Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tyler

Yesterday, December 15, was Tyler's 2nd birthday.

For those of you who missed it, 2 years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who had a heart that was medically (and I believe, metaphorically) too big for this world. He was kept on life support until it was all too much and five days into this world, he went to Heaven.
You can read the full post on the experience here.
In short, it was amazing. We had the best doctors and even better nurses, who I believe were sent and placed there for us for this event and time in our life--and for Tyler. These women were beautiful inside and out, strong, and compassionate and they helped me get through a time no mother should ever have to experience. I can never, ever express the depth of my gratitude and love for these women or for the UVA hospital--the doctors and staff who were there for us and for our baby. It was a sad time but also a time full of miracles and everywhere I looked, I saw the good.

Since then, I have tried to see that good every single day. It IS there, if you're looking. People are compassionate and giving and life IS exciting and rewarding. My renewed outlook on life centers around two truths: One is the fragility of life. We are not promised tomorrow. We have only today, only this life. And it's up to us to live it fully. To experience NOW. To never wait to say or do what it is we feel and what is important to us. I have had such a blast living that way and done some of the most exciting things I never thought I'd get to do--and I wouldn't have, if I'd continued to have an "I'll do it later" attitude.

One of the biggest so far is the start of my author coaching business, Phoenix, where I can help others do exactly what I've done and that is to create a career of freedom and full-time income doing what I love while still spending plenty of time with the people I love. Some others are: standing on stage at a Zac Brown Band concert to a sold out crowd, meeting Plain White Ts, owning and riding a motorcycle!, Visiting Colorado (on my bucket list) and seeing the mountains for the first time, vacationing in the Dominican Republic and sipping a margarita on a white sandy beach!, standing front and center at an Andy Grammer concert (his music inspires me to press on and achieve my dreams!), visiting New Orleans for the first time, travelling multiple times a year for pleasure, and SO MUCH MORE.

My point is this: do it now. Whatever "it" is--stop waiting. What if "that day" never comes and you die without doing "IT"???

The second thing I've become aware of and centered around is a collective connection we all share with one another. The entire world is a collective consciousness. Have you ever had a great idea that feels inspired by the Universe itself only to hear someone else has started or done something similar shortly after?
Me too.
And I think it's awesome because it's a sign we're all connected. To a higher power and to each other. How cool is that??
In honor of seizing the day, our birthday present to Tyler was the gift of making someone else's life better or making their dream come true, through a Kiva loan.
If you're unfamiliar, Kiva works like this:
You make a loan on Kiva. All Kiva loans are made possible by our Field Partners, who vet, administer, and disburse each loan. Throughout the life of the loan, you will see progress updates from Kiva through your email, and if you come back to the site.As the borrower repays the loan, the money becomes available in your account. This is called your Kiva Credit. You can now use it to fund another loan, donate it to Kiva, or withdraw it to spend on something else.
Who do you loan to? 
There are hundreds of stories and potential borrowers listed on the site. This year, my kids and I chose someone from Senegal. A single mother who will use to money to buy fresh vegetables to resell in her local market. She will use the profits from her business to pay for her children's schooling. 

Basically, this is awesome. 
It helps someone else live a better life NOW and it connects us. 
If you're looking for a way to honor someone or give back in any way, Kiva is it. 

This entire week is a way for me to look back and remember those beautiful five days and be grateful for that time as well as all the time I get now to make my life the best it can possibly be. This is something I can do for Tyler and for myself, to honor him. And through it all, I've had unending support from my reader and author friends and I am SO grateful for every single one of you. I didn't set out to be an example or inspiration, but for those of you that have told me I am that for you, it warms me to know my story--Tyler's story--is able to help in making your life better and to connect us. 

Happy Birthday, Tyler.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Interview with Liz Long, YA Author

Friday Fun: An author to author interview series by the Society of YA Storytellers. Author Liz Long stopped by the blog today for a fun Friday the 13th author interview. You can find me returning the favor here
Thanks for stopping by, Liz. I can't wait to check out your books!

What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Brita pitcher, sweet tea, spaghetti leftovers, maybe butter and cream cheese, and sandwich meat. Hunh. Sounds like I need a grocery store trip.

If you got arrested, what would be your crime?
Honestly? Probably verbally assaulting an idiot.

Werewolf or Vampire? 
Werewolf - they can walk around in the daylight, too. Plus, that whole drinking blood thing sort of gives me the heebs AND the jeebs.

If you took the aptitude test from Divergent, which faction would you be assigned to?
I'd say Amity (the Peaceful). I'm laidback and pretty upbeat, plus I'm definitely more a creative type than anything else. I like to keep the peace and avoid confrontation.

What is your favorite scary movie? 
Scary movies aren't high on my preferred watching list, but I've always remembered Scream really setting that sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat bar.

You write YA and we have to know: Describe yourself as a teenager:
I was pretty quiet and preferred keeping to myself and reading a lot. I had plenty of friends and participated in things like Colorguard/marching band and Yearbook, but I spent far more time sitting alone on my balcony under the stars, writing in journals and obsessing over Harry Potter.

About you, as the writer:

What do you write?

What are you working on now?
I'm about to release my third book: Burned, A Donovan Circus Novel, which is the second in the series. Next up is an NA title with a unique twist on Reapers.

Which of your characters is most like you?
I would probably have to say Lucy - while I'm not as fiery as her, I tend to let my snark get ahead of me. I also try to think logically about all my options, and above all value my relationships with family and friends. 

About LIz:
I am lucky enough to have my dream job as the Social Media Editor atLeisureMedia360, where I run the social sites (blogs, website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) for our publications: The RoanokerBlue Ridge Country, and bridebook. I also write articles for print issues, though my focus is online content. I will be leading social media workshops at the 2014Roanoke Writers Conference and over the next year for work-related interests. I was an editor and writer at Bella Magazine, as well as a marketing associate at a small book publishing firm in Nashville, TN. I’ve also worked for publicity in radio and newspaper. (Now you know I have some experience with the articles I write for you.)
And if that doesn’t do it for you, I was a hipster and did the fan fiction writing and online socializing thing back when the Internet was still a baby. Now I wish someone had taught me code so I could’ve built Facebook (and subsequently a small fortune) first.
Let’s rock this. Got questions or comments? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at!
Twitter: @LizCLong

Thanks, Liz! Happy Friday the 13th!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Vampy, Sleepy Beauty

A few weeks ago I had the experience and privilege of hanging with a most awesome group of fifth graders. We talked about working in your PJs and what it takes to create a story and "why haven't you made your books into movies?" (Good question. Hollywood...? Anything... ?)
We also wrote our own story together, just to show how fun the process of creating can be. There were two classes and two stories. The first is a Zompire Love Story, which you can read here. This is the second:
BTW-our future authors have some crazy, awesome imaginations!
I had SO MUCH FUN with you guys!

A Vampy, Sleepy Beauty

Once there was a girl named Kate who, through a paranormal curse from an evil vampire, became trapped in permanent sleep. Doctors came and went. Her mom even hired healers, shamans, and medicine men but no one could figure out how to wake her up. One day, her boyfriend Shawn came over. He was a vampire but he still had a good heart. Shawn loved Kate and would do anything to save her. Someone had told him the only way to heal Kate was to bite her. He didn't want to. He was scared to hurt her. But nothing else had worked.
Shawn waited until Kate's mom had left the room and then he bit her.

There was a lot of blood. It ran onto Kate's bed and the floor, staining Shawn's sneakers. 
Kate's mom came in and screamed and Shawn ran out just as Kate woke up. 
Kate opened her eyes and when she saw her mom standing there, Kate's fangs came out and her stomach growled.
She jumped out of bed and tried to bite her mom. Kate's mom ran into the basement and called the police. 
Kate was captured and locked away in a mental hospital. She insisted she wasn't crazy--she was a vampire. But humans didn't believe in vampires. So they kept her locked up in a padded room.
One day, Kate's childhood friend, Kody Bahnks, came to visit her.
Kody was a werewolf. He'd moved away because he couldn't let anyone find out, but when he heard Kate was a vampire, he wanted to help. and he wanted a friend again. 
Kody promised Kate he would help her get free.
One night, when the moon was hidden in the clouds, Kody broke into the hospital  and freed Kate. 
Prison Cell by Chapboy, DeviantArt

They decided to run away together but first they had to stop at Shawn's one last time so Kate could say goodbye. He was the one that saved her from the sleeping curse, after all. 
When Shawn saw that Kody was a werewolf he became very angry. 
"You can't leave with him," Shawn yelled. "He's our enemy!"
"He is my friend. He helped me escape," Kate yelled back. She tried not to cry. She was already sad because she had missed Shawn. She didn't want to fight with him on their last night together. 
Kody growled at Shawn. Shawn bared his fangs. Before Kate could say anything, the two boys leaped on each other, fighting and biting and wrestling the other to the ground. 
"Stop!" Kate screamed but neither boy listened. 
Kate jumped in between them and wedged herself in front of Shawn's raised fist. "Stop," she repeated. "You can't find about this. Or about me."
Shawn stepped back. "Fine," said Shawn. "But I love you, so you have to choose one of us."
Kate looked at Kody. "He's right," Kody said. "Choose one. You can't have both."
Kate was sad. She loved Shawn but Kody had been her friend since she was a kid. And both had saved her. She couldn't give up either one.
She hesitated and a noise came from the darkness behind her. 
"Look out," Shawn yelled, his eyes wide. 
But Kate didn't move in time. 
Something grabbed her wrist in a tight grip and lifted her clear off the ground.
She screamed as her feet scraped the grass and then lifted higher before carrying her up into the clouds.
The boys yelled and stared after her, trying to see which direction she'd gone, but the darkness swallowed her up. 
The only thing they could see was a white trail of whatever ghostly kidnapper had taken the girl they loved.
To be continued.... (maybe.)

--Story by Mrs. Strohecker's Fifth Grade Class.

Side note--I want to mention an awesome giveaway going on right now: UtopYA's Unofficial 25 days of Giveaways has officially begun! 2 Kindle Fires up for grabs, loaded with books, and a prize pack every day from now until Christmas!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ultimate Black Friday Book Sale & Giveaway!

Black Friday might be the ultimate shopping day, but it's also the ultimate crowd of crazies. If you'd rather skip the mommas wrestling for a new sheet set in the middle of Wal-Mart, shop online and grab some deals on both of our favorite things... BOOKS!!!
Here's my list of best book buys for the Black Friday weekend:

Dreamwalker by Andrea Heltsley 

Meant For Her by Raine Thomas

Sacrificed in Shadow by SM Reine

The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Imitation by ME!
AND if you buy the paperback from Amazon for $11, get the kindle version FREE!

Skinless by LM Davis

The Indie Author Guide: A Self-Publisher's Toolbox by ME!


Dirty Little Secrets by Liliana Hart

Now, for the giveaway. A $50 Amazon GC is being given along with Flash giveaways on our Facebook event page. Hang around there and good things will happen! Now, have a safe Black Friday weekend. And don't get crazy. Or at least don't let anyone take a picture of it. #socialmediatellsall

Facebook Event Page for Black Friday Extravaganza!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Zompire Love Story

About three weeks ago, I had the privilege of hanging with my daughter's fifth grade class. I talked to them about what it is I do (sit around in my PJs all day and make money for telling lies--they think that sounds awesome) and how exactly I go about plotting a new story. 
I decided to show them and so we used the white board and our imaginations and we plotted a story of our own. Everyone contributed and when we were finished forty minutes later, we had the coolest concept and even a brand new paranormal species! 
It's so good, I had to share it with you. These kids rock and I had such a blast. Definitely worth putting real pants on! 

This is our story:

A Zompire Love Story

by Mrs. Strohecker's fifth grade class, Birdneck Elementary School

Once there was a very pretty human girl named Britney Spears. She was a cheerleader and was very happy and cheerful all the time. In the same town lived a boy named Jeff Dixon, who had some time ago, been turned into a zombie. How much time, he couldn’t remember exactly. Zombies’ brains were sort of mushy and forgetful. Jeff Dixon played football because, in their town, if you were good at sports, even zombies were accepted on the team—as long as they kept all of their limbs intact. Jeff worked really hard at keeping his arms and legs attached, even when the bigger guys tackled him.
Jeff also played football for another reason. For as far back as his mushy, guts-for-dinner-craving brain could remember, he was in love with Britney Spears. At practice, he would stare at her across the field. Her pleated skirt and sunny smile always made his dead emotions flicker to life. Sometimes she would pass by him on the way to the locker room. He would time it just right and pretend to bump her, but every time, he would only manage a stuttered, “Sorry,” before she’d skip off to her waiting friends.
Jeff wished his legs wouldn’t fall off if he tried to keep up as she ran away.
One day, Britney didn’t run off. In fact, it looked like it was she who slowed down and waited for him. She slowed down and matched her slow pace to his as they headed to the locker rooms. When she said hello and smiled, it felt like his heart had dropped into his stomach—maybe it had. He’d heard of that happening to other zombies.
Britney started waiting for Jeff every day after practice. Soon, they began hanging out on the weekends. Britney was so happy and cheerful, it made Jeff feel better. Britney loved how Jeff’s jokes made her laugh.
One night, after Jeff walked Britney to her door, he leaned in and kissed her. He waited for her to yell or complain but she didn’t. She kissed him back. From that day on, Jeff kissed Britney whenever he could. He liked kissing her more than he liked football. It made Britney nervous but she liked Jeff a lot and so she kissed him anyway.

