Wednesday, June 27, 2018

New Adult Scavenger Hunt . . . author Paula Stokes!

A huge thank you to everyone who joined in the fun. It was great to meet you all. 

I’m so excited to be hosting Paula Stokes author of THE KEY TO EVERYTHING for this Team Red stop of the New Adult Scavenger Hunt! You’re going to love her exclusive material!

 This event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 96 hours!

Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out details about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of Team Red–but there is also a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number (read carefully and you’ll find it). Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on Team Red, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by July 1, at 12 PM Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered. Winners will be announced July 4th. 

Also there is another giveaway to enter that is exclusive to this blog (more information below).



Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious, Ferocious, and This is How it Happened. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also love interacting with readers. 
Find her online at or on Twitter and Instagram or Facebook


College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.  

To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had. 

Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?

Filled with friendship, romance, bromance, and gorgeous faraway settings, THE KEY TO EVERYTHING is a story for anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding love when (or where) they least expect it. Recommended for ages 16+ Contains explicit material. 

Paula: Hi NewASHers :) THE KEY TO EVERYTHINGis about a college senior who goes to Thailand to escape obsessing about an ex-boyfriend she thinks is her solumate, only to run across that very guy 8,000 miles from home.

For my bonus content, I’m sharing updated mood boards I created for the different places the characters explore. If you’ve never been to Thailand, warning, this book might give you some serious wanderlust.

The story starts out with best friends Oakland and Morgan heading to Bangkok, a city that’s an amazing mix of old and new, with sleek glass skyscrapers, colorful markets, and gorgeous temples and ruins.

After a few days in the big city, Oakland and her friends travel to the tropical paradise of Phuket, to enjoy warm sandy beaches, check out a Thai boxing match, and look for her soulmate, Seth.

Oh no, Seth somehow sneaked past them and now he’s up in Chiang Mai, a northern city famous for jungle treks and elephant conservation camps. Will Oakland ever catch up to her lost love?

On the way back to Bangkok, the tour group stops at the Sukothai Historic Park, one of my favorite places in the whole world. Being surrounding by ancient ruins feels magical, but will it be magical for Oakland and her friends? Read THE KEY TO EVERYTHINGand find out!

Wanna try before you buy? Read the first few chapters on my website here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m adding THE KEY TO EVERYTHING to my must-read pile right away. It sounds amazing.

Now to enter you need to know my lucky number! TEN..Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on Team RED and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!



Leave a comment below and be entered to win a paperback copy of one of my Dark Heart novels. Winner will have their choice of any novel in the series. 
Also be sure to sign-up for my newsletter. Later this year, I'll be giving away e-ARCs of HIS DARK MAGIC (Northern Circle Coven series #1) exclusively to newsletter subscribers. 


To keep going on the hunt, you need to check out the next author,  Mia Miller


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Two Questions with . . . Author Janet Walden

Thank you for inviting me to stop by as Part Three of the “Two Questions With…” blog hop.

2. What is the hardest part about writing?

Plotting. Bah. That way leads to lack of creativity and dull stories. Drudgery and boredom.

Oh, guys. Baby Writer me was so cute.
Hands up if you’re also a reformed pantser. 

Fifty percent of my writing issues disappeared when I learned to sit down and plot out a story. I always come up with characters first, usually completely by accident. They pretty much spring to life in my head, fully formed—then I’m left scrambling to find a plot to hang them on. 

My early stories always stalled out around the 70% mark. Right around the Black Moment. All because I had cobbled together plot as I went, and was often left not knowing what drove the characters into their crisis, or if I had the crisis, how to solve it. I got characters into trouble then had no clue how to get them out. I lost weeks and months to writing myself into corners.

Then came breaking down, figuring “What do I have to lose by trying?” and starting a new story outline from scratch on a legal pad. And it worked. I could see potential dead ends and lack of agency.

Gotta say, plotting an arc out on paper lets me brainstorm ideas ahead of time and helps keep the pacing tight. Since I try to stick to big picture outlines, it also leaves me plenty of room to innovate and change details without starting from scratch. 

