Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Newest Chapter... of My So Called Blog's Life

It's been a wonderful couple of years hanging out with you all on this blog, but the time has come. There will not be any future blog postings on here, but I'm excited to tell you that I will still be around the internet, on my very own site.

I present...


I'm still getting it adjusted to fit what we need, so bear with me.

Thank you for all the wonderful times!

Yours truly,

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning and a New Website!

Image courtesy of James Barker /

Spring is here (FINALLY!) and it has me thinking about lots of things, and how I have too much of them. One of the things I have, that I desperately need to tidy up, is my website, which has been, up to this point: This Blog.

But, my friends, I'm getting fancy, and creating a website that will (hopefully) be better for us to keep up with one another and move forward, getting all the cobwebs off those old posts, updating the look and feel of things, and, in general, giving myself an electronic make-over. Doesn't that sound great? 

Once my website ( goes live, I must forewarn you all that this blog's days will be numbered. Not on day one, but soon thereafter. Don't worry, there will be reminders and hopefully I'll see every single one of you at my new home.

Happy Spring, Everyone!


Monday, April 7, 2014

#MyWritingProcess -- Blog Tour!

Lovin' the writing process from start to finish!

Hey-yo! Today is my turn to post on the Writing Process Blog Hop! I have been tagged by  A. G. Henley, bestselling YA author, when she posted about her writing process. Not to get off topic, but her Brilliant Darkness series (#1 The Scourge, #2 The Defiance-both available now, and #3 The Fire Sisters-coming soon,) are A-may-zing if you love a good YA dystopian, which I do!

This hop is all about exploring various authors' writing process and will answer four questions:
1)     What am I working on?
2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3)     Why do I write what I do?
4)     How does your writing process work?

Then, I'll let you know where you can read more authors' posts next week!

Let's get started, shall we?

1) What am I working on?
Well, as you may know, my first novel, Bewildered, recently released. It is the first in a series. Naturally, I'm working on book 2 (yet-to-be-named). Aside from the second Bewilderness Tale, there are other projects stewing and brewing including a YA dystopian, which was my first novel idea and refuses to be ditched (though I've tried!), another middle-grade series set in a cursed circus, and a YA novel that revolves around a race of humanoids who exist in shadows. I'm also toying with a story inspired by the "old lady who lived in a shoe" nursery rhyme--think creepy magic and crazy orphanage lady.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well... I think we all bring something different to the table. Though there it seems there is no such thing as new idea, I like to put a spin on things to set it apart. For example, Bewildered is very like Alice in Wonderland. However, unlike Alice, who becomes more mature through her adventure, Prudence must learn to appreciate whimsy and friendships to get home. 

Having fun with Missouri fans!
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write middle-grade (MG) and young-adult (YA) fantasy, mostly. I write in the fantasy genre because fantasy is one of my favorite things to read, and because it's where most of my book ideas fit in. I write for children and teens because growing up is simultaneously suffocating and liberating, terrifying and exciting, simple and complicated. It's a time of highs and lows, of adventures, and of finding one's place in the world, so there's always plenty of conflict and wonder. Though it helps to have focus, I am always a fan of switching things up, so an adult novel is not out of the question. If there is a story that begs to be written, I will oblige. 

4) How does your writing process work?
When an idea hits me, I record it. Maybe it's just a sentence that comes to me, or a few lines to remind me later what I was thinking. Occasionally, I'll have an idea that really gnaws at me and I'll take a day off my project-at-hand and use my writing time for brainstorming or writing a scene or the first few pages--whatever it is I have. Lots of these ideas won't be strong enough to support a full novel, but sometimes they are.

I have tried various approaches to writing: the "pantser" and "plotter" alike. A pantser, in case you're wondering, has nothing to do with jeans. It's a term that refers to someone who writes "by the seat of their pants," no outlining, no plotting out scenes--just sitting down and hacking away at the keyboard letting the story go where it will.

Then there's the other approach: the plotter. The plotter can be someone who creates a simple outline of how the story goes, what happens at the turning points of each act, or even someone who plots out their story page-by-page. There's no rules and no formulas. Writers learn by doing.

I fall somewhere in between being a pantser and a plotter. The rough draft is an act of impulse. The story unfolds one page at a time. Normally, my ideas start with the setting and circumstances. Next come conflict, and characters. I don't know what is going to happen, I just write until the story ends. Easy enough, right? Sure. Then, during the editing phase, the panster-done rough draft is put into plotter-mode. The scenes are adjusted for the right pace, layers and themes that revealed themselves are built upon and enhanced, and everything is re-written.

Editing is what makes the story whole. The rough draft is just there to get the loose sketch of the story down. I begin mentally editing as soon as the first pages are written, but I don't go back to change anything until I get all the way to the end. I will make notes on what I think needs to be changed, but I always put one foot in front of the other until the rough draft is done first.

Setting up at my 1st Signing Event!
Once the rough draft is done, and the edits I have mentally saved up are made, it's time to let the manuscript the dark...for a couple of months. During that time, I will work on other things, take some time off, and try to forget about the story (nearly impossible but I try). When the time is right, the manuscript is bought back into the light, re-read and another round of edits are done. Then it's ready for others to read and offer feedback. The editing continues until it's as good as I can make it, then it goes to a professional editor. Honestly, getting the manuscript back from the editor is one of my very favorite things. I love that line-by-line feedback! Working with the cover-artist is my other favorite thing.

I don't feel like my process is very efficient really, but it's what works for now. Each time I write a book, the process gets refined, story structure becomes more ingrained and second nature. Hopefully that means future manuscripts will be cleaner and require less invasive editing. A girl can dream :-)

That's about it, as soon as one is nearing completion, another is in the works. I don't like being without a writing or knitting project. It makes me antsy. :-)

Thanks for visiting my site for this blog hop! To keep it going, I've invited a few of my fellow YA/MG writers to expound upon the same questions I answered today in their own posts next week!

Steven Whibley, MG author of the Dean Curse Chronicles (#1 Glimpse, #2 Relic, and the soon-to-be-released #3 Impact) Steve believes in pixies and fairy dust, and the healing power of unicorns. When he’s not writing epic tales of horned beasties, he’s working as a look-a-like for Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, Zac Efron, and Seal. He spends his free time training hairless mole rats to be service animals for the colorblind, and dreams of one day inventing a Thanksgiving dish that will rival the infamous turducken.

Michelle Lowery Combs is the award-winning author of Heir to the Lamp from World Weaver Press.  She loves children and magic, but especially books about both. Check out her post next week on her blog!

Beth Barany is based in Oakland, California, and writes magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible. She's the award-winning author of the YA Fantasy novels: HENRIETTA THE DRAGON SLAYER (Book 1 of the Five Kingdom series) and HENRIETTA AND THE DRAGON STONE, (Book 2 of the Five Kingdom series.) In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira -- a Brazilian martial art/dance --, traveling, and watching movies with her husband, bestselling author Ezra Barany, and playing with their two cats, Kitty and Leo. 

Lisa Fender, YA/NA author of the Lorn Prophesy series (#1 Fable, now available) Lisa traveled the world as a child, and lived in Greece and other parts of Europe. She was born in Louisville Ky and moved to Colorado where she lives now. She's married to the most supportive man on the planet and has two grown kids and two grand kids. Not that she's old, she was in her 40's when they were born. In fact she's still a teen at heart! She writes a fantasy fiction series with her sister, Toni, and loves it. She wanted to write her whole life, and finally did it!

Thanks and have fun hopping on!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To the Winners Go the Spoils!

Congratulations are in order for the following people, who have won fabulous prizes from the Bewildered Release Week rafflecopter giveaway:

Katrina H. ~ won a signed hardcopy of Bewildered!

Beth ~ won an signed paperback of Bewildered!

Angie M. ~ won a signed paperback of Heir to the Lamp by Michelle Lowery Combs!

Delphina M. ~ won an artist print by Angie Kwon!

Winners can expect an email very soon! Thank you to all who entered.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

BEWILDERED Book, Art, and Swag Giveaway Continues!

The Bewildered Release Tour is over, but I extended the giveaway, because...well, because I can! Enter here to win an awesome prize, and if you missed the whole thing, the links for each day of the tour are at the bottom. Thanks and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday: Into the Bewilderness at The Southern Tablet
Tuesday: Interview with the Illustrator, Angie Kwon at YA Fantasy author, Beth Barany's blog.
Wednesday: Interview with the Editor, Ev Bishop, at Romance and Mystery author, Liz Schulte's blog.
Thursday: The Story Behind the Story, right here on my blog.
Friday: Review and interview with the Author (me!) on MG author, Michelle Lowery Combs' blog.

Thanks for another unforgettable tour! Love, AB

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bewildered Review and Interview from MG Author, Michelle Lowery Combs!

Last but not 5 of the Bewildered Release Week Blog Tour!

It's been a fun-filled five days of traveling around the internet and meeting new friends likThe Southern TabletBeth Barany, and Liz Schulte , and yesterday, we stuck around here to find out the story behind Bewildered. To cap off the week of fun, Michelle Lowery Combs has posted her review of Bewildered and the interview she gave me. The giveaway continues on her page, so enter, win, and enjoy!

It has been a lot of fun celebrating this week! Thanks for joining me!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway (ends tomorrow night at midnight) and, if you haven't already done so, pickup your eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off at using coupon code: US73N!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bewildered Release Week and Giveaway! Day 4: The Story Behind Bewildered

It's day FOUR, already?! This week is flying by! We've been all over the web--meeting new people like The Southern Tablet, Beth Barany, and Liz Schulte, and finding out about the world of Bewilderness, meeting the illustrator, Angie Kwon, and the editor, Ev Bishop, and now it's my turn...

A friend once told me that every story has a story. It's so true. Today, it's my turn to tell you about Bewildered. Not about the story within, but the story behind it.

I began writing Bewildered in November of 2012 as part of a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days—all during the month of November. At the time, I was struggling on a dark YA dystopian manuscript full of gruesome deaths and government conspiracy… and I was stuck. The NaNoWriMo challenge gave me the chance to take a breather and work on something totally different. Thus Bewildered was born.

The idea for the book hit me while sitting in traffic in August, GA. The car in front of me, a Ford Edge, combined with extreme boredom started a neurotransmitted "Super-Storm" wherein a ship fell over the edge of a mid-ocean waterfall and landed in another world. Essentially, melding my loves of Alice in Wonderland with the ocean in a watery rabbit hole—what? You don't think of pirates and imaginary worlds when you're staring into brake lights? I know I'm strange—it's ok.  Anyway, the first draft was named "Edge" and followed an unlikable girl (named Lula instead of Prudence) as she boarded the Unforgiven (then named the Silver Lady) and wound up 65,000 words of a wacky game called "What just happened?"

The rough draft was rough. In fact, I posted about it here. I had to give myself credit…I had done the previously unimagined—which is to say, wrote 65,000 words in one semi-cohesive tale with "the end" on the final page. But it needed a lot of work. So much, in fact, that I nearly tossed it in the trash. Luckily, a friend (thank you Shammy!) read it and convinced me to keep going, that it just needed editing.

Spoiler alert, I did keep going. But quickly gave up on editing what I had written—it was too messy to make sense of. Instead, I rewrote it. From page one. I put the 4-pound copy from Staples in a dark drawer to gather dust while I "retold" the story. A Purple Wizard became the old man with violet eyes, the Destiny Express surprised me, appearing in its magical splendor, and some of my favorite characters such as the Fabrikator and February walked onto the pages. Some elements persisted—Prudence always fell into Bewilderness, and the themes of the book: "believing isn't always seeing," and "trust the heart", were there from the start. In a page-by-page comparison, however, there was hardly anything left of the first draft. One of these days, I'll have to post a before and after comparison…

A lot of people ask if the book was plotted out before I started—and knowing it's the first in a series, I get asked if I know how it's going to end. The truth is: no. I don't have a clue. I believe that the story is there, and if I listen, it will reveal itself. More like the way an archeologist unearths an ancient city—the scenes unfold one at a time and always leave me guessing. Perhaps it would be easier if I plotted it out—I've tried actually—but in the end, the story never turns out the way I expect it too. My muse is stubborn that way.
The road was bumpy. Between fits of self-doubt, children jumping on my keyboard, and tons of shiny things to distract me, getting though the process took all my will power. And now, after all that, the cycle has started over again with book two…then three…then—well you get the idea. But you know, I love every moment of it!

Tomorrow is the last day of the Bewildered Release Tour! My friend and fellow author, Michelle Lowery Combs, will be posting a review and interview on her page tomorrow! The giveaway continues there too (one of the prizes is actually a paperback copy of her book, Heir to the Lamp!)

*the giveaway is at the bottom of the post: a l l  t h e  w a y  d o w n . . .*

Share the word! And from the bottom of my Paper Heart, thanks for reading, following, and sharing the news of Bewildered. 

A Bewilderness Tale, Book One

Prudence Parks is perfect. At twelve-years old, she has the world in her pocket. No messy friends. No silly games. Everything is just right—until her father leaves her an orphan. 

When she tumbles into a bizarre realm known as Bewilderness, nothing is as it should be. Insects talk, pirate ships sail on sand, and plants are just plain evil. After she’s banished for claiming to be human, she thinks the worst is behind her. She’s wrong. The Match King, posing as an ally, promises to send her home if she can find the Paper Heart, an ancient treasure. Battling her sense of logic all the while, she meets a living ragdoll and her father’s doppelganger, who melts her icy heart and—to her regret—gives the Match King perfect collateral to ensure she follows through. 

Prudence realizes the Match King’s plan to erase Bewilderness from existence, but now she must choose: save the world she has come to love, or find her way home.

BEWILDERED is a middle grade fantasy novel geared toward children ages 9-12. It’s Alice in Wonderland meets Miracle on 34th Street. Set once upon a time in a land far, far away, this story illustrates the importance of friendship, courage, and proves believing isn't always seeing.

Purchase it online at your favorite retailer, or visit your local bookstore!

About the Author

A. B. Harms was born a writer. From a young age, she made her own picture books with crayons and a stapler. As a teenager, she won essay contests. Yet, when she began her career, being an author was the last thing she considered. Finally, after working every job imaginable from waitress to social worker and earning her degree in Psychology, she realized what she was always meant to do--write!

A. B. is from Missouri, has gone around the world and back again, and now lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family, a pet sloth, who resembles a Great Dane, and a black cat, who moonlights as an assassin. No matter where she hangs her hat, she finds herself at home down the rabbit hole.

And finally, what you've all been scrolling for... 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bewildered Release Party, Day 3: Interview with Ev Bishop, Editor Extraordinaire!

Welcome to day three of the Bewildered Release Tour! Today we go into Liz Shulte's Bat Country to hear from Ev Bishop, the editor of Bewildered. As luck would have it, Ev is also the editor for Liz Shulte's Mystery and Paranormal Romance novels, of which I have read several and loved them all!

While you're there, enter the giveaway! Here's what's up for grabs on my BEWILDERED RELEASE GIVEAWAY:
--1 signed Hardcopy of Bewildered
--1 signed Paperback copy of Bewildered
--1 paperback of Heir to the Lamp by Michelle Lowery Combs
--1 Art Print by Angie Kwon (illustrator)
--1 print of Bewildered's Cover Art
--5 Bewildered Bookmarks
--and 2 Bewildered Bookplates!

It's so easy to enter! Just visit the blog host and click, click, click! Spread the word!

DON'T FORGET: Through March 22, 2014, use coupon code US73N at to pickup the eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off ($2.99 sale price!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bewildered Release Week Tour, Day 2: Interview with Angie Kwon, Illustrator

On to DAY TWO of the Bewildered Release Week tour. Today, visit award winning author, Beth Barany, to read an interview with my dear illustrator, Angie Kwon. The giveaway continues there! While you're on Beth's site, go ahead and check out her "Henrietta the Dragonslayer" YA Fantasy series!

If you missed yesterday, go back and visit my friends at The Southern Tablet, then come back tomorrow so we can go see Liz Shulte and read an interview with my editor, Ev Bishop!

DON'T FORGET: Through March 22, 2014, use coupon code US73N at to pickup the eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off ($2.99 sale price!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Bewildered" Official Release Week Tour: Into the Bewilderness

Happy Monday! For day one of the Bewildered Release Week tour, visit my friends at The Southern Tablet and read a bit about the world of Bewilderness. Enter the giveaway, then take a look around while you're there, why not?

Through March 22, 2014, use coupon code US73N at to pickup the eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off ($2.99 sale price!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

BEWILDERED Release Tour and Giveaway!

Howdy Bewilderish Fans!

I'm so happy with the warm reception the world has given Bewildered! From Amazon to Goodreads, every review, every mention, every single reader has my most sincere thanks. 

Because BEWILDERED is now available in all it's many forms (ebook, paperback, hardcopy) and because it is now available in all kinds of places (even your local bookstore!), it's cause for celebration and A HUGE GIVEAWAY!!

Thus, starting on Monday, March 17 through Friday, March 21, we will travel to various places and learn new insights on the making of Bewildered and the team that helped create it! 

Every day throughout the week, you have the chance to win one of several prizes including artwork, bookmarks, and even signed copies! Along the way you'll hear from important folks like Ev Bishop, the editor of Bewildered, and Angie Kwon, the kick-butt illustrator!

To find out where to go, here is the schedule of events:

Monday, March 17: The SouthernTablet, Bewilderness, the world.

Tuesday, March 18: Author Beth Barany, Interview with Bewildered's illustrator Angie Kwon.

Wednesday, March 19: Liz Schulte's Bat Country, Interview with Ev Bishop, editor of Bewildered

Thursday, March 20: HERE! The story behind the story...

And last but not least, Friday, March 21: Michelle Lowery Combs, Interview with the Author (ME!) 

If you have yet to read, Bewildered, or perhaps this is your first time hearing about it (how??)--now is a great time to get your eyes on it. 

As February the living ragdoll says, "Stories are meant to be told!"

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Five-Star Review from Readers' Favorite!

This winter may be frigid, but nothing warms my heart like this kind of news:
Bewildered just received a 5-star rating from Readers' Favorite!

This is quoted from "Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Bewildered (The Bewilderness Tales) by A.B. Harms is the entertaining story of Prudence Parks. This twelve-year-old girl is very clear on what she wants from her life and is one of the top students of her class. After consuming a bit of Magic, she finds herself in a land called Bewilderness with a lot of bizarre happenings around her. She has to outwit the Match King here. Insects talk, ships do not need water to sail, and many more strange things in this place bewilder her. The Match King promises to send her back to her own land if she can find an ancient treasure, Paper Heart. What follows is a series of whimsical and adventurous events that will take readers on a magical ride into distant lands with strange creatures and exciting characters.

The story is entertaining with all its interesting characters, both good guys and villains. The story is filled with suspense, mystery, and adventure which makes the story exciting. There is a lot of warmth and kindness portrayed in the character of Prudence Parks. This lighthearted magical adventure will capture readers' hearts with its fast pacing, whimsicality and breezy moments.

In the course of the adventure, Prudence discovers the evil plans of the Match King, which threaten the existence of Bewilderness. The open ending in the story leaves readers wanting more. Will Prudence succeed in saving Bewilderness, the land she has come to love, or will she work towards finding her way back home?"

Thank you Readers' Favorite and Mamta Madhaven for your wonderful review!

Friday, February 14, 2014


Howdy and Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

Today is going to be awesome--not just because the world overfloweth with chocolate (my idea of heaven), but because my dear BEWILDERED is now available in print

As excited as I was to release the ebook, there is nothing like holding a book in your hands, feeling the thickness of the pages, and not having to worry about how much battery life you have left. Ahhh!

So, if you are like me, this is the moment you've been waiting for: the moment when BEWILDERED can sit proudly on your shelf--and February couldn't be happier that it happened in her favorite month and on Cupid's birthday to boot!

It is now available on Amazon in all formats--just use this link.

Have a happy Valentine's Day, Bewilderness fans! 

All my love,
A. B. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Bewildered" is NOW AVAILABLE!

HOORAY!! It's here! Bewildered is here! WOO HOO!
Right this moment, the Bewildered eBook can be purchased at the following retailers:

...and more to come over the next few weeks as it is distributed 
around the world!

*Barnes and Noble still lists the book as pre-order, but it should update anytime. You are guaranteed the price you pay during the pre-order status.

