Wren Michaels VEXED is here!!!

Hello my lovelies! My good friend and CP, Wren Michaels, just released her first ever full-length Novel, VEXED, with Evernight Publishing. Check out an interview and naughty teaser below. (wink, wink)

Thanks for sharing in the release of my first full-length novel! I hope you enjoy reading about Kena and Luc as much as I enjoyed writing them. There’s plenty of action, adventure, romance, and Vodou for everyone!


I did a little Q&A about the book: Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters? Originally the story was going to be completely different when I wrote the first 5000 words or so of the book. But after I came back from the 2014 Romantic Times convention in New Orleans, I was inspired to write something with a Vodou/NOLA flair. So the book took a twist and became so much more than I ever imagined. I wanted a strong heroine and an alpha male. But Luc ended up being more of an Alpha/Beta blend. He’s not really one or the other. He’s quite complex. Kena ended up being a witty heroine who took things into her own hands. Q) Do you have any habits that get you in the writing frame of mind? Music is my biggest influence. I listened to mainly instrumental gaming soundtracks while writing. But one of my Critique Partners burned me a CD of music she thought would be perfect for this book, and it was filled with great songs by The Black Keys, Rolling Stones, Zepplin, Jack White and Muse. It ended up really making scenes come alive for me. Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books? In this book I tried to make the characters reflect their Vodou based deities. I did take some artistic liberties and spun a few things, but I did a lot of research to make sure a lot of the intricacies of their actual descriptions and quirks made it into the story. VEXED-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2015-finalimages

Vodou stole her life. A gay ghost stole her boots. And the man who stole her heart stole her memories. Kena plans to get it all back.

Ex-cop Kena’s life is filled with regret, beer, and Cheetos. That is, until her ghostly roomie sends her dumpster diving, leading her to a sexy stranger named Luc and a fate she’d rather not remember. As Kena’s memories resurface, so do her feelings for Luc, the man she’s secretly been in love with for the last thousand years. And he needs her for more than a stroll down memory lane.

Vodou spirits, known as Loa, have been trapped in human form, and are trying to make their way back to the spirit world. But Luc’s brother is possessed by a vengeance demon conjured at the hands of NOLA’s crime syndicate kingpin. Saving him means damning herself to a spirit prison in a loveless, arranged union with the very man she’s supposed to rescue. But not helping Luc’s brother sentences him to death, leaving New Orleans in the hands of black magick, and losing Luc forever.



After stripping out of the wet clothes, I wrapped the towel around myself and wandered out to his room. On the bed lay a white long-sleeve button-down shirt. With a hard swallow, I dropped the towel and picked up the shirt, pulling it to my face. I took a long, hard sniff. Laundry detergent. Of course. Did I think it would smell like him?

Like he’d give you a dirty shirt to wear, Kena.

Thankful he didn’t witness me in idiot-mode, I slid myself into the shirt and was caught mid-button when he knocked at the door.

“Are you decent?” He pushed the door open a crack.

“I’m clothed, if that’s what you mean. Decent is debatable at the moment.” Purposely leaving the top three buttons undone, I worked my way to the bottom button as he walked in.

He halted mid-stride and looked at me. His chest rose and fell in quick spurts, training his eyes over me from head to toe. Veins traversed the length of his arm as he clenched his fists at his sides. “I don’t wear underwear, so I apologize I have no bottoms. It’s all I had that was long enough to cover you.” His position relaxed as he leaned against the mahogany armoire.

“Anything’s better than cold, sopping-wet clothes.” I ran a finger through my hair, now slowly drying into loose stringy curls.

“So, are you going to tell me what happened tonight?” Folding his arms across his broad chest, bulging muscles stretched the navy-blue fabric barely covering his biceps.

I shook my head. “Not until I get some honesty from you, big guy.”

With a tilt of his head, he donned a sly grin. “You haven’t asked the right questions.”

“Is this a game for you? Do you enjoy messing with people’s lives? Do you get off on some fucked-up high being in total control?” My fingernails burrowed into the palm of my hand. Everything in me wanted to slap the shit out of him and then ride him like a cowboy.

