Monday, October 9, 2017

New Release! JUNCTION 2020 Book 2

Hello, everyone!!! What are you up to? I miss ya!

I’d like to announce the digital release of my YA fantasy novel, JUNCTION 2020 Book 2: NIGHTMARE REALIZATION.

Psssst, Book 1 is still FREE if you haven’t read it yet. Sign up for my newsletter HERE in exchange for a digital copy, or email me at and I’ll be glad to send you one in your favorite format.

Reviews of Book 1, THE PORTAL:

"The Portal is the first in the Junction 2020 series by Carol Riggs and I loved it! Thoroughly enjoyable, it was a fast paced and highly imaginative young adult fantasy story which I flew through. I'm really looking forward to book two in the series and have no hesitation in recommending The Portal highly."  --Brenda Telford, Goodreads Reviewer

"This is the best book from Carol Riggs I have read so far." --Linda Hamonou, Goodreads Reviewer

"The Portal is an exciting fast-paced fantasy with just the right amount of darkness and light." --Kimberly Afe, author of The Headhunters Race

JUNCTION 2020. Book 2: Nightmare Realization

On New Year’s Eve, 2019, Tony Rodriguez thought it would be fun to attend Stefanie Anders’ annual celebration bash. It was pretty awesome—until he and four others accidentally opened up a portal into another dimension and got sucked into it.

Now the five of them have been branded by a strange triangular mark on their right forearms. They survived their bizarre trip to a landscape built by Mari’s best dreams and worst nightmares, and thought their dangerous adventures were over.

They couldn’t have been more wrong.

This time it’s Tony’s turn to visit a landscape created by his subconscious mind. In a gritty urban setting, he and the others must avoid capture by the ruthless sect of black-cloaked people called Shifters—and stay alive long enough to get back to the real world.


This novel (54K in length) is the second of a 5-part series, with each book written from the viewpoint of one of the five main characters as the story progresses.

Add Book Two to your to-read list: GOODREADS

Find the e-book on Amazon: HERE.
Paperback will be available in a couple of weeks.

Honest reviews GREATLY appreciated!

Meanwhile, I’m continuing to slog in the query trenches with a different manuscript. One partial and three fulls out (yay)—the rest a barrage of rejections. I’m excited about going to the SCBWI Fall Retreat October 19-22!

How was your summer? Do you like the colder weather or do you miss the sun already?
Are you revising, in the query trenches, or are you writing something fresh?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My New Release! JUNCTION 2020 Book 1

Hello, everyone!

I’ve come out of blog retirement for a moment to announce the release of my YA fantasy novella, JUNCTION 2020 Book 1: The Portal!

Even more exciting, in celebration of the release and (FINALLY) getting my newsletter off the ground, anyone who subscribes to receive my updates, new release announcements, giveaways, and cover reveals, will get a digital copy of JUNCTION 2020 FREE! The link for it will be in the welcome email once you’ve verified yourself as a subscriber.

Go HERE to sign up!

JUNCTION 2020 Book One: The Portal
New Year's Eve, 2019.

Mari Stratton attends a New Year’s Eve party with her brother Randall and her hearing-impaired friend Lauren. A collecting game begins in the dark fields outside prior to the celebration countdown. When midnight strikes, Mari finds herself and four others propelled by a violent green storm into a confusing landscape of beauty, danger, and mystery. 

In this place, ruthless black-cloaked riders on horseback called Shifters comb the countryside hunting them down. Why is this world patterned after the things Mari adores, and why does it feature the hideous things she fears the most?

More importantly—how will she and the others get back to the real world?


This novella (55K in length) is the first of a 5-part series, with each book written from the viewpoint of one of the five main characters as the story progresses.

I wrote the original book in the 1990s, released it as a paperback in 2010 for friends and my mom, who was having health problems at the time; I wanted her to read one of my books. Now I’ve rewritten the manuscript in first person/present tense and updated it for 2017. I’ve also created the updated cover myself—which was loads of fun puttering around in Photoshop and making the images fit the story. Many thanks to Lynda Young, for her professional graphic artist advice and technique tutorials. 

Add Book One to your to-read list: GOODREADS 

Find this book on Amazon: HERE. Paperback available in a week or so!
(Any purchasers, please pardon the extra line spaces between paragraphs while I figure out why KDP is inserting them and how to work around that!)

Honest reviews greatly appreciated!

I’m also excited because on May 18, my YA fantasy novel, BOTTLED, was released as an audio book! Very cool. Check it out HERE.

Meanwhile, I'm still in the query trenches with another manuscript. :o)

Do you read audio books? I've only listened to some short stories in an anthology. 
What have YOU been up to in the last 6 months while I’ve been hermit-writing and revising?!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy Holidays and The Intent to WRITE

Hi Everyone! I hope you’re all having a great holiday season. Best wishes to you and yours, and may AWESOME STUFF happen to you this coming year in 2017!!

My year in review:
1. My second YA novel, BOTTLED, released on July 7. I’ve officially earned enough $ to have paperbacks made by my Clean Reads publisher, and here’s a shot of them all decked out in Christmas array. I just love seeing my books in multiples!! By the way, I noticed the ebook is still only 99 cents on Amazon HERE--ya can't beat that price.

2. My third YA novel, THE LYING PLANET, released on September 19. I’ve also gotten copies of this for myself to sell at writer conferences like the annual spring SCBWI gathering I go to in the Portland, Oregon, area.

3. I’m featured today on the ADVENTURES TO YA PUBLISHING blog as a guest post author, talking about The Zen of Accepting Bad Reviews. Come visit, read, and comment HERE!

4. At the beginning of the year, I started a fairy tale retelling of a more obscure French story, and I’m pleased to say that I’m just a couple of chapters away from finishing the rough draft of the book, at about 81,000 words. I’m really surprised I did so much on it, since I was swamped with editorial notes and release promo for my two other books this year. Talk about busy!! Whew. Remind me never to do that again. lol  Anyway, I hope to shape up this book and be querying an agent by about March or so. Query trenches, here I come! Email me if you write YA and you might like to beta or critique partner swap in January! (carolriggsauthor at gmail)

5. I’m officially announcing today that I’m taking time off from blogging to concentrate on my writing for 2017. Blogging has been a great adventure for me since I began it in 2010, but now I feel my focus is better spent elsewhere. While I love visiting blogs and seeing what my bloggy buddies are doing, it’s also very time-consuming. I’d love to stay connected with you and swap news, though; my main areas will be Facebook and Twitter from now on. Please find me there if you aren’t following me already! Here are the links:

Carol on FACEBOOK: Carol Riggs, Author
Carol on TWITTER: @Artzicarol

What are your goals (writing or otherwise) for 2017?
How do you feel about blogging? Are you still loving it, or are you growing weary?
What are your plans for the holidays—anything unusual, exciting, or heartwarming to share?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

New release! by Jordan Elizabeth

Hi everyone! I've been doing more "real life" than writing these days, but I hope to get back to My Writing Job soon. Meanwhile, through the end of October and a few days into November, my BOTTLED novel is only 99 cents if you haven't snagged yourself a copy! Check it out HERE.

Today I’m featuring a new release by author Jordan Elizabeth (Mierek), a YA fantasy novel called KITISHI ISLAND. Here are the details and a short excerpt:

A young adult novel about what happens when your imaginary friends aren’t so imaginary after all.

Serena Cole can kick serious butt thanks to young women only she can see. School bullies aren’t her only problem. To shield Serena from a dark secret, her family tries to convince her that her friends are imaginary.

Fleeing her distrustful aunt, Serena joins her mother on an archeological dig at Kistishi Island. There, Serena discovers an ancient scroll and realizes her invisible friends are goddesses native to the island, and they are in danger of enslavement for their abilities. Only Serena can save her friends if she can discover the past her family has hidden her entire life – the reason why only she can see the goddesses.

KISTISHI ISLAND is now available on Amazon HERE from Clean Reads.
Add to your to-read list on GoodReads!

Check out Chapter 1:
“How are your imaginary friends?” Serena read aloud from the black marker scrawled on her locker. Her dry lips stuck together with each word as the sarcasm stung her mind. The janitor might scrub the permanent marker, but it would always remain a faint reminder of how much people ridiculed her. The washed out marks from last week, “Schizo,” “Fake,” and “Your imaginary friends hate you,” still showed up against the brown metal.

“Aw, someone cares about my day.” Krieg hovered behind, picking fuzz off her dress. “You should answer them. Write ‘Krieg says hi’ underneath.”

The last thing she needed was people knowing how much she still communicated with Krieg. Serena glanced down the hallway, but the students strolling by didn’t look her way. Who could have written the graffiti? Roxanne? Her hand trembling, Serena spun the combination on her lock and jerked open the dented locker door. The hinges rattled.