To celebrate the release:

FEBRUARY 1-3, 2014

*Price will increase to $3.99 once the sale has ended.*

Go forth, click on links, and read something fun for less than $1!

Happy Birthday, BEWILDERED!!

Friday, January 24, 2014


Well, folks, this has been a tremendous week. A week of fantastic art. A week of quirky characters. A week of straight-up fun!

You've seen the cover reveal, met some of the good guys: Prudencethe FabrikatorFebruaryRePeter, and even the bad guys: Captain Bleak, the Mayor, and the notorious Match King

Thank you all so much for joining me during BEWILDER-Palooza, but don't worry! There's going to be more fun when Bewildered releases!

Until then, please enjoy the first chapter...

...and don't forget to get enter the drawing for a free ebook- you have until midnight tonight! *at bottom of post



Written by A. B. Harms
Illustrated by Angie Kwon

In which Prudence Receives an Ill-Fated Telegram

Professor Pinochle's wriggly hand scrawled a collection of markings on the blackboard at the front of his class of twelve-year-olds. The students moved uncomfortably in their seats, and beads of sweat sprouted from their brows. It seemed Professor Pinochle lived under the illusion he still taught mathematics at the university instead of at a small private school for girls. After five minutes of chilling squeaks and rapid chalk scratching, he turned toward the class, his face covered in white dust, his eyes looking as large as plums through his bottle-glass lenses.

"I need a volunteer," he warbled in his ancient voice.

A perfectly manicured hand shot into the air. The class groaned. The only thing worse than Professor P's intense calculations was the student who never missed a chance to show off her brilliance. A girl whom everyone knew but nobody liked.

Prudence Parks.

"My prized pupil, do come forward." Professor Pinochle couldn't hide his pride; his chest puffed out with it. He considered himself quite the educator, though Prudence was the only student he hadn't thoroughly confused. With a smirk, Prudence nearly skipped toward the blackboard.

Professor Pinochle took the time to make the class dislike her a little bit more. "Take note, girls. Keep up with your studies and perhaps you can be like Prudence one day."

"And make everyone want to vomit," someone whispered.

But Prudence didn't hear, and neither did Professor P, who was too busy watching his shining star work the mile-long equation with ease. Thirty seconds later, Prudence was on her way to her seat, her nose too high in the air to notice her classmate's foot crossing the aisle.

Boom. Down went Prudence. "Ouch!" She scrambled up, rubbing her knees where they'd slammed into the wooden floor.

"Oops, sorry. Accident," a girl with bright-yellow curls said with a grin. The other girls snickered.

"Prudence, are you okay?" asked Professor Pinochle, who had missed the whole thing.

Prudence glared at the girl. She knew it hadn't been an accident. This kind of thing happened all the time. Gum magically got stuck in her silky black hair, her shoestrings miraculously tied themselves together under the dining table, and inkwells couldn't help but spill over her freshly pressed dresses.

Always, she heard the same line: "Oops. It was an accident." No, it wasn't. It was on purpose because everyone was jealous. She hadn't asked to be perfect, but it was a responsibility she took seriously. Though it won her no friendships, Prudence was proud as peaches of her genius and wouldn't trade it for the world.

Besides, today was special. Today her father was coming home.

"I'm fine, Professor. Just clumsy." She glared at the curly headed girl and took her seat. As she admired her handiwork on the board, the x's and decimals in all the right places, she beamed. No amount of "accidents" would bother her today.

It had been months since her father had left for the deserts of Africa, but she was used to his absences by now. He—Orville Parks—was a writer and adventurer, and when he got it into his head to do something, nothing could deter him. His latest quest? To find the Sandman.

"There's no such thing as the Sandman, Father," Prudence had told him. She suspected he was crazy, but that didn't make her love him any less.

"We'll see about that," he had replied, his blue eyes sparkling. Though they had the same eye color, her father's eyes had some quality Prudence never saw in her own reflection. What it was, she could never figure out. Eyes were eyes, weren't they?

"It's fairy dust," he told her. She always shook her head at that. How silly could someone be? There were no such things as fairies. Or giants, or pixies, or talking animals. Some things just didn't exist, and the world was fine without them. But still he had left her, in search of something that wasn't even real. As always when saying good-bye, he'd kissed her on the forehead, once on each cheek, then on the tip of her nose, and recited, "My heart, my soul, and even my skin, I'll be broken until we're together again."

She was broken, too. Like a little part of her heart was missing, and though it could still beat and pump her blood as it was supposed to, there was always a tiny ache deep inside. Thankfully, it would feel normal again soon. And just in the nick of time, too. She wasn't sure how much longer she could stand undiluted time with Mrs. Godfrey, her plump and excitable nanny. Mrs. Godfrey meant well, Prudence knew, but still, she was worse than Prudence's father—blaming late-night creaks on ghosts, missing socks on gremlins, and her stories of wish-granting fish? Well, it was all more than Prudence could bear most days.

"Ms. Parks?" Professor Pinochle said, "Prudence Parks!"

Prudence started. The room was empty. Had she been daydreaming? Her cheeks went hot at the very idea.
"Class is dismissed," he said, clearly annoyed.

"Yes, of course. Good day, Professor." Prudence scooped up her books and left the room with as much dignity as she could muster. Finally it was time to go home.

Ah, home. Where she could be herself. Where she hung her clothes according to weather and hue. Where her dressing table held her grooming tools in the order she used them each day. Home. Where even her plate was a place of order with exactly the right amount of food from each of the food groups, never mixing, and always eaten in clockwise order.

Prudence stepped into the foyer, which was much quieter than usual, and went down the hallway. Mrs. Godfrey was at the large wooden table in the breakfast nook, sniffling and dabbing at her eyes with a scrap of paper. Prudence tried to tiptoe past. Probably some neighborhood news had sent her into a tizzy. Or maybe her prized roses had been used as a litter box again.

Prudence knew better than to get involved, but the woman's eyes missed nothing. Mrs. Godfrey rushed to the doorway and clutched Prudence to her oversized bosom.

"Oh, Prudy . . . " She could barely speak as she handed over a soggy telegram. In Mrs. Godfrey's suffocating embrace, Prudence read the message.

Prudence twinged. "This can't be right. No, Mrs. Godfrey. It's a mistake."

Her father? Dead? It didn't make sense. But her nanny only cried louder.

In her room, she assured herself he would be back in three hours, as scheduled, and her routine would go on as usual. French on Friday, study sessions all day Saturday, and a father/daughter picnic at the park on Sunday.

Three hours came and went. Then a day. And another. Still, her father didn't come.

Prudence moved about her life in a trance. Professor Pinochle couldn't rouse her from her seat, no matter how difficult his equations became. She didn't notice when she drank salt in her tea instead of sugar, much to her classmates' dismay. Then on Sunday, instead of sitting on a blanket while her father reenacted his adventures, she followed Mrs. Godfrey around the market in a confused and awkward silence. Four days passed.

On the fifth day, Prudence paced in her room. She stared at her personal library, not seeing the thousands of books. There was no pleasure in riding the ladder around the perimeter of the shelves. Even the Prudence-shaped imprint in her favorite study chair couldn't make her feel right. Everything was . . . off.

The staff bustled in, out, and around. They hung white sheets over the handcrafted wooden furniture and packed a trunk on Prudence's behalf, which sat leering at her from the middle of the floor like a dark stranger. Where was he? Why hadn't he come back?

The house became a revolving door of weepy-eyed visitors offering head pats and "poor little dears." Words like "condolences" and "loss" were uttered in hushed tones. But Prudence wasn't pitiful. She was too strong for that! She was angry. How could something frail and papery cause so much destruction?

That witless telegram. How dare it presume anything!

She was forced to skip Latin class on Monday to sit in a depressing parlor filled with portraits of her father and listen to people she rarely saw as they spoke of his greatness.

Not great. Selfish, that's what he was. If he were great, he wouldn't have left her. He would have come back.

By the time she missed chess on Tuesday, she was furious—but things were going to get worse.

In a law office downtown that reeked of furniture polish and hair oil, Prudence sat in a cold leather chair and was informed that, with no living relatives, she had to leave her house of bricks and sensible cream rugs to live in a home for foundling children.

