; what I remembered, my perception of the things I saw, heard and how I was treated from littlehood onward.

Is there any possibility that a family member will agree with my experience being true for them?  If, as they say, accuracy is based on perception, then every sibling in the same car having the same horrifying experience of riding with our drunk father at high rates of speed will invariably not have the same or even similar experiences as I did.

We all have our own examples of being at the same dining room table with all the siblings and have a different narrative of what happened when someone spilled milk, triggering a major brawl which in turn lead to yelling, crying and sometimes people coming to blows.

So do I answer to these random people, who I don’t even know, “Well, I can’t go to each person to make sure they are okay with it because blah blah blah.”   The person is already not listening.  No sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin would agree with what I had as my experience.  Parents would, absolutely, not agree.  So who ends up being the crazy one here?  And, how does anyone begin and end writing their memoir/ creative non-fiction narrative if they are,  indeed, a Pleaser.

Was and am I concerned with telling family stories that were always meant to be kept secret?  The point of my book is to see how insane it is to NOT talk about family member’s mental illness, their  addictions and the loss of a beloved through death or a relationship.  The impact on everyone in the family, especially the little ones watching the adults act like little monsters, is what creates the beginnings of chronic ‘IV drip’ of anxieties where little ones are sure of one of two things.  Either they did something wrong or there’s something wrong with them.  Those are the choices.  Silence and denial run the show and eventually become deadly in  one form or another.

So, my dear person with the questions, yes I considered everyone in the story.  Alive and not alive.  My experience is my truth.  If someone could have been in my shoes, at the same time with the same experience there might be a chance for some convergence of truth.  Doubt it, but maybe.  This memoir is a story of my life with my mom, entire family, but mainly her from my birth until her death interwoven with the untreated mental illness, untreated addiction and unacknowledged grief that flows through everyone’s family tree.  We just don’t talk about it.  Any of it.  Until, of course, on someone’s death bed they sob out some essential bit of  information that would’ve made everyone’s life different had they known it was NOT their fault.  Whatever ‘it’ is.

Answering these lame questions will become habit down the road and I will say, “Three years and yes I considered everyone.”  Let’s keep talking about it.

Book Excerpt:

In my therapist’s office, during my first year of recovery from alcoholism, I saw one of her graduate school psychology books on
her bookshelf. It was sitting alongside many of her self-help books which I had borrowed during the past year. I read several hoping to find a cure from my irrepressible anxiety that I had previously drunk away. I imagined the wordy text was far from my ability to comprehend as I was at that time only able to retain small bits of information. I asked my therapist if I could borrow that college text titled “Human Growth and Development.” I read it from cover to
cover within a short amount of time and surprisingly, was able to digest and retain it. I had to quit doubting my ability. Being hard on myself was no longer the answer. I wanted more.
That following summer I enrolled in a graduate course of the same name. I wanted to see if I could retain enough material to pass a
higher level learning class. I loved it and I got an A.
No longer living in a world governed by my need to numb myself through copious amounts of alcohol, I started doing what I wanted
to do with my life. Encountering the self-doubt I had always carried within me became the guidepost by which I continued to prove my “what ifs” unnecessary in 

order to keep myself safe.

My intention in writing this book is to reach out to
all who struggle with being frozen in fear of “what if.” This book may trigger emotions that have been shoved down so far they might not have a clear story to them yet. It might trigger memories of resentments, regrets or painful unhealed
episodes of your life. These moments may have happened long, long ago or may have been more recent. We go back into the past to find answers. The idea is not to stay there long, but to find healing through understanding the ‘why’ of it. Then begin our process of learning to self-sooth and love ourselves. Nothing is going to happen that you can’t handle. Nothing.
Isolated within my world of fear, I wouldn’t attempt anything outside of that small world. I had no foundation to stand on as a
spring-board toward finding out who I really was, so I joined a 12-Step group.
The beauty of being in a community of recovery, from whatever we might be working on, brings connection. at is what I needed so badly.
I hope, within these pages, you are able to find a spark that ignites your longing for more. I urge you to find your own path of being
okay by whatever non-mood altering way that makes sense to you; even, or especially, if it is unfamiliar to you. In writing this book, I intended to show how we can all go through our fears and do “it” anyway, whatever “it” is.
Letting go of fear suggests we “just breathe” and be ourselves. Thee “how” of being okay is within these pages and within yourself.
Stop listening to the repeated echoes of old messages in your head, messages like “You’ve done it again,” “You aren’t good enough,” “You should just give up.” These messages cause you to doubt yourself. Instead, listen to the other voice inside which says, “You can do this,” “There is a way.” Don’t ignore it. Don’t push it away. Don’t argue with it. That voice is there, even if you can’t hear it and I am here to help you find it. I look forward to hearing you say,
“I AM going to be okay.”
About the Author
Debra Whittam is a licensed, practicing mental health therapist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who specializes in addiction, anxiety and depression, grief and loss. Whittam is passionate about her work in all areas of her specialties, especially addiction. Working in a detox unit for over three years before beginning her own private practice,
Whittam realized, while counseling patients in the life and death arena of the detox unit, how much the loss of a beloved through death or a relationship impacted those struggling with addiction.
In this memoir, Whittam skillfully infuses her memories, stories and professional insights to remind us that the most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. She splits her time
between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York and Paris, France.
For More Information

 

Excerpt, Giveaways, Guest Blog

Guest Post and Excerpt for K.H. Mezek’s Key of Mystery (The Night Angels Chronicles) w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @EvernightTeen @karenalainehunt


 

Key of Mystery
by  KH Mezek
Evernight
Teen Publishing, 77K
Paranormal/Vampires/Suspense/Multicultural
“Be careful who you love, it just might kill you.”
When Sera’s father is killed in a horrific accident, all he leaves behind is a mysterious key. Sera places the key on a chain around her neck and vows to avenge her father. Strange characters arrive in town including the otherworldly Night Angels, who claim to be sent for her protection.
Sera falls hard for one of them—exotic, arrogant Peter. But what if his promise of love is only a ruse to gain access to the key? As Sera’s connection to the key grows, so do her supernatural powers. Guided by clues left by her father, Sera searches for the hidden chamber beneath the city, hoping to save what lies within before the sinister mayor and his deadly followers drown humanity in a bloodbath.
Buy Links:    Evernight Teen    Amazon    All Romance eBooks
14+ due to adult situations
Excerpt:
Before my dad’s death and the move to Cliffside, I had known only lies. I hadn’t seen the truth about myself, my family, or my friends. But here on the ground, covered in blood and dirt, and most likely dying, I knew I didn’t want to go back there. I wanted to stay with the truth. The truth hurt like hell, but it was better than being numbed by ignorance.
“No.” I think I said it out loud, but it sounded more like a gurgle. I tried harder.

“Never give you the key.” I gasped. “Never.”
He hissed in anger. “Then I will turn you into undead.”
“No.”
I knew he was bluffing. If he turned me into one of them, he would never get the key. I had to willingly give it to him, with a rational mind, and those undead were anything but rational.
Gore howled like he had on the plateau, and the nail raked across my face, penetrating deep into my skin. He reached down and licked the blood with his long snake tongue, a poison so painful seeping into my flesh that I almost passed out again.
When he spoke next, his tone was venomous, each syllable biting as if they were his teeth. “Clever girl, I will do something better. I will turn your brother into undead. Think on that.”
I made a feeble sound of terror, struggling to get up and unable to move.
He laughed.
“You will give it to me now. Or else your brother will end up like this.” He grabbed one of the undead and pulled the grotesque, dead-eyed face down next to mine. Then, he tossed it away like a stick. 
This was the end, then. Gore had won. I had to at least try to save my brother, even if Gore’s promises were lies. With unbearable effort, I reached up and tried to undo the chain. I couldn’t. I tried to pull it up over my head but somehow, it became tangled in my torn clothes. I was too weak and the problem of removing the key from around my neck overwhelmingly impossible.
“Come, little bitch, quickly.” Gore’s fingers dangled in front of my face, as if itching to undo the chain for me. But he was powerless to do so.
A growing uneasiness rippled through the undead standing in a circle behind him. Low moans rose from cavernous mouths. Any second now, surely Gore would unleash the hoard upon my brother to devour him. Why, oh why, couldn’t I undo the chain?
I grabbed the key and pulled with all my remaining strength, whispering, “I want this. I want to give him the key. I do.” 
guestpost

FIGHTING YOUR WAY TO BEING A WRITER!

Karen Hunt aka KH Mezek

 

I am a single mother and I raised three kids, two boys and one girls. It wasn’t easy. I also was determined to be a writer.

