Tag Archives: teen fiction

Choosing the Best Point of View

Today’s guest post by Brigid Amos on Point of View (POV) brought to mind my own evolution as a writer. Mastering POV was vital to my becoming published. To conquer my head hopping habit, I forced myself to write an entire book, Spell Check, from a single point of view. My writing improved dramatically, and Spell Check became my first published novel. Spell Struck, the second book in my Young Adult Teen Wytche Saga, required alternating points of view. As Brigid explains, there is a way to successfully achieve this. My sixth book, the upcoming sequel to The Beltane Escape has been a challenge. Four points of view! Watch for more details on The Viking Mist.

Now please welcome Brigid Amos, author of the newly released A Fence Around Her, a Young Adult Historical novel.


One of the biggest decisions a writer makes when she begins a new story is choosing a point of view (POV). There are many ways to define POV, but I like to think of it as the means by which the writer guides the reader through the story and what she allows the reader to see, hear, and know. It is as if the reader arrives at a theater to watch a performance, and the writer is the usher who shows the reader to his seat. But the seat isn’t necessarily in the audience. Sometimes, it’s inside the head of one of the characters, sometimes, it is even inside the writer’s head. Where the reader sits will completely affect how he experiences the story. The usher can move the reader around during the performance, but must do so in such a way that he does not get confused and lose track of the story.

When I first started writing, I gravitated toward an omniscient point of view, or so I thought. I wanted to tell the reader what everyone was thinking and feeling, as if I were a camera floating about a scene, but one that could also dive in and out of characters’ heads at will and somehow record their thoughts. I think this tendency to the omniscient POV is very common among beginning writers. For me, it was probably an effect of being steeped in classic literature. But the problem was that I was not writing in a true omniscient POV. Instead, I was “head hopping,” that is, changing POV from one character to another and completely confusing the reader. I learned early on that if I were going to write in third person, I had to stick to one character for an entire chapter or at least an entire section. In this way, I could write in a close third person POV without getting into too much literary mischief.

When I started writing A Fence Around Her, I so strongly identified with my protagonist Ruthie Conoboy, that I naturally switched my usual close third person POV to first person POV. Ruthie tells her story directly to the reader, and when the reader comes to my theater, I seat her right there in Ruthie’s head so that she can look through Ruthie’s eyes and hear with Ruthie’s ears. When I was writing, I felt that I was Ruthie writing the story as if in a journal or diary. People always ask me if I journal. When I was studying for my Master’s degree years ago, I bought myself one of those cute little fabric covered blank books and dutifully filled the pages every day. Then I stopped, because frankly, journaling wasn’t as fun for me as it is for others. The strange thing is that when I write in first person, it feels as if I am journaling, but I’m doing it in character. And when I’m journaling from the point of view of one of my characters, it is most certainly fun!


Can a girl break free from her mother’s past?

About the book:

Having a mother with a past is never easy. For Ruthie Conoboy it becomes the struggle of a lifetime in 1900, the year Tobias Mortlock arrives in the gold mining town of Bodie, California. Ruthie is suspicious of this stranger, but her trusting father gives him a job in the stamp mill. Soon, Ruthie suspects that her mother and Mortlock have become more than friends. Can Ruthie stop this man from destroying her family?

Having a mother with a past is never easy. For Ruthie Conoboy it becomes the struggle of a lifetime in 1900, the year Tobias Mortlock arrives in the gold mining town of Bodie, California. Ruthie is suspicious of this stranger, but her trusting father gives him a job in the stamp mill. Soon, Ruthie suspects that her mother and Mortlock have become more than friends. Can Ruthie stop this man from destroying her family?

To read and excerpt and more, please visit Ariella Moon Blogspot.

A Fence Around Her is available on 

Amazon:  getBook.at/AFenceAroundHer

iTunes:   https://itun.es/us/qzAQeb.l

Kobo  Smashwords

About Brigid Amos:

Brigid Amos’ young adult historical fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, The Storyteller, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Words of Wisdom. A produced playwright, she co-founded the Angels Playwriting Collective and serves on the board of the Angels Theatre Company. She is also an active member of Women Writing the West and the Nebraska Writers Guild. Although Brigid left a nugget of her heart behind in the California Gold Country, most of it is in Lincoln, Nebraska where she currently lives with her husband.

Connecting with Brigid:

Join Brigid’s mailing list: http://www.brigidamos.com/mailing-list-signup.html

Like Brigid on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brigidamoswriter/?fref=ts

Follow Brigid on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brigid_Amos

Visit Brigid’s website:       http://www.brigidamos.com/




Writing Contest News!

Romance signMF

The Heart-to-Heart Contest for aspiring romance writers returns! The top three entries in each category will be judged by an agent and two editors.

This is a great contest for receiving valuable feedback. I look forward to once again, being a first round judge.

For details on how to enter, click here.

Book Signing News IMG_1228.JPG

Meet Me at B-Fest!

For book lovers in the Coachella Valley, please join me at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at Barnes and Noble in the Westfield Mall, Palm Desert. I will be signing The Beltane Escape and Spell Check, and giving away magical swag while supplies last.

5 Things You’ll Love Above Spell For Sophia

This week Astraea Press launched Spell For Sophia, the fourth book in my Young Adult paranormal series, the Teen Wytche Saga. There’s a lot for you to love in this contemporary time travel romance. Here are my top 5:

  1. Fan favorites are back! High schoolers Evie, Salem, Aidan, and Ainslie are back. This time the ever morphing spell book has gone dark, and the teens need special help to handle it.
  2. You’ll discover what happened to Sophia. Ainslie’s best friend  disappeared three years ago. Once the smartest kid in class, Sophia made one miscalculation. She trusted the wrong people…her lawless parents.
  3. New Orleans, Ghosts, & Zombies. The story toggles between California and Louisiana. You can’t be in the Big Easy and not encounter ghosts, voodoo, and zombies.
  4. Forbidden First Love. Sophia falls in love with the one boy she can never have – the grandson of a voodoo priestess. Try telling Breaux they can’t be together. He’ll risk his bright future and tumble through time to protect Sophia.
  5. A Paranormal Villain. In Spell Check the teens were up against a real witch of a math teacher. In Spell Struck, the gang faced ruthless gypsies. In Spell Fire, Ainslie fought mental illness and demons. But none of those foes compare to the evil Sophia faces.






Connect with Ariella Moon








The Three Most Haunted Cities in America

3 Most Haunted Cities In the USA

The Three Most Haunted Cities in the USA:

New Orleans, San Francisco, and San Antonio


Photo by Ariella Moon

Haunted cities aren’t the best place for a shaman. Horrific people and tragic events leave ominous or heartbreaking energy imprints on buildings, battlefields, prisons, and long-gone field hospitals. Luisah Teish, author of Jambalya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals  (Harper One 1985), identifies New Orleans and San Francisco as “psychic seaports.” In regard to New Orleans, Teish explains:

“Visitors to the city become `tipsy’ after being there only a short time. `Tipsy’ is the name given to that state of mind that precedes possession.”

I believe tourists drink heavily in New Orleans to dull the waves of psychic energy. Personally, I avoid the French Quarter even though I love its architecture. But research for my fourth novel in the Teen Wytche Saga, Spell For Sophia (November 2014, Astraea Press), compelled me to visit the Big Easy. Two months later, I landed in San Antonio for the Romance Writers of America national conference. San Francisco? After decades of living near “the city” I no longer feel its psychic pulse. But what should you do if you if you visit a haunted city?


The Alamo, as drawn in 1854
Source: en.wikipedia.org

3 Tips for Avoiding A Psychic Assault

  1. Research.Highly haunted cities have violent or catastrophic pasts and a high concentration of fatalities within a narrow vicinity. New Orleans has experienced multiple battles, slavery, plagues, and floods. It has also housed some notoriously macabre personalities. In San Antonio, roughly 800 people died during the 13-day siege at the Alamo. San Francisco lost an estimated 3,000 people during the 1906 earthquake and the fires that followed. Research will warn you which buildings and areas to avoid.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Looking toward the fire on Sacramento Street
Photo by Arnold Genthe
  1. Shield. Do not walk around with an Open-to-be-Haunted attitude. Nasty entities and energies will react as though issued an invitation to harass, frighten, and invade you. Instead, envision yourself completely covered by a silver psychic HAZMAT suit. Then mentally pull in the suit until it becomes a second-skin superhero suit. Visualize it deflecting unwanted energies and entities.
  1. Fight Magic With Magic. Wear an amulet, a magically charged protective item. In Spell For Sophia, Breaux, the grandson of a voodoo priestess, gives Sophia a silver dime on a red string to ward off evil. Some people wear a cross. Others carry jet, a stone that protects against evil spirits. An amulet could be a symbol of your ancestors or your totem animal. I wear amethyst, a healing stone that also wards off danger.

New Orleans, San Francisco, and San Antonio are beautiful cities, well worth visiting. Just be informed, shield, and wear or carry an amulet so you can have a magical time minus the evil entities.

~Ariella Moon

Copyright 2014 Ariella Moon

Teen Wytche Saga banner

Countdown: Spell For Sophia, Book # 4, The Teen Wytche Saga

Great news!

Spell For Sophia, the fourth book in my Teen Wytche Saga will debut in November!

Spell For Sophia is a Young Adult, sweet paranormal romance.
The teens protecting the ever morphing spell book return, and this time they’ll have to deal with a teen ghost, a murderous villain, and voodoo spells.
Two of the teens will time travel to one of the most haunted cities in America.

The editing process has begun, and I am super excited to team up again with my editor, Nia Shay. My publisher, Astraea Press, has promised Amanda Matthews will do the cover. Here are the covers Amanda did for the first three books:

Spell Check New CoverSpellStruck_500x750SpellFire2_500x750

Did you know you can loan the Teen Wytche Saga books through the library?

Follow the links below to Overdrive, the online library. (Most Astraea Press books can be found there, too.)


@astraeapress, @overdrivelibs

Be sure to hop over to http://www.ariellamoon.blogspot.com and scroll through the older posts until you come to the giveaway. There is still a little time left to enter the giveaway for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

 Happy reading!


The Writing Process

Writing Process Blog Tour

Tag you’re it! Do you remember playing that game as a child? In the modern, cyber world version, Tag takes the form of a rolling blog tour where authors writing in all genres “tag” each other to blog about their writing process.

My thanks to Dee Bat, for tagging me!

What am I working on?

I am up to my ankles in alligators and swamp spells Image

as my Teen Wytche Saga takes an unexpected (I sure didn’t plan on it!) ride down the bayou for book four. The saga has evolved into a paranormal Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, with a spell book that gets passed among an expanding group of teens. The spell book keeps morphing into different forms of magic. In book four, the spell book goes voodoo. Ainslie Avalon-Bennett, the OCD driven heroine from Spell Fire, hopes cracking the spell book’s latest magic will lead her to her missing friend, Sophia. To do so, she must find someone knowledgeable in voodoo, powerful enough to control the grimoire, and trustworthy enough not to steal it. Easy, right?

(Photo credit: Loro Parque Alligator by Eistrerer, wikimedia)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A lot of paranormal Young Adult books are very dark and involve depressing worlds I wouldn’t want to visit. I write for the middle grade and high school kids who read to escape the angst and violence around them. My characters deal with tough subjects. Mental illness. Sibling rivalry. Death of a parent. Loss of a close friend. Secrets. But in my books, there is always hope, and usually romance. Magic doesn’t solve the problem. It usually creates more problems.I am a professional shaman and Reiki Master. My life is steeped in magic and energy work. I hope that authenticity differentiate my books from others in the genre. Book four presents new challenges for me because it involves voodoo, a system of magic I’ve never used. (I have managed to slip in one shamanic scene so far.) I’m looking forward to resuming work on book five in the Teen Wytche Saga, because the heroine of that novel is teen shaman.

Why do I write what I do?

I am incapable of writing a story that doesn’t contain paranormal elements. Believe me, I’ve tried! I think I write sweet teen romances because they represent an ideal. Teens are pressured to grow up so quickly. Their lives are played out in social media where every miscue, mistake, and violence against them is posted for posterity. My books contain serious and even heartbreaking situations, but they also contain hope and triumph.

How does my writing process work?

I like to have some idea where I’m going. Each book has three acts. A hot pink post-it reminds me how many pages should be in each act. One glance tells me if my plotting is off. With my current work, I’ve moved chapters around. So I have ten pages left to lead up to the cliffhanger that will end Act I. Because of the restructuring, Act II is partially written and is told in a different viewpoint than Act I. With each book in the series, I try to change things up a bit regarding Point of View.

Since my work in progress has proven to be such a challenge, my current process involves a lot of constructive procrastination. I think/plot best when I’m moving, so I’ve been dragging my two dogs on three long walks a day. We put in three to four miles daily, which is a lifesaver since I have a wicked sugar addiction.Image

I try to get the first walk, email, and social media obligations met by ten or eleven in the morning so I can accomplish some writing before lunch. After lunch, I do another Internet sweep then write before the second walk. If I can get in more writing before dinner, I feel particularly virtuous. On any given day, I may I run up against walls that force me to do more research before I can continue with the story.

In writing the Teen Wytche Saga, I need to keep the overall arc of the series in mind as well as the arc of each character and individual book.

My thanks again to Dee Bat, http://the1940mysterywriter.weebly.com/blog.html for tagging me. In my mind, I am running down the gravel road on Moon Drive where I grew up. Sneakers scrunch against the gravel as I chase a shrieking group of authors.

Yay! LaVerne St. George has stepped forward and said, “Tag me!” LaVerne will post about her writing process on March 31 at www.lavernestgeorge.blogspot.com





Spell Struck Nominated for 2014 RONE Award

2013_RONE_Nominee_200I know you aren’t supposed to favor one child over another (I solved that by only having one), or one of your books over another, but Spell Struck, the second book in my Teen Wytche Saga has always been my favorite. Sure, I love my first born, Spell Check, and my most recent novel, Spell Fire, but Salem and Aidan’s story is my favorite. So I am particularly pleased to announce

Spell Struck has been nominated for the 2014 RONE Award in the Young Adult Paranormal category.

Public voting for this category begins April 14, 2014