"Heavey is a magical realist and a myth maker…"
– Michael Sheldon, author of The Violet Crow 


"A brilliant new book … This brave little cat has the courage of a lion"
– HillBuzz.org 

"Fantastic fable … Not only is this book a great story in itself, it's also quite clearly a parable for current events."
– Book Horde

"What appears to be a delightful tale about the trials and travails of a simple barn cat morphs into an allegorical masterpiece."
– Jack July, author of the Amy Lynn series 


"A Spellbinding, Supernatural Coming of Age Story"
– Daria Anne DiGiovanni, author and owner of WriteStream Media 

"Underlake is a complex story written to delight and empower the reader … Beautifully done for girls searching for their own voice."
– Literary R&R 


"Warning: DO NOT read this book right before bed! Night Machines is one very freaky ride."
– Let's Book It 

"This is pretty chilling stuff."
– The Goode Word 

“Far more than a romance, Night Machines is a thriller, a fantasy, a mystery. Yes, folks, we have a winner!”
Literary R&R 

"The story itself is unique and something I have never read before."
– The Ultimate Book Nook 

"Night Machines is a unique spin into escapism and its dangers, recommended reading. Five Stars."
–Midwest Book Review 

"When I came to the last 40 pages, I locked myself in my bedroom leaving my husband and children to fend for themselves for a while so I could read the conclusion."
– eFiction Magazine 

"I rarely read a book I find both literary and hard to put down...a unique and inspiring story."
– Meira Pentermann, author of Firefly Beach and Nine-Tenths 

"I did not even expect part of it until two-thirds of the way through Night Machines and I didn’t suspect all of it until the very end."
– The Greenwich Patch 


Good Grief!

Is it October already? I took the summer off from writing the next book, and now I am having the worst time getting back into it! I'm currently doing a feedback reading for Book Two of Daniella Bova's Storms of Transformation series (it's good stuff, bu the way) and as soon as I'm done, I will re-read my new book so far and get back into it. 

You can find my review of Book One of Bova's series here.

Also, looking forward to some good author news in a month or so! I'll post it here when it happens.


Taki's Magazine looks at Underlake & YA Culture

Ann Sterzinger over at highly witty and intelligent Taki's Magazine has taken a sharp-eyed look at Underlake and its place in modern Young Adult culture:

The schools may be hopeless, but books have always been a more intimate way to learn anyway; therefore I humbly suggest that access to smarter YA fiction might inspire impressionable minds to critique their peers and examine their own interior world.

For example, I wish Kia Heavey, the author of this year’s traditionalist teen romance Underlake, had been writing when I was a kid. Young adult fiction in the 1980s was so nauseously materialistic and factory-farmed that after a death in the family when I was 13, I decided it would be more comforting to turn to Albert Camus—which resulted in all the sleepless nights you might imagine. Adult fiction may be mentally stimulating for teens, but emotionally it’s over their heads.

Go over there and read the whole thing, then stay for a while and enjoy some of the other amusing and insightful commentary. They've certainly made a new reader out of me!

And P.S. Can't believe the attention Underlake – as well as my older title, Night Machines – has gotten from this article. Read down through the comments for more great reading recommendations for young adults!


I made a Buzzfeed list!

If you haven't heard of Liberty Island, you need to check it out. It's a multi-media company dedicated to bringing fresh voices and new perspectives to our monolithic popular culture, expecially through the medium of written fiction. You can learn about and support Liberty Island here. Definitely worth a visit! It's already populated with a mind-boggling array of short fiction you can read instantly. No fee, but there are tip jars if you wish to support any of the creators. Liberty Island is also running a fundraiser to help them launch their traditional publishing arm this fall.

One of Liberty Island's founders, the legendary Adam Bellow, posted an article on Buzzfeed called 21 Conservative Writers To Read at the Beach. I am thrilled to have made this exclusive list. Check it out — there are plenty of other great authors there too, so even if my particular style of fiction isn't your cup of tea, you're sure to find something that is.

I am exceedingly grateful, as a reader, for the recent availability of so many new, independent, open-minded authors. Thanks again, Amazon and other self-publishing pioneers! And now we have startup publishing companies like Liberty Island to find and develop these authors, ultimately producing an extensive catalog of fresh literary options. As both a reader and a writer, I can't remember a more exciting time. Love this energy!


Underlake reviewed on The American Journal!

Daria Anne DiGiovanni is active in many facets of the literary world. She is the author of Water Signs, a contemporary love story with heart and values. She is a ghost writer, host of several talk shows on Blog Talk Radio, and so much more. Yet another occupation in her repertoire is Reviewer of Fiction. And today, she made my day by posting a glowing review of Underlake on The American Journal! I love Daria's review because she totally "gets" the story:

…Katie Welch’s internal conflict stems from having a strong moral compass in a world where most parents have ceded responsibility. 

In Katie’s upper-crust clique, money is a substitute for time and attention, and the prevailing wisdom is that “kids are going to do it anyway.” Which is why Katie’s Manhattan friends — lacking any clearly defined boundaries — are thrust full speed ahead into adulthood long before they’re mature enough to cope with the potential fallout and consequences of adult activities.

Go here to read the whole thing. 


Guest Post: Make Your Indie Novel the Best It Can Be

Joyce Shafer is an innovative freelance editor who offers a wide range of author services and coaching. I was lucky enough to connect with her back when I was working on my first novel, Night Machines. Joyce did a comprehensive critique of the manuscript. Not only did she mark the entire thing up, she sent me several pages of useful information about writing style and grammar rules. Her remarks improved my writing immensely, and I use the information to this day. But most of all, Joyce delivered her editorial assistance in words of great enthusiasm and encouragement. I think her positive attitude did more for me as a writer than anything else.

Joyce is also a literary entrepreneur who pioneered the self-publishing world back in its early days. She is an amazing resource for indie authors, and I have followed her career over the years to see what she'll come up with next. (You can read about her newest innovation, "The Chapter-by-Chapter Get-Your-Book-Written Writer's Incentive Program," here. Sounds great for first-time authors or writers struggling to get that book written!)

So as you can imagine, I was thrilled when Joyce invited me to write a column for her blog. You can read my guest post, "Make Your Indie Novel the Best It Can Be," here. It's a collection of advice I have assembled from my experiences as an indie author. Check it out – you may learn something useful!

Joyce Shafer

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