Archive | June 2014

Kickstarter Campaign: The Founding of Josiah Turn

Amanda Salisbury launched a Kickstarter Campaign on June 5, 2014. Her goal: Raise $9,000 in 15 days.

Amanda was on my team for a previous Pitch Madness competition and she is now in the process of self publishing this story.

The Book:

The Founding of Josiah Turn 

Like X-Men, if X-Men were U.S. Civil War prisoners mutated by Confederate experimentation: The Founding of Josiah Turn 

In the late summer of 1888, an unnatural earthquake rocks a mountain deep in Appalachia. The freeze that follows kills every person seventeen-year-old Josiah Turn has ever known. As he journeys into post-Reconstruction America, Josiah knows almost nothing about the world.

His powers are new to him, as are racial tensions and protocols, because the people of his hometown forged a place built on shared secrets and prisoner-of-war bonds. Along his travels, Josiah’s unstable powers, fierce loyalty, and quick temper force him to face himself as victim, hero, and villain. When his parents’ past catches up to him and the military prepares to take the source of his power, Josiah must choose to be the hero so few want or the villain he’s come to expect.

What she has:

  1. a completed manuscript called The Founding of Josiah Turn and
  2. cover art by Melissa Stevens of The Illustrated Author (

What she intends: to digitally publish The Founding of Josiah Turn in November 2014.

What she’s asking from others:

  1. Funds to hire professional freelance editor Chuck Sambuchino ( and
  2. Funds to print a physical edition of the book this winter.

As a stretch goal, Amanda’s seeking funds for a cinematic book trailer by Red 14 Films (

What she’s offering: rewards ranging from her personal adoration to signed books to a “let’s dream together” proposal for the generous uber-donation of $10,000.

This is the world of publishing today – writers, designers, editors, and producers collaborating to bring new literature to market. As a hybrid author – someone who publishes on her own for some projects and with a publisher for others – Amanda can focus on the best collaboration to bring her vision to reality.

And, while technology allows collaborators to connect around the world, Amanda is also building a network of creatives in Oklahoma. Amanda credits Sheradee Hurst ( and Audrey Dodgen ( for her photography and videography. And she enlisted the help of a local book club to beta read her book this May and offer feedback from a reader’s perspective.

To support Amanda Salisbury in her publishing goals, be sure to visit her kickstarted campaign before June 20, 2014.

Blackfin Sky: Review

When my friend, Kat Ellis, asked if I was interested in reviewing her debut novel, Blackfin Sky I jumped at the chance, despite the fact that I really struggle to write reviews. If I like a book I usually gush about it with a severe lack of substance to my review. So I’ll try really hard not to do that this time.
I wasn’t sure that to expect after reading the back cover of Blackfin Sky.
When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into
mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened.
Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder…but she’s not the only one digging up the past.

Nothing stays buried in Blackfin, a town that no one visits and no one ever leaves…
It has a very unique speculative fiction feel, like paranormal and magical realism with a dash of
science fiction. And one thing I love about a story is when I don’t guess the twist. I sure didn’t with this one. But it was still a believable twist that you could have guessed from the clues Kat leaves us.
I very quickly fell in love with Skylar very quickly. She had this mysterious quality, an X-Factor that
made you believe she didn’t understand why there was so much fuss over her. She is adamant that she hasn’t been anywhere, despite everyone being in mourning for her and the fact that there is a gravestone with her name on it. Her voice is so authentic and gripping.
Then there is Sean *drools*. He is the perfect amount of quirkiness to match Skylar. He is solid, dependable and fun. The two of them have this great chemistry that leaves you dying for
them to finally get together.
The opening is set so well with the introduction of Silas, the spirit that inhabits the local weathervane.
Creepy with his indifference, and even creepier with his interest in Skylar’s return, and the fact he’s not the only one who is watching her. 
It was so intriguing to see Skylar interacting with everyone, so sure in her memories of the past three
months when everyone else has seen her dead body pulled from the pier. This creates a mystery I so desperately wanted to solve and didn’t. Yet I was still so satisfied.
I don’t want to add spoilers for people, but the mystery only deepens once we learn the truth about why Skylar can remember the last three months differently to everyone else. It’s a plot so masterfully crafted that you want to keep turning the pages (I even took the book to my son’s football game so I could keep reading while he wasn’t on the field).
Kat crafts such a wonderful tale with amazing use of language that is poetic, setting it apart from so many modern YA stories. It has a classic feel, rich in word choice and plot weaving.
It’s important to take note the characters, as many of them have roles to play that you won’t see coming.
My only criticism is the early portrayal of Skylar’s mother. It doesn’t align for me with the person I
saw at the end of the story. She came across as too shallow and distant then quickly shifted.
But that isn’t enough to drop my rating of Five Stars! This story haunted me for days after I read it. I can’t wait to read what happens next for the residents of Blackfin.

You can find Blackfin Sky on Amazon and Book Depository 

Kat Ellis is a young adult writer from NorthWales. You’ll usually find Kat up to no good on Twitter, taking photographs in cemeteries, or watching scary films with her husband and feral cat. BLACKFIN SKY is her first novel, out now in the UK/Aus/Commonwealth (coming 2nd September in the US).
Enthralling and dreamlike… A wonderful, compulsive read.’ Yangsze
Choo, Author of The Ghost Bride
‘An engaging, richly detailed fantasy, full of magic and mystery…’ Debbie Moon, Creator
of CBBC’s Wolfblood

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