He pushed off the dresser and walked over to me, lowering his head coming to a stop inches from my face. “You’re the one in control and yet you refuse to acknowledge it. You refuse to let your mind accept it. Stop playing and start being.”

“What do you want from me?” I yelled, a little louder than intended.

“I want you to be you. I want you to”—he stopped and dropped his gaze to my lips, and then slowly made his way back up to my eyes—“come back.”

“Kiss me.” The words rushed from my lips without another thought. My heart hammered so hard in my chest I thought it would shatter my rib cage.

His breathing quickened. A low growl rumbled in his throat. “Don’t do this to me, Kena.”

“Don’t do what? You’re the one doing things to me.” I slammed my hands against his chest and he sailed across the room, his back hitting the dresser behind him. “Shit! I’m sorry.” I reached out for him with a trembling hand.

Fuck, I’d done it again.

He shook his head and straightened himself up. In a blur of movement, he shot across the room and grabbed onto either side of my shirt, yanking me up to his face. “You want me to kiss you?”

“Yes,” I said in more of whooshing sound than a word.

He pressed his lips against my neck and his fingers curled into the fabric of the shirt, pulling me onto my tiptoes. “You don’t even know who I am.”

“I don’t care.” Words no longer made sense to me, only his touch spoke a language I could understand.

He laughed as he pushed me against the wall. Gripping the back of my head with the entire palm of his hand, he splayed the other across my cheek, his thumb resting against my jawline. Tilting my head back, he hovered his lips over mine. “You will.”

His lips crushed against my mouth.

With a sweep of his tongue, he devoured me into a kiss the likes of which I’ve never experienced before in my life. He punished my mouth with his tongue, sliding it over mine in a delicious dance of ecstasy and aggression. His hold on me was not that of violence, but of passion. The way his fingertips eased against my face, yet held me there as if he was scared to let go, revealed a vulnerability. He may be a man of few words who knew how to play the vague card, but his body and actions gave him away.

I arched into him, and he pinned me back against the wall with his hip. Clawing at his shirt, I ripped it out of his jeans and slid my fingers over his heated skin. A surge of energy rushed my fingertips as they glided along his body, electrifying me.

“Fuck, Kena,” he hissed, pulling back from the kiss.

In a movement so fast it blurred everything around me, he shot out the door, slamming it behind him. He left me gasping, clinging to the wall behind me just to remain standing. My legs wobbled like Jell-O as I stumbled to the bed and collapsed. He sucked all the air from my body and replaced it with an ache, a driving need for more of him.

What the hell was he?



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Wren Michaels hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet and carried her away below the Mason-Dixon line, where she promptly lost all tolerance for snow and cold. They decided they’d make beautiful babies together and they got it right on the first try. Now Wren lives happily ever after in the real world and in the worlds of her making, where she creates book boyfriends for the masses to crave.

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The Writer’s Voice: THE LAST PAPER DAHL, MG Fantasy

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to say my number came up in the drawing for the writing contest, The Writer’s Voice (kissing your imaginary feet, Rafflecopter!). Great news for my blog as well, which has become a poorly neglected entity, no thanks to it’s cruel mistress, and is starved for activity. I’d like to thank Brenda, Monica, Nikki, Elizabeth, Krista and Kimberly for hosting this contest and for all your hard work!


Category: MG Fantasy

Word Count: 63,000


Dear Writer’s Voice Readers,

I’d be thrilled if you’d consider my 63,000-word MG Fantasy, THE LAST PAPER DAHL. It will appeal to fans of CORALINE and THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, also readers seeking diversity.

On Monday, eleven-year-old Cecelia Dahl’s sorrows aren’t turning her into paper. Her little brother is alive, and her mother doesn’t blame her for his death then run off to The Land of Yesterday in search of his ghost. Cecelia has a pleasant house in Hungrig, Norway that doesn’t come to life, kidnap her father, or try to kill her. She has a soul she can’t see, not a small blue one that literally strolls out of her body, abandoning her like everyone else. That is Monday. Then Tuesday sweeps in with its terrible claws and rips her life to shreds.

