Friday, June 27, 2014

The Art of Storytelling: Children's Writing Curriculum

The Fall 2014 semester will herald the release of my new creative writing curriculum program for children, The Art of Storytelling. I have been working on this for a very long time, and have only recently launched promotion for the curriculum. 

I've been teaching children how to write creatively for quite a while now, and because teaching is a passion of mine, I thought...why not come up with my own curriculum? I merely transferred my techniques into one book for 3rd-6th grade students. (I am currently working on Middle School and High School curriculum, as well). The program will be available in August 2014, just in time for the new school year. 

The great thing about The Art of Storytelling is that it is applicable for tutoring, classrooms and homeschool students. Each week - there are eighteen weeks of lessons  - can stand alone as a writing adventure. I am very proud of my work in teaching, and I consider it a fulfillment of a dream to finally publish my own curriculum. Lots of hard work has gone into creating this program, and I am glad to be able to share it with you today! 

Check out The Art of Storytelling's Official Website

Monday, June 23, 2014

DAY ZERO: Coming Soon from Summer Lane (me!)

It's true. 
The Collapse Series is about to have a friend. And this friend's name is Day Zero, a companion novel set in the same world as Cassidy Hart and Chris Young. As of now, I do not have an official release date, nor do I have a cover or a synopsis available for the general public. But they will be released soon. 

Day Zero will introduce new characters - in addition to including a familiar face from The Collapse Series who has been very popular with readers. Who will it be? I'll leave the speculation up to you! 

I will be releasing more information about Day Zero in July. Until then...enjoy the first four installments in The Collapse Series! 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top-Rated Reads of Summer 2014: Suggestions for the Kindle-Lover

Welcome to summer! Technically, the first day of summer isn't until Saturday, but where I live, it's been sweltering in the 90s to the triple digits since April, so we've long broken in the season of sun-tans, flip-flops and snow-cones. Another great reason for summer? Reading. I love taking any afternoon or evening off (when I can!) and reading a good book. This summer, I plan on getting a lot of reading done between work. I created a list of some of the top-rated summertime reads on my Kindle for this summer. Some of them I have read, some of them I'm in the process of reading, and some of them I haven't read yet at all - but I'm planning on it! I like diversity on my bookshelf, whether it's digital or physical. Here are my picks for Summer 2014: 

Taking on the Dead (Book One in the Famished Trilogy) by Annie Walls 
It's zombie apocalypse time! A 20-something-year-old young woman named Kansas is thrown into the middle of the apocalypse, and she becomes a total baddy in the process. Throw in some romance and plenty of zombie-esque scariness/action and you've got yourself a book that is plenty of fun. I've only just started reading it this past weekend, and I'm enjoying it so far. It's only 2.99 on Kindle. Check it out. 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 
Two cancer patients meet and fall in love. That is literally all I know about the book at this point, because I haven't read it yet. It's been on my to-read list for a very long time, and I've heard nothing but awesome things about it. So. I've got the Kleenex handy (I've heard it's a tearjerker), and I'll probably be reviewing it soon. And then I'll have to see the movie, of course! I picked it up for just 4.99 on Kindle last week. 

Secret Love by Christine Warner 
For you romantics out there. This is the first book in The Sweet Fifties Series, and it clocks in at just 69 pages, making it much more of a novella than a novel. It was sweet and cute and everything in between. It'll barely take an hour to read it. Get it on Kindle for just 99 cents

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers 
High school kids get locked in a gymnasium surrounded by hoards of - you guessed it - zombies. Yeah, I like zombie books. I don't know why. I just do. I love the survival aspect. It's pretty fun. Grab for under 7 bucks on Kindle. I also plan on finally purchasing Fire and Ash, by Jonathan Maberry this summer, but I'll probably grab the hardcopy to complete my collection. 

Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets by Ellen Mansoor Collier (Jazz Age #2) 
I'm finally going to read this beauty (see what I did there?) this summer. I enjoyed the first installment in the trilogy, and I'm interested to know how Jazz's adventures in the world of the Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties pan out. It's only 3.99 on Kindle. 

Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy C. Cherry 
Girls meets boy. They fall in love. Only, hey - the girl is a student and the boy happens to be her teacher. I've read books with this romantic premise that have seriously creeped me out (let's face it, the story could be told very wrong), but this premise is about an older student falling in love with her teacher, and although I haven't read it yet - I'm willing to give it a go! We'll see how far I get. It's on Kindle for 3.99. 

Have any reading suggestions for me? Let me know! If you're an author with a book that might be right up my alley, feel free to send me an email. I love to meet and discover new writers! Enjoy your summer, everyone! Happy reading! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cruel Book Summer: 99 Cent Book Sale for 16 Books!

Today, sixteen Paranormal, Horror, Fantasy and Post-Apocalyptic authors will drop the price of one of their books to just 0.99 cents in an online event called Cruel Book Summer, hosted by Bryan Cohen. The first installment in my series, State of Emergency, is one of the sixteen. So if you're looking to pick it up so you can catch up on the series (my fourth installment just released last Friday!), don't miss out on this opportunity! 

Join the Facebook Event right HERE. 
Check out the List of Books on Bryan's Website.
Pick up the 99 cent version of State of Emergency on Kindle! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Grimm Legacy - Talking Fantasy with Janna Jennings

Janna Jennings is the author of A Grimm Legacy. I stumbled upon her book at some point last year, and this summer, she is visiting Writing Belle to tell us how her novel was born. The sequel, Grimm Memories, should be released late summer/early fall of 2014. 

Inspired by Fairy Tales
by Janna Jennings 

Fairy tales embrace certain elements that have allowed them to survive the ages. Passed down by illiterate peasants and preserved by scholars, these transfigured stories have captured the imagination across cultures and time.

I, as a storyteller am less concerned about where a story originated or how it came to survive—although these things are interesting, vital even to my writing. The big question is why? Why do these stories persist? Why are we as a human race so interested in the fantastical, that they’ve endured this long?

At first it may have been the accsessability of the tales. They originated about the common people. Tailors and woodcutters, millers and fisherman. Often these ordinary folk would come into extraordinary circumstances, and after trials and tribulations—would be elevated to their wildest dreams, becoming rich, becoming royalty, finding true love.

The tales that don’t end this way are usually cautionary. Of the be-careful-what-you-wish-for variety.

Mostly they seem to tap into a desire that life can be more than a weary existence, they are an escape, and they are—in a sense—a channel for hope.

And that translates across the ages.

What if, I as a writer could take that capacity for hope and turn it into my own story? The plot for A Grimm Legacy was born. In a diverting and fractured way, the stories the Brother’s Grimm recorded were tossed around and a new map to navigate them was created.

I discovered stories between the cover of the Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales that I’d never heard before—probably because they were yet to be made popular by mainstream media—that were wonderful. I felt something had to be done with these tales. Jorinda and Jorindel, the Blue Light, Lilly and the Lion, the Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Twelve Huntsmen. There was so much fodder for plot twisting. The characters were a blank slate, two-dimensional placeholders that were often not even named. Only referred to as ‘the miller’s daughter’ throughout the tale. These begged to be given a name, a personality, and a purpose in the story. I felt like I was discovering a character instead of creating one.

A Grimm Legacy is the first fledgling project of a new writer. It was my platform for learning. While I have a Journalism background in writing, I had no experience in writing fiction.

It is very different.

As I wrote and went through my first grueling editing process, I realized the importance of some things I didn’t know. Key ingredients I had missed out on my first attempt at writing. The importance of an outline, the downfall of the adverb, how to properly tag dialog, common plot pitfalls in young adult literature… you name, I made a mistake in it.

In the end I feel like my first attempt at a novel did the old stories justice. The second book in the series, Grimm Memories, is in the middle of its editing process and will be released late summer/early fall. The third and final installment in the Grimm Tales series is well underway. As I write, I try to adhere to the things I’ve learned (have a point to your scenes, they must move the plot along!) and dig into more of Grimm’s fairy tales, finding literary treasures and significance in fantastical folk lore that is far from lost.

About the Author 

Janna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale.  She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child, Benny.  Besides wrangling her kids she can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book.

Janna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale.  She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child. 

She has a good deal of education in subjects that are somehow not related to writing, which includes a Masters in Education.  Currently she teaches toddlers important life skills like which end of a spoon to use and that gluesticks are not for eating.  They lack a few things that make a good literary critic, but she loves her students all the same.

Besides wrangling with kids Janna can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book.
Author Links: 
GoodReads | Website | Twitter | 

Blurb for A Grimm Legacy: 
Enchanted castles and charming princes thought to exist only in stories come to life in this classically twisted fairy tale that combines the timeless quality of folktales with the challenges of the modern world.
The woods of Elorium appear ordinary to Andi until the birds start to talk and elves answer doors. Whisked out of her world along with three strangers, Andi finds herself the reluctant guest of the perplexing millionaire, Mr. Jackson, a stranger willing to help get them home, but whos keeping secrets of his own.

Discovering unexpected family connections to this fairy tale land, the group must rely on each other as they dodge evil fairies and battle gaints, intent on keeping them in Elorium.
Faced with characters short on whimsy and bent towards treachery, Andi, Quinn, Fredrick and Dylan are forced into fairy tale roles to find the home. But in Elorium, happily ever after is never guaranteed.


Friday, June 6, 2014


State of Pursuit has officially released! The fourth installment of The Collapse Series was a lot work, and I'm very proud of the way it turned out. Writing a series like this has been an intense experience, and I'm already hard at work on book five, if you can believe it. There are no breaks around here! 

I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who made this book possible - from my family to the loyal readers. I love you all. Don't forget to check out the awesome giveaway at the bottom of this post. Six of my amazing author friends donated copies of their dystopian, post-apocalyptic and mystery books for this giveaway - including a signed paperback of Destiny Gift by my NA Alley author friend Juliana Haygert for U.S. residents! 

Cassidy Hart is alone. 
Her Commander and the love of her life, Chris Young, has gone missing in action. A horrific battle with Omega has left too many good men and women dead, and Cassidy must bear the burden of leadership in the militia on her own. 
But she's not about to give up. 
With the help of her faithful friends - and former enemies - she will stop at nothing to rescue Chris and ensure victory for the militias in their fight against the all-powerful Omega forces. The game has shifted.
This time, Cassidy is one step ahead of the enemy. 
This time, Cassidy is in charge. 

Grab it on KINDLE, BARNES & NOBLE and PAPERBACK today! Don't forget to add it to your shelf on GoodReads

About the Author 

Summer Lane is the author of the national bestselling Collapse Series, which currently includes State of Emergency, State of Chaos, State of Rebellion and State of Pursuit. She owns WB Publishing, Writing Belle, and is the founder of The Art of Storytelling, a creative writing curriculum program for children. She is also a creative writing teacher and journalist.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her time writing, teaching, and writing some more. When she is not writing, she enjoys leisurely visits with friends at coffee shops, watching movies, reading, and visiting the beach.
Connect with Summer: 

The First Three Installments in the Bestselling Series: 

And a big thanks to all of the wonderful folks who hosted State of Pursuit on their websites for the release day - and for the upcoming features and book reviews! You guys are the greatest! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway