A special treat today! I'd like to welcome Mary Waibel, author of the fantastical Princess of Valendria series, novella THE MYSTERY PRINCE, and now her newest novel, FAERY MARKED!

I had the personal delight to read an ARC addition of FAERY MARKED in return for an honest review and guest spot on my blog. Without giving away any spoilers, I'll say FAERY MARKED makes for a quick, light read you'll fly through - in a good way - to find out what happens in the end. And the end is one of the best I've read in a while - an ominous cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more and not knowing what will happen next. The light tone quickly gets a dose of dark, which I'm personally a huge fan of. You'll be begging Mary for the second book - I was! The characters are fun and the guys swoon-worthy. Reece is definitely easy to fall for! Great for younger and older teens. Without giving away anymore, I welcome Mary to the proverbial floor, and invite all to continue reading below.



Thanks so much for hosting me today, Katie, for this musical day of the Faery Marked blog tour.

I love listening to music when I write. Most times, it’s just playing quietly in the background as white noise, but other times, it really inspires me. So, what music was inspirational to Faery Marked? Here are the top ten songs from my playlist (in no particular order)
  1. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
  2. Broken by Seether (with Amy Lee)
  3. Dance with the Devil by Breaking Benjamin
  4. Iris by the GooGoo Dolls
  5. Haunted by Evanescence
  6. I Remain by Alanis Morissette
  7. Someday by Nickelback
  8. Hanging by a Moment By Lifehouse
  9. Nothing by The Script
  10. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
As you can see, the list is quite varied. Now out of these songs, and some others I listened to, I found a few that seemed to define my characters. So, here is the cast of Faery Marked in song: [All lyrics taken from]

Callie: Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol

I love this song.

We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

This section sums up Callie so perfectly. She knows that with Reece by her side, she can do anything, even save the world.

Reece: Nothing Else Matters, Metallica
Ah, Reece. He'd give his life for Callie if he had to, but he's never told her how he feels. But, I know he thinks the words of this song when he looks at Callie.

So close no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Ryan: Dance with the Devil, Breaking Benjamin
I'm not sure anything from this list could be more fitting for Ryan than this song. He's a wildcard. Not to be trusted. Yet he believes in Callie, no matter what.

Here I stand, helpless and left for dead.
Close your eyes, so many days go by.
Easy to find what's wrong, harder to find what's right.

I believe in you, I can show you that I can see right through all your empty lies.

Gwen: Everybody’s Fool, Evanescence
The Fae love double entendres, and to me that's what these lyrics are for Gwen.

Perfect by nature.
Icons of self-indulgence.
Just what we all need,
More lies about a world that...

...never was and never will be.
Have you no shame? Don't you see me?
You know you've got everybody fooled.

Look, here she comes now.
Bow down and stare in wonder.
Oh, how we love you.
No flaws when you're pretending.

She's supposed to be the perfect Fae, and to humans her world doesn't exist, so she really has everyone fooled.

What do you think? Do these songs fit the characters from Faery Marked? If not, what song do you think would be better?

Book Blurb:

When Callie Rycroft wakes to find purple flames flickering on the ceiling, she believes she’s still dreaming. But soon she’s forced to accept that she has magic―a special magic that grants her entrance into the Faery Realm.

For centuries humans have been banned from Faery, but dangerous times call for dangerous measures. Declared Champion by the Faery Queen, Callie is assigned a Guardian, and tasked with finding the Cordial―a magical elixir needed to keep the portal to the Faery realm a secret from humans.

The upside? Reece Michaels, the boy she's been crushing on for years, is her Guardian. Callie hopes that, by spending time with Reece, he'll start to see her as more than just his best friend's sister.

The downside? She's in a race not only against time, but against another Champion, and a rogue Guardian―a Guardian who stands to threaten her developing relationship with Reece.

Magic, mistaken identities, and hidden agendas are the least of Callie's worries when she learns that the Cordial requires a sacrifice. Will Callie be willing to risk everything―even Reece―to complete her task as Champion? Or will she let the portal open, and doom both realms?

Available at AMAZON

Win a signed copy of Faery Marked and other swag. Details HERE. Don’t miss out on this LIMITED TIME OFFER!!!

About the Author:
YA author Mary Waibel’s love for fairytales and happy-ever fill the pages of her works. Whether penning stories in a medieval setting or a modern day school, magic and romance weave their way inside every tale.

Strong female characters use both brain and brawn to save the day and win the heart of their men. Mary enjoys connecting with her readers through her website:


Fiction University: Going All the Way: Should You Write the Whole Tril...

This is an AMAZING post by author Janice Hardy about writing trilogies. I'm currently playing around with a possible steam-punk trilogy idea and weighing the exact same pros and cons. I still haven't come to any definite conclusion, however this has definitely helped and have made me think about a few things. So enjoy! I hope this helps someone else out there.

Fiction University: Going All the Way: Should You Write the Whole Tril...: By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy There are two views on writing trilogies. Write just the first book and see if it sells, and write the w...


Pray & Be Happy

I don't have everything I want in life, but that's okay. I'm not always happy, and it's implausible to think every moment will be sunshine and daises, but I am happy. I've made the conscious decision to smile when I'm down, as well as change negative thinking, and those changes alone makes a significant difference. The thing that has helped me most though, is prayer - truly giving my problems to God. I won't go into a triad - my belief and Faith is my own. However, in the journey to find happiness, my spiritual awakening has been the greatest medicine.

So yes, I love a man whom I probably do not have a chance with. No, I'm not living in my own home or have my own vehicle as of now. My novel hasn't been published yet, and my hair will never be sleek, shiny, and straight (bit of nonsense thrown in ;)). But what I do have, I'm incredibly blessed. I have a beautiful daughter, a roof over my head, food to eat - that's more than many have in just this country alone. As for my unrequited love, at least I've experienced it - truly - and I'm thankful for meeting him and any moment I'm given to to spend with him. Again, it's more than what some people have. And you know what, my struggles are what have helped me to realize just how blessed I am and how truly amazing God is. I truly believe everything that has happened in my life, has been God's way of bringing me to him. Closer to him. And I'm thankful for that.

Yes, I still want those things I mentioned and more (some more than others, but I won't get too personal), but I've left it to God and that is all I can do. I won't worry and over think the situations anymore. When I start too, I take a deep breath and I pray and everything is okay. What is supposed to happen will happen, and no matter what, I will be okay. I will make it. I will prevail. I have God, and He - my Faith - is all I need


SOULLESS by Crystal Collier: Cover Reveal: A MUST READ

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series: 

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend" (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

COMING October 13, 2014

PREORDER your print copy
Sign up for Crystal Collier's newsletter to receive release news and freebies.



It's been longer than I intended since my last post. However, I've had more important matters to work on - say, DANCING DEMONS. Quite frankly, I'm impressed with myself, and I'll explain why.

The very ORIGINAL draft (then titled Hunted) was an eye-bulging 180,000 words. Since then I've cut and honed it and, while the essence is the same, the writing is tighter, story-line improved, AND the word count is now down to 85,000.

Whoo-hoo-hoo - big difference!

I say again: once 180K is now 85K.

I never thought THAT would be possible - ever. But I pushed myself and made the cuts I never thought I'd be able to. Lo and behold, it reads so much smoother and tighter! So everyone, never be afraid to cut (as well as rewrite). Yes, every word is an extension of your soul, I know, but... sometimes your soul is a little too clingy and you have to learn to let go. Burn those bridges. You'll be better off.

And now after all that, I've prepped it to the point that I've started the querying process up. Going to have to double up on my happy meds for sure; life's anxious enough without querying agents about your manuscript you've slaved over. Yes, that was purposely melodramatic. ;) One thing is definitely for sure, though - you absolutely must love what you do because this is not the right business to coddle your self-esteem lol.

I'll leave it at that. Just wanted a quick update on my recent endeavors.

Until next time!

Katie S. Taylor


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When Life Seems To Be Going Nowhere... Buck Up.

Some days you're perfectly fine, happy, smiling, laughing, with a skip in your walk and do-dah-day. Today is not that day, though. Today, as well as yesterday, is a feeling of intense, overwhelming hopelessness that my life is more stagnant than a cesspool. I'm stuck, and nothing is working out. But who doesn't feel like that at some point in their lives? It's normal.

Except it's more than a feeling. It's a deep-seeded fear corrupting my every thought and emotion. A self-criticism bordering on self-disgust at how pathetic my life is turning out. I'm a 24 year old single mother, who is once more living in her parents' home, and I'm living off child support, with no vehicle or job. I can't even spend time with my fur-baby anymore because of house regulation. Yup. Don't get me wrong, I'm beyond grateful, but sometimes it just all too much. 

I've been searching online for something work at home related (because even if I had a vehicle, I still have no one to watch Cecily, and I'd work solely for daycare), and I think that's only making the frustration and sense of hopelessness worse. I grow impatient with where I'm at in life, even as far as editing, wanting to pick up the pace, but remind myself to calm down. DO what's best for the story - DANCING DEMONS, as well as MY PERSONAL story. Just like I should do what's best for Cecily. And I'm trying, really trying, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. She's safe, healthy, clothed, gets what she needs, and I make sure she gets things she wants no matter what I have to sacrifice - but it's not enough

For me. 

I want so much more for her. She's my world, and I know I'm hers, and I just want her happy. I don't want her to ever feel unloved, unwanted, and have to want and need without getting. 

My anxiety and depression don't help with the situation. They play off each other, and make everything so much worse. This will seem stupid to some, but I really miss my dog Zoe. She was therapeutic for me, in a way similar to Cecily, and now... I still have her, but it isn't the same because it's my parents' home. Their rules. (And after living away from them for five years... it's sometimes tough to swallow, but swallow I do). 

Yes, this is a rant. But I'm a silent sufferer in real life, so it helps to release here, if even just a little. Because I feel like I could cry, but the tears just aren't there. It's deeper than that. 

With all this said, I'm very thankful for the non-doom and gloom parts of my life. Cecily, the fact she and I DO have a roof over our heads, my parents, how much they adore Cecily, thankful for my new love (though simultaneously terrified I'll somehow ruin it like I always seem to), and THANKFUL just waking up to see another day. Not everyone is religious, but I am, so I'm very thankful to God for these things. Maybe he's doing all this to teach me patience, because let's face it, I AM NOT a patient person (except for certain instances, like kids and animals for example). It's been almost a year since my now ex-husband and I separated, and I wouldn't say it's been better (I no long have my own place, which I most sincerely miss having, vehicle, I've had to rehome pets, so on so on son, you get the picture). But I think sometimes in life you have to go through trials, so you can then truly appreciate your blessing when it does come

I won't go into any philosophical or religious rants. No worries. I'm not here for that. Trust me, I'm the LAST person that will ever come from. But hope does keep me going. Hope that somewhere past this grey despair, there is light - that there is happiness without the taint of bitterness, and there is sleep without the lullaby of tears. I hope and I pray and I love

And I shoulder through it with a smile on, and so I live.

I may feel like this is a hopeless fight, but I'm also stubborn. After all, I'm still here, aren't I? I'm writing this, and not only giving myself inspiration to weather the storm, but hopefully whoever else feels life is a hopeless endeavor. It isn't. Life is tough - concrete and steel tough - but not impossible.

~Katie S. Taylor   


WORTH THE EFFORT - Ella's Story COVER REVEAL, by Kai Strand


Hi everyone! My name is Kai Strand. I’m visiting Katie’s blog today to share the cover of my upcoming young adult contemporary romance novella, out next month. I’m super excited. After you read the blurb and excerpt, and see the great cover, I hope you will become excited too. Thanks for reading!

About the book:

Ella Jones is a coward. There is a teen boy living in the alley behind her work and she is terrified of him.

Desperate to leave behind the stereotypical and judgmental world she was raised in, Ella forces herself to make a true connection with seventeen-year-old Ayden Worth. As their friendship grows Ayden’s quiet, gentle ways teach her true courage.

But there’s more to Ayden’s story than Ella knows. When their worlds collide in the most unexpected place, Ella feels betrayed. Will she find the courage to learn who Ayden really is, or will she determine he’s not worth the effort?


My heart accelerated to a terrifying pace as my unwanted visitor stepped into the light—rumpled, dirty clothing, shaggy hair, head down, concentrating on the ground. As he approached, I still couldn’t move. I don’t know if it was some misplaced politeness—that I didn’t want to cause him embarrassment by showing my petrifying fear of him—or if I was afraid my fleeing would kick start a predator instinct inciting him to give chase. I’m still bothered by the fact that I couldn’t make myself run away.

Available May 6, 2014

Add Worth the Effort: Ella's Story on Goodreads. Subscribe to my newsletter.

Excerpt junkies will find a different snippet to read on each of these sites:

About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,


Guest Post & Cover Reveal! WHITE HELLBORE by Nicole Zoltrack

Hey, howdy, hey! Nicole Zoltack here and I'm so happy to share with you the cover for WHITE HELLEBORE. The second book in the Heroes of Falledge trilogy kicks off with an amazing cover.

All right, all right, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. I know you're dying to see it!

Told you it was awesome! I'm not biased at all. Nope. Not even a little bit.

BLURB: After destroying Skull Krusher, Nicholas Adams thinks Falledge is safe and becomes a security guard at the museum, watching a valuable statue. Unfortunately, the Egyptian statue houses the soul of a scorned witch, biding her time to have her revenge on the descendants of her cheating lover.

Kiya the witch isn't the only new foe in town as the drug that created Skull Krusher has now transformed a scientist into yet another monster, forcing Nicholas to don his Black Hellebore mask again and save Falledge.

Nicholas has no help this time as Kiya gains possession of his love Julianna's body and brings the soul of Justina, Nicholas's high school sweetheart and Julianna's twin, with her. Despite himself, Nicholas is torn between the sisters. If he can't stop the fiends from taking over the world and destroying humankind, he'd never be able to find lasting, true love.

So I'm sure you're dying to know the release date and luckily it's not that far away! WHITE HELLEBORE releases April 21st! Be sure to grab it on the 21st! :D

Add it on Goodreads!

BIO: Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, or regency. When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit

Katie, here, just adding my thoughts. I'm stoked to read it. I haven't read the first one yet, but it's definitely on my TBR SOON list. Check out her other books too. They're just as compelling! (Really can't wait to get my hands on her little mermaid book with a zombie twist - awesome)

~Katie S. Taylor


Celebrate the Milestones!

Today's post is less of a mood-downer. No worries. Actually I'm quite pleased with myself. I'm down to 89K in Dancing Demons. Not a big deal to some, but considering the original draft started out at 180K, and I NEVER thought I'd be able to lower it to a decent word count, it's a great milestone for me. I feel like it has a better chance at reaching readers too, because let's face it, anything over 100K is scary in the YA universe, and I can completely understand why.

With each revision, my writing gets tighter and the overall story has improved as well. I'm actually quite grateful for any rejections I received on it in the past. Comparing this version to the old drafts, I shudder to think of it in the hands of readers. So to any CP's who read the old version, I'm so sorry.

My characters have developed even more - namely Kaleb. His background was always a bit of a mystery, but he's finally whispered his secrets to me. And I gotta say, I'm pumped. He's one kick-butt dude, if I do say so myself. He's definitely not a white knight or prince charming. Then again, Dancing Demons isn't exactly a fairy-tale.

I just wonder how Amberlyn will react when everything comes to the light.

Until next time!


Depression Vs. Writing, and Why She's My Saving Grace

Depression is a never-ending war constantly waging inside you. Sure, some days are better than others, letting the battle-weary soldiers rest, but it's always there. It never truly goes away. 

A lot of people who haven't suffered from depression thinks it's merely feeling sad. Ha - if only it were that simple. 

Yes, that's part of it, but it's also so much more than that. It's a sadness so profound that it actually leaves you numb. So numb you have no will to do anything, you want to cry - maybe eventually you even do - but for the most part you are only stuck. Trapped in a cage of flesh, lost in a sea of emotion - melancholy, worthlessness, even anger, and so many others - storming through you like a juggernaut. You're good at hiding it from others, so no one knows. But you just feel so... Everything encapsulated together... 


The fear and sorrowful knowing you mean so little to those around you. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't, but to you it's the truest thing in the universe. And maybe you feel that way because of how strongly you feel for others, knowing it's always unrequited. You wonder what the point is? 

Is there a point? 

Or is it just to live one miserable day after the next, hoping the sun breaks past the dismal dark? 

Except it never does. 

