Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Power of Secrets


Did you harbor a secret in middle school? High school?

I did. And so do the characters in my Teen Wytche Saga. (Spell Fire, Book 3, will release in early November). As today’s guest host, I ruminate on the the power of secrets on Shea Ford’s blog.

Hop over and check it out. If you’d like, leave a comment about your secret celebrity crush, or the secret you wish you didn’t know, or the power a secret once held over you.

~Ariella Moon

Friendship. Magic. Secrets. Love.


Get Your Romance Manuscript In Front of An Agent or Editor

The deadline to enter the Heart To Heart writing contest is August 31st.

Once again, I will be a first round judge for the Heart To Heart Contest. This is a great contest for aspiring romance writers. You will get great feedback from the first round judges, and if you are a finalist, your work will be seen by industry professionals in your sub-genre. Deadline 8/31 to enter.

The *2013 Heart To Heart Contest,* sponsored by the San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America, has three great final judges in every category!

(Two editors and an agent.)


Paranormal, Erotic, Contemporary, Historical, and Young Adult


The magical scene in which your hero and heroine meet for the first time,
maximum 15 pages (with an optional one-page set-up, unjudged


Cost*: $15 fee for SFA RWA members, $20 fee for non-members  (no
additional expense for paper and postage since our contest is fully

*August 31, 2013 *— Deadline for E-submissions
*September 30, 2013 *—First-Round Finalists Notification
*November 1, 2013 *— Final Round Winners Announced

Eligibility: Open to all writers unpublished by an RWA-approved publisher as of the entry deadline.

Scoring: Scoring is based on 20 key areas.  First round entries receive
four scores with the lowest being dropped.  The top three entries are
forwarded to the final judges.

First Round Judges: Our first round judges include RWA PRO and PAN
members.  Each entry is matched with at least one published author.

Final Judges: *Three in each category: one agent, one print editor, and one e-pub editor

*Top Prize*: Certificate


For contest overview, official rules, entry form, and score sheets go to:***

For questions, contact our contest coordinator at:

Win Free Books!


Don’t miss the chance to win amazing books, including some Amazon bestselling romances, Young Adult, westerns, paranormals, and I think a top Regency! If you haven’t started The Teen Wytche Series, now is your chance. An ebook copy of Spell Check, the first book in the series, is among the prizes. (Book 3, Spell Fire, is scheduled to release November 2013) 

Super easy to enter the raffle. Just follow this link. August 25-30.


Good luck!

Spell Fire, Book 3 in the Teen Wytche Saga, Coming Soon!


Three Things You Should Know About Spell Fire:

1.Spell Fire, the third book in my YA series, the Teen Wytche Saga, introduces a new cast of characters and a new school, but the spell book and two characters from the earlier novels return.

2. The release date is expected to be in early November, 2013

3. This one has dragon shamans, demons, and sparkly red Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz shoes.

More details to come!

Will Work For Chocolate

The Writer’s Block

Since submitting my manuscript for Book 3 of the Teen Wytche Saga, I’ve been reworking the first manuscript in my upcoming Middle Grade series. For two nights I have been blocked on a particular chapter – one I knew needed a lot of rewriting to crank up the tension. I woke today determined to tackle the beastly block.

Phase One: Procrastinate

Writers have to eat, right? And since the temperature was supposed to hit the 112 degree mark today, that meant grocery shopping had to be moved to the top of my To Do list. Once I had found a parking spot in the shade (score!) I reasoned, The bakery is just across the street. Why not buy my bread there?

Unwilling to relinquish a shady parking spot, I donned my hat, waded through the heat waves rising off the asphalt, and finally reached the six-lanes in all directions intersection that stood between me and a loaf of honey oat multi-grained bread. The metal signal button burned my finger. The automated recording yelled, “Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.” My blood pressure maxed. Finally the automated voice switched to “Walk sign is on. Walk sign is on.” Holding the brim of my hat, I speed walked to the far side as the voice counted down to one.

The Mirage

Aspen Mills Bakery and Deli makes some of the finest brownies on earth. So I really couldn’t just buy a loaf of bread, right? I knew you’d agree.

Purchases in hand, I hiked back to the intersection. When I first glanced up, I saw a motorcycle cop standing next to his bike in the middle of the intersection, his hands raised in a stop position. A quick sweep of the traffic revealed no accident. The traffic lights must be out. I looked back at the cop. He had vanished. I blinked.

I’m a shaman as well as an author. Yes, it was noon, I was hungry, and it was hotter than Hades. Any non-magical person would assume her eyes were playing tricks on her. But shamans can’t ignore visions. So I did a quick stop at the supermarket, then headed home, avoiding the intersection with the phantom cop.

Raising the Stakes: The Bargain

A bargain with yourself is easily broken (Who besides your dog and the gods would know?), so I went on Facebook and posted today’s house rule: No chocolate until I deal with the centaurs.

An earlier post had mentioned I was happily back writing about fairies, Vikings, and other magical creatures, so when I said centaurs, readers knew I referred to my Middle Grade trilogy. Those who know me, are well aware of my chocolate addiction. The stakes were high. The pressure huge.

Will Work For Chocolate

I kept the brownie in its little brown bag, stashed it in the pantry, ate lunch, and ignored the little dessert as it you hoo-ed from the cupboard. Back in front of the computer, I groaned as the word “brownie” kept appearing in the chapter (one of the main characters is a British brownie, a little man/ house elf) but I remained tough. Image

What I Learned 

I can be hyper-focused and amazingly productive when chocolate is at stake. I drew upon reserves I didn’t know I had, and powered through until I had wrestled those centaurs to the ground. I wielded the Delete button like a sword, excising text that slowed the action, and cutting a faulty subplot. Sure, I still have to hunt down the thread to the subplot and do some rewriting. But I kept my word. I dealt with the centaurs.

Now if you will excuse me, there is a brownie calling my name. And I have to figure out the shamanic meaning behind the phantom cop. I suspect he symbolized, Stop procrastinating and finish your rewrites!

Heather Gray Spotlights Spell Struck by Ariella Moon

Amazon Best Selling author Heather Gray, (currently #1 for Inspirational Romance), features my second YA novel, Spell Struck, on her blog today. Heather has been rocking several Amazon charts with her books and short stories, including Mail Order Man, Ten Million Reasons, His Saving Grace. and Late for The Ball?.

I hope you’ll stop by and visit: Heather Gray Spotlights Spell Struck. And leave a comment ~ we’d love to hear from you!

For those of you who are new to the Teen Wytche Saga, you can catch up on the story with the ebook version of Spell Check, Book 1: The Teen Wytche Saga, on sale now for $.99.


Goodreads: A Source of Frustration and Trolling, or an Author’s BFF?

I’ll be the first to admit that Goodreads is low on my list of social media sites. I love the idea of Goodreads. As an author, I wish I found the site easier to navigate. And since it frustrates me, I don’t utilize it as often or as fully as I should. I always feel like an iMac girl in a PC world when I’m at Goodreads.

As a reader, my personal policy is to not publicly review any book I deem worthy of one or two stars. Call it my version of the Golden Rule. Fortunately, all the reviews for Spell Check have been great. I’m still waiting, nervously, for the first reviews of Spell Struck.

As this recent Huffington Post article by Penny C. Sansevieri demonstrates, authors should try to embrace Goodreads. But as the comments to the article warn, there are some solid reasons to avoid the site. 

How to Become a Goodreads Power User (and why you would want to)

Authors? Readers? What has been your experience with Goodreads?  

~Ariella Moon