Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Little Therapy: Free

What do Adelice, Dante, Lynn, Gemi, Abby and Alyssa have in common?

You might say they're under a little bit of stress.

Besides their starring roles in YA novels, these six characters all face seriously difficult situations. One, falls down a rabbit hole where she's met with passionately crazy characters, not all of whom wish the best for our little MC. Another only wishes her plunge into the cyber hole is so benign. Deadly demons, cyber predators and compromised value systems are only some of the terrors these fascinating characters must stand up to and defeat.

And while you may not have to fight for your life on a daily basis, you still feel the pinch, which is why I am offering up Day Nine's prize.

A care package filled with your very own therapy.
  • my absolute favorite coffee in the whole world--Group Therapy--made by La Crema Coffee Company,
  • a stress ball,
  • and some swag.
Aaand, my picture won't download, so you'll have to take my word for it. Therapy in a box actually does exist.

So do great giveaways.

There's only one day left to enter the Whispering Minds 10 Day YA Giveaway. Only one day left to win great novels by great writers and great swag--okay, I'm biased--by me. Only one day until Whispering Minds is unleashed on the world.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Newest Giveaway: Splintered by A.G.Howard

Day Eight Prizes

This book is all kinds of amazing. From the beautiful cover to the characters within, A.G. Howard's retelling of Alice in Wonderland is much more enjoyable than the original. (Forgive me English and Lit teachers across the globe. As well as avid AAIW fanatics.)

Here's a recap of my review from nearly a year ago:

I fell into the rabbit hole last week, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I didn't love the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, though I can't give any specific reasons why. I can't pinpoint them myself.

On the other hand, Ms. Howard's contemporary spin on Alice's adventures left me breathless.

For starters, look at this fantabulous cover. The details are exquisite.

An electric blue moth you will come to love and hate and love again. (FYI, Morpheus is one side of a love triangle that will have your panties in a knot as you waffle between the moth man and the delectable human, Jeb.)
The rest of the insects--yeah, that's right, peek closely and you'll see them hiding everywhere. They are very important, my reader friends. Important, intriguing and only a little creepy. Okay, one is a lot creepy, but even she didn't make my spine tingle like the twisted White Rabbit did. 
Then there's Alyssa, herself. A stunning beauty filled with mysticism, spunk and charm. She's delicate on the outside--almost pixie like--while courage radiates from within.
And it (or other prize packages) just might be yours if you enter into the drawing below.
Up for grabs:
  1. one copy of Want to Go Private? and a sample of chai tea;
  2. the WTGP? technology pack with a USB drive (including a cut chapter from Whispering Minds) and chai tea;
  3. one copy of Not a Drop to Drink and a sample of chai tea;
  4. the Drop to Drink pack with a travel mug and mega chai sample;
  5. one copy of The Collector and a sample of chai tea;
  6. one copy of Crewel and a sample of chai tea;
  7. the crewel weaver pack with a dream catcher, a copy of The Fall and chai tea;
  8. one copy of Splintered, special swag from author A.G.Howard and a sample of chai tea;
  9. tune in on Halloween to find out what Splintered inspired gift you can win;
  10. tune in on Friday, November 1st, for the ultimate swag pack announcement.
So many great stories, so much fun and delicious swag. So easy to enter for a chance to win them all.
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

More Gennifer Albin and More Great Prizes


Free Books and Book Birthday Wishes

In honor of Crewel and the masterful way author Gennifer Albin weaves intrigue, love and terror into her novels, I've sewn together some threads from Whispering Minds to introduce you to today's giveaway. But first, let me sing, "Happy Book Birthday!" to Altered, the second book in Miss Albin's Crewel World Trilogy.
Yep, today is its release, so you know what I'll be doing for the rest of the afternoon! Hint: if you order Altered today, it can be delivered just in time for you to win and read a copy of Crewel.
And now, onto the next prize package in the Whispering Minds 10 Day YA Giveaway.
The Excerpts:
A dream catcher hung on the wall above his bed. Blue and green feathers trailed from the central web. I stood on the bed and took it down. A spider occupied the center of the ring, its body made of fine black strands twisted together. It was the same material that wrapped around the web and secured the tiny hummingbird feathers.
My fingers traced the pattern, memorizing the feel of it beneath my fingers. It matched the dream catcher in my room at Granny's. The same feathers, the same human hair. Even the watchful spider in the center was the same. When I'd asked Granny about the spider as a kid, she'd asked in return, "Who better to catch scary things than a spider?"
...I reached in the cubby hole for more papers. My hand closed around something soft, the dream catcher from Jimmy's room. Its match hung from my window, and a third on Trav's bedroom wall. I twined the silken cord of hair around my fingers...I pictured the spider web on the smooth skin of his shoulder and felt that it had something to do with me. Was I the spider, capturing those he loved? Spinning my sticky web over everything and pulling it away from him and into myself?
And the Prize:

  • A lovely, hand crafted, Native American dream catcher to keep your nightmares at bay,
  • a sampling of chai tea to warm you when you wake, and
  • a copy of The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse--because Miss Albin literally leaves her characters plummeting through...well, I don't want to ruin it. Just trust me when I say that in my head, the title of the anthology and the end of Crewel tie together. 
So, don't be shy. Enter below to win ten day's worth of awesome prizes. Really. Because winning a free book by any of the featured authors throughout this giveaway is well worth your time and effort. Your brain will thank you.

As always, thanks for supporting the literary community!


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And don't forget that Goodreads is just waiting for you to enter for a chance to win one of ten copies of Whispering Minds. If not for you, then for the teen in your life.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whispering Minds by A.T. O'Connor

Whispering Minds

by A.T. O'Connor

Giveaway ends November 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, October 28, 2013

Another Great Novel Up For Grabs: Crewel by Gennifer Albin


Life can be cruel. Bullies, boy friends and bad decisions can make a teen's life nearly impossible. If you'd like a break from the preceding three B's, move to the next letter of the alphabet and enter to win your copy of Crewel by Gennifer Albin.

In Crewel, Miss Albin weaves an intriguing tale where sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys wants nothing more than to fail--because to succeed means to be ripped from her family and placed in the Guild as a gifted Spinster where she has the power to manipulate the very fabric of life.

The thread that connects Adelice and Gemini: they both live in a crewel world where events outside their control weave together lives of hardship and heartache.

I loved this dystopian romance, though I'm certainly not the only one. Reviewers rave about this novel, claiming similarities between it and Hunger Games. Here's what some esteemed peeps are saying, as taken from Crewel's Amazon page:

  • The halls of Coventry are dark and twisted places readers will want to visit." —The New York Times Book Review
  • "Albin has created a unique world that is as fascinating as it is frightening. Absolutely thrilling!" —Josephine Angelini, bestselling author of Starcrossed
  • "The next big YA thing-to-come." —The Atlantic Wire
  • "An incredibly interesting mix." —
  • "Unusual, brilliant." —MTV’s The
  • "If you liked The Hunger Games, try Crewel." —
  • "The next big dystopian blockbuster." —Booklist
  • "Captivating and intense, the right balance of mystery, romance, and drama." —Publishers Weekly
  • "Aspects of Crewel bring comparisons to The Hunger Games." —VOYA
If you'd like your name entered into the Whispering Minds 10 Day YA Giveaway, there's still a few days (and more great prizes) left! If all you're looking for is a chance to win my new novel, Goodreads is the place. Both giveways are listed below.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whispering Minds by A.T. O'Connor

Whispering Minds

by A.T. O'Connor

Giveaway ends November 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, October 25, 2013

YA Giveaway: The Collector by Victoria Scott


Whispering Minds YA Giveaway Day Five
So here's the scoop. I am in love with Dante Walker, the main character of Victoria Scott's novel, The Collector. Yep, I emotionally cheated on my husband with thoughts of bad boy, Dante. To be fair, I'm not even sure Miss Scott describes Dante's appearance, so it's not that he's a hot body who elicits this school girl crush on him. Well, not exactly. He is a demon, after all, so he must be pretty hot on some level.
No, my fangirl affair stems more from his personality which pops off the page and into your heart. Dante is a selfish, overly-confident dead boy, hell-bent on collecting the soul of an innocent and unsuspecting misfit. He's brash and used-car-salesman slick. He's everything I hate in real people, and yet I can't help myself.
Dante has collected my undying affections. Victoria Scott has collected my loyalty as a reader.
Dante collects souls, while Gemi, the main character of Whispering Minds, is also a collector--as shown in the excerpt below. 
    We were collectors.
    I collected books—stories of hope. Mom collected treasures, ugly things she found beauty in and hoped to rehabilitate. My dad bought hobbies—sports equipment for sports he never played. His yearly binges filled the spaces where Mom’s treasures didn’t reach. Together they had collected a lifetime of things and found no pleasure in any of it.
    Apparently, we also collected secrets.
If you enter the Whispering Minds YA Giveaway any time during the course of my contest, you, too, may collect a crush on one or more of my favorite authors, or other great prizes.
To recap what's up for grabs. In addition to some authorly swag and a sampling of Granny's Homemade Chai Tea, entering the contest makes you eligible for the following prizes:
  • a copy of Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman. This novel is a must-read for every human being with a heart.
  • a technology pack inspired by the cyber connection between Want to Go Private? and Whispering Minds. this includes a USB drive with a cut chapter of my novel--a missing night of Gemi's life, if you will.
  • a copy of Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, who takes survival of the fittest to a whole new level in her debut novel.
  • a thirst quenching Drop to Drink Package that includes a truly awesome travel mug and a batch of chai to fill it with.
  • a copy of The Collector by Victoria Scott. Yeah, I think I collected my thoughts on that up above.
Enter at will and don't forget to stop back next Monday for the reveal of Prize Number Six.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thirsty? Whispering Minds YA Giveaway: A Drop to Drink Pack


In honor of author Mindy McGinnis' dry world in Not a Drop to Drink, I have put together a thirst-quenching pack for day four of my giveaway.
A quotable Tervis Travel Mug and some of Granny's Homemade Vanilla Chai tea for your early morning commute.
I LOVE Tervis mugs. I've had one for years and was thrilled to find they are 100% customizable. Yours will come with a favorite quote from Whispering Minds' MC, Gemini Baker. The quote itself is as affirming as the scrumptious tea within.
If you're thirsty, check out the ways you can win these--or other prizes--below!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Whispering Minds YA Giveaway: Not a Drop to Drink


Day Three of Whispering Minds 10 Day Giveaway
A week or so ago, I reviewed Mindy McGinnis' debut novel, Not a Drop to Drink, so I won't rehash the whole thing. I will tell you, however, that one of the things I loved most about this novel was the entire concept: survival of the fittest in a barren and desolate world.
This idea of gritting out an existence in less than stellar circumstances is what ties Not a Drop to Drink with Whispering Minds. In WM, Gemi faces down the stark landscape of her childhood. She, too, is a survivor of her circumstances. As are we all.
It doesn't take a water shortage or a dirty family secret to shape us into who we are. It simply takes determination and belief in something bigger, better and brighter.
And so I give you your own survival manuscript: Not a Drop to Drink.
Yep. It's yours. Free--along with some Whispering Minds swag. All you have to do is enter the drawing below and hope Rafflecopter pulls your name out of the hat on November 1.
Easy peasy, lemon squeazy--unlike Lynn's journey in Not a Drop to Drink
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whispering Minds YA Giveaway: Technology Pack

USB Drive, Sweet Swag and Cutting Floor Scenes

Whispering Minds 10 Day Giveaway: Day Two
I remember playing the stick version of Oregon Trail in middle school on giant computers the size of my stove. Portable music came from your mouth until the advent of the Walkman, and movies were watched only once--in the movie theater with no potty breaks or quick trips to the concession stand for popcorn refills lest we missed the good part. Letters had to be written, addressed, stamped and mailed, not tweeted. It took forever to capture that perfect pic as we waited to finish out the roll of film, drop it off at the corner mart and wait some more while the photos were developed--only to rip open the package and discover everyone had their eyes closed or their heads turned. Or, you know, that goofy grin.

Life was very different before the explosion of CDs. DVDs, ipods, ipads, Gameboys and cell phones. We experienced the moment in the moment, with our full attention given to every passing second because there was no pause button.

And friends were real, not just avatars on a computer screen.

If we didn't physically see them or talk to them on the bunchy-corded phone, they did not exist. Kids from the next town over remained kids from the next town over--to be seen at sporting events a handful of times each year. Pen pals took a ton of work and our best friendships from summer camp typically waned as the months passed.

Yet, there was a certain amount of truth in our relationships. People were real. You built tree houses with them, kicked the can with them, spilled your secrets to them and made pancakes for breakfast the next morning. With them.

Technology has changed that. Casual acquaintances are friended and followed. Information that was
reserved for special people has become common knowledge--dumped into the vast pool of cyber space for anyone to access if they are determined or savvy enough.

Sarah Darer Littman highlights this in her novel, Want to Go Private?.