Moments before Cecelia’s house—a dark and crooked thing called Widdendream—absorbs her father and tries to swallow her whole, a pair of mischievous gnomes arrive at her window in a hot-air balloon and carry her away. Outside, question marks rain from Norway’s sky, and Cecelia’s world no longer makes sense. Thank goodness the balloon’s keepers claim to know how to find The Land of Yesterday and save her father from Widdendream’s doom. Cecelia must survive the harrowing voyage over land, sea and stars, in order to find Yesterday and bring her mother and ghost-brother home. If she doesn’t, Widdendream will never give her father back, and Cecelia’s transformation to a Full Paper Dahl will be irreversibly complete.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


K. A. Reynolds

First 250 Words:

On Monday of last week, Cecelia Dahl understood the world. She resided in Hungrig Norway, in a crooked house called Widdendream. Daisies that bloomed in both grass and snow circled the shimmering lake outside her window. Sharp mountains loomed over her town. Dogs barked. Cats meowed. Cecelia’s midnight blue hair grew long and fast and cantankerous. Her skin was dark and bronze and oddly freckled, just like her mother’s. Widdendream loved her family, as all good houses should, and her family loved her the same way. Indeed, on Monday of last week, these were all hardboiled facts.

Then Cecelia did the bad thing. And just after midnight of Tuesday last, she understood only one fact: Tuesday hated Cecelia and Cecelia hated it back.

“Cecilia,” Miss Podsnappery asked while pushing up her horn-rimmed glasses. “What ever do you call that instrument in your hand?”

Every eye in class turned on Cecelia. Expressionless gazes traced her charcoal sweater and the black-and-gray striped dress beneath it, judging her frayed tights and scuffed boots too, no doubt. Her teacher, bewildered as always, loomed over her desk far enough to cast shadows. Cecelia forced a smile. She must keep her answer as succinct as possible, forgoing any miscommunications. Teachers were simple creatures, after all, and one had to be succinct, especially since Tuesday last week. Ever since, understanding had gone straight downhill.

“Miss Podsnappery,” Cecilia answered, speaking with extra care as not to confuse the poor woman, for she did try exceedingly hard to please.

PitchWars Blog Hop: Why I Wrote My PitchWars Novel

One of my brilliant fellow Mentees had this great idea for a Mentee blog hop where we share the inception of our novels. But before I share my story, I want to say what an honor it is to be in the 2014 group of Pitchwars participants. I was chosen as a Mentee by the incomparable Jaye Robin Brown. The woman is a rad genius, the water and sunlight to my rose and I am so lucky she she picked me. 🙂 Everyone involved has been so giving and generous and amazing! From the participants to the mentors, and of course the PitchWars creator, Brenda Drake. Thank you everyone for making this beautiful experience happen.

As for why I wrote my Literary Magical Realism Novel Le Cirque Du Literati, come close and let me show you . . .

One morning, long before dawn, the night still thick with sleep, I sat at my computer indulging in the echo of a midnight train. I’ve always had a romance with that hollow and lonely sound. I am from the Canadian prairies, after all. But this morning, while sipping my coffee, I saw two teenagers racing hand-in-hand alongside their own train in the far corner of my mind. The image was so clear, I couldn’t look away. I saw the sun shining from a cornflower blue sky, heard the chains clattering and steel on rails. I felt the wind gusting up dust on my skin as they chased the metal monster. So what does a good writer do, but start writing their story of friendship, magic, broken hearts, love, monsters, art and woe, and promise to see them through to bitter or beautiful The End.

Being a pantser, I didn’t know who they were at first, where they were heading or why. But as their story began to unfold, I knew I loved them. I hopped that train with them, sweat bullets in the face of miraculous and terrifying magicians with them. I cried with poet Josephine as she mourned her mother and drowned in fear. I held her best friend, a destitute artist named Nikolai, so riddled with self-doubt, he hid his true self from the world. I watched as the best friends fell in love. That’s when Le Cirque Du Literati opened up, and man, was it pretty. With its lavender sun, cherry-red moon, streets that move of their own accord (depending on the traveler’s needs) in a walled city above the clouds, where poetry, literature, music and art, rule. What better place to send the characters in my charge than to an enchanted Utopian circus where artists, writers, creators and dreamers are revered, not reviled, and wishes can absolutely come true?

