September 29, 2017

Meet the Muse / CARRY ME HOME by Jessica Therrien

Book Title: Carry Me Home
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Date of Publication: September 26, 2017


1. Tell us about your recent release. 

CARRY ME HOME is a fictional novel inspired by the true story of a teenage girl’s involvement in several Mexican gangs in San Jose and Los Angeles. The members of her crew call her, Guera, Spanish for “white girl” and it doesn’t take long for her to get lost in their world of guns and drugs.

* * *

Lucy and Ruth are country girls from a broken home. When they move to the city with their mother, leaving behind their family ranch and dead-beat father, Lucy unravels.

They run to their grandparents’ place, a trailer park mobile home in the barrio of San Jose. Lucy’s barrio friends have changed since her last visit. They’ve joined a gang called VC. They teach her to fight, to shank, to beat a person unconscious and play with guns. When things get too heavy, and lives are at stake, the three girls head for LA seeking a better life.

But trouble always follows Lucy. She befriends the wrong people, members of another gang, and every bad choice she makes drags the family into her dangerous world.

Told from three points of view, the story follows Lucy down the rabbit hole, along with her mother and sister as they sacrifice dreams and happiness, friendships and futures. Love is waiting for all of them in LA, but pursuing a life without Lucy could mean losing her forever.

Ultimately it’s their bond with each other that holds them together, in a true test of love, loss and survival.

2. Who is your muse?

My muse would have to be my sister. Carry Me Home is about her. The things that happen in the book are 90% true. She not only inspired me to write the story, she continues to inspire me daily with how strong she is.

3. What does your muse look like?

Well here’s a picture of her, then and now:

4. Describe your muse’s personality.

Stubborn, resilient, unstoppable, which can all be good or bad depending on what she’s trying to accomplish. In her teenage years, it got her into a LOT of trouble.

5. How do you tempt your muse to work?

I beg her, lol. This book started as her memoir. She wrote about 40 pages and stopped. Once I got her blessing to finish it, she would send me memories and I would mold them and fit them into the story. But she has 3 kids now, and a full-time job, so getting the good stuff required a fair share of hounding her.

6. When/where does your muse inspire you the most?

Every day. While I was writing I felt especially inspired, because I would read her memories and think, “This didn’t really happen, did it?!” But, most of it did. I still feel amazed that she came out of it and got her life together. Even to this day she empowers me to be better, stronger, more grateful for the little things.

7. Has your muse ever gone on strike?

I think we all did a few times. My mom, my sister, and I all wrote the first draft together. It took us several years to get through it. We’re all happy we did, though.

8. What would your muse’s motto be to get your butt into gear?

Life is tough. So what. Get over it.

9. What was your relationship like with your muse while writing CARRY ME HOME?

Best friends. Still are.

10. Are you and your muse working on something new?

No, she’s not a writer. But I’m co-writing another YA book with screenwriter Joe Gazzam. It’s a suspense thriller. Can’t wait to share more about it!


Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. Her trilogy has been translated and sold through major publishers around the world, such as Editions AdA (Canada), EditionsMilan (France), and SharpPoint Press (China).

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica is the author of a kid’s picture book called, The Loneliest Whale. Her award-winning stories can also be found in a published anthology of flash fiction.

Jessica currently lives in Irvine with her husband and two young sons. She is working on an a YA suspense thriller series and a middle grade fantasy series.

Author Links:

September 25, 2017

Helping My Mom Publish + #BooksAndSpooks17 + MASSIVE GIVEAWAY!

Helping My Mom:

My mom lives with me. Earlier this year, she had a nasty fall, though thankfully no broken bones, and has been struggling to walk now due to bad arthritis in her knees. I help her as much as I can. And in one way I've been helping her is to self-publish. I want her to be able to see her stories in print. 

And her first children's book is now available as a paperback. (We may or may not do an ebook version later.) Even my nephews helped out! They did the cover art and are the models in the interior photography, which are photos I took and altered a bit to make them look animated. Even the turtles are a part of the family, so this was a real family effort. :)

BLURB: Slow Poke is the slowest turtle. He's slow for everything. One day, a little boy needs him to be fast. Slow Poke doesn't want to disappoint Tommy, but can he be fast? Can he win a race?

Elaine Kaye has given the classic story The Tortoise and the Hare a modern take with two turtles racing against each other. Slow Poke gives a sweet look into the friendship a child can have with a turtle, or any animal, and celebrates positive thinking. If you believe you can do something, you will! 


I love Instragram, and I love the book/author challenges that people host there. So much so that I have created my own challenge relating to books and Halloween.

If you're on Instagram and you want to participate, share the above graphic on your Instagram profile (you can even tag me @ChrysFey) and post pictures on the designated days with #BooksAndSpooks17 

The day's theme can relate to the book's cover, title, content/characters, or the Halloween decor you add to make the picture awesome. BTW, for Day 9 I meant book titles. ;)

Let's have some spooky bibliophile fun!


For October/November, the IWSG Book Club is reading:

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

In a poll in our group, structure was voted #2 for what our members want to learn more about, and this book is a great example of story structure that works.

The discussion will begin November 22nd.


My very own ebook Ghost of Death is part of Prize #1! :)

Carry Me Home Release Day Party!

To celebrate the release of her latest novel, Carry Me Home, author Jessica Therrien is hosting a HUUUGE BACK TO SCHOOL BOOK GIVEAWAY! The giveaway includes nearly 50 books, all from different authors. Keep scrolling for prize info and how to enter the giveaway.


PRIZE #1 (5 winners)
WINNERS of this prize will take home one of FIVE 10 Book Bundles.

*Each 10 book bundle is guaranteed to have at least 1 paperback book.

A signed hardcover of
by Jessica Therrien

A signed hardcover of
OPPRESSION (Children of the Gods #1)
by Jessica Therrien


*AKA...the hugest RaffleCopter EVER*
Support an author by subscribing to their newsletter, liking them on Facebook or following their Twitter account. You can literally follow each author and EARN UP TO 45 CHANCES TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 18, 2017

Diverse Characters - S + T + U


There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol

Here are the diverse characters for S:

Salvadorians (Individuals from El Salavador)

Satyrs (fantasy)

Saudi Individuals

Individuals with Schizophrenia

Scottish Individuals


Single Mothers/Single Fathers




Social Workers


Somalians (Somalis

Southerns (US)

South Africans

South Americans

Spanish Individuals (Spaniards)

Individuals with Speech Impediments


Stunt men/women

Swedish Individuals

Swiss Individuals 

Individuals with Synesthesia (can hear, smell, taste, feel colors)

Here are the diverse characters for T:

Tajiks (Individuals from Tajikistan)




Thai Individuals

Tiawanese (Individuals from Tiawan)

Titans (mythology)

Transgender Individuals

Transsexual Individuals


Turkish Individuals


Here are the diverse characters for U:





Uruguayans (Individuals from Uruguay)

U.S. Marshalls

U.S. Presidents

SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with S, T, U, let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.

Have you written about a character from my list?

September 11, 2017

Your One Word / Books for Writers

NOTE: If you're seeing this message, that means I don't have power. I will return comments and visit blogs when I am able. Stay safe!

Update: I have power, and my house is safe.

The book I’m highlighting today was written for entrepreneurs and small business owners, but anyone can use the concept of One Word for their website, blog, business, etc. So why not discover the secret power of Your One Word?

I did!

First, what is One Word?

It is one word that defines you (who you are), your business, what you strive for in all you do, and what you want to give others. Just one word. It’s core selling at its best. Core selling is not talking about the features of a product (or book, such as page count, genre, etc.) or Benefit Selling (“an exciting afternoon’s read”), but what values you have and what you believe.

For Evan Carmichael, his one word is #Believe. It’s his core value, his personal mission statement.

Evan says, “Your one word is your core. It’s your guiding light. It makes all decisions easier…When you know your one word, you can make decisions that support your path…it will also help you to stay motivated.”

In this book, Evan demonstrates how other entrepreneurs discovered and used their one word to kick-start their businesses, make money, and (more important) make an impact.

I found my one word for my blog. It was actually always there, I just never realized how powerful it could be. My blog’s one word is #Sparks. When I started my blog, I wanted to provide sparks of inspiration and motivation through writing a novel, editing, publishing, and marketing. And that’s what I did, without even realizing it. My first blog post was “Catching a Spark,” and I even use sparks on my banner and my business cars, but I never truly embraced it. Until now. Check out my About page for an in-depth explanation on this.

To find your one word, read this book.

QUESTION: What do you think your One Word is?

September 06, 2017

A Stressful Month

NOTE: I'm having a horrible day. It'll take me a while to reply back and visit blogs. Sorry.


I got this a week ago from 

You might notice a few other familiar names/faces on the list


August was a tough month. 

I went about 5 days without an AC for my house. In Florida heat.

I had to do car repairs right after my AC was fixed. Then I decided to sell my car and get another used car.

The good news is I started writing a new book (new idea) and wrote over 100 pages in 10 days, but with the car issues and editing, I haven't done much on it in over a week.

Now I am attempting to start a street team. Not trying to get sympathy sign-ups, but I'm wondering if this'll work. This is my current insecurity.

Anyway, here are some perks if you're considering joining Fey's Sparklers:

- Free ebook when you join
- Prizes awarded for missions
- Random prizes/giveaways 
- Advance Reader Copies
- Name characters and places
- Come up with book titles 
(and get credit in dedication)
- See cover art first
- Share ideas
- Chat

I plan to make it a lot of fun.

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY:  I'm doing my first Goodreads giveaway for a print copy of Seismic Crimes. The giveaway will end on September 11th.

Click to enter the Seismic Crimes Goodreads Giveaway


EEEK!: I did a LIVE YouTube interview with Evan Carmichael for the IWSG. Just before, I found out my webcam wasn't supported by Google Hangouts. Enter panic mode. Evan was waiting. We could hear each other, and I could see him, but he couldn't see me. So I quickly booted up my laptop. Thank goodness it worked, and with seconds to spare, too. The lighting on my end would've been better otherwise. I also had to shoo away two of my cats during his answers. Those pesky creatures! lol

You can watch the video and get great advice for authors here.

Or here: