Authors Talk . . . Alex Flinn’s, The Kendra Chronicles




“In my mind . . . I try to write books a
gym suit girl might enjoy.”

I write my first drafts longhand. At first, I did that because I didn’t own a computer. Then, I borrowed a memory typewriter and finally purchased a computer three years after I began writing. A year later Breathing Underwater was finished then accepted.

I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit [sic]. I’m continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit [sic] girl might enjoy. It’s a way of going back to being thirteen . . . knowing what I know now.

Alex Flinn is the author of ten novels including Beastly, a #1 New York Times bestseller which has been made into a motion picture.  She has four other fairy tale-based novels, A Kiss in Time, Cloaked, Bewitching, and her most recent, Towering, a modern retelling of Rapunzel.  Her first novel, Breathing Underwater, was named an ALA Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults and is the only novel included in Liz Claiborne’s “Love is Not Abuse” dating violence prevention curriculum for schools.  Her books have received honors including Best Books for Young Adults, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, International Reading Association Young Adult Choices, and Junior Library Guild selection, as well as local and state readers’ choice awards.  She is a non-practicing attorney who lives with her husband, daughters, and way too many pets in Miami, Florida.   Her novel, Mirrored, a retelling of the Snow White story, will be published in 2015.


Mirror, mirror in my hand…


Beauty is the key to everything. At least, that’s how it seems
to Violet—ugly, bullied, and lonely. To be beautiful, in her eyes, is to have power and love. And when Kendra, the witch, teaches Violet how to use magic, she may finally get what she

For Celine, beautiful since birth, her looks have been a hindrance. She discovers that beauty is also a threat —especially to her stepmother, Violet, who doesn’t want anyone sharing the attention she worked so hard to get and who will do anything to be the fairest of them all.

But beauty isn’t only skin deep and love isn’t based on looks alone. And though Violet and Celine may seem to be completely opposite, their lives are almost…MIRRORED.


YArns Weakly © September 29, 2015 by Geneva Hagelstein





Fabricated Stories . . . MIRROR, Mirror, on the WALL, Who is the FAIRest of Them ALL?


My husband loves me desperately and the feeling is mutual. He tells me ALWAYS that I am beautiful. Honestly, for a long time I jokingly compared him to ‘Shallow Hal’ who lovingly saw me through the ‘eyes of love,’ not really seeing my flaws. Recently, I changed my mind about the way I viewed my husband’s viewpoint because I finally gave myself permission to like my flaws. Yes, I LIKE MY FLAWS because they are NOT FLAWS. I am what I am, perfectly me.

I have always struggled with my weight for  my entire life. I still struggle with my image like most women in America because from the time we are born, identity with beauty is so engrained into our psyche that we are NEVER SATISFIED with our PERSONAL beauty. I was STRUCK by the lyrics and the performance of Beyonce’s, a/k/a Bouncy to me, of PRETTY HURTS. James Madison University Acapella Choir’s video performance is outstanding and gives such a poignant VOICE to the way we view PRETTY.  .  .

Pretty HURTS . . . soul surgery . . . Pretty HURTS!

Pretty HURTS . . . It’s the soul that needs the surgery . . . Pretty HURTS!

We must do a better job as a nation of mentoring young ones to accept who they are, give themselves PERMISSION to be who they are, love themselves and foster in them the courage to strive to reach their individual potential without the barriers of image that stunt their potential.

© YArns Weakly, September 2015,  written by G. Hagelstein

Series in Review . . . The Harvesters of Light Trilogy by S.J. West

Series in Review . . . The Harvesters of Light Trilogy by S.J. West

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S.J. West creates a fantastic dystopian world  with a pleasant ending, unlike some recent best selling series turned into films for the Young Adult reading audience. The Harvester of Light Trilogy combines queens and kingdoms, cast systems and Sci-Fi super beings along with the quantum physics of time travel and multi dimensional planes. The pacing of the series is incredible, action packed events that keep young readers traveling through complicated physical and emotional dilemmas challenging their intellect as well as their moral compass. Clearly, West’s love for the sciences are served here written in the lines of well developed characters that are loved and at times equally detested. West proves that angst is not all trivial dribble relegated to romance but to serious decision making that well rounds the characters in the series of books.

© Geneva Hagelstein @ YArnsweakly —

Sandy-Pic-KLP-nose-fixed-and-hair3Once upon a time, a little girl was born on a cold winter morning in the heart of Seoul, Korea. She was brought to America by her parents and raised in the Deep South where the words ma’am and y’all became an integrated part of her lexicon. She wrote her first novel at the age of eight and continued writing on and off during her teenage years. In college she studied biology and chemistry and finally combined the two by earning a master’s degree in biochemistry. After that she moved to Yankee land where she lived for four years working in a laboratory at Cornell University. Homesickness and snow aversion forced her back South where she lives in the land which spawned Jim Henson, Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, John Grisham and B.B. King. After finding her Prince Charming, she gave birth to a wondrous baby girl and they all lived happily ever after.

Series in Review . . . Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee


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Outstanding ending to a great series by Susan Ee. Penryn and Raffe finally come to terms with a strained, at times, but loving relationship as well as Raffe’s struggle to reclaim his honor and pride as a leader of angels. The apocalyptic state of earth provides dynamic vistas that pull you into the seriously unsettled and dangerous lives of characters carefully crafted by Ms. Ee. Readers have become ensconced by the familiar characters by now after reading the previous books, but Ms. Ee manages to introduce new larger-than-life characters and time-hopping in the third edition of the series. I liked how Ms. Ee develops close relationships without relying on the graphic nature of blatant sexual innuendo and gratuitous sex. The books are great for the YA audience and very well developed characters that even this aging adult enjoyed. Please do consider the set, I. E., do read all 3 books in the Penryn and the End of Days series. You are in for a great urban fantasy complete with romance, angels, demons and time travel. Enjoy the trip. -g

Susan Ee, AuthorSusan Ee is the bestselling author of the Penryn & the End of Days series which takes place in the San Francisco bay area. The first book, ANGELFALL, is being translated into 20 languages around the world. The second book, WORLD AFTER, was released to international acclaim. The film rights to the series have been optioned by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Good Universe. Susan used to be a lawyer but loves being a writer because it allows her imagination to bust out and go feral.

Latest RAVEs & FAVs . . .Peryn & The End of Days Series by Susan Ee


Talks With Authors Online . . . HM Ward


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I have recently been following the career of Indie writer, Holley Ward. I find her work to be emotionally charged. Ward tackles some complex emotional relationships in her body of work with such heart-felt sensitivity that the characters become very real from book to book. I like how Indie writers like Ward use the series to extend a character’s development from book to book. I also admire the tactical way these authors go about promoting their works. The tightly bonded groups of authors work together to help each other sell their works.

I also admire how Ward stays in touch with her followers even when juggling deadlines, personal health challenges and professional obstacles that present when trying to publish her works. I was amazed that most authors post themselves on social media and comment directly to followers. I was delighted when a writer actually posted a response to me personally. I have to say that I was shocked how rude some followers could be, almost demanding the next book release!  Social media has its good points and bad ones alike.

I have posted a link below that is an example of how authors like Ward are actively working for change dealing with publishing giants and “business as usual.” Happy Friday! –g

Exception vs. Rule


Loosing one’s independence is a life changing experience. I have always been a “self-starter” who stops only when the confidence I am on the right path fades. TIME for problem solving consultation and restart!

As a rule we react to the circumstances of loosing independence generally in one of two ways: you retreat inside yourself, never to return, only if someone strongly insists you return or you become the exception, reinventing yourself, determined to discover a new path and embrace the challenges in your life. I have retreated in the past for a time, but the Universe put people in my path who insisted I had more work to do.  I choose to be the exception rather than the rule. Let the journey begin!    –g




© YArns Weekly, June 2014, edited July 2014 by G. Hagelstein