Imagination is the beginning of all creation. ~George Bernard Shaw

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vlog #3 "Confessions"

Creations, confessions, and questions, OH MY!

Watch to see what crazy quirk I'll confess! Eek!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


We are excited to share the official COVER REVEAL AND ARC GIVEAWAY for Hidden Monster by Amanda Strong. Hidden Monster is scheduled to release by Clean Teen Publishing on November 4, 2014. This young adult sic-fi thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to determine who the bad guy is. You will be suspecting everyone all the way until the stunning conclusion at the end. HIDDEN MONSTER is book one in The Dragon Fae Series. 

HIDDEN MONSTER by Amanda Strong

The breathing halted as the ski mask cocked to one side. His voice slurred, “What do I want?” I bit my lip to keep from gasping. He’d never responded before. “It’s obvious isn’t it? I want you to fall in love with me.”

For seventeen-year-old Samantha Campbell, running back woods trails usually means freedom from her less-than-perfect life. That is, until the day a morning run turns into a living nightmare. When Samantha wakes up to find herself bound to a dirty, pinstriped mattress, she realizes she’s anything but free. With a masked abductor repeatedly injecting her arm with an unknown substance while holding her captive, Samantha tries in vain to find out what he wants, but he refuses to speak. Until the day he breaks his silence and his twisted words are worse than what she’d imagined. He promises her one day she will fall in love with him but the best part will be that she won't know who he is... until it's too late. 

Finding herself freed from captivity, with her captor still at large, Samantha is on guard against everything and everyone around her. Unfortunately, walling up her heart proves difficult when eighteen-year-old Blake Knightley moves in next door. When Samantha starts experiencing strange changes within her, she realizes her captor may have left her more damaged than she originally thought. Now she must turn to Blake for help in order to unearth the truth behind the monster who started this all... or risk experiencing worse things than just falling in love.

1 Digital Advance Release Copy of Hidden Monster 
(Be the first to read the book before it releases in November!)
1 Digital Copy of The Awakener by Amanda Strong
SWAG: Bookmarks and Bracelet

Are you excited about Hidden Monster? Well you don't have to wait until November to read one of Amanda Strong's amazing books! Check out The Awakener today! 

Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Clean Teen Publishing

A simple touch will change their lives forever. 

Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.

With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire.  Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts. Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple. 

With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.

More About Amanda Strong:

Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener's success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story. 

In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.  

When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream. 

Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing?
Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Breaking the Chains of Fear

Last week, I collaborated with a very talented photographer to create this image:
"In Chains" ©Kelsey Campion
When the photographer described "In Chains" to me, I couldn't help but relate the concept of the image to my own life. The subject is chained - to what, we don't necessarily know - yet she is somehow content, so much so that she is able to fall asleep in her captivity.

For me, the chain is not attached to a person or an object, but to a concept - fear. It could be fear of the unknown or fear of failure, as both have been known to paralyze me, but only because I've let them.

In the spring of 2012, I woke up. I realized I wasn't following my dreams because I was afraid I would fail. While still chained, I began to write a novel in secret. Upon its completion, I felt proud of myself. My pride gave me power and courage. I broke the chain, and shared my work with the world.

Did I meet rejection? YES! Time and again. But did I fail? NO. How can you fail by sharing a piece of yourself with others?

I would have failed if I let fear cripple me and put my talents to sleep. Instead, I confronted my fears. I challenge you to do the same, the same way I still challenge myself to defeat my fears in other aspects of my life.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Once Upon a Time, A Bear Followed Me Home

I am a crazy animal lover who, maybe because of that, has had some crazy animal experiences. Let it be known, I am on the prowl for more this summer! Here are five of my wildest encounters:  

5. I scare deer, and not the other way around.
One morning, I was enjoying one of my routine runs around the best plot of land in Ham Lake. Like usual, my eyes were darting all about the woods in hopes of spotting creatures who also call the area home. I heard birds, one pheasant, the buzz of pesky mosquitoes, and something small tramping through the underbrush. I was quite satisfied when I happened to look up and see four raccoons huddled together in a tree. I suppose that was the moment I began to run harder and enjoy the woods less. As I rounded one corner, a doe sprang from her slumber under a deer stand (truth) and bolted. It's incredible that I didn't see her since she was laying along my footpath, and awesome that I wasn't the least bit startled by the large mammal who leaped from the woods as I passed. I love stalking deer, but I'm no hunter. I'm bound and determined to pet a wild one! This story was the closest I've come to date.  

4. I witnessed the meeting of two famous cats.
I am a living testament to the possibility of both loving cats way too much and still being (somewhat) cool. It's indisputable: I am a cat lady. In August, I attended the 2nd Annual Internet Cat Festival at the Minnesota State Fair, where the audience cooed when sensations Little Bub (the cute) and Grumpy Cat (the despicable) met on stage for the first time ever. Both were rather intimidated by each others' fame, but it was still awesome to see them together!

Lacy watches my author interview.
My cats are photographed as if they're famous.
Different kind of headlock.


3. Caterpillars grow into butterflies... in my mouth.
Since becoming a teacher, I have fallen in love with collecting monarch caterpillars in August and watching them change into butterflies. Initially, it was an introductory science unit to kick off a fun, hands-on school year. Since then, raising the monarchs has been my own quirky passion. That was, until I began have a recurring nightmare in which all the caterpillars chose the same, unique location to spin their silk button, insert their spinnerette, and hang out in J-phase until it was time to turn into a chrysalis. That location? My mouth. Even in my dreams, I was worried about disrupting the creatures during their most delicate stage of the life cycle. Naturally, I had my mom (who would often accompany me on these caterpillar-hunting sessions) reaching in two hands at a time to take the caterpillars out while I gagged on them and her fingers. There's nothing like a good summertime nightmare, especially one that keeps coming back long after the caterpillars have transformed and flown south!

2. A seagull once cast a spell on me.
I was walking to class one morning in Duluth, Minnesota when one of my strangest animal encounters occurred. A seagull suddenly swooped down from the sky to look me in the eye, quite literally. It was a methodical descent, not a agitated one, which made the occurrence totally unnerving. Surprised, I kept still while the bird slowly flapped it's wings to hover at eye-level. I felt like time slowed down. It was unreal! It just stared at me! I think it would have let me pet it in midair if I'd tried. Finally, I ducked down and ran under the bird to continue on my way. It lurched backward toward me, but also lifted a bit. I think it cast a spell on me. For what, I'll never know.

1. A bear followed me home from church one day. It was a sunny summer day in Duluth, Minnesota. I had just gone to church on campus, and was walking back to my house when something terrifying decided to join me on the stroll. A HUGE black bear emerged from the woods, crossed the road, and stepped onto the sidewalk like a civilized creature. He was anything but that. His fur was rough and matted. One of his ears was bitten and bloody. I. Was. Terrified! My heart raced and my pace naturally quickened. To my dismay, his did too! The bear lumbered along the sidewalk behind me. Finally, he took a turn toward an apartment building where I later learned bears frequent the dumpster. Maybe he was hungry and on a quest for a better breakfast than skinny-white-girl. Maybe, like me, he just wanted to get close enough to pet such a wild creature!