One day, Jeff kissed Britney so hard that he lost control. His zombie senses took over and he accidentally bit down on her face. Britney screamed and ran home but it was too late. The next morning, Britney woke up a zombie. She tried to forgive Jeff and so she kissed him again the next day, but this time her jaw fell off. Britney cried and began running home. Jeff got so upset, he tried to run after her, but his leg fell off and he couldn’t reach her.
Britney was devastated. She broke up with Jeff and told him she never wanted to speak again.
A few weeks later, a new boy came to school. His name was Trevor Smith and he was a vampire. He was really cute and nice to Britney. He didn’t even care that she was a zombie with a re-attached jaw. Soon, Britney became Trevor’s girlfriend.
Jeff watched the two of them and even watched Trevor when Britney wasn’t around. He knew Trevor was evil and that he only pretended to be good for Britney. Jeff tried warning Britney but she wouldn’t listen. One day, Trevor caught Jeff spying on him and got angry. Trevor walked up to Jeff and threatened him saying, “If you don’t leave right now, I’ll make you leave.”
Jeff looked at Britney and knew he couldn’t back down. He said, “No.”
Trevor lunged at Jeff and they began to fight. Britney yelled for them to stop but they didn’t listen. Soon, Jeff’s arm fell off and Trevor pinned him on the ground. Britney yelled again, begging him not to hurt Jeff any more. Trevor looked at her and said, “I don’t care about him—or anyone else.” And Britney knew Jeff was right; Trevor was evil.
Britney shoved Trevor and Jeff crawled free and did the only thing he could do to win: he bit Trevor. Trevor screamed and bit down on Jeff’s arm, but it was too late. Zombie bites were like poison to vampires and Trevor shook and fell down and died.
Jeff shivered in the corner and when Britney went to help, she could see something different about him. His eyes were red like a vampire but his skin and organs were still dead like a zombie.
“Jeff, what’s happening?” Britney asked.
“I think I’m both now,” he said.
“So, like, a … zompire?”
“Yes. A Zompire,” Jeff said.
“I don’t care. I love you anyway,” said Britney.
Britney kissed Jeff and helped him reattach his arm and they lived happily ever after, a zombie and a zompire.

The End

Monday, November 18, 2013

Phoenix: Author Ink --$200 PRIZE!

The big day is here!!! *throws confetti* *dances in a dizzying circle*

Phoenix: Author Ink, my author consulting business, launches today!!! To mark its launch and its purpose, I am also releasing The Indie Author Guide: A Self-Publisher’s Toolbox. It’s a how-to-when-to guide that delivers MORE THAN the necessary information each aspiring author should know as they build their own publishing business and release their first book along with a specific timeline for when you should be implementing all of these tools.
I am so excited to “give back” with all of the awesome things I’ve learned throughout my journey as a self-published author. I can’t wait to share it all with you! 

The Indie Author Guide: A Self-Publisher’s Toolbox

Whether you’re an aspiring author or have been published for a year, this guide is full of information, links, and support sites that can help increase sales and streamline your business as a self-published author. This guide is not like other self-help books on publishing. It includes very specific how-to instructions along with a timeline so you also know when to implement each item. If you’re looking for vague instructions or easy banter, this guide is NOT for you. If you need a little sarcastic humor and someone in your ear telling you to get off your butt and make your dream happen, this IS the guide for you!
What’s inside:
–An extensive list of links to editors, cover artists, formatters, and bloggers is included. 
–Marketing, blog tours, release day blitzes
–Formatting, cover art and artists for hire, editors, what to ask when hiring out
–Garnering reviews, how and where to meet bloggers
–Where to find review groups, beta readers, critique partners
–Branding, blogging, and social media
–Time management, daily goals, sales strategies, what works, what doesn’t.
All of this and more is included in this hold-your-hand-style guide.
Heather Hildenbrand is the YA and NA author of more than eight novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She is a co-founder of Accendo Press, a collaborative publishing effort dedicated to publishing stories that ignite the imagination, a fiction author, and the owner of Phoenix, an author consultant and coaching company that provides support and information for new and experienced self-published authors as they navigate the waters of self-publishing and marketing.