While the answer to her title question should almost always be a resounding no, our perception of friendship has evolved to the point where the answer is often an easy "yes".

In Whispering Minds, Gemi also learns the terrifying truth that a friendly avatar on a computer screen does not a friend make.

So without further ado, I give you prize number two: a USB flash drive and some yummy swag.

"What's so yummy about swag?" you ask.

Granny's Homemade Chai Tea~ tested by my awesome, real life friends.

You haven't met Granny yet, but she brews a delicious cup of vanilla chai for Gemi. She's brewed some up for you as well. Each day of the giveaway, winners will receive a sample of her tea as part of their prize packet.

However, in case you're not a tea drinker, I've sweetened the deal by downloading a cut chapter from Whispering Minds onto your USB stick.

Prize Recap:
  1. Day One: A copy of Want to Go Private? and a sampling of Granny's delicious chai.
  2. Day Two: A 2 gig USB Drive with a sizzling cut chapter from Whispering Minds--and tea.
To be eligible for these--and future prizes--enter below!

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*special thanks to my mom, Mary Jo, Judy and Jamie for slurping tea with me!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Whispering Minds YA Giveaway: Want To Go Private?

Want To Go Private?

Day One of the Whispering Minds YA Giveaway

I've loved and hated this book since the moment I read it. Loved because Sarah Darer Littman is an amazing author whose characters pop off the page in an unforgettable way. And hated because those characters pop off the page so realistically that it breaks my heart. They truly are unforgettable.

I yelled at the stupidity of Abby's vulnerability the first third of the book, sobbed my way through the second third and sniffled pitifully to the end. Want to Go Private? is a grim reminder that not everyone is who they appear to be..

From the back cover: "When Abby meets Luke online, she can't believe her luck. He's nice. He's funny. He thinks she's pretty.... Abby knows she's not supposed to chat with random guys online. But Luke's not a stranger."
And here, my friends is where Want to Go Private? intersects with Whispering Minds in a terrifying way. Both Abby and Gemi get sucked into a world of falsehoods by the very cyber friends they trust.
If this sounds cautionary, it is. I am a firm believer that anybody who is a girl, loves a girl or knows a girl should read Want to Go Private? I also believe that those who care for the elderly or the mentally or physically vulnerable should read it. In this day and age where an avatar can be anyone and pretty words can ring true to those yearning for more, everyone should understand just how easy it is to become a victim. 
And so I give you Want to Go Private?.
Day One's prize is a copy of Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman (along with a bit o' my authorly swag).
Want to win either of these prize packages, just follow the directions below. Interested in spreading the word on your blog? Shoot me an email and I'll send you a link. Any bloggers who post a link to this giveaway or my Goodreads giveaway will have their names entered into a separate drawing for a bonus gift.
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And don't forget to hop over to Goodreads for your chance to win one of ten free copies of Whispering Minds.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whispering Minds by A.T. O'Connor

Whispering Minds

by A.T. O'Connor

Giveaway ends November 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Black Hellebore Book Review: October 21 Release

The wonderful thing about being a writer is meeting so many wonderful fellow scribes. Wonderful, fun, sweet and talented--like Nicole Zoltack, author of the upcoming paranormal romance, Black Hellebore, first in a new superhero romance trilogy - Heroes of Falledge

Nicole.JPGBesides being adorable, Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and
young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic! She's also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a
freelance editor.

When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending they're unicorns, of
course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her favorite current TV show is The Walking Dead.

To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her website at or her
blog at

BlackHelleboreCoverArt.jpgTo Learn More About Her Upcoming Novel, Read On...

Once a year for the past decade, Nicholas Adams returns to Falledge and leaves a black hellebore on his girlfriend's grave. While departing Falledge, he chases after a man sneaking into the laboratory and dies for his trouble. A witch brings him back to life, but Nicholas soon realizes he's not the same man. Turns out, magic combined with a black hellebore in his pocket changed
him into a kind of a super man.

His girlfriend's twin, Julianna Paige, is Falledge's deputy, struggling to solve several murders.
Nicholas, and his alter ego the Black Hellebore, helps her, even as she helps him move on and
even start to love again.

Unfortunately, Nicholas wasn't the only one changed in the laboratory explosion, and now there's
a supervillain bent on destroying Falledge, and killing the Black Hellebore. But falling in love
might prove more dangerous than any supervillain.

And Here's Where I Have To Be Honest...

I don't typically read romance novels or comic books. Before Iron Man came out, I had limited experience with villains and heroes and super powers born of unexpected events. However, thanks to my passel of boys, I fell in love with Tony Stark a few years back--an unexpected event that opened my mind to the realm of heroes, super heroes and dastardly villains.

Black Hellebore surprised and delighted me. Thanks to Miss Zoltack, I discovered that I enjoy this vast new world. Granted I have some things to get used to before I can fully appreciate the nuances of the genre, but I look forward to expanding my reading lists and continuing my journey into the unexpected.

If you're a fan of paranormal romance, super heroes, or are just looking for a new book to cuddle up with on a chilly fall day, pick up a copy of Black Hellebore on October 21!

black hellebore blog tour.jpg

More Books by Nicole Zoltack

Woman of Honor (Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy, book 1)

Knight of Glory (Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy, book 2)

Champion of Valor (Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy, book 3)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Whispering Minds Cover Reveal

Thanks to my fabulous designer, Whispering Minds now has a gorgeous cover.

What you can't see is the story within. So here's a little blurb to tide you over until November 1st.

By day, a terrifying blackness eats at Gemini Baker's memories. Her nights are filled with unsettling dreams.

After the death of her beloved granny, seventeen-year-old Gemi is left with parents more interested in gambling than paying the bills, a best guy friend who's looking for love at a time when she has none to give and a dark childhood secret that just might be the key to her sucky life.

During her search for answers, Gemi turns to her cyber friends for support and quickly learns that nobody is who they seem. Not her granny, her friends or even herself. As her blackouts increase in frequency, a threat on her life has Gemi on the run...if only she can remember long enough to keep herself alive.

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I gotz Swag

What do a text message, a water shortage, and a moth have in common?


I ordered some swag yesterday, but since most of it has my as-yet unveiled cover on it, I can't share pics. However, I can share what I'm going to do with it.

In less than two weeks, I will be hosting an epic give-away to followers of my blog. I won't make you tweet me, share me, friend me or any other stalkerly things--unless you want to do all those other stalkerly things from the comfort of the cybersphere--just to be entered in a chance to win PRIZES. Nope, all you'll have to do is sign up on my blog during the days of my EPIC YA Give-Away. That's it.

"But for what purpose?" you ask.

To potentially win a prize. Leading up to my release of WHISPERING MINDS, I will be giving out daily prizes for TEN days. Yep, that's ten chances to win. And win cool things. Multiple things. Not just one thing.

And not pictures of me and postcards of me and bookmarks of me and stickers of me. Those things just suck. (Truly, you did see the circa 80's graduation pic, right?) Nor will I gift you a t-shirt that is too small that will shrink even smaller because those are the only kind us starving artists can afford. I'm giving away USEFUL things. Things that have purpose besides making you queasy. Things you might actually need/want/like.

Things that tie into my novel--including five (yep, FIVE) of my favorite YA novels. Oooh, six if you count WHISPERING MINDS. But that's not it, because, remember, I gotz swag.

However, on the off-chance that you come back here during my give-away and find yourself utterly turned off by *cough* cool *cough* and interesting prizes, you can head over to GoodReads and enter a chance to win one of ten copies of WHISPERING MINDS. Or heck, enter them both.

*does the happy dance*
I gotz authorly swag!

P.S. If you follow me on twitter, facebook, goodreads or my blog, you can keep up to date on all the exciting events coming out this month--including the release of yet another talented writer into the fold. Hint, hint. She's going to hang with me here next Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Personality Chameleons

Whispering Minds Sneak Peek Quote

Their mutual affection appeared sporadically, and only under favorable conditions. Namely, a bottle of booze and a good run at the casino.
Over the years, Gemini has witnessed the ups and downs of her parents' relationship. Yet every relationship is filled with peaks and valleys that can be largely dependent on circumstances and social settings.

We've all seen it, and it usually sucks:
  • The football player who's nice right before homecoming.
  • The pious girl friend who gets handsy at the movie theater.
  • The best friend neighbor who ignores you in school.
  • The shy nerd who swallows goldfish at all the parties.
But the question is, why do we change our behaviors based on certain circumstances, and is it even possible (or desirable) to be the same in every situation?

One of my favorite quotations goes something like this: To be a person of integrity, we have to be the same on the outside as we are on the inside.

Behaving in such a way that others see us the same way we see ourselves can be nearly impossible to achieve. In fact, I doubt many people even realize how far apart their view is compared to those around them.