It does sound nice, doesn’t it? 

But that’s the thing about art, love and dreams. They require suffering. They demand sacrifice. They insist upon fearlessness. So while this book began with a lonely train’s whistle in the dead of night, it became a personal liberation from fear, a revolution against ignorance, a call to art and war! A story for fellow Literati fighting for their dreams and showing the world what we’re made of. That is the true heart of this story and why happiness and fearlessness will cost my Nik and Jo dearly. But I swear to be with them every step of the way, for I do love a magical circus of the mind.

Perhaps, if you are brave, we will see you there.

From one Literati to another, thank you for reading. 🙂 And, please see the links below to my fabulous, unique, beautiful and eternally enchanting fellow Mentees below, and run don’t walk to their blogs to read why they wrote their books!

Carleen Karanovic: HOPE ON A FEATHER

Heather Truett: RENASCENCE

Tracie Martin: WILD IS THE WIND


Susan Bickford: FRAMED


Amanda Rawson Hill: GRIMM AND BEAR IT

Charlotte Gruber: CODE OF SILENCE


Mary Ann Nicholson: CALAMITY


Anna Patel: EXODUS





Ashley Poston: HEART OF IRON

Mara Rutherford: WINTERSOUL

Janet Walden-West: Damned If She Do



Kelli Newby: THORNVAAL






Lyra Selene: REVERIE

Natalie Williamson: SET IN STONE


Stephanie Herman: CLIFF WITH NO EDGE





Jennifer Hawkins: FALSE START



Natasha M. Heck: FOLLOW THE MOON

Esher Hogan – Walking After Midnight


Writing Process Blog Tour!

Hi all! So, I was tagged by the kind and generous Justin Herd to be a part of the Writing Process Blog Hop! And, because we writers love talking about our processes and reading about others, I’m psyched to be a part of it. Thanks Justin!

Ready? Okay go.


I am thrilled to be working on something new! It’s a Diverse Literary Magical Realism that has a crush on Woman’s Fiction. It’s still figuring itself out, you see. Best not rush such fragile blooms. My MC, Lorena from South Carolina, has a dark and haunted past, no one to trust and no where to go. But when she meets an old man in Charleston who can fly, he gives her a magical gift, which takes her on a healing journey on foot through S.C.  It’s sort of an Eat Pray Love self discovery with magic meets Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan meets After Midnight by Blink 182. I really love it so far.  The first draft is done and now I’m editing. Plus, I have another to edit and another as well, and this and that one to write, and…you get the drift. I’m prolific as hell on roller skates on a skating rink that never ends. 🙂


I am a poet, published in several literary journals and university presses etc, and a literary voice comes very naturally to me. My voice is different, I think, and reflects the dead poets in my head clamoring for resurrection. Combining what I know of cadence, rhythm, poetic style, interweaving it with the narrative, makes it somewhat unique (I hope :). I’m also very philosophical, have been since I was 12 and stealing Shakespeare from my local library (I know–bad poet!), and my love for existentialism blossomed from To Be or Not to Be, which adds another dimension to my work, a sort of deeper river running just under the words lying in wait for one who sees the little secrets hiding beneath. Plus, i’m Canadian. We’re all super weird. 🙂


Because look around, this world is a magical place burgeoning with beauty, love, music, deep and essential history, all of which comes out in my writing. I write what I write because my words are an extension of my self–and baby, I just gotta be me.


Well, due to my having 5 tiny humans, I wake up at 3:00-3:30 every single day. I press the coffee button and eat a banana. lol We are getting very in-depth here, people. I surf twitter, facebook and QT while drinking my Joe, then, I meditate for 30 minutes, which sometimes conjures my best and most fertile ideas. Now it’s time to write. Sometimes I work on two pages for many hours, sometime 50 pages comes easy, it all depends on the day. Oh, and I’m a proud pantser! I love not knowing where the story’s heading, crying and gasping along with my characters. It takes me about 6-7 weeks to draft, and about 3 months to edit. I work 3 days a week as an elder care nursing assistant/home care worker, but four of those days I get to write. It’s the best thing ever, you know, it’s living the dream!

So that’s it, thank you for coming. 🙂

Now, please step right up and give a huge round of applause for the amazing, the one and only, Miss Breeana Shields who is next of the tag list.

Write on,

K. A. Reynolds

Just Pimpin’ My Bio, Yo

Greetings, my fellow Pitchwarsians. So, for those who may be unaware of the grandeur and glory that is the incomparable Miss Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars, here is a link explaining why you should enter this most amazing contest.

I should know, I was lucky enough to be Mina Vaughn’s Mentee last year for another MS.  She helped it along a great deal (please, run, don’t walk to her Blog and pick her as your mentor! because, you know, Homeys help Homeys, always). Last year’s experience was . . . no words for how thrilling it was to see my name on the mentee list (Mina, you know I love you forever, right?)! She saw something in my words and, as a writer, you know how good that feels. And now here I am again with another story to pimp to y’all, a lovely tale full of magic and magical realism wrapped in a literary bow (I am a poet you see and for my rare affliction, I’m afraid there is no cure).

Now . . . a few things about me and LE CIRQUE DU LITERATI. It will appeal to readers of Night Circus and those who loved the revolutionary poetic heart of Dead Poet’s Society.  Above the clouds in a city that should not exist, there is a circus where genius artists and poets, Russian mustachios, ne’er-do-wells, creators and eternal dreamers believe in fearlessly following their hearts, for better or worse. We artists deserve a Utopia free from ignorance, free from nay sayers and dream squashers, don’t we? Well, I have built you such a place. And it it inside this walled artist’s paradise and beneath the lavender sun and blood red moon where two 16 year old best friends, Josephine and Nikolai, find love in a time of hate and must face their personal demons to gain access to achieving their dreams.

So, fellow Artisan, if you are brave enough, please take my hand and hop the train to the circus of the mind, leave your brown-box of routine in the dust and join me and my friends on their journey toward making their dreams reality.

Sounds magical, right?

Alas, I am sorry to say we’ve come to the bit about me. I know, I’m not at all as fascinating as a freaks and geeks circus for literati types, but there are a few things about me you need to know, if only for utilitarian purposes.

1. I am a published poet (literary journals, university presses), and have thousands of poems nobody will ever read.

2. I am the steam roller with a brick on the pedal, the runaway train of drive. Set me to a task, and I promise there will be ink spilled and lanterns on into the dead of night! I don’t get up at 3:30 a.m to write for nothing, you know.

3. I am a nice Canadian girl who helps the elderly cross streets for a living (translation: elder care worker and nursing assistant) and used to work at the Humane Society (cat lady, here), and have grown quite good at herding my five children and Weimeraner and two cats between solace and fray.

4. I dream of one day owning a jet-pack and if you wish to read my book I might just let you come along.

5. My favorite authors are Antoine de Saint-Exupery for his philosophical genius and rare literary prose, Milan Kundera–also genius, Stephen King (Dark Tower Style), Haruki Murakami (my glob, he is the MAN!), Laini Taylor (DOBAB!), and of course, Miss J.K Rowling, and many many more. And poets–oh! how I love poets: Rimbaud, Eliot, Rumi, Hafiz, Basho, Rilke, Shakespeare (duh!), more.

6. So, if you like kind poetic Canadian girls who smile a lot and work hard and write every day, love kids, animals and the elderly and writing and dreaming and literary circus’s (where all animals live as free and wild as their humans) and literature and fantastic places and new undiscovered worlds, please, don’t be afraid, I know the way! Pick me as your Mentee, and my story will love you forever.

Check out all the entrant’s blogs HERE for the mentee blog hop! We’re all pretty awesome. 🙂

And now everybody clap for my brilliant Artist supreme good friend Mr. Loui Jover, whose art I choose for all my sites and blog because, well, just look at it, it’s brilliance incarnate. This piece employs one of my favorite poets (who makes an appearance in my Le Cirque du Literati) Rimbaud. So, fare-thee-well, enjoy living your wild life and always, thank you for reading, do come again.


Like a Virgin Blog Hop!

Welcome to the LV14 BLOG HOP for the Like a Virgin Pitch Contest, hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolan and Kristina Perez. 


So here are the questions and my answers on firsts!

1. How do you remember your first kiss?

Mmm, my first kiss was all sweaty palms and stars, rustling leaves and butterflies. It was summer and he was lovely. Sweet, beautiful. 

2. What was your first favorite love song?

Oh man, I can’t remember! But John Mayer’s Edge of Desire is…yummy. 

3. What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day?

Mess around on twitter and facebook for a bit while drinking coffee. Then meditate, then eat a piece of dark chocolate and get my head in the writing game. Some days it takes me a while to switch my gears, but mostly I just dive right in and go; it really depends on the voices in my head that day. Disembodied voices have schedules too, you know,

4. Who’s the first writer to inspire you to become a writer?

Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Stephen King. The Little Prince stole my heart at eight. King handed it back to me on a bloody plate and showed me how to make it beat. 

5. Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with? 


6. For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot, or setting?

 My first book was a very personal memoir, which I pretty much wrote just for me. It includes all of the above.

7. What’s the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing?


 Can’t wait to read everyone’s answers! Check out everyone’s answers HERE


 Good luck in the contest, guys!

POETS TURNED NOVELISTS: finding your groove in both


I have been writing poetry since I was very young, as most poet’s have. I remember the first “real” poem I wrote when I was 6: I Like Cats. Yes, and I did, too. It rhymed, had meter and everything. I’l give you a taste: I like cats, in a tree or on the ground, I like cats, they’re all around…you get the idea. Well, after that bit of genius, I was hooked. 🙂

I have written thousands of poems since that fateful day, many have been published, most have not even left the safe little confines of my desktop or seen the light of day.  Poetry has never been hard for me, it sort of just falls through my old fingertips and onto the page. But after trying my hand at fiction, that first one was rough!

There is a groove to both poetry and fiction, not as easy to find after immersing one’s self in either or for any period, but well worth the efforts. The second poem, written the next day was much better than that first one. Kinda like a good belch, the first poem had to clear out to make room for the second poem (the cherry pie).

How do you do it, poet/novelist hybrids? And do you write your novels poetically, or keep the two separate. For me, I cannot separate completely. Always, no matter what, the words come with a poet’s flavor.

Always be a poet, even in prose.” So says Charles Baudelaire. I tend to agree.

Wanna read my first poem in a good long while? But please, do be gentle, my groove is not all there yet.


 After reading Eliot on a rainy day

Through you I become myself, breath
through the air of my discontent
panting lungs

dogging the heels of the lonely;

your face reciprocating time unspent, the way
sunlight borrows from wet abalone,
the way genius borrows from madness,
and sweat spurs from another’s flame.

Poet, how did you become wound inside
of my hair—
to a point impossible to distinguish
your words from my own breath? I am
more inside
of your simulacrum of clothes
than I am
living inside the culmination of the whole
dying world;
and less (so much less) without you,

than a man who knows only desire
without desire’s desperate face.

Green and rain outside today, leaves
leaving nothing between the lines
but rain. Without you, Poet, and your host
of silent words—
spider of divine skies; recluse
and ill-fitted muse—
there are only days upon days upon days.

Without the coitus of words mating words
baring more words, where do the stars go?

And what, I ask, are days without
the drive to couple
with the essence of the unseen—
juices pouring between
the open legs of the universe—
if not a prolonged death?

Time means nothing to the movements of the heart.

But you, Poet—who shakes a thousand whispers from the yew—are
the spaces between I, and everything else.

Without you: there is no poetry
and no amount of broken hearts splattered against broken trees,
moonlight falling gently over fields of virgin snow,
or stars looking down into their captor’s eyes, as if they were their greatest lover,
could ever make me as beautiful
as how you write love into being;

without you, Poet, beauty is dead—

long live this infinite death!

© Kristin Reynolds 9 19 12