It is a very exciting day today! I am going to do a cover reveal for Altar of Reality, the first book from Shifted Realities--a brand new series by Mara Valderran. This YA dystopian is set to be released January 31st, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press. Mark your calendars, and be sure to add the book to your Goodreads list! Want to stay up to date on all things Altar of RealitySign up for Mara's newsletter so you don't miss a thing!

And now...the moment Mara's we've all been waiting for...

When sixteen-year-old Madeline suffers her first grand mal seizure, she finds herself in an unfamiliar reality, surrounded by strangers wearing familiar faces. Her best friend, Brandon, tells her that the world has fallen to chaos, the aftermath of World War III ten years ago. Madeline doesn’t remember anything from this life— especially not the explosion four years ago that killed her parents and landed her in a coma, or the Lord Commander; a zealot leader of the Southern Territories now searching for her.

Madeline barely has time to process everything before waking up to the life she’s always known. As soon as she dismisses it all as a strange and vivid dream, she finds herself back there once more. Unsure if she’s truly caught in the middle of a brewing rebellion, or teetering on the brink of insanity, she finds herself flipping between the two lives. Her heart becomes torn between two versions of the same boy and the lines between her realities begin to blur as she struggles to save her lives in both worlds.


Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.

Find Mara Online: 

Be sure to check out the Heirs of War, Crown of Flames blog tour going on right now! There are excerpts, interviews, a giveaway, and more. You can find the tour calendar here.


The most important event in a writer's life has met me today! I am a published author! Check out my short story "The Search for Punarnav", a part of the fantastic short story collection "The Actuator: Borderlands Anthology"


I have been presented with my very first award!

Thank you, Kendra!


Shiver me timbers!!!

Me internets bin shanghaied off fer the last two weeks. I bin searched all the ports that there is. But did I find it? Nay, ne'er!

By the powers! Its back! 

And so the Jolly Roger is up and flutterin' and let the swashbucklin' begun!



Avast! Ye lilly-livered land-lubbers. Me first
Blog Hop. Arrrrrr!!!

Banner by Cody Underwood

The Cap'n needed us to questun the hands in the next 'ammock. So I got to haul up the beaut lass Crystal and thunk up some questuns for her.

And purty Kendra asked me sum questuns, tha' helped me know meself a little better. Y'all should head over to her lurvly ship and read them answers.   

Onwards with Crystal's answers.

  • When you open your Tupperware chest, what emotions and thoughts cross your mind?

When I open my Tupperware chest, I'm filled with a ton of emotions. Mostly, I can still see that little black haired girl with emerald green eyes pouring her heart out over every line. Back then, I felt completely helpless and alone. I felt like no one really understood me. I can still feel that little girl's pain when I read over some of the poems I wrote back then. 

  • What kind of games do you play with your boys? Do you tell them your stories? Do you use voices?

I love playing with my three boys! We play a lot of board games, like checkers, 4 in a row, Battleship, Sorry, Domino's and Word Shout! Word Shout is by far my oldest one's favorite and mine as well. We also enjoy acting goofy around each other and making silly faces while taking pictures. Also, we do a lot of crafts and we have quite a few movie nights around here. Usually ever Friday night. We always have a blast! 

Around here, bed time is story time! Most of the time, I read them a story but sometimes they ask for me to tell them a story and their favorite story is the Three Little Hobbits or Goldilocks And The 6 little bears! I put my own little twist on the classic fairy tale. We are a family of six. It's me, my husband, my mother and my three little boys so that story is pretty interesting. Instead of three of everything, there's six of everything. One for each member of our family and usually each bear portrays each member. They totally love it! 

I love changing my voice! I do a pretty mean British accent! What I love most about that is my oldest one is starting to pick up on the British accent and he's beginning to use his best British accent and it often comes out at the most random times! I guess he gets that from me! 

  • When you write your love stories, do you picture yourself and Mr. Hobbit as the "heroine" and "hero"?

Actually, I don't picture Mr. Hobbit or myself as the heroine or hero. I have a very wild and creative imagination and when I'm writing a short story I become some one else entirely as though I were off in my own little world. That's not necessarily a bad thing because sometimes, I need a little break from the stress of everyday life so sometimes it's a good to pretend I'm someone else and when life brings me down it's always easier to envision someone else with bigger problems or issues so to speak. It helps me stay humbled and I feel very grateful and truly blessed to have been given so many gifts in life. My family. 

  • Most of the stories and poems that I've read till now, have a sort of a despairing undertone. Do you think love is doomed?

As far as my stories are concerned, some are based on my own personal experience but they are also dramatized to capture the attention of my audience however not all of them are based on my experiences but other's as well. I'm a very observant person and sometimes, I can't shut that off. I'll pick up on someone's facial expressions as they're talking on the phone with their significant other and my mind automatically goes into overdrive. What if she's not happy. What if he's cheating on his wife. Then, I go from there. The poems are a little depressing at times and that's because I experienced a lot of sadness and heart ache growing up. Losing my sister at such an early age, and just going through the motions of a young teenage girl. I struggled a lot with depression in my teenage years. So I want to show that to my readers. I want them to feel the vulnerability I once felt and the heart ache that came along with it but I don't think think love is doomed! Love is truly wonderful. Love is like the light at the end of the tunnel. It's worth going through just to get there.
  • What is the best thing you like about writing?

My favorite part about writing is that I can be who ever I want to be and I love a good challenge!  I can challenge myself to go beyond what I'm used to doing. I love the writing challenges, the blog hops and the tags. They allow me to show the world who I am as a wife, a mother, a daughter, and as a writer.

  • What is the perfect writing environment for you?

About my ideal writing environment. I like to take a couple hours to myself each night before I go to bed when the kids are all asleep and my mother is taken care of for the night and is hooked up to her dialysis machine. Usually, my husband is watching a little television at that time. I can devote my full attention to my writing and that's when I become more focused and I can organize my thoughts. Also, I love having background music. I listen to a lot of 80's 90's country and alternative.

My life at the moment is full of furniture, drills and stairs, with me hurtling up and down the latter. 

So I am posting on a Thursday, but my Me page is full of info that the first two prompts of the Introduction week required so I figured "Why repeat myself?"

But in a short and sweet format, as I myself am sometimes described, I love stories, wacky and smile inducing poems, like to sketch, and talk (sometimes pure gibberish).

I am just over a month old blogger with zero computer skills, but I am really enjoying it. 

I started a blog, because I wanted to give you a taste of my writing and see whether what I write is what you would want to read (so reviews and critique are gold for me), to get a disciplined writing schedule (I am a big procrastinator) and as Sharon so perfectly put it, to have something that agents could find if they Googled me. 

I am really enjoying my first blog hop, and I am excited to interview The Heart of a Writer tomorrow.  


  1. Hey! Do you have an e-mail on which I can send you questions for an interview yourself? (: Nice post! I think a bunch of us started out wanting to get a platform together for agents to seek us out!

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  2. Juhi, you've got something waiting for you on my blog. (: http://flamecycle.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-booker-award.html