 Thanks to my reformed ways, I can finish a story much more quickly now, and with less “Why did I ever think this was doable?” angst.

2. Who are you favorite writers at the moment, and what do you love about each?

So many. So, so many.

In romance, I’m on a huge contemporary romance kick with Sarina Bowen. I love, love, love her True North series, and Keepsake is my favorite so far. Sarina writes sexy—wow, does she have some intense heroes and heroines—but capitalizes on emotions to bring the heat. She builds tension into a delicious fire. She also makes unconventional heroes and consent sexy.

In SF/F/PNR, it’s Karen Marie Moning. I just caught up on her Fever series, devouring Feversong and High Voltage within days. Her long-term plotting just knocks me out. She lays out so many plot threads, then manages to connect them all organically. The level of detail and imagination just blow me away. Her descriptions of the Fae and Dublin are also lush and gorgeous. You can see and feel the deadly beauty and rain-wet cobbles.

Janet Walden-West lives in the southeast with a pack of show dogs, a couple of kids, and a husband who didn't read the fine print.  She has an unseemly obsession with dusty artifacts, great cars, and bad coffee.A founding member of the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance and The Million Words craft blog, she is also a member of Romance Writers of America member. She pens Urban Fantasy that escapes the neat confines of the city limits in favor of map-dot hillbilly towns, and inclusive Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Romance. A #PitchWars alum, her first short story, Road Trip, is included in the Chasing the Light anthology.

Find Me At:


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with New Adult Books!!

I’m celebrating the by taking over the New Adult Scavenger Hunt Facebook group. Stop by, help me celebrate—and enter to win books. The party is HERE!!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Two Questions with . . . author Ken Schrader

Thank you, Pat, for hosting me on your blog today as part of our “Two questions with...” series.
For those of you that don’t know, my name is Ken Schrader. I write Science Fiction, Fantasy, Weird Westerns (though, not necessarily in that order). 

And here are my Two Questions...

Question 1. What is the hardest part about writing?

Beginning. Hands down. I have the most trouble with beginning. Now, when I say “Beginning,” I don’t mean beginnings, as in the start of the story. I mean Beginning. Sitting down to write, making that commitment, shutting yourself away from family, friends, the dogs, TV, games, the internet, dishes, that bit of laundry you’ve got to—
Stop it.
Go write.
That’s the hardest part for me. I won’t say that the rest is easy. Writing is hard work, no matter how you go about it. But it’s also fun work. Once I get started, I can fall so deeply into it that I’ll lose time. And it doesn’t matter what part of the process I’m in. Drafting, editing, revising (yes, there’s a difference), or any other part of it.

Beginning, though, is a hurdle that I’ve got to jump every time. 

Question 2. What is your "Go-to" thing that you treat yourself to when you finish a first draft?

The thing I go for when I finish a draft is a grilled steak. Where I go depends on the time of year it is. If it’s not near freezing (or raining), I’ll happily bundle up and get the charcoal grill going. In the event that’s not a viable thing, then there are a couple of places around that I could go to.

Pizza from one of the local places is a good “Plan B”  


I am a science fiction and fantasy writer, a shameless Geek, a fan of the Oxford comma, and I make housing decisions based on the space available for bookshelves. I collect books, movies, and music.

I sing out loud when I think there's no one around, and try to get a blog post up once a week--One of which I have done consistently for the last few years.

I love music of all kinds, books, the big sky off my front porch, Star Wars, Firefly, Blind Guardian (to which, I write almost exclusively), Rugby, star gazing, jasmine tea, and the smell of rain on the air.

My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate. My favorite food is grilled steak, and I can suspend disbelief embarrassingly quickly.

I live in Michigan, am co-owned by several dogs (especially the Border Collie), and I ma one of the rare breed of folk that enjoys mowing the lawn. 

I am represented by Dorian Maffei of Kimberley Cameron & Associates. ( 

ually only on the weekends, and not for very long at that.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Giveaway e-ARC of PLAYING HER SECRET CRUSH by Casey Griffin


Today, I’m giving away an e-ARCs of PLAYING HER SECRET CRUSH by Casey Griffin. Leave a comment here for a chance to win (include your email).

 For a bonus chance Tweet about the giveaway and include @PatEsden and @CaseyGriffin in your Tweet. You can also RT my tweets. For another bonus chance, follow @CaseyGriffin on Twitter. Winner will be chosen randomly tonight at midnight Eastern Standard Time. 


All her life, Katie has been chosen last for everything: the last picked on the playground,
the last picked by her absent father, and definitely the last picked by boys—
even her secret crush, Alex, friend-zoned her. This senior year, Katie is determined to
come first.

But then Alex asks her to help him find a date?!

Alex has been living life in the fast lane, but he's ready to slow down—with a girlfriend.
The last person on earth he’d consider? The girl his brother developed serious
feelings for before he died: Katie. The only way Alex is going to get over Katie is
by falling for someone new. And who better to help him find his new crush than the
girl he can’t stop thinking about?

What can possibly go wrong?

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving a 400 ton dump truck in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion, and she is currently busy writing every moment she can.

Author Links:

Monday, June 11, 2018

Two Questions with . . . author Anne Raven

Thank you, Pat, for hosting me on your blog today as part of our “Two questions with...” series. I’m Anne Raven, and I write romance, anything from suspense to paranormal.

Q. Why do you write?
I discovered my love of books very late, we’re talking early 20s—I know, it’s terrible, and you can all throw virtual tomatoes. I’ll wait.

Okay, that’s enough.

No, really. Please stop.


I spent my childhood outdoors, playing pretend and creating my own stories. I was a real water-baby and would splash in the pool for hours, imagining a world of mermaids and sea creatures. Somehow it never occurred to me that I could put those stories down onto paper. At least not until I found my love of books.

Once I did, it was only natural for me to switch from reading to writing. It happened in a very organic sort of way when an idea hit me on the head, and I just HAD to write it—even if it happened to be about 1am at the time. Of course, this presented a whole new learning curve—actually crafting the words. It took many manuscripts and a lot of words before I found my rhythm. I’m still learning, but writing has become an obsession.

I write because I love stories. I love characters. I love exploring their lives and figuring them out, discovering how they’d react in certain situations. Most of all, I write to purge the characters from my head that demand their stories to be told. I write because I’m essentially still that little girl in the pool, playing with imaginary characters in made-up worlds.

Q. What is the hardest part about writing?
There’s a lot of craft aspects that I think will always be challenging. Starting the first draft of a shiny new idea is daunting, but also thrilling. Often deciding where to begin and end can be tough. Revising can either be great fun or difficult if major re-writes are needed. I’m a pantster (which means I “fly by the seat of my pants”), so sometimes I write myself into a sticky situation I need to fix. Although, since my last manuscript, I’ve begun plotting as much as I can beforehand, and learning how to do that has been interesting, to say the least.

Each book also presents its own set of obstacles. Sometimes that can be the content or the research required for a particular plot or character. Sometimes they can be emotionally draining if you’re tackling a difficult subject. And for me, the absolute hardest part, is getting the emotions on the page.

This is something I struggle with in my day to day life—showing emotions—so I find it particularly difficult to express them in my writing. On top of that, it’s such a vital piece of the puzzle, especially in romance, that you really have to get it right so readers can relate to your characters and want to read about them. Nobody wants to read about cardboard cut-outs with the emotional range of a fish (no offense fishies!). That would be no fun. It’s something I’m constantly trying to get better at, and will likely continue far into the future.

Anne Raven was born and raised along the windy coast of South Africa, and can assure everyone there are no lions roaming the streets—unless you count the feral cat next door. When not reading or writing, you’ll find her being bossed around by her adorable niece, taking freshly baked goods from the oven, or drinking too much coffee. Her romantic suspense IN THE NAME OF THE MOTHER was showcased in Pitch Wars 2017. Anne is represented by Amanda Jain at BookEnds Literary Agency.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

New Adult Scavenger Hunt!

Hello Everyone! Hope you are excited as I am, because we have less than three weeks until the Summer 2018 New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins! Here are the Summer 2018 #NewASH teams:



The New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins at Noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 27th and runs through Sunday, July 1st. For more information, visit