You're just stuck. Forcing yourself to smile and play a game you don't want to, keeping up the facade so those that matter don't realize how screwed up you really are. 

My little girl saves me from the edge. She's the greatest blessing I have, and if not for her, honestly, I don't think I'd be here typing this. She gives my world color where there's so many black and grey, and I could cry at how much I love her. God's granted me a beautiful gift, and I'm not a saint - far from it - but I intend to thank him for it every day. No matter how hopeless it seems because with her and His sheltering grace, through the numbness I feel the smallest prick of hope. And it's enough to carry me through. 

Granted, it doesn't bode well for my writing. Sometimes, especially the horrible days, it's hard to muster up the will to even look at my work. What's the point? I'm just wasting time writing it, aren't I? It's never going to go anywhere - right? The negativity one feels while in the throes of depression is truly astounding. 

Sometimes it's a battle to type that first word. That second word. Maybe I get the third word typed before I sigh and lean back, stare up at the ceiling. Just sit there. Wondering. Contemplating. Would anyone REALLY care...?

I hear her laugh, I hear her shout my name - "Mommy, Mommy!"

The darkness ebbs away, and I look at her. Warmth spears the numbness and chases it away, and my heart swells with love so magnificent... 

She smiles and I smile back - a real smile. She's my saving grace, and I want her to be proud of me. I want to be the best I can for her. So I write some more, and then a little bit more after that, and for a moment, the darkness edges away. 

I'm okay.

God is with me, and I can beat this. One battle at a time. For her. 



Dancing Demons Pg 99 Excerpt

Disclaimer: Image does not belong to me. Unsure of artist.
             I spin, eyes wide as they land on a shadowed figure. Hooded in some kind of dark-colored jacket with equally as dark gloves covering his hands. Tall. Svelte. Still. The figure, male from the lack of swell and curve, doesn’t move. Doesn’t look up. My breath sounds short and rattled, even to myself.

“Who – who are you?”

A horrible silence hammers away at my ears. No shrieking wind, no awful calls from the dreadful forest. Only a much more harrowing quiet that leaves me terrified. Where’s the monster that always craves my death and makes me writhe in agony as it rips me apart?

Violent trembles quake through my small frame, hard enough that when I take a step toward the hooded figure, my balance is unstable. Undergrowth, fallen branches, and rocks pierce my bare feet, cutting through the fragile flesh with searing heat. I curse the sharp pain, the stale night, and the thick mist that covers the forest floor like a razor-laced woolen blanket. Still, I keep going.

Suddenly, the figure turns, walking into the forest without the loud crunch of desiccated leaves, snapping twigs, or blind feet.

“Hey! Hey, wait!” I shout, hurrying to catch up and reach the mysterious figure. Rocks, undergrowth, and branches forgotten – all but running, and still I only catch the briefest glimpse of a silhouette, as the figure walks through the obsidian woods, the silver vapor closing around him.

It frightens me. I run forward, calling after him. The whispers and chitter-chatter come alive, sharp and piercing through the night’s silence. I run harder. My heart pounds and my skin burns hot. Sweat beads my flesh despite the chill silver swirling around, pressing against me like small, razor fine diamonds. Threatening, but never breaking the skin.

 © Copyright 2014 Katie S. Taylor

I Can Post Again!

For a while there, it wasn't letting me. Turns out it was because of an extension or add -on installed on Google chrome. Thank God for help forums, aye?


Yup, Definitely Need a Helmet for Life

So, forget everything I said in my last post. Life sucks. Enough said. I'll save the big sob story of why I've been MIA. Psychos, divorce, and having to move does that. But I'm finally ready to start the new chapter of my life. No expectations. Just writing and trying to be the best person I can be. I'm not worried about love and romance - quite frankly, it hates me. Just being an awesome mom and working on my writing.

As far as the writing goes, I've rewritten the beginning of DD again. I like it tons better. I've also changed the mythology of the creatures and all that good jazz. Bye, bye vampires. You are now merely minor characters. Something bigger and better has taken your place. Sending it off for the first round of feedback. Critique partners = awesome. Making mental note to get more. MIA-ness kind of jilts those sort of things.

So no promises of what will come. Just know that I'm writing, working on being happy, and most importantly being a mom. I'll update when I can. Until then!