 

My mantra is #writeordie. WRITE OR DIE. I have to write. I have to be an artist. I have to be true to my calling. And I also have to be a mother. How to blend the two when they both require an intensity and a focus of purpose that is grueling and time-consuming?

 

I have found my way through training in marital arts, boxing, kick-boxing and Eskrima, which is Filipino stick and knife fighting.

 

What, you say?

 

HB1

 

Yes, I am a virtual killing machine and as a woman, I love it. I was even asked a few years ago by a rapper to be his body guard. How about that? So, it is hard to believe that once I was in an abusive marriage, isolated from friends and family and lost. What saved me was I put on a pair of running shoes and I started to run in the park. I lived in London at the time, near Kensington Gardens. I had no money, I was under the control of my “rock star” husband. But I had a pair of shoes, and I could run. Each day, I pushed myself a little bit further and through that experience, I was able to eventually leave my husband.

 

When I returned to the United States with one suitcase and my four year old daughter, I started training in martial arts. From there, I took up Eskrima, and then Okinawan weapons. Eventually, I started fighting full contact in boxing and kickboxing. I now know what it feels like to stand up straight and tall and not be afraid, knowing that I can defend myself. I will either win, or go down trying. It gives me great satisfaction to train other women and girls in the gym, to empower them to know that they can defend themselves. Nearly one in five women report being sexually assaulted in the United States every year. Keep in mind, that is what is reported, so the numbers have to far exceed that.

 

HB2HB3

 

 

In my series, the Night Angels Chronicles, one of the important factors is that the female lead, Sera Patterson, develops through the course of the series into a superhero who can stand on her own two feet and defend herself against any foe. Yes, she has a hot love interest, that goes without saying! But also, unlike so many books being published for the female audience, she has her own identity apart from a man and she is self-sufficient. This is of paramount importance because I know what it feels like to be powerless and to live in fear. As a result, I want to do everything I can in my writing and in my life to inspire women to stand up and fight against abuse.

 

HB4HB5

 

 

 

To this end, in 1995, I started a creative writing program in juvenile hall, in Los Angeles, called InsideOUT Writers. I first began working with group of girls, all facing life sentences for serious crimes. More than twenty years later, I still know many of those girls and they are incredible. Many spent long years in prison but are now out and married, have careers and children. Never write off a teenager as a lost cause. My dedication of Key of Mystery is in part to the young people who congregated at my house and inspired me with their stories.

 

For the past ten years, at least, I have taught boxing and kickboxing in the gym, and self defense for women and girls. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a teenage girl stand up straighter, with clear eyes, and no fear, fully confident in her ability to say “no.”

 

HB6HB7HB8

 

 

 

 

I really hope that my series, starting with Key of Mystery, will inspire girls and women to stand up for themselves and to learn how to fight! My training also means that I can write fight scenes from the perspective of actually being in the ring and fighting full contact, fighting with weapons, and knowing what it is like to be abused, to be hit and kicked and to live in fear, and then to overcome it.

 

HB9

 

So let’s make the Night Angels a world view for women and girls. Let’s get women around the world to unite behind this series, from the Middle East to the Far East to the Western World. We should all stand up and take charge of our love lifes! If someone touches you, kisses you, takes you down to the floor, it should be your choice, not something you feel pressured to do. In my series, Sera does not give up her identity for the sake of a relationship with an overbearing vampire who wants to control her. She grows as an individual and learns how to hold onto her power. Sera rocks! And so do we all!

 

About the Author:
Karen Hunt is the author and/or illustrator of nineteen children’s books and the co-founder of InsideOUT Writers, a creative writing program for incarcerated youth in Los Angeles, and the founder of the MY WORLD PROJECT, connecting youth who live in remote, violent and poverty stricken areas around the world through art and writing. She is a 2nd degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a first degree brown belt in Eskrima, and a boxing and kick-boxing trainer.
As a child, she and her family escaped out of Egypt right before the 6 Day War, lived in a 17th century castle in
Switzerland and smuggled Bibles into communist countries, to name a few of her adventures. As an adult, she continued her adventures, living between London and a village in Yugoslavia. She writes her YA works under the name KH Mezek. Key of Mystery, book I in the YA Urban Fantasy series, NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, was published February 5, 2016 with Evernight Teen.  
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