Did it hurt them if she had an invisible friend? As she exchanged a textbook for her social studies notes, someone bumped her butt. She lost her balance, flinging out her hand to grab the locker.

“Whoops,” a boy said and snickered.

Serena’s cheeks burned as she stuffed her supplies into her messenger bag. One more hour of high school and she could go home. Tomorrow she would bring another marker to scribble out the words that branded her.

Krieg leaned in close enough for Serena to smell her peppermint bubble gum, and said, “Bludgeon them. It’s the only way to get them to shut up.”

“No one’s talking about me right now.” Serena’s sneakers squeaked against the tile floor as she ducked into the classroom. Afternoon sunlight reflected off faded Holocaust posters on the off-white walls.

“It’s annoying when you allow the little rodents to torment you.” Krieg stuck her tongue out at the few students settling into their seats. “Where are the beheadings and crocodile pits? How about some maiming? I want to hear screaming and bones crunching.”

“This is the suburbs in the twenty-first century. People don’t do that stuff here.” Serena took her favorite seat in the back near the globe and opened her messenger bag to remove her notebook. 


Jordan Elizabeth is known for her odd sense of humor and her outrageous outfits.  Surrounded by bookshelves, she can often be found pounding away at her keyboard – she’s known for breaking keyboards, too.  Jordan’s young adult novels include ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, COGLING, TREASURE DARKLY, BORN OF TREASURE, GOAT CHILDREN, VICTORIAN, and RUNNERS AND RIDERS.  KISTISHI ISLAND is her first novel with Clean Reads.  Check out her website for bonus scenes and contests. 

Win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Giveaway runs from October 27 through November 10.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think of the cover of KISTISHI ISLAND?
Growing up, did you ever have an imaginary friend?
How are your writing projects going—are you trying NaNo this year?
Have you read any of Jordan's other books?

Monday, September 19, 2016


The release day of my third book baby has arrived! I’m excited. This was a novel I wrote in 2010 and shelved for years. In 2012, I rewrote it in first person, present tense. Then I dusted it off in 2015, revamping it from a post-apocalyptic dystopian into a science fiction novel, and sold it to Entangled Teen.

And now, an interview with my main character on the planet Liberty (i.e., The Lying Planet. This is not an excerpt, but you can read an excerpt from Chapter 1 on my WEBSITE):

Earth girl, the year 2147: Hello? This is Kasie McCormick from Earth, messaging the planet Liberty. Is anyone connected to the interplanetary hub right now? I have to do a project for my Social Awareness class, and I need a willing victim.

[ping!] Liberty dweller: Yes. Hi, Kasie, I’m on the hub. Ask me anything.

Earth girl Kasie: Awesome! What’s your name, Liberty dweller? Tell me about yourself.

Liberty dweller: Okay, I’m Jay Lawton. I’m 17, almost 18. Turning 18 is a big deal in my colony. We have this silvery Machine that’s shaped like an octopus, and it scans our brains and Tests us on graduation day. If we score high, we get cool rewards like a wristcomm. The really high scorers get a cloudskimmer or a hover vehicle. That’s what I’m aiming for. I’ve logged in a lot of extra hours working in my parents’ garden and collecting eggs at the chicken compound.

Earth girl Kasie: Uh, that’s…weird. I mean, cool. So what’s the deal with Liberty? I mean, you’re basically from Earth, since humans colonized your planet 90 years ago, right?

Liberty dweller Jay: Yep. Then 25 years ago we had a war, and now most of the planet is bombed out and destroyed. My colony  is called Sanctuary, and it’s a safe zone we’ve rebuilt. Refuge and Fort Hope are the other 2 safe zones. We stay away from the outer zones where there’s still a lot of genomide dust.

Earth girl Kasie: What in the twelve galaxies is “genomide dust”?

Liberty dweller Jay: It’s this deadly powder that gets on your skin and in your lungs. Causes genocide, or mass killings. It’s a chemical that burns you—so it’s nothing you want to be around. If the Machine scores us low at our Testings, we’re branded with a “B” on our foreheads and banished to the outer zones where the dust is. Trust me, that’s great motivation to work hard and obey all the strict rules around here.

Earth girl Kasie: Ugh, I bet. Let’s talk about something less creepy. What kind of music do you listen to—any favorite groups?

Liberty dweller Jay: We don’t have recorded music or CDs. At the Nebula, where secondary session kids over 13 hang out and eat, we have live music with technoguitars and singing. I’ve never heard anything besides that. We don’t have movies, either.

Earth girl Kasie: Seriously? Sounds pretty boring. What do you do for fun around the zones?

Liberty dweller Jay: We play helioball, which is this floating, color-changing blob that each team tries to catch when it turns the highest-scoring color. And in the fall we have a Harvest Equinox party. Dancing, sack races, and bobbing for greshfruit, which is sweet like an apple but soft like a nectarine.

Earth girl Kasie: Nice. How else is Liberty different from Earth?

Liberty dweller Jay: Well, we have two moons. Their magnetic pull causes the water from the underground tables to rise every night for an hour starting at 1:00 am. That’s a good thing, because it irrigates our yards and gardens. It never, ever rains here. We also have 13 hours in a day and 8 days in a week, Monday through Restday.

Earth girl Kasie: No rain at all? Wow, interesting. I sure could use an extra day of the week and an extra hour in the day. Especially with this project that’s due tomorrow… So who are your friends?

Liberty dweller Jay: My best friend is Harrel, and my girlfriend’s name is Aubrie…there’s also Peyton, who’s distractingly adorable and clever, and Leonard, who has this annoying scratchy voice and quirky sense of humor. I used to hang with the last two friends back in primary sessions, but they’re rebels now.

Earth girl Kasie: Uh…why are you whispering all of a sudden? Did your parents tell you not to be on the hub right now?

Liberty dweller Jay: It’s night time and I’m not supposed to be awake. And I’m hearing this really freaky noise. Oh, man, I gotta go— 

Earth girl Kasie: Wait! I have one more question… Hello? [dead silence]

Earth girl Kasie: Are you okay, Liberty dweller? Jay—Jay?


Connect with meWebsite  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads  |
Purchase linksAmazon  Barnes & Noble  |

Do you like to read (or write) dystopian novels? How about post-apocalyptic?
Have you ever written up an interview with your book character before? (it's fun!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lynda Young: CLING TO GOD devotional

(Parentheses: MY WRITING UPDATE)
My YA sci-fi has been re-titled THE LYING PLANET (formerly Safe Zone), and the release date is now September 19 instead of October via Entangled Teen. I had to do some fast revising here recently to accommodate the new schedule! Now I’m finally back to writing my WIP, a YA fantasy that’s coming along nicely at 56,500 words, about 2/3 done.

Today I’m pleased to be a part of my longtime writer buddy and critique partner’s book release! Lynda Young is celebrating the upcoming publication of her devotional, CLING TO GOD. It’s an encouraging daily read for Christians to use and grow in their faith.  This releases October 18, 2016 from Freedom Fox Press.

Cling to God: A Daily Devotional
Cling to God in the chaos of life…

Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still be able to spend time with the Lord each day. It will appeal to a wide Christian audience, to those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

AUTHOR BIO: Lynda R. Young, a Christian first, writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband. You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Do you know Lynda, or follow her blog?
Do you enjoy playing computer games? I’ve never gotten into it, but my MOM does!
If you write, what’s YOUR current project these days? Or are you taking a vacation?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Interview with Sue Ford: ALONE

Today I’m delighted to feature an interview with my Oregon author friend, Sue Ford, who has just released an inspirational romantic suspense novel from Clean Reads (June 2016). The title of her book is called ALONE.

Ready for adventure in the snowy Colorado mountains, Cecelia Gage is thrilled to be employed as the live-in housekeeper for her favorite bestselling author. The twenty-five-year old doesn’t count on Mark Andrews being so prickly, nor becoming part of the small town gossip centering on the celebrity. Neither does she expect to become involved in Andrews family drama and a relationship with Simon Lindley, Mark’s oh-so-good-looking best friend. And certainly, Cecelia has no idea she’ll be mixed up in a murder investigation because of this job.

Will Cecelia’s faith in God get her through all the trouble that lies ahead?

1. What do you like about romantic suspense and inspirational novels?
When I was a teen, I fell in love with romantic suspense books. I liked smart female heroines in dangerous situations, imperfect heroes, and tension and suspense. Since that time the inspirational fiction market has become really strong, and I wanted to share my faith as those books do.

2. What makes your book different from other romance novels?
My main character is a live-in housekeeper and cook, so an unusual profession. Also, in many romantic suspense books heroine and hero meet and fall in love in a few days. That doesn’t feel very realistic to me, so I gave my characters time to become friends first.

