Cover Reveal – The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude and #Giveaway – “A chilling tale that resonates with dark beauty”

Check out this super-spooky cover from horror author Sarah Jude for THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS (coming May 3, 2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).


Two girls: one with a secret, one with a promise that she’d uncover it.

Welcome to Rowan’s Glen—a place full of old fashioned superstition and secrets. Twenty-five years back, a teenage girl was murdered after being crowned queen at the Glen’s May Day celebration, and outsiders have regarded the isolated farming community with suspicion ever since.

But that was before Ivy Templeton was even born. She’s lived in Rowan’s Glen for all of her sixteen years, and feels safe there with the company of her free-spirited cousin Heather, and their friend, Rook, son of the sheriff.

Until . . . animals start showing up dead, clearly from unnatural means. Dark omens seem to appear everywhere Ivy goes. And Heather, who used to tell Ivy everything, is sneaking off after dark with a mysterious lover.

Ivy worries her cousin could be in danger—especially after Heather is elected queen of the May Day celebration. When Heather goes missing, Ivy must come to terms with the fact that she never knew her beloved cousin—or Rowan’s Glen—as well as she thought she did.

Readers looking for horror, romance, and suspense will find it all in this chilling tale that resonates with dark beauty.

Sarah Jude Author photoWho is Sarah Jude?

Sarah Jude lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath whenever you passed a graveyard or a bridge spanning water. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and ghostly apparitions. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and three dogs.
You can find her on Twitter here.

And best of all, there’s an awesome giveaway at Young Adult Books Central.

One international winner will receive a prize pack that includes:

  • a signed ARC of THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS (when available in September)
  • a handmade ivy leaf pendant

One US winner will receive a prize pack that includes:

  • a signed ARC of THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS (when available in September)
  • swag
  • a handmade ivy leaf pendant
  • a custom herbal loose tea blend called Sleep-Away-Sorrow designed to promote relaxation
  • a sustainable, reusable muslin tea bag

You can enter the giveaway here.

And while, you’re at it, add THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS to your TBR list on Goodreads or pre-order a copy.


Wednesday Muse – Books Opening Books

A Conversation with My 3 Year Old Son

 ~ or ~

How My Request For A Haiku Turned Into His Request For A Computer

Photo by Ryan McGuire -

Photo by Ryan McGuire –

Me to 3 year old: I have to write about this picture. What would you write if you wrote a poem about this picture?

3 yr old: Um, I don’t know. I want to write my own thing on a computer.

Me: If you say it, I’ll write it down.

3 yr old: Hm. I would write a book opening a book and a book opening a book and a book opening a book. I would write books opening books.

Me: Ok, I got that. But what would you write about the picture?

3 yr old: Books opening books. I would write about the picture books opening books.

Me: Ok. But what about THIS picture?

3 yr old: Books opening books. That picture, books opening books. See? I really am hungry. I would like a sandwich with cheese and mayonnaise and milk. That’s a kid’s meal at Subway. Soon we have to go to Subway. Subway. Subway. Subway. Are we driving in to Grandma’s house?

Me: Yes, but what would you say about this picture with the bird in it?

3 yr old: Um. Books opening books. I would say about that picture books opening books. And stop saying what will you say with this picture and what will you write with this picture and what will you name with this picture and stuff like that. Don’t say any more stuff like that.

Me: Okay. Got it.

3 yr old: (singing) I think I need to write a story, a story, a story, a story about Subway. Mama, so let me write a story on some computer.

Me: You have your computer downstairs.

3 yr old: I don’t mean a play computer. I don’t mean the computer with all the letters.

Me: Alright, yes. That is a play computer.

3 yr old: I meant so I can write a story like I mean like I, I mean, to do what what you are doing. I meant a computer that will do what you are doing. A computer that will do what you are doing. A computer that will do what you are doing. (Repeats ad infinitum.)

Me: Will you stop saying that?

3 yr old: You make me sad. Listen to me. I want a computer that is doing what you are doing. (Points to screen.) Okay? Deal? Deal? Deal? Deal? Deal? Deal? Deal? (Holds out hand to shake.) Deal? Deal? Deal? (Takes my chin in his hands and turns my face so I must make eye contact.) Deal? Deal? Deal?


Check out creative works in response to this photo by author Vanessa Barger, Melanie McFarlane and Stu Glennie. If you’re interested in joining the Wednesday Muse Blog ring, contact Vanessa.

#Haiku Song ~ Wednesday Muse

This week for our Wednesday Muse writing prompt, author Vanessa Barger sent us something a little different — “He’s the Giant,” composed by Thomas J. Bergersen, as part of the soundtrack for Colin Frake on Fire Mountain (and released by the label Two Steps from Hell):

Wind, take my cape. Sky,
everything I was is yours.
I’m now only air.

While I was tempted to construct a found poem from the comments section, I was having too much fun with haiku. As you can probably tell from the poem I ended up with, I ignored the giant and the fireball and pretty much everything except the music itself, which is quite lovely.

Make sure to check out what these authors wrote in response to the same prompt:

Vanessa Barger

Melanie McFarlane

#Haiku for the Woman with My Leg ~ Wednesday Muse

Photo by Ryan McGuire

Photo by Ryan McGuire


Stop pulling my leg.
It’s too easy for me to
get carried away.


Okay, yeah, that’s a pretty awkward line break, but I couldn’t resist putting two cliches in the same haiku.

(My apologies to real haiku-ers everywhere. I don’t mean to “pun-nish” you. Harhar. Erg. Somebody, stop me.)

Read Vanessa Barger‘s and Melanie McFarlane‘s response to the same prompt.

And for last week’s Wednesday Muse haiku, check this out.