An orphanage? Prudence's fuming mind pictured unruly monsters with frayed hair and unkempt dress, fighting over bowls of gruel.

Her life, her home, and her perfect schedule were ripped away. In her mind, her screams shattered glass, but outwardly she was stone. Without a word or so much as a solitary tear, she accepted a passenger ticket and a small, rectangular box wrapped in brown paper—her only inheritance.

***The End of Chapter One***

Thank you for joining me this week for BEWILDER-Palooza! Look for the release of the ebook by 2/14/14 and the print versions (hardback and paperback) by 2/28/14.

For a limited time only, you can PRE-ORDER the eBook version of "Bewildered" for $0.99 at the following retailers:

A Bewilderness Tale, Book One
Release Date: February 2014.
PRICE: 3.99

Enter to win an ebook copy! Contest ends at midnight tonight, 1/24/14!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 23, 2014

BEWILDER-Palooza!!! Day 6: the MATCH KING

"It's lonely being the bad guy." ~the Match King

The...Match King

Now you meet our villain. The reclusive, ancient...Match King. 

The Match King is a sneaky one, and though everyone is terrified of him, Prudence has no idea who he is. From her point of view, he's interesting...fascinating even. After all, he is a scientist, like her, and he understands how she feels- trapped, lost, and confused. He offers to return her to our world--all she has to do is find the Paper Heart. He doesn't sugar coat it--the Paper Heart is mysterious, hard to find--but if she doesn't, she will never escape the wilds of Bewilderness, and that's a chance Prudence can't take.

But the Match King's assistance comes at a price...the whole Bewilderness to be exact. By the time she realizes his plan, she's so in love with the people and the sights, she's not sure what to do. She has to go home...but she has to save her friends too! The Match King will stop at nothing to have his way, to exact his revenge upon...oh- just read it and find out for yourself!

Check out the cover reveal from Friday's post, and if you haven't already, meet Prudencethe FabrikatorFebruary, RePeter, Captain Bleak and The Mayor, too! 

Come back tomorrow for the grand finale of BEWILDER-Palooza!!... The first chapter of BEWILDERED!!

A Bewilderness Tale, Book One
Release Date: February 2014.
PRICE: 3.99

For a limited time only, you can PRE-ORDER the eBook version of "Bewildered" for $0.99 at the following retailers:

Enter to win an ebook copy! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


After meeting the good guys, it's only fair to introduce the competition. I give you two of "the bad guys!"

"This ain't just any ship. This is the Unforgiven
And I'm Captain Bleak, leader of this cursed crew." ~Captain Bleak

Captain Bleak.

Captain Bleak is a cutthroat pirate captain. If his sword doesn't kill you, his breath certainly will. He's vile, ruthless, and stuck for all eternity leading his mangy crew as they sail on the Sandsea all around the Corridor. His ship, the Unforgiven, is a Spanish galleon that sails over desert dunes rather than ocean waves. And though it looks like a barren wasteland, we get clues that perhaps there's more to the Corridor than meets the eye.

When Prudence meets Captain Bleak, she's set to impress him, but she's sorely disappointed when he's none too pleased with her usual smarty-pants remarks. The two quickly become foes and the rest will go down in history as being one of the grossest, loudest, funniest duels ever to the grace the page. 


"We all know there's no such thing as humans." ~Mayor of Wonderville

The Mayor

He's controlling. He's angry. And he's knee-high to a grasshopper. He's Mayor, the Mayor of Wonderville. 

As excited as Prudence is to finally reach her destination, the Mayor is quite the opposite. As a matter of fact he's piping-hot mad about it. After a mix-up over who Prudence really is and where she came from, the mayor and the rest of Wonderville make an instant judgement over Prudence's fate. Banishment. What happens next, you'll have to read to find out.

Check out the cover reveal from Friday's post, and if you haven't already, meet Prudence, the Fabrikator, February, and RePeter, too! Don't forget to come back tomorrow to meet the worst of the "bad guys": The Match King!

A Bewilderness Tale, Book One
Release Date: February 2014.
PRICE: 3.99

For a limited time only, you can PRE-ORDER the eBook version of "Bewildered" for $0.99 at the following retailers:

Enter to win an ebook copy! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway