Skin of My Teeth: Book 3, Vol 1

18 Nov

somt1Congratulations to my friend and editor extraordinaire Judith Graves who’s first e-novella of three launches on December 23.

· draw a card from the deck
· kill or be killed
· and if you’re lucky, repeat…

Hidden agendas, deep, dark secrets, and monsters lurking around every locker. It’s business as usual at Redgrave High for Eryn and her crew of paranorm hunters – they plan to capture and cure Brit’s brother from his tormented existence, Eryn is reunited with her father’s beta, and Redgrave’s origins are revealed.

Although the two guys vying for Eryn’s heart just might have to up their game. Enter hot, wolven guy stage left. Is he the one Alec’s blood magic foretold? He is, if Eryn’s knocking pulse has anything to say about it. The tale-tell sound is driving Wade mad. But it’s Eryn’s move, and everyone is holding their breath.

A little healthy competition soon becomes all-out survival of the fittest as the crew are pitted against a pack of demons trading souls – for keeps. The student population is enamored with a new card game, Boroughs Quest. Kids are desperate to get their hands on gilded cards from a mysterious expansion deck, but when they do…

It’s all fun and games ’til somebody dies. 

JudithGravesJudith Graves has multiple young adult novels and short stories published with Leap Books, Orca Book Publishers, Compass Press, and, under the pen name, Judith Tewes, is also published with Bloomsbury Spark. In addition, Judith is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, writes freelance articles for literary magazines, and facilitates writing workshops for both adults and young adults. She lives in northern Alberta with her husband and three crazy labs.

Stalk Judith at:



LEAPing Into the Future

1 Aug

Leapbadge1 (1)I recently signed on with the boutique e-publisher LEAP Books and will be launching my e-novella series RACING HEARTS in Fall 2015. LEAP gives authors a full creative and marketing suite that easily adapts to our changing trends in publishing. They are currently accepting submissions from agented and non-agented authors in YA, New Adult, and Middle Grade, both novel and novella length. Here is a little more about them:

“Having a small publishing house means you get to be picky about the books and authors you represent,” says Shannon Delany (YA author and now publisher and owner of LEAP BOOKS, LLC). “You don’t feel the pressure of filling a certain number of slots each year–you can truly make quality come before quantity.”

Thanks to longtime Leap author, Judith Graves, an enthusiastic trio of experienced YA authors has joined forces to lead LEAP Books LLC into the future. Graves had recently begun developing the SHINE e-novella line, and seeing Delany comment on Facebook about possibly starting a small publishing house of her own, Graves suggested Delany join her. But things grew from there.

LEAP BOOKS’s founder, Laurie Edwards suggested the two take over the entire house–not just a single line. In short order Delany was owner and publisher with Graves as her very capable co-publisher. The pair knew that a third member of the team was needed so they could more easily focus on their strengths. Delany contacted author and YA Fest organizer Jennifer Murgia and brought her on as Marketing Director. With the addition of a CFO and building on the established group of editors and illustrators, the new face of LEAP began to take shape.

“We’re leaping ahead with the growth of the SHINE e-novella line, but we’re gladly maintaining the foundation Edwards gave us. We have a great backlist of books written by eager authors–they just need some more attention in the market. I’m proud of LEAP’s history. If I wasn’t and I didn’t see huge potential in this company, I wouldn’t be here. The authors in our backlist are talented–we have award-winners, NYT Bestsellers… What more can you ask for?”

Learn more about LEAP, our books, our talented authors, our vision!

To kick off the official announcement of the big changes LEAP is undergoing, the LEAP Leadership Team has started a Rafflecopter contest for one lucky winner to win three Leap e-books of their choice. Enter here to win!

After the Burn

21 Apr

AfterBurnpurpled bark, skin thin and curling at the corners,

crumbles like old love letters and oaths


pine cones with copper underbellies bleed out

and black waxy leaves cemented to their arching branches

fall like paper soldiers,

brittle needles crunch underfoot

and thorns, whetted by fire, draw blood with vengeance

tree limbs laid out, untidy as the dead,

powdered by cinder and ash,

a bleak situation,

the forest, a phoenix, burned up

to be born again,

and for the green and tender shoots clawing through the gloom,

a resurrection.


Easter Weekend, 2014

Twitterview with M. Molly Backes, author of Princesses of Iowa

3 Sep
A 140-character limit Twitter Q & A with M. Molly Backes, author of Princesses of Iowa, conducted around midnight on Sept 2, 2013. Yay!
Laura: With @mollybackes author of #PrincessesOfIowa M, from the Iowa 80 to small-town life, you seem to know Willow Grove intimately. Connection?

Molly: Willow Grove is fictional, but I went to college in small-town Iowa & grew up in small-town Wisconsin. I heart small towns.

Laura: What came first for you, the small-town setting, the character of Paige, or something else entirely?

Molly: Paige came first, but I was living in NM at the time, and homesick for the Midwest, so Iowa was always important.

Laura: Paige is a complex character who grows much throughout #PrincessesOfIowa What do you see as her greatest weakness? Strength?

Molly: Thanks! I think her greatest weakness is her extremely narrow world-view. She is the center of her own universe to a fault. So conversely her greatest strength is her willingness to start expanding her understanding of herself & the world.

Laura: You give a wide array of personalities in #PrincessesOfIowa Who did you most enjoy getting to know throughout the process?

Molly: Of course I love them all, but I think that Nikki is my favorite. She always made me laugh. & Paige’s mom was wickedly fun.

Laura: Does your mother bear resemblance to the mothers of Willow Grove in #PrincessesOfIowa Or, did you know these women growing up?

Molly: I have known some critical mothers! Not my mom, but other women in my family, the mothers of my students…they’re out there.

Laura: You wove many themes in #PrincessesOfIowa bigotry/tolerance, popular/not so, interior/exterior. What was your initial spark?

Molly: The initial spark was the way we label ourselves & each other, & how those labels keep us from seeing deeper, truer selves. Which I think is the thematic umbrella for all other issues: popularity, homophobia, class, race, gender, expectations, etc.

Laura: Confession time: Are you, or have you ever been, a princess of Iowa?

Molly: Ha, that depends on your definition of princess. I once crowned myself the “Rabbit Princess,” but have no idea why. #college

Laura: Lacey is what one might term a “mean girl” in #PrincessesOfIowa How do you feel about this label in general and/or for her?

Molly: I think it’s a popular trope for a reason, but I also believe that every human is far more complex than any trope would allow

Laura: What is your favorite scene in #PrincessesOfIowa? Why?

Molly: The argument between Shanti & Ethan about whether it’s better to do nothing & look cool, or do something & look stupid. It’s a small moment, but it was something that I absolutely believed in, & was proud to put out in the world.

Laura: Shanti and Ethan were v. enlightened throughout #PrincessesOfIowa Now a writerly Q, what are you working on now?

Molly: Oh lord, who knows. I’m battling my way through the jungle of doubt, self-loathing, & procrastination that is a first draft.

Laura: You sound like a writer! Last Q: What would you say to young women on both sides of the #PrincessesOfIowa spectrum?

Molly: Go easy on yourself. Take a deep breath. Be thoughtful. Imagine the kind of person you’d like to be, and work toward that.

Laura: Thank you for letting me Twitterview you! What a great experience to read #PrincessesOfIowa and then be able to ask Qs live!

Molly: Awww, thank you! It was a good exercise in brevity. I could have answered every Q with a paragraph.

Unnamed by Anonymous

18 Aug

What if my words, designed to fly gracefully on the page, jeweled butterflies are instead dark, shiny and black, tiny beetles that slowly chew through the pages, now brittle, crumbling

No rehearsals here, just a long paralysis, no failure as terrible as the imagined

What is perfection?

The unwritten book with gleaming pages,

The pure raw colours unmixed

The world at dawn of time with no people to slice and mix, to dig, to satirize


Voice by Zechariah Lange

14 May

I have another guest poet today, Zechariah Lange, has graced us with this lovely poem, Voice. I encourage poets of all ages to send me their poems for the possibility of letting me share them here on my blog. Email lauralascarso(at)yahoo(dot)com  Viva poetry!


Here stands a human being,

Gazing through a glass wall.

Some time now he has stood peering,

Waiting for his turn to take a step.


Searching, craving, yearning,

He stands using different tools,

Tools that were not of his own creation.

Understanding now the purpose of this wall.


Searching now within, the conjuring

Yields a force that is all his own.

Constructed of a love that is

Signed with a personal signature.


In world of universal truths,

He prioritizes these ingredients

With his own sense of worth.

Finally, this wall is a road.

A Poem for Archers by Anonymous

6 May

A target pinned and solid-seeming
but mine is all in motion
I draw the bowstring back
and farther back
Were I to let it fly would it sink deep?

But now my muscles shake
fingers torn against the string
velocity all misaimed
I cannot decipher which target is my own

Can I split this arrow with the force of my own wishing,
shower the sky with a quiverful,
live out each peculiar path?

Or must I choose now
release my hold
wide-eyed or blindfolded
poised or hamfisted

Should I lower the bow?

Anonymous, May 2013

Poetry Contest Winner

1 May

Congratulations to Paula Osborn who is the winner of a signed copy of Counting Backwards. Thank you to all those who submitted a poem during National Poetry Month, and to those who have been following along.

I hope you all will consider submitting poems to me throughout the year. Your verses will always be welcome here. Viva poetry!

What I Found When I Shook Out My Kitchen Rug

30 Apr

My beloved great grandmother, for starters,
She was baking a ricotta pie
A pair of My Little Pony skates, circa 1985
Seven lizards, minus their tails
An irrational fear of falling down stairs
250 hand-written sentences on responsibility
Blue chalk dust from a four-square court
Clair de Lune on flute.

The harder I shook, the more that fell—
The pursuit of perfection
Paired with a compulsivity to count
One cup of black coffee—no sugar, no cream
A Pentax camera with a lens flare
An application to Princeton, unsent
A long-term experiment in not caring,
hypothesis correct.

You’d think by now, it’d all be out,
That subject-predicate habit
A tendency to smile and shirk
The insatiable need to scratch till I bleed
Rushing through the downhill
To climb the mountain again
Unmatched silverware and unmade beds
Beginnings without endings
And one friend request from my father, still pending.


29 Apr

Today I’m excited to present a guest poem by Paula Osborn! Paula is a compulsive reader and YA writer who lives in Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Thank you, Paula, for your poignant expression!




Exhausted, straining to inhale a sliver of breath
I lie buried in the dust of another day
Desperate for the desire to crawl forward
Toward the rushing stream
With its promise of refreshment and desire
To smile one more day
Without trying


Tomorrow will be the last day of poetry month, and the winner of our contest will be announced May 1. Thank you to all those who’ve been keeping up with my poetry posts. I hope to extend this practice in the coming months. And, I welcome your poetry submissions year-round. A verse is the gift that keeps on giving!



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