For more information on Phoenix and what I offer, visit

What people are saying:

"The Indie Guide is a must read for new writers, or writers that are still just bumping their heads in frustration with the business! Hildenbrand knows what you need and gives it to you, both barrels!" –Misty Provencher, Author of the Cornerstone Series 

“Breaking into the writing industry can be a scary process, but Heather's Indie Guide provides you with a plethora of knowledge to make the leap a little less intimidating. With step by step instructions and suggestions on where to go no matter where you are on your journey, the Indie Guide can be your road map to creating an amazing opportunity for yourself.” –Megan Curd, Author of Steel Lily

And as a thank-you-slash-I-am-so-excited-to-be-here gift, I am offering one lucky winner the chance to work one-on-one with me for ONE MONTH of encouraging, butt-kicking, accountability-induced inspiration and HELP as you get ready to publish or boost your marketing platform HUGELY. You will get phone consultations and in-depth planning sessions and at the end of the 30 days, you will feel so much better, more focused, and excited about your business!
There are also two awesome prize packs with signed books up for grabs, because, yeah, BOOKS. It’s why we’re here. I hope you’ll spread the word about Phoenix as well as The Indie Author Guide and get yo’self entered to win! Good Luck!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Indie Author Guide and you guys

Today, I have a new cover for you guys and while it might not be quite as breathakingly exciting as my fiction covers, it's a thrill for me because it's a brand new accomplishment in my skill set. Non-fiction!

On Monday, November 18, I am releasing The Indie Author Guide: A Self-Publisher's Toolbox. This is a how-to-when-to guide designed to help new and even established authors navigate their author business. It's exciting for me because it's a way to pay forward all of the cool things I've learned as an author and businessperson. And it's a way to help others go (or, in some cases, NOT GO) where I've been. And I love that my knowledge gets to help someone else along this awesome publishing journey!

Here is the awesome and eye-catching cover by the lovely Emily Tippets:

About The Indie Author Guide: A Self-Publisher’s Toolbox

Whether you’re an aspiring author or have been published for a year, this guide is full of information, links, and support sites that can help increase sales and streamline your business as a self-published author. This guide is not like other self-help books on publishing. It includes very specific how-to instructions along with a timeline so you also know when to implement each item. If you’re looking for vague instructions or easy banter, this guide is NOT for you. If you need a little sarcastic humor and someone in your ear telling you to get off your butt and make your dream happen, this IS the guide for you!
What’s inside:
–An extensive list of links to editors, cover artists, formatters, and bloggers is included. 
–Marketing, blog tours, release day blitzes
–Formatting, cover art and artists for hire, editors, what to ask when hiring out
–Garnering reviews, how and where to meet bloggers
–Where to find review groups, beta readers, critique partners
–Branding, blogging, and social media
–Time management, daily goals, sales strategies, what works, what doesn’t.
All of this and more is included in this hold-your-hand-style guide.
Heather Hildenbrand is the YA and NA author of more than eight novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She is a co-founder of Accendo Press, a collaborative publishing effort dedicated to publishing stories that ignite the imagination, a fiction author, and the owner of Phoenix, an author consultant and coaching company that provides support and information for new and experienced self-published authors as they navigate the waters of self-publishing and marketing.
In January 2011, I published my first book, a YA high fantasy called Across the Galaxy. It's been almost three years and the best roller coaster ride ever. I've learned a lot and met so many amazing people along the way. In a very short time, business connections and acquaintances have become the best friends I have ever had. Self-publishing was truly the best business decision I've ever made. I haven't regretted it, not once. And I'm not the only one who counts this as a great decision. Nor am I the only one who learned the hard way. If I can make your journey easier, more enjoyable, more rewarding ... I'm happy.