Good, bad or indifferent, we are influenced internally and externally nearly every moment of every day. In that respect, it's to understand how chameleon-like we can be, constantly changing in response to the environment around us. Often in subtle ways, though sometimes as blatantly obvious as a margarita and a stacked poker hand.

In which ways do you change your behaviors based on those around you? Are there some circumstances where you feel more comfortable with yourself than in others? How does this affect your personal integrity?

For the record, I'm so glad I've already grown up. Learning these lessons was hard enough the first time around.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm a Person, Not a Plant

Yes, there is an actual face behind the words.

And since we haven't been formally introduced, let me start:

*My name is Alexandra Tys O'Connor, aka A.T. O'Connor. The shortened version fits better on book covers.
*I write YA and Romance.
*I love to garden, though I get neglectful at times. Designing beautiful outdoor spaces is always more appealing than maintaining them. Or maybe that's just my short attention span speaking.
*I've got four kids, two dogs and one husband--each of whom I love dearly.
*If you hold up your left hand in the shape of an L, I live in the corner of Minnesota where your thumb and finger meet. It's cold, windy and very flat, yet beautiful in its own right.
*I am a speech coach. Best extracurricular activity EVAH!
*I also help divorcing/separated parents work out custody issues and parenting time. Kids are my heart.
*My biggest pet peeve is adults who don't like teens on principle. Seriously, teens could be the most amazing people I've ever met. (Note to adults: most teens are only bratty if you're bratty first.)
*As a chronic procrastinator, I compete in NaNoWriMo every November. I always did my best work the night before a paper was due--Sorry Glencoe High School English department!
*Speaking of high school, looking at this picture made me realize that minus the cool eighties hair and a few wrinkles, my head shot doesn't look a whole lot different than my graduation picture a quarter of a century ago. Funny, because I'm wearing pink in both pics and I NEVER wear pink.
*My new favorite band is American Authors--go figure! They're a little alternative, but fun none-the-less. On November 1st when WHISPERING MINDS debuts, I'm going to crank "Best Day of My Life" and dance on the tables. And no, I won't be videotaping that.

So, enough about me.

Tell me a little about yourself: favorite books, favorite authors, favorite class, sports, extracurriculars, Besties, pets, movies.... I mean, I just showed you my hideous grad pic, so no need for shyness.

Forever and always~

Monday, October 7, 2013

Life as a Novel

This past week, we lost our faithful black lab. She had been with us for nearly thirteen years and was an important part of our family. In the chilly morning breeze, I sat on the deck overlooking the garden. She ambled over in her shuffling gait and snuggled against me with her head in my lap. I held her as the vet administered the meds to take her from our lives and cried as her breathing slowed and life ebbed from her.

It was the single most gut-wrenching thing I have ever done, and even as we knew it was the right thing to do, my heart shattered that day.

In many ways, my main character in WHISPERING MINDS goes through a similar experience. I can only hope that Granny's words to Gemi in the following passage are true.

The only light came from the glaring fluorescent bulbs and the stench of antiseptic hung heavy in the air. I closed the book. "I can't do this."

Granny's hand found mine. "You must, child. It's what we both want."

"Wanted." The word popped out before I could stop it. I didn't even try to keep the next ones back. "It's a trilogy."

We did that, the two of us. We read trilogies, as if the promise of an incomplete story would be enough to cheat death. That was impossible now.

"Keep reading so I can find out if she lives."

"You know she does." My voice cracked, dry from reading, drier still from the thought of never finishing. "That's why there's another book."

Granny tapped the cover, her voice clear, though her eyes were not. "Just like there will be for you."

"Just like there will be for you."

No matter how difficult life seems at the moment, always hold on to the fact that there are more books in the story of your life. You have paragraphs, pages and chapters waiting to be populated by new characters and steadfast friendships. Each sentence is a chance to move forward--to discover new things.

Your life is a novel, written one word at a time.

Forever and Always,

Alexandra Tys O'Connor

If you liked the passage above, please check out the first chapter of WHISPERING MINDS on the First Chapter tab and stay tuned for my debut novel's release on November 1st.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Thirty-Day Count Down

Just wanted to do a little happy dance!

WHISPERING MINDS will hit the market in t-minus thirty days.

The first chapter is up for preview under the First Chapter tab, and a prize-filled month will follow as I count down to the release of my debut novel.

Stay tuned as the party continues!