3. What was the path to publication for this book—long, short, easy, difficult?
This book took a long path to publication. I wrote it very long ago--in the 1980s! It went through some critiques and rewriting and I was unsuccessful at selling it. I set it aside for a long time. Last fall I pulled it out and realized how much I had learned since I'd written it. In my updating and rewriting, I cut 11,000 words. I sent it out to Clean Reads not really expecting anything. Was a nice surprise to get asked if it was still available.

4. Do you use a pen name?
Yes, I actually have two! SM Ford is my initials with my married last name. But I also write for children under my maiden name Susan Uhlig. I like the idea of keeping them separate and have separate websites.

5. What other writing projects are you working on now—what do you hope to accomplish in your writing future?
I also write for children and teens under my maiden name Susan Uhlig, and am working on a "near future" novel in verse. When that is done and out on submission, I have revising to do on a number of other novels. I'd like to see more books in print to reach more readers.

SUE FORD writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. When she was thirteen, she got hooked on Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense books, although she has been a reader as long as she can remember, and is an eclectic reader. Inspirational authors she enjoys include: Francine Rivers, Bodie Thoene, Dee Henderson, Jan Karon, and many more. Sue is a Pacific Northwest gal. She and her husband have two daughters and two sons-in-law and three grandsons. She can’t figure out how she got to be old enough for all that, however. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.

Connect with SueWebsite  Twitter  Facebook

Purchase linksAmazon  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  Smashwords  |

Have you read many inspirational romance books? How about romantic suspense?
What do you hope to accomplish in YOUR writing future?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

BOTTLED release day—and excerpt!

This is an awesome day! BOTTLED is a novel I wrote in 2011-12 that sadly got shelved for years and years. Then, this last winter (2016), I took a chance and submitted it to Clean Reads for publication. It was accepted! It will see the light of day after all, and that bright day has arrived.

At seventeen, Adeelah Naji is transformed into a genie and imprisoned in a bottle. For a thousand years, she fulfills the wishes of greedy masters, only sustained by the hope of finding Karim, the boy she fell in love with as a human. When at last she finds a note from her beloved, she confirms he has access to the elixir of life and he still searches for her. 

But someone else also hunts her—Faruq, a man who plots to use her powers for evil. With the help of a kind master named Nathan, Adeelah searches for Karim while trying to evade Faruq. To complicate matters, she begins to experience growing fatigue and pain after conjuring, and finds herself struggling against an undeniable attraction to Nathan.

As Faruq closes in, Adeelah must decide how she can protect Nathan and be with Karim forever. How much power over her future does she really have, and what is she willing to sacrifice for an eternity of love? If she makes the wrong choice, the deaths of many will be on her hands.

Connect with me here!  Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads

Buy links for BOTTLED:   Amazon  Barnes and Noble

Add to Goodreads to-read list: HERE

EXCERPT from BOTTLED, mid-Chapter 1:
My attention snags on a doorway to a small bathing area, and a booklet on the wall that shows it’s April. April 1977.

I gape. It hasn’t been a mere century I’ve been locked away from the human realm in that vault. It’s been more like three.

Bello scoops up my slender but sturdy glass bottle from the bed, greed churning behind his eyes. “So you can give me whatever else I want? Gold, whiskey? Foxy women?”

“I’ll grant you any wish within my ability, Master,” I say.

He frowns. “What’s that supposed to mean? Are you all-powerful or not? It doesn’t matter if I have endless wishes if all I can get is chutney, cold beer, and pita.”

I hold back a sigh. I prefer to tell him I’m unable to fulfill any of his wishes, limitless or not, but the bottle won’t let me lie. “My powers are restricted only when the wishes involve people. I can’t materialize people who don’t exist or bring them to you against their will. I can’t make them alive if they’ve died, or directly kill them. I also can’t change their bodies, minds, or personalities. But I’m able to take you places, modify objects, and grant you many tangible things.”

“Tangible. What’s that?”

I must say, this guy isn’t the swiftest camel in the caravan. “Things you can touch. No wishing for things like happiness, true love, and infinite world peace.”

[end of excerpt; I hope you enjoyed it!]

Do you have novels you’ve shelved as a writer, that you hope to revive some day?
As a reader, are you noticing a lot of genie novels being released lately?
What’s your favorite paranormal subject matter (vampires, angels, genies, werewolves, faeries, aliens, mermaids, etc.)?