If you're writing or have written a novel and are contemplating self-publishing, I hope you'll pick up a copy of The Indie Guide or email me for help. Along with the Guide I am launching Phoenix: Author Ink, a company designed to coach and mentor authors as they build their brand and their business. I also provide story help in the way of content editing and feedback. The company officially launches on Monday so look for a contest with a SWEET prize pack and I hope you'll help spread the word!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Phoenix and My Next, Next

First off, I have to give a huge SQUEEEEEEE from the events of last weekend when I met Maghon from Happy Tails and Tales. She is my self-proclaimed stalker, quite possibly the biggest fan of my Dirty Blood series, and most definitely the president of #TeamAlex! I was in New Orleans for the day and she drove in with her friend Bonnie and OMG, I tried alligator meat and we had a blast at Pat O'Brien's!! We talked about strawberry beer, motorcycles, and airboats, along with all of the "crazy" that sets apart New Orleans from my corner of the world in Virginia. Alcohol was consumed before noon. In short, we had the best time and I just LOVE that my life involved meeting people as awesome as Maghon and then spending face-time together. I am so grateful for every friendships I've made with bloggers since becoming an author. Bloggers are the best!
I also tried escargot (snails!!!! WHAT?!), spent the evening on Bourbon Street on Friday night, AND found out they sell what is basically adult Slurpees. It was an entire row of machines of the sweet, slushy stuff but with alcohol. Mine was Mango and it was delicious!

Mmm. Yummy! ... And ninja-like because it WILL sneak up on you! 

Okay. Now to answer the question everyone keeps asking… What am I working on next?

I spent some time on Maghon's blog yesterday answering that question, but I also want you to hear it directly from me here. Basically what happened is that a couple of months ago, I was reading through some notes I’d taken while at UtopYA from the various panels. And I got to thinking about all of the new authors I’d met and how clueless we all are when we start out. I know I was. And I thought about all the awesome readers and bloggers and cover artists and the spiderweb of connections that is needed to get these awesome indie books into readers’ hands.
And it got me thinking…
What if there was someone to help new and aspiring authors? Like a coach or a mentor who laid out all of the paths and bread crumbs in an easy-to-follow trail of information? A timeline; not so much a how-to, but also a when-to ….?
If I’d had someone guiding me through the muddy waters and rough seas of publishing back then, I would have saved so much time and effort and money. Not that I regret the journey because it’s been awesome and I’ve met so many fantastic new friends but—there’s something to be said about working smarter and all that.
Many aspiring authors I’ve met are readers-turned-fellow authors, so, basically, YOU GUYS. And I couldn’t have gotten where I am without you, so this is my way of giving it back or paying it forward—or all of the above.
Phoenix is a company I’ve designed specifically for guiding and mentoring authors through self-publishing and the business that follows. Marketing, promoting, how to meet bloggers, because I heart bloggers to the ends of the earth—All of it will be covered in a guide I am publishing later this month. 

In addition to the information contained will be links galore! Cover artists, editors, bloggers- all of the people you need to hook up with to get a book published and promoted. Like I said, it’s all of the information I never had and always wanted—and I’m offering it to you.

Along with The Guide, Phoenix will offer consultations to build on the information contained in the book (Q & A time with me!), coaching or mentoring on a monthly basis, and content editing and feedback on your rough draft.

Look for more information and an official release/launch date and PARTY (#freestuffforyouguys) coming very soon! 

Now, because I know you’re all asking what I’m doing NEXT, NEXT… As in, what FICTION book am I writing after this fantastical company launch I speak of? Let me tell you because I am so excited about that!! 

I am going to be working on Imitation #2 AND the sequel to A Risk Worth Taking. It’s called A Bet Worth Making and it’s Casey’s story. *cheesy grin* Both are stories I can’t wait to share with all of you! There's a special secret involving Imitation that I will have more information about next month so stay tuned for that. We will definitely talk soon.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A RISK WORTH TAKING Blog Tour and Release-day Blitz!


A RISK WORTH TAKING released today and now I'm going to tell you what we have planned for it! We have a fabulous tour lined up for this title and you can find the release-day blitz participants at the bottom of this post. Check out the rafflecopter giveaway for a gift basket and gift card, too.




--Wednesday, October 23rd

sofia loves books -Review Stop

Reading Rainblog -Review Stop

--Thursday, October 24th

Anonymous Interests -Review Stop

Contagious Reads -Review Stop

--Friday, October 25th

Keep Calm & Read Romance -Top 10 & Review

--Saturday, October 26th

aliennation -Review Stop

Book Crazy -Review Stop

--Sunday, October 27th


--Monday, October 28th

Books Like Breathing -Review Stop

Reader Girls -Playlist

--Tuesday, October 29th

Book Wookie -Excerpt

Ticket to Anywhere -Review Stop

The Geekery Book Review -Author Interview

-Wednesday, October 30th

Shawna's Survey -Excerpt

FTLOBbyJBlog -Review Stop

--Thursday, October 31st

Magnet4books -Top 10 List

--Friday, November 1st

Paige -Excerpt

Fictional Candy -Top 10 List

Lis les Livres -Excerpt

--Saturday, November 2nd

A Life Bound By Books -Character Post & Review

read that Review Stop


--Sunday, November 3rd

Rumpled Sheets Blog -Review Stop


--Monday, November 4th

--Tuesday, November 5th

My Daily Romance -Author Interview 

--Wednesday, November 6th

Paulette's Papers -Guest Post

Madison Says -Review Stop

--Thursday, November 7th

The Book Cafe  -Review Stop

Deal Sharing Aunt -Top 10 List

--Friday, November 8th

The Autumn Review -Review Stop

Stories and Swag -Review Stop

--Saturday, November 9th

Booked On Romance -Review Stop

Books Over Boys -Top 10 List

Hardcover Therapy -Review Stop

--Sunday, November 10th

I Read Indie -Author Interview


--Monday, November 11th

Booklovers LaceyCat -Review Stop

--Tuesday, November 12th

Pete de violet -Review Stop

Lovin' Los Libros -Review Stop

Crim Reviews -Excerpt

--Wednesday, November 13th

Reading Bliss -Review Stop

NightlyReading -Excerpt

--Thursday, November 14th

Paperbook Princess -Review Stop

The Reading Cow -Review Stop

Always YA at Heart -Review Stop

--Friday, November 15th

Book Addict Mumma -Review Stop

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Everyone listed posted today for the blitz -- Tuesday, October 22nd

The Reading Cow

Bibliophile Mystery


Lis les Livres

deal sharing aunt

happy tails and tales

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New Adult... New beginning

I have started and stopped this blog post forty-bagillion times. Okay, like three. Feels like a lot.
I've written it in my head as I fall asleep at night. I've composed witticisms to include while I do dishes or mow the grass or ride my motorcycle.
I've debated and chewed on it. Spit it out. Walked away.
All to figure out how to say it.
That post where I explain where I've been, the reason for going "dark" for months--I've scaled WAY back on my social media time of late, or haven't you been refreshing your screen for the awe-inspiring prose that is my status updates???--and an all-around explanation of the stuff that makes up my personal life. In my head, it all sounds too revealing or too boring or too drama. It depends on my mood as to which.

You all know I am not an over-sharer. I tend to err toward the less-is-more school of thought. But then a couple of years ago, something monumentally tragic happened to me when I lost my baby boy, Tyler, at the age of five days old. And then I blogged about it and you guys were so fracking AWESOME in your response that I am still, to this day, smiling as I remember the flood of love and support and strength I received--and then in turn gave back to my readers. Thank you guys for stepping up and being real with me when I got real with you. I am so much more grateful for you guys after connecting that way.

So. with that warm fuzzy feeling in mind, I'm going to tell you what's been up with me. Mostly because I feel like there's this whole taboo mindset that I shouldn't say it publicly. And if you know me, you know I hate secrets. Which is the exact reason I will, after a year of shutting up, tell you: I am getting divorced.

It's so weird how simple the sentence is to write when I could barely say it aloud a year ago. And not because I'm ashamed or sad or broken up or worried what people think. I haven't said it because I have this nonsense ingrained into me that you don't share your problems with the world. But over the past year or two, my world has become so built up with people who welcome the opportunity to support me and so this is me letting go--and letting them.

In A Risk Worth Taking, my NA that just released (ohmygod I wrote sex!!!!!! my tagline is now: "Heather Hildenbrand, not just for YA anymore."), Summer's parents get divorced and it hits her hard. A lot of her emotions and anxieties were inspired by the events in my own life. I always find real-life emotions are best for funneling into my work and this was no exception. I won't say mych more than that about the book because I don't want to give it away. BTW, A Risk Worth Taking or #ARWT is now available in ebook so go grab yours!

AND enter the giveaway for the "country beauty basket and gift card here

But before everyone gets sad and comments below with how sorry you are, DON'T.

I am happy with my choice and I am living such a full and purposeful and successful life now, and I don't want sympathy or pity or sadness. I want everyone to know that while it was SCARY as hell, it was my choice. And I don't apologize for it (there was a time that I did) and I don't care what people think of it because it was the right thing for me. It has freed me. And while I wish my (ex)husband well, I know I've done what I needed for me, for the first time in so long I can't remember.

This past year has been tough and sad and lonely sometimes but also so amazing and full of the biggest adventures I never would have had otherwise. I learned how to ride motorcycles and I've owned a total of 3 in the past year. Currently still have 2 of them. Traveled more. Discovered I actually do like tent camping--under the right conditions, gotten to know my kids better, stood on stage at a Zac Brown Band concert to a sold out crowd, met Plain White T's, released three books, lived off my writer income as a full-time work-from-home mom, rented my own house in MY own name, visited CO--a lifelong dream of mine, stood front row-center at a Rocket to the Moon/Andy Grammer concert, learned how to hang and twist on silks (you know that aerial ribbon at the circus???), went swimming on horseback, fallen in the kind of love I thought only existed in stories, and SO MANY MORE AMAZING THINGS!!!!

And right now, I have a special project in the works that is the next building block in my dream of being a successful entrepreneur and a mom who is always home to get her kids off the bus. And it includes giving back to the very people who have helped put me where I am today. I can't wait to tell you more about it. (Look for an announcement in November!!)

I honestly wake up every morning loving my life. Thank you for that. Readers, Fans, Friends--you are the best part of me.

So, this is not a "Woe is Me" post. This is a, "Be strong and claim your happiness" post. And a post to say: Just like Summer in A Risk Worth Taking, let go of the struggle, let go of a past you couldn't control and can't change, and face forward.

Take a Risk. Seize the Day. Create a purposeful life filled with things that make you smile.

"Set your life on fire. Seek those that fan your flames." -Rumi

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cover Reveal for A RISK WORTH TAKING!

Here is the cover of my upcoming title A RISK WORTH TAKING! This book is a New Adult contemporary novel that will be released on October 22nd. 

Book Summary: 

When 22-year-old Summer Stafford’s parents split halfway through her senior year at college, Summer’s world is rocked. Everything she thought she knew—heck, everything she thought she wanted for her own life—feels like a lie. The truth is love is a risk. And the true kind, the kind that lasts, might even be a fairy tale. 

Reeling from the divorce, Summer derails her own future by breaking up with her parent-approved boyfriend and giving up her lifelong plans for a big-city career. She moves back home, business degree in hand. Dad needs her to fill the gaps her mother left behind; Summer needs to find who she is outside of the cookie-cutter life that failed so miserably for her parents.

Ford O’Neal’s future involves one person: himself. He doesn’t have a permanent address and he definitely doesn’t commit. To a place or a person. Raised by hippies, he plans just far enough ahead to secure his next stop, this one landing him at a work-study program at Heritage Plantation where he can grow his own herbal and medicinal creations. 

Summer is gorgeous and smart and fun to be with, the perfect way to pass five months. It won’t be love—Ford’s got too many things to accomplish, too many places to go, before he settles down. Yet Summer pulls him in, challenging him to rethink his own philosophy. 

When Ford’s five months are up, each of them must decide if love is really worth the risk.

You can add the book to goodreads here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! If you are a blogger interested in signing up for the ARC, blitz, or tour for the book just click here to sign up!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

BLOOD RULE Release-day Blitz, Blog Tour and Giveaway

It's time for the BLOOD RULE release day blitz and blog tour! BLOOD RULE is book #4 in the Dirty Blood series and we are kicking off the August 6th release by having a huge release-day blitz!

See the tour stops below and check out the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win signed books, a $20 GC, and signed swag!

Blog Tour Stops


Wednesday, August 7thThe Book Cafe
Wednesday, August 7thBewitched BookwormsHttp://
Wednesday, August 7thBrianna Lee Book Reviews
Thursday, August 8thBook Crazy Chicks
Thursday, August 8thdeal sharing
Friday, August 9thJoy Whiteside
Friday, August 9thPaulette's Papers


Monday, August 12thDoodle's Book Blog
Monday, August 12thRomantic Love
Tuesday, August 13thNovel
Tuesday, August 13thHappy Tails and Tales
Wednesday, August 14thMagnet 4 Books
Wednesday, August 14thGeek Glitter
Thursday, August 15thMeredith's Musings
Thursday, August 15thSated Faery
Friday, August 16thThe Book
Friday, August 16thA Book Vacation


Monday, August 19thAndrea Heltsley Books
Monday, August 19thNightlyReading
Tuesday, August 20thWhat the Cat Read
Tuesday, August 20thCrossroads
Wednesday, August 21stTSK TSK What to Read
Wednesday, August 21stA Dream Within A Dream
Thursday, August 22ndBooksessions

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the tour!