Blog Tour Stop: THE PALADINS (THE ARTISANS #2) BY JULIE REECE - Guest Post - Giveaway!

 The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece
  Publication Date:  May 3, 2016
  Publisher:  Month9Books

The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives...or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

Purchase Links: Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks


 They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

Buy Links: Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Hi everybody! *waves* Thanks so much for inviting me here today. I’m really looking forward to talking about YA books and writing. 

What do you do to keep yourself on track in regards to writing? 

Ah, such a hard question for a writer. Maybe what we do to stay on track isn’t so hard to understand, but the underlying reason of why we need to police ourselves might be!

I’m going out on a limb here, but I’ll guess it’s because a writer’s passion, even obsession, can become work when funneled into a jar marked “have to” verses “want to.” Ever notice how creative minds tend to rebel against authority? They do. We get bored, and deadlines, even when it’s something we wanted, constrict the flow of writing. We flail under the (longed for) contractual agreements that call for a third or fourth book in a world we created five years ago. Because our fickle hearts are now pulling us in the direction of a new plotline. And believe me, it’s hard to ignore the excitement you feel over a brand new idea. To keep your word and stay on task, to fully focus on finishing the promised story before moving on to another takes some planning. Ugh and willpower! But putting safeguards in place to aid self-discipline helps me have more success.

The best thing to do is discover what works best for you as an individual and do it. That takes some experimenting, and then practice. I’ll share what I do and hopefully, it will give you ideas to try. At least you’ll get started.

The number one thing I do is get started. Ha! I know, but really, we can make all kinds of excuses for ourselves, can’t we? I’m not feeling it today is not a valid reason not to write. Give yourself permission to write some serious crap if you need to, but saying you’re uninspired to write isn’t going to cut it.

The next thing I do is forgive myself. This is in direct opposition to number one, and yet so important. Guilt never helped anyone get to a healthy place in life, just ask your mother’s generation. So discern the difference between making lame excuses (I’m not in the mood) and a day that couldn’t be helped (overload at work, sick kids, visiting in-laws, roof leak). Be honest, you know the difference.

I take breaks. Sometimes, it I’m stuck (or maybe my eyeballs just hurt from staring at the screen too long) I’ll go for a walk or a drive to clear my head. Pet the cat. Walk the dog. Call a friend. Take a shower, but limit the time you take off. I give myself 20-30 minutes of something else, and then get back to my laptop.

Set attainable, realistic goals. I have a goal of when and where I’ll write in any given week. Word count hoped for, maybe I want to finish a chapter or just get through a difficult scene. Research takes time, and so does plotting or outlining. Set small, reachable goals for the day, week and month. Rearrange and adjust as needed, but even a general outline of tasks can keep you moving forward. The exception to this is if you are a person whose too performance driven. Don’t use the list as a yardstick to beat yourself with if you don’t meet your goals. It’s okay. Keep it loose. It’s a tool not a test. Be kind to yourself!

Create a new normal with those around you. Share your goals with the people in your lives. Nothing derails me faster than the very nice faces of people in my life that I love. Discuss your writing schedule with your friends and family. Again, there are days and times where people need you more, but be wise. If you schedule quality time for both people/pets/friends/family and writing, people won’t resent the time you spend writing, and your writing won’t suffer from inattention.

Repeat after me: the internet is not always our friend. Don’t log on. Avoid social media while writing. Nope, don’t be looking at Twitter and Instagram on your cell right now. Turn off your phone. DVR your favorite TV shows, and put a note on the door ... whatever it takes to limit distractions and interruptions. Use them as a reward if you have to, but avoid that stuff when you should be writing. A change of scenery is great to shake things up and keep you motivated. Sit on the porch, try a new coffee house, but don’t let the change interfere with getting words on the page.

Lastly, don’t pigeonhole yourself with what you think you need to write. What I mean is sometimes we think that if we can’t have two hours of uninterrupted time in a perfectly vacuum-sealed space of quiet and solitude, we can’t write. Not true. Words are words, however we get them into our word doc. So if that means writing on a yellow legal pad at lunch and copying the words to your computer later, or texting yourself ideas for twenty minutes while you wait in the doctor’s office or DMV, or getting out your laptop at soccer practice and type while sitting on those rock-hard bleachers, do it. A book can get to 85,000 words this way. Authors do it all the time!

I hope something I said helped. For most of us, finding time to write is hard and staying on track even harder. Play around with any ideas that popped up while reading this, and by all means share them with us! Know thyself, dear writer. Find and keep to what works well for you, and never stop trying. XOXO

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends May 20, 2016

·       Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece (INT)

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Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

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