Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Into The Fire, Book Two of The Ending Series
Are you a book blogger/reviewer? Are you dying to know what happens next in the world of The Ending? 
 If you are and you're interested in being added to our advance readers list for The Ending series, please send us an email (lindseys@TheEndingSeries.com) with a link to your blog and/or further information about any blogs/publications/websites you review for.
Thanks and, as always, happy reading!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

...Crystal Caves...

Talk about inspiration. I wonder if this is what Mary Stewart had in mind while writing her Arthurian Saga. This photo alone is enough to make me want to write a story about magical creatures and mystical beings. Throw in some magic beans and...it's truly awe inspiring.

Read more about the Cave of Crystal Giants

(to find out what "magic beans" are, sign up for The Ending Newsletter :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

...the countdown continues...

...until the release of the second book in The Ending series!

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2)

Here's today's countdown goody:

"Evenly spaced lights shone from the ceiling with a bright, artificial glow. They hummed. It was annoying. For several months, I’d been without electricity of any kind. There had been no overhead lights in the middle of the night, no showers spraying deliciously hot water, no microwaves, and no washing machines. My people and I had reverted back to the basics and had grown accustomed to a simpler way of life. I couldn’t get over how loud the electricity was; it buzzed incessantly, threatening to drive me insane."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

...My New home!...

This is my new blog, sorry for any confusion in following my wordpress blog. While I love those guys, it wasn't as user friendly as I'd hoped. Sooo...I'm back! All my posts have been transferred over in case you're looking for anything in particular.

...Book Review for Ms. Ward, coming right up!...

Check out my brief, but honest review of J.R. Ward's Lover Reborn on Goodreads

I enjoyed this story a lot (it's up there with Z and V's stories as well).

What I liked:
I appreciated the intricacy of this story...how Autumn and Tohr's stories come full circle from Autumn (no-one) knowing Tohr even before he was mated, what they'd been through before she killed herself, and the subtle feelings that are resurrected along with their own essence and livelihood.
I like Tohr's character in general. He's a good guy, well rounded and definitely the right choice for a father-like figure. He's a character I feel like I can relate to in a small way vs. Rhage or Phury's stories.
BOB - Band of Bastards. While I'm not exactly sure where Ward is going with them, I'm enjoying the break from so many Lessers. I honestly found myself skimming through their story most of the time because it's generally pretty predictable and/or similar to the last.
Layla's fascination with xcor. I LOVE IT and I hope something happens between them in the future.
Bruce Willis is mentioned! That made my day.

What I had a hard time with:
Ward's use of slang- it's distracting to me and I don't know how necessary it is. It also dates the story -- using all the pop culture songs, artists, clothes, cars, phones etc. will make it strange if I read it again in 5 years or even a couple. I've already re-read my BDB series twice, and the first few stories are pretty old in comparison to the last few with John, Payne and Tohr (especially if Ward continues the story after Blay and Quinn).
Listening to it on Audible vs. reading the book. The Audible version is difficult to keep up with...no voice intonation even thought there are many characters.

I am definitely reading the Lover at Last book. I CAN'T WAIT~

...the perfect words...

It's such a sigh of relief when you come across something that completely sums up the thoughts you've been unable to articulate. Thank you Mr. Lewis, for your words and wisdom.

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” –C. S. Lewis

This is how I've been feeling over the past year. Thanks to Lindsey Fairleigh for finding this. It sums up the last twelve months perfectly.

...Countdown: Day 32...

INTO THE FIRE (The Ending, #2) Release Countdown: 32 days...

...until the release of the second book in The Ending series!

To celebrate, here's another little snippet from the first chapter (Zoe):

“Look how close they were to us,” I said with a shaky breath. I gauged the distance between where we stood and the barn. Although far away, I could see the dim embers of the night’s fire and the outline of the hay bales and chairs surrounding it. I watched the dark figures of my companions as they moved around the camp. “We never even heard them.”

More to come tomorrow!

...may the countdown begin!...

We were going to wait and do a 30-day countdown, but we just couldn't resist. So, LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN! Follow me, my blog, or After The Ending on FB if you want a taste of what juicy morsels lie ahead!

33 days and counting until the release of Into The Fire!

Here's one of our favorite Dani quotes from the book.
Hmmm...I wonder what she could possibly be talking about...

Dani Quote IF

...Carly Phillips news and cover reveal!...

Do you LOVE Carly Phillips? Contemporary romance? Witty prose and lovable characters? Does your bookshelf look like mine?? Okay, maybe more organized, but you get the point.

Carly's newest series, Dare To Love, won't disappoint! I'll be reading an ARC for review, so I'll have more to share with you all soon, but in the meantime, here's more about the book, the cover, and all the steaminess that awaits us!

New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family... siblings shaped by a father's secrets and betrayal.

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her ... and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he'd rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men - until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she's stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley's past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian's dominance might just cost her everything.

Dare to Love is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, itunes, and Kobo starting November 18th!

Extra! Extra! More CARLY PHILLIPS news hot off the press!


Dear Readers,

I know I’ve been teasing everyone for a while now about some exciting news that I have in the works. And I now have the official go-ahead to tell the world what's coming next for me! Are you ready? I’m so ready to share. I’ve been DYING to shout from the rooftops and have had a hard time keeping the news to myself. But here you go:

I’m going Indie.

That’s right. Instead of publishing my next series of books with a traditional publisher, I’ve decided to self-publish the series. Don't worry, I'll explain what this means for you. But first ...Why am I making the switching to Indie you ask? Well after a lot of research and many debates with myself, I made the decision to self-publish my next series for one primary reason: YOU, my readers. The rise and success of self-publishing has obviously made a huge impact on the industry, and many of my readers have reached out to me personally, encouraging me to make some changes.

Although my publishers have always been very good to me and I’ve very much enjoyed working with them, there is a good reason for me to make the switch. More control. Making the move to indie is giving me more control over my books. I’m no longer tied to a specific word count set by a publisher. I have more control over the editing process. I can make the final decisions on covers, release dates, blurbs and content. And the most important factor: I now sets the price points of my books. Making the switch to self-publishing is giving me total control to make both myself and you, my readers very, very happy.

The first book in my brand new Dare to Love series (also titled Dare to Love) is set to release on November 18th 2013.

Coming soon, you can pre-order DARE TO LOVE exclusively at iTunes. On the day of release, you can find the books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. In addition, the book will be available in paperback too! Of course I’ll send a newsletter, but be sure to follow me on social media (links below) in order to get the most up to date information as it happens! For my paperback readers: This bears repeating: YES these books will available in paperback as well as eBook!



A fun note about the story...In the past my books have been sweet and sexy contemporaries with a small town setting, but with Dare to Love I’m turning up the heat. The Dare to Love Series will be steamier, sexier and hotter than anything I’ve ever written. And I can not wait for you to read it!


I'm so excited that Carly will be joining us indie authors in the self-publishing world. Welcome, Carly!

My favorite Carly Phillips series is The Hot Zone. You gotta love those Jordan sisters and the hunky athletes they represent. Which are your favorite?

Stay tuned for more about Carly Phillips's new book and Happy Reading!


...Into The Fire, Book Two of The Ending Series Cover Reveal...

The Virus changed them, but that was only the beginning…


…all that remains is hope.

In the wake of destruction left behind by the Virus, it took Dani and Zoe months to find each other. But their reunion was short-lived. Dani has been taken, and though little distance separates them, they might as well be worlds apart.

From the moment she hears Dani’s scream, Zoe’s only goal is to save her best friend. She and her companions scramble to come up with a rescue plan, but when a ghost from Jake’s past reappears, lines are blurred, decisions become harder, and secrets are revealed…and some secrets are best left buried. To keep heartache and fear from consuming her, Zoe must cling to her determination. She will see Dani again.

Dani awakens inside the final hold-out of civilization: the Colony. Remnants of the former world surround her—electricity, safety, social order—but all is not what it seems. As she faces her most manipulative adversary yet, she loses sight of who she is and who she can trust. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies, and allies will betray her. Dani will have to decide what she’s willing to do and whose lives she’s willing to risk if she is to have any chance of breaking free.

...After The Ending, Alternate POV...

Any After The Ending fans out there? Yes! I've heard from some of you!

Check out the book's blog for this exclusive alternate POV from a chapter that you no doubt know and love...Read Jason's perspective and get a much anticipated glimpse inside his mind.

For early and inside information, sign up for The Ending Series Newsletter here.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!


...writers remember...

You can't fail at writing...unless you quit.

"If you write a hundred short stories and they’re all bad, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You fail only if you stop writing. I’ve written about 2,000 short stories; I’ve only published about 300 and I feel I’m still learning. Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer."


...proper romance giveaway...

I love me some proper romance!

While I love Jane Austen, I can only re-read her intricately crafted stories so many times before I need something new and exciting. I'm always looking for a great book, and I KNOW that I can count on Julianne Donaldson to deliver. I'm really excited about her second novel, Blackmoore.

She's having a giveaway! Check it out!

Her debut novel, Edenbrooke is also truly wonderful, so I hope you'll check it out, too! You're going to want all of Donaldson's stories on your bookshelf. They're perfect for a cold winter day when you can curl up and get lost in an intriguingly beautiful read.

I can't wait for whatever she has in store for us next!

...World War Z movie review...

World War Z Movie Review (2013)
By Lindsey Pogue

Rating: PG-13/ 116 minutes

Genre: Action | Adventure | Horror

Starring: Brad Pitt, David Morse, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz

Director: Marc Forster

Book Adaptation: World War Z, By Max Brooks (Apocalyptic Horror)

LP’s Rating: 5/5 stars

Basic Overview: A pandemic spreads throughout the world infecting billions of people, and in turn collapses armies and governments leaving everyone who's left to scramble for answers. Retired United Nations investigator Gerry Lane (Pitt) is called upon to investigate the origin and science behind the virus that’s threatening to destroy humanity itself. In order to keep his family protected, Lane agrees to traverse the world, digging up and following leads he hopes will lead him to the origin of the virus.

My Review. Although I’m an avid reader and I co-author a post-apocalyptic sci-fi book series, I’m not typically an end-of-the-world sort of reader. Movies, however, are a completely different story. When I heard they were making WWZ into a movie, and that Brad Pitt was going to star in it, I instantly thought, “this is going to be…interesting.” It was difficult for me to picture and really get excited about Brad Pitt and zombies. However, going into the movie knowing little about it, I had little to no expectations about the film, and I ended up being very pleasantly surprised by the story line. Don’t get me wrong, I like Brad Pitt as an actor. Who doesn't? But Brad Pitt and zombies didn’t seem like a believable or satisfying pairing to me. I was wrong.

Why did I like it? WWZ isn’t your typical zombie story—it has complexity, science, intrigue, and tons of on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense and action.

It’s realistic. WWZ isn’t about a genetically altered badass or crazy gunslinger who single-handedly try to save the world nor was it about power hungry extremist. It's more organic than that. Yes, Lane is the hero of the story, but he doesn't save the world on his own, or do it with any ease whatsoever. Lane's drive is more human and relatable than say, Alice from Resident Evil (even though I love her). This movie is thoughtful and realistic in terms of what actions would be taken, the anatomy of the virus, and how and who might actually be able to get to the bottom of it and discover weakness, cures, and so on. WWZ, to me, seems feasible, which makes the story that much more frightening and realistic. It's more of a behind-the-scenes look at what the government (at least what remains of it) would do in order to stop the virus, who they’d call upon to help, how the world as a whole is affected, and so on.

Suspense. Without giving too much away, this movie is stressful—in a good way—to watch. Just when you think Lane might catch a break, that some of his team members might live or that answers may have been uncovered, the situation gets worse and the plans fall apart. Lane is forced to think of his feet and work with strangers in nearly every scene just to stay alive. Nothing in life is ever easy, right? There is little about this movie that's convenient, another reason why I appreciated it so much. All 116 minutes are a struggle and every minute of it you're hoping Lane will catch a much needed break.

The science. The more “interactions” Lane has with the infected, the more he observes. What sets them off? Who is it that they kill? Is it everyone, or…? Why? The more he sees, the more questions he has about their weaknesses and the way the virus works. Everything has some sort of weakness, right? What is the biology of nature? As a hypothesis begins to form, Lane is forced to make some very hard decisions as to how exactly he’s going to test them, making every moment up until the very end, thrilling.

My recommendation. I really enjoyed this movie, but that’s me. I’m not a fan of over-the-top horror movies like so many of them are. For a movie to be truly unsettling and considered “scary”, it needs to be plausible and this story does that for me. It makes me think…what if? I would recommend it to anyone who likes a deeper level of involvement from the audience—an action/horror film with complexity, humanity, and a character's sheer will to stay alive--if not for his family than for himself. This movie makes me want to read the book.Check it out.

...Sigh...Amazing book reviews that make me smile...

Thanks to Library at the End of the Universe for such a wonderful review of the book. I can't wait to share book 2 with everyone...and I'm most excited to start writing book 3....so much I want to share but my lips are sealed!!!

"After The Ending hooked me into the idea from the back cover blurb, which is a snare trap for books. A good blurb does not always mean a good book. This time it does though. Yes, it is an apocalypse story, and that has been a trend that some steer clear of, with good reason. The difference here though is that the story is more about the endurance of a friendship. Dani and Zoe anchor the cast of highly developed characters, which is a huge plus for me. Characters that are flat and boring, make a story hard to stomach. Even though the story is dealing with the harsh reality of surviving the end of the world, the characters are richly built by the authors. They do not choose to hammer you with all of the details at once though, the slowly reel you into the characters personalities as the story plays out. You know I do not like to give spoilers, so I am not going to highlight all of the characters, but I want you to know that every character has a role that they play. Fairleigh & Pogue crafted every minute aspect of each person and animal so well, they alone make the novel worth the read.
The true star of the show though is the story format that the authors chose to use in telling their tale. Alternating chapters from different points of view, including email communication between Dani and Zoe until that is no longer available, all makes for a fairly unique format. I found that I liked this way of story telling and was easily drawn into the unfolding drama on either side of the world. The story is also one that is beautifully written with a clear understanding of the subject matter. Whether it is survival training, medical knowledge or mental health the authors went into just the right amount of detail to show they were aware of the topic, but not going to hammer you with unnecessary details. There is the right amount of action and drama within the story that the reader is never left waiting for something to happen. Just as you think things may be coming to some level of closure something surprises you and the characters and the story moves further forward.
This is the first book in The Ending Series, and I know I am eagerly anticipating the second book."

...first official guest blog posts and interivew...


So, I guess another crazy part about being an author is that you have to answer interview questions and write guest blog posts. While I enjoy interacting with people, I have to say it's a lot of pressure to convey who you are and what you feel in a three-line answer.

Team Lindsey's first official online interview: The Dark Phantom Review

My first guest blog post...The Busy Mom's Daily

As foreign as it is to do these sorts of things, it's also becoming familiar. Another couple of things to add to the list of deadlines...there are worse things :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

...Shatter Me Book Review...

Shatter Me Book Review - By Lindsey Pogue

Team Lindsey adores Tahereh Mafi and her Shatter Me series. Although Shatter Me is the first book in the series and has been out since 2011, I'm only just now about ready to jump into Unravel Me and wanted to do a quick recap.

!If you haven’t read Shatter Me, POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!

Summary: Juliette doesn’t know her own strength that she’s cursed. That is, until she tried to help someone inadvertently killed a small child, was labeled dangerous and locked away in a cell…by the Reestablishment…from the crumbling, chaotic world in which she lives. While 17-year-old Juliette isn’t exactly cursed, no one knows why her touch is fatal or what to do with her…that is until someone gets a bright idea and deems her useful.

Juliette thinks she’s been forgotten about until Warner, the son of the leader of the Reestablishment, begins to show interest in becomes obsessed with her, trying to convert Juliette into one of his weapons to help take over what remains of the decaying world that they live in.

Adam, a childhood acquaintance and a soldier in the Reestablishment, is the only one willing to help her, who sees Juliette as good, who loves her, and who helps her escape Warner’s evil grasp. There's a little romance, a little action, but a lot of heart, which I think is what really grabbed my attention.

What I like about it:

  • Mafi is a fresh author with a unique voice. I love the strikethrough idea because, let’s be honest, we think this way so why not write this way? It seems ingenious to me, especially because the censorship and uncertainty is written as it is inside Juliette’s head. Sometimes Juliette makes no sense, but that’s because her mind is reeling and she’s trying to comprehend her life…the world…love…fear. She’s a naive girl in an uncertain and unpredictable and dangerous world so it makes sense her inner-most thoughts would be wishful, confused, self-deprecating, and wanting.
  • The prose. While I don’t necessary write with so much fluff, with as many adjectives or abstract thoughts, that doesn’t mean it’s not refreshing to read once in a while. I generally like simple and to the point, but I can definitely appreciate the time and creativity an author can put into description and elaboration.

For instance…

I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

  • The prose are really quite beautiful. I could never write something so clever, so thought provoking. I think Mafi doesn’t it nicely and while some people don’t like it, I think others absolutely love it. There were many times during this book that I literally stopped reading and thought “how does she do it?”
  • The characters. Warner was creepy. Adam was lovable. Juliette was endearing. That’s what a good story needs and I think the author did a good job of making the reader want what she did…to either love OR hate the characters. Even Kenji was entertaining and kept the suspense up because we don’t really know if he’s sincere until they arrive at one of the Resistance bases.

Some of the issues that I had…

  • Because the story takes place so much in the whirling mind of the heroine, I did find myself sometimes wishing the action would pick up, the romance would pick up, something that would help at a little more life to the story along with all the inner turmoil.
  • Sometimes the prose did seem a bit much and I could have done with them more sparsely laced throughout the story, but again, it’s the author’s writing style and I can’t do that, so I appreciate it (even if it is sort of distracting at times).

Overall, I’m a huge fan of this book. I am anxious to get started on Unravel Me, but I wanted to get my thoughts down on paper before immersing myself in the second installment of Shatter Me. I have a feeling I’m going to be wishing I’d waited for book three, but I can’t help it…I’m reading it anyway.

...character quote...

I like quotes, especially when they mirror my very thoughts, but I could never pinpoint them or formulate the words...

"I don’t have a very clear idea of who the characters are until they start talking." ~JOAN DIDION

...Get to know the Lindseys...

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

LF: That I’m obsessive. When I find something that I love, like a book series or show, I put so much energy into finding out everything I can about it, from the characters to the creators. I know it’s probably not something that other people, like my mom or husband, would say is their favorite thing about me, but I love it. Besides, I think it makes me a better writer...when I’m immersed in a project, it’s all I think about. Sometimes I even forget to eat, and I love food!

LP: I’m passionate about a lot of things--movies, reading, writing, laughing, eating, learning, traveling--I don’t get bored very often.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

LF: Definitely my insanely awesome ability to procrastinate. It’s really not so helpful if I’m having a tough writing day…or need to schedule an appointment at the dentist. With the latter, I usually end up going about a year late. I feel sorry for my teeth.

LP: I get sidetracked easily. I’d like to think it is the creative part of my brain, but I think it’s just impatience and lack of focus more times than not. Oh, and I worry too much.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

LF: “I didn’t jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.” Why? Because it’s Buffy and Joss is a genius, and that’s the only reason I’ll ever need to love that line.

LP: That’s really hard for me...it would have to be “Yippee Ki-yay mother*BLEEP*“ by Bruce Willis or “It’s not a tumor!” by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most cheesy one-liners make me smile.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

LF: I’d have to say writing and publishing After The Ending independently…with LP, of course! It’s a ginormous, never-ending learning process, but it is so worth it.

LP: Ditto

What is your favorite color?

LF: Green.

LP: Green

LF: Jinx.

What is your favorite food?

LF: Cheese, bacon, or tomatoes. It depends on the day.

LP: Breakfast food...and Mexican if I had to choose something else.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

LF: Favorite place I’ve ever been…Tuscany. Favorite place I’ve never been…Egypt. I studied Mediterranean archaeology in college and worked on a dig in Italy. It was the craziest, most amazing experience I’ve ever had. There’s nothing like being the first person to touch a piece of pottery in 2,000 years--it’s like there’s a connection between you and someone who’s been gone for millennia.

LP: While I love traveling around the world and learning about different cultures, there’s something to be said for the serenity of nature and being comfortable in your surroundings. That being said, I love The Ranch. It’s my grandparents’ home located in the hills of Northern California. The Ranch has always inspired me and brought me peace of mind.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

LF: For me, I’d have to say that because my parents encouraged me to be a bookworm, I gained a passion for fiction early on. It started with Matilda and The Witches. Then, my mom suggested I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and I read all seven books at least a dozen times. That was my springboard into all of the amazing worlds that can be found in fantasy and science fiction books. Because of that, I eat, sleep, breathe—and write—within those genres.

LP: While reading is a pastime I’ve only embraced in the last five years or so, I’ve always been passionate about writing. Whether it’s a story idea, journal entry, a research piece for the newspaper, or my master’s thesis, I have always had something to write. My family has always encouraged me to do what makes me happy and has supported me in all that I do, allowing me to find what it is that makes me truly happy.

How long have you been writing?

LP: All my life.

LF: I’ve been keeping journals since elementary school, but I’ve only been writing fiction for about six years.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

LP: Honestly, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but never felt it was possible until I met LF. We sort of clicked and started brainstorming and one thing led to another. It’s really exciting and encouraging to have someone who feels the way I do about writing--who has the passion and the drive. I don’t know if I would’ve ever gotten this far if we hadn’t met.

LF: Awww...thanks friend! I feel the same way. As for when I first knew I could be a writer...it was a conversation I had with one of my professors when I was an undergrad at the University of Washington. For some reason, I had been under the impression that I wasn’t a very good writer, and his was one of the courses that would earn me a writing credit without actually being a dedicated “writing” class. He called me in for a meeting to discuss one of my papers and ended up convincing me that I really could write. Several years later, I started working on my first manuscript.

What inspired you to write your first book?

LP: Aside from my partnership with LF spurring forward my passion for writing, I have to give the credit to my grandfather. All my life I’ve escaped to The Ranch, spending my summer having some new adventure, writing about it and hovering over my notebook or my computer. My grandpa would always asked me if I was finished yet and when he could read it. He passed away last year right when LF and I started this project. I wish he was here so that I could show him that I finally finished something and that it’s an actual book.

LF: Family is really the thing that inspired me as well, though sort of in an inverse way. I was dealing with some personal and family issues when I started my first manuscript, and writing was the only thing that made me feel any better. It was like therapy...except free. And once I started, I couldn’t stop.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years?

LP: Throughout my life, I’ve journaled everything that’s happened to me--dreams, heartbreaks, family drama--but, I’ve always been horrible with grammar and it detoured me from enjoying writing anything for other people to read. I had red lines through my essay papers in high school and was struggling to keep good grades in my English classes. When I entered my Junior year, a very passionate, wonderful teacher showed me the power of writing and the fun of reading, and I’ve been writing stories and taking creative writing classes ever since.

LF: For me, I’d say there are two things that have always influenced my writing--my super vivid dreams and the thousands of science fiction and fantasy books I’ve read.

What made you want to be a writer?

LP: I just love it. It feels right.

LF: Same for me. Once I started writing, I felt like I’d finally realized who I really was. Everything else felt forced, but like LP said, writing just feels right.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

LP: I find it difficult to control my impatience. When I’m brainstorming, I get too many ideas that I consider “good stuff” and then I can’t stick with one story. I have so many unfinished stories it’s sort of embarrassing. I think, other than After The Ending, I’ve only ever completed one draft of an entire story. There are always too many ideas floating around in my head, and I become impatient to get to the “good stuff” down. That makes it difficult to stick with one project at a time. I like working on The Ending series with LF because it holds me accountable and I stay focused. I need deadlines.

LF: It’s so funny, because this is probably where we differ the most. I focus on one project so intently that I want to keep revising and reworking...pretty much endlessly. I have to force myself to take a step back and work on something else. But then, the process starts all over again with the new manuscript...

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
LP: It has taught me more about myself, what goes into publishing a book, and the writing process itself. I can’t even begin to explain. I think I’m still absorbing it all. But the one thing that I keep coming back to is...I can do it. I’ve always wanted to publishing a book and we did it! I’ve taken the plunge and it feels...indescribable.

LF: Writing and publishing After The Ending has taught me that sometimes the best things are also the most terrifying. I mean, we created this world, these characters--this story is like our child--and now people we don’t know are reading it...and enjoying it. I just read a review this morning where the reader said she felt like she was a member of the group in the book, and that she didn’t want it to end. Hearing someone say that about our book is absolutely amazing.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

LP: I hope so because that would be absolutely wonderful.

LF: Absolutely yes. I’m all in.

Can you tell us about your main character?

LP: Like most people, Zoe gets in her own way a lot. She over thinks things, which is probably a personification of me, but our similarities end there. She is strong, but she doesn’t realize how strong, at least not yet. She’s always felt disconnected from her family for a reason she doesn't understand, and her internal conflicts have jaded her--that’s why she cherishes Dani’s friendship so much. Dani provides the balance Zoe needs to be happy and feel normal--Dani makes her laugh, live and gives her something to look forward to as she struggles to uncover and understand the family secrets that have loomed over her for as long as she can remember.

LF: Dani is a petite redhead with a quirky personality. She’s passionate, silly, and willing to give up everything to help the people she loves. For all of her life, she’s felt survivor’s guilt over the death of her mother--she died in childbirth--which is only compounded during the events of The Ending. She draws strength from Zoe, who has always looked out for her, and considers her to be more of a sister than simply a friend.

Who designed the cover?

LP: We came up with the concept together, wanting to have a cover that was different, simple and that left people curious as to what the book was about. Once we agreed on the images and the overall concept, LF did the formatting and made an amazing cover that I am so very proud of.

LF: It was a lot of work--a lot of learning--but I’m really happy with the end product. That being said, I make no claims of being a cover designer, and I have immense respect for the truly talented cover designers out there.

Who is your publisher?
LP: Wanting to retain as much creative licensing as possible, we started our own publishing company, L2 Books, that we run out of my house. So, not only am I a new homeowner, but we’re new business owners as well. I think it’s safe to say we’re grown-ups now.

LF: I don’t know if I’d go that far, LP. Grown-ups is quite a claim...

Will you write others in this same genre?

LP: We plan to write four books in this series and who knows what we will tackle together after that. I have some Sci-fi story ideas I’d like to work on personally, but typically Sci-fi isn’t my preferred reading genre--it’s not my comfort zone--so it will be interesting to see where my next, individual project takes me. Probably somewhere in the contemporary romance genre.

LF: Yes, absolutely. The science fiction and fantasy genres are a part of me. For me, writing in another genre would be like writing in a foreign language.

How much of the book is realistic?

LP: Although our book is fiction, we tried to make it as realistic as possible. We did as much research as we could before taking our own creative licenses and adding things into our post-apocalyptic world that might not have been there otherwise. Overall, we did try to keep the reader engaged and constantly thinking “what if?”.

LF: There were a few “real world” things that we tweaked for the sake of the storyline, possibly the most obvious being that the internet stays up for several weeks after almost everyone is dead, but we stuck with it because of the way the project originated. In the beginning, the entire thing was epistolary--it was all written in the form of emails between Dani and Zoe. We changed that, thankfully, but felt the need to retain the email communications because they were the original heart of the story--everything else formed around them.

How important do you think villains are in a story?

LP: They are very important. Without the villains, my characters would remain static. The villains definitely help drive the story.

LF: Beyond that, I think it’s important that some of the villains are hard to distinguish...and that some of the good guys might really be villains in disguise. It’s the gray characters who make things really interesting.

What are your goals as a writer?

LP: I would love nothing more than to be able to write for a living, but only if I could write something I’m passionate about, that I feel connected to, and something that brings me joy.

LF: I want to write science fiction and fantasy novels that transport people to another world, or another version of our world. I want people to feel like they’ve been to my worlds, met my characters, and been touched by their struggles and successes. If I can do that with my writing, I’ll be happy.

Have you started another book yet?
LP: When I’m not working part time for a non-profit organization, I am working on my chapters for book two, Into The Fire.

LF: Along with Into The Fire, I’m just putting the finishing touches on Echo Prophecy, the first book in my debut solo series. It’s a paranormal romance slash time travel novel with strong mythological connections to Ancient Egypt. It follows a young archaeologist, Lex, as she uncovers a historical mystery, a terrifying prophecy, and an ancient, powerful species that has been hiding among humans for millennia. I’m aiming to release it in late summer.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

LP: Writing full time and enjoying life. Hopefully I’ll have the time to get back into horseback riding again as well. I miss it, a lot.

LF: Writing, globe-trotting with my husband, and spending a lot of time in my garden.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?
LP: My guilty pleasure is reading J.R. Ward’s, Black Dagger Brotherhood. I’m catching up on her latest books in the series, anxiously waiting for the Blay/Quinn story to come out.

LF: I’m totally addicted to George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. I also just started The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa and am loving it.

Are there any new authors that helped inspire you?

LP: We’ve met Tahereh Mafi a couple times and she’s so quirky and fun. I think in a lot of ways she reminds us of...us. Watching her grow and succeed as an author has definitely been inspirational. We loved Shatter Me and can’t wait to see where the rest of her series leads us.

LF: Good answer. Ditto.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out?

LP: I just discovered Scrivener and I love it! It keeps me organized and I need that to stay focused.

LF: Yeah, I’m on board with Scrivener too. Also, post-its are the greatest outlining and plotting tool ever invented.

Do you have any advice for writers?

LP: Go with your gut and keep in mind that you will NEVER please everyone--that latter is something I’m coming to terms with during this process.

LF: Put your manuscript aside for several months--like lock it away in a safe and don’t peek at it even once--and then when you look at it again, you’ll have all these new ideas for improving it. I know a ton of people have already said it, but there’s a reason--they’re right!

What do you do to unwind and relax?

LP: I love curling up and watching movies with my man or drinking wine and laughing with my friends.

LF: I spend a lot of time cooking--like several hours a day--and I listen to an audiobook while I’m doing it. It’s akin to meditation for me. Also, gardening, walking, and running...also while listening to an audiobook. Haha, I’m totally an audible.com junkie.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

LP: That I am capable of achieving my dreams.

LF: Writing something that other people can connect to...a story and characters that make them feel something. Even though it’s what we were trying to do, I’m still astonished. It feels amazing.

When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have?

LP: I did everything I wanted to and have no regrets. I want to have enjoyed the path I chose, my life.

LF: I would like to think that my work, my writing, meant something to somebody else. That would make all of the time and effort worth it.
Finding Your Voice: Writing in First Person (or Third)

by Lindsey Pogue & Lindsey Fairleigh

Deciding which point-of-view to use when writing our first book, After The Ending, was probably one of the most difficult decisions we had to make...and the most time consuming. The POV is so immensely important to a storyline, allowing the readers to get into the characters’ heads and experience the story along with them, or to be omniscient and know things the characters themselves aren’t aware of. We knew that making the wrong decision would have devastated our goal to engross the reader, to make them care about what happened to Dani and Zoe as the young women learned to survive and thrive in their post-apocalyptic world. Although After The Ending is written in first person, it definitely didn’t start out that way, and making the decision to change it was a trying process.

After The Ending has gone through so many different stages that it’s become a completely different project from the one we initially set out to create. While the concept and storyline has essentially remained the same, the format of our work has gone through multiple revisions, transforming the original online blog version into the nearly 500-page book we finally published.

Because our initial idea was to start a blog where our two characters documented their apocalyptic survival experiences solely conveyed through emails, we started off writing in first person...and only in the format of emails between Zoe and Dani. It didn’t take us too long to realize that we were severely limiting the story that Dani and Zoe could tell. As the After The Ending developed, we were unable to convey the depth, dynamics, and true nature of our characters because we only allowed the reader to see them through their silly, realistic, and sometimes melodramatic emails.
Halfway into the storyline, we found ourselves wanting to share our characters in a way the emails wouldn’t allow, so we did a complete overhaul of everything we’d written, combining the emails with third person narration. The revisions not only allowed us to learn more about our characters, but also enable our readers to see beyond their quirky emails--to see Zoe and Dani as they truly are, including their fears, passions, and even their secrets. 
As Zoe and Dani’s Abilities--what we call the extraordinary powers that some survivors develop early on in the book--began to develop during the writing process, we wondered if using the first person POV would be a better way to share what our characters were actually feeling and experiencing. We wanted there to be a personal connection between the reader and Dani and Zoe, and we felt that using first person could establish such a connection far more effectively than using third person. However, we also worried that by limiting the POV to first person, we were taking away from the development of the other important characters, somehow making them seem less important or relatable.
Conflicted, we asked fellow authors how they went about deciding which voice was best for their stories, in hopes they could help us make up our minds. As expected, all their advice was the same...what do the characters want? What does your gut tell you? We knew the answer, and it was then that we made the decision to do another huge overhaul and change everything to first person. Because Dani and Zoe are so essential to the story, we wanted them to be as alive as possible--for the readers to be able to connect with them and grow to love or hate the supporting characters as the women do. Since we made the change, we haven’t looked back.
Even though we decided to write the entire series in first person, we’ve come to realize that we don’t have to limit ourselves to Dani and Zoe’s perspectives. There’s still a lot of story left to tell and the two young women are only part of the world of The Ending.

...First Author Interview...

First Guest Blog Post Interview:

Inside the Mind of the Author

by Lindsey Pogue

I’ve always had a passion for storytelling and delving into a world that’s so completely different from my own. Like most kids, I created books and wrote fantastical stories in my youth. I continued researching and writing about past cultures in my academia, along with developing new worlds in which made-up characters live and breathe into my adulthood. Despite my passion for writing, I’ve allowed myself to be detoured in the past, both by my unrealistic expectations and by unreachable standards that I’ve set for myself. It’s only now, after working on this project with Lindsey Fairleigh (LF), that I understand myself better as a writer and as an author. I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t, and I can go into book two of The Ending Series, Into The Fire, with more ease.

Co-authoring After The Ending has taught me how important it is to really identify how I work best as a writer so I can continue to be productive and creative to the best of my ability...and so I can keep what remaining sanity I have intact. My brain works very differently than LF’s, and because we work so closely together, it’s imperative that we appreciate how different our writing processes are, both for our separate story lines and POV’s and also when we’re working on combined chapters. That being said, looking back at book one, I notice two very important characteristics about myself and my writing style that I’m so grateful to finally understand.

First, I have come to terms with the fact that I’m not omniscient. I never have been, nor will I ever be. Obvious? Sure, but it’s also hard to remember when you’re the creator of something. By consciously acknowledging my lack of omniscience, I am giving myself permission to loosen the reins and let the characters write for themselves. While I am a planner in life, that is not the case in writing. No matter how many details and story arcs I devise in my head and outline on paper, things always change--characters have a way of commandeering the story, no matter what my intentions might be. That being said, if I don’t have my characters completely solidified in my mind before I start writing, that’s okay. I know some authors see the entire story in their mind, but I see bits and pieces, or what I call the “good stuff”. I’m learning how to accept the fact that I can get the “good stuff” down and fill in the holes as I go...especially since the story inevitably writes itself and generally unfolds into something more amazing than what I had planned in the first place.

Second, I’ve learned which type of writer I am--a “revisionist” so to speak. I have to remind myself there is no rule that says you can only revise four times, and if there is, I’m pretending it doesn’t exist. I need to revise A LOT. My inspiration to write comes in spurts. So, instead of getting frustrated with my brain for vomiting ideas incoherently and out of order, I’m learning to embrace the spewage—to get the ideas down to flesh out later. Nothing will ever be or even has to be perfect the first time around. I learn about and discover my characters as I go, and I don’t have a plethora of interconnected details and ideas that just flow out of my mind and onto the page, resulting in an almost complete manuscript that just needs some tweaking. Instead, I write down the “good stuff” and build around it. I write a chapter, then walk away…come back to it…read and revise…walk away…and read and revise another five times before I even feel comfortable passing it on to LF. I think this is where she and I differ in our writing processes. She tends to have very fluid thoughts and ideas and gets them down eloquently, whereas my ideas are always jumbled in my head.

Going into this project, I pressured myself to have my characters ironed out in my mind—the details, the obstacles they’d face, the love triangles they’d get mixed up in—but this is one instance in my life where planning isn’t so helpful. In fact, it’s more of a hindrance to my creativity, and it’s a relief to know I’ve discovered how my mind works so, as we work on book two, I can allow myself the space to be inspired and creative with no restraint. When inspiration flows, when my thoughts and ideas meld together and the characters come to life, that’s when the best ideas make it onto the page. I love “the zone”.

So, now that we are finished with AE, I’m able to take a step back and appreciate what we’ve accomplished, but I’m also able to reflect on how we’ve gotten to where we are and how to have fun and grow as a writer. I’ve been able to recognize what the writing process looks like for me, allowing me to set realistic standards for myself and to be more productive, lose some of the added stress, and have some fun.

...Life Quote...

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

...On being an author...

It's strange...being an author, I mean. You can scribble something on a piece of scratch paper, write notes on a napkin, and jot down your dreams and ideas in the middle of the night all throughout your life, but it isn't until you publish something--that you put your blood, sweat, and tears into something--that it really feels... well, real.

When you have to activate an author profile and update your blogs and Facebook pages on a regular basis, you know things are changing. When you have to work on websites and write an author bio or have an author picture taken, it's a reality check that things are happening-that you're one step closer to achieving your dream, to meeting your goal.

After fifteen years of thinking and dreaming about authorship, the time has finally come. Thanks to my friend and writing partner, Lindsey Fairleigh, together we've made both of our dreams come true.

Here's my first, official author biography:

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her--whether she's traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next story line or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey's wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.

...Being Grateful...

It's Thanksgiving and, although I am very thankful today, I've been reflecting on what I'm grateful for a lot lately.

In the chaos of life and uncontrollable circumstances, I find myself getting mixed up in a mess of troubling thoughts. Troubling in the way that they prevent me from keeping things in perspective sometimes. I need to remember to take a deep breath and realize it will all be okay. Feelings of frustration, anxiety, anticipation, worry.....yada yada yada, seem to be the primary invaders of my everyday thoughts. It's cumbersome and takes over who I am sometimes. I don't like it and I have to make it stop.

Luckily, things are a-changin'!

Whether it's recognizing what I have and what other's don't, appreciating this wonderful opportunity I've been presented to write (which truly means so much to me), or being able to spend time with the people I love, I've come to terms with the fact that life is great! I am still laughing and enjoying the small things. I am truly so thankful for all I have, and I understand how lucky I am. I'm learning to stop, say "Life, you will NOT get the best of me," and succumb to the warmth I gain from the fact I have everything I could ever need or really want.

The trick to my new-found self-assertiveness?

I ask myself this question and if I don't like the answer, do something about it.

If the world ended tomorrow or next year, would I be happy with how I spent my life?

While it may be an obvious question, it truly is the ultimate question. It provides me the space to look at the last six months of my life and say, "No, I worried too much about the small stuff, got worked up over nothing, and I didn't spend enough time with my friends and family." Problem identified....

I am grateful for the freedom I have to make those decisions for myself and the freedom I have to act on them.

...Considering all things inspirational...

So, as I sit here, plotting or scheming my way into the next make-believe chapter of my writing project, I wonder what it takes to change things up a bit. Sometimes I get stuck in my own head and wonder how I can get out of a morose scene and transition into something more uplifting or vice verse.

What inspires me?

I've decided on two very specific things that always help me get out of a rut. Time away from the computer screen and living life. It's all very simple and I know most authors will say the same. It's still a work in progress, trying to convince myself I need to take a step back and go out and do something else for awhile. BUT...it's super important for me.

For instance...

I go to a restaurant and I see a couple having an intense conversation. My nosy self wants to know what they're talking about. Is it good? Bad? Did someone cheat or lie? Did someone forget to pick up the milk coming home from work? That's when my overactive imagination comes into play. Based on her hand gestures and the pleading look in his eyes, I determine they aren't even married at all, but having and affair and something's gone terribly wrong.

Or perhaps...

You go to a pub and observe a group of people celebrating someone birthday. You think...wouldn't portraying a similar scenario be a great way to show camaraderie among my characters after they've experienced so much loss? Wouldn't giving them something to smile and laugh about be just what they need to feel human again and to have hope?


What if you see the color of someone's eyes and you think... "That's perfect for my character!" Or a hair color on a woman you never would've thought about and wallah! There's the antagonist.

Even watching movies and reading is sometimes the inspiration I need to keep writing. Just a change in scenery, watching others as they live their lives, allowing me to live vicariously through them.


In all honesty, I've discovered I am not one of those people who has an endless plethora of ideas in my head, just waiting to be plucked out and expanded upon. No, I need inspiration... something to get my creative juices flowing. And I thank people's everyday lives for that!

...Five Sentence Fiction :Detour...

Tossing my purse into the overstuffed chair, I dropped my keys on the bookshelf and strode into the kitchen.

Getting home early was the perfect start to the very special anniversary celebration I had planned.

My new white baby doll lingerie, his favorite dinner of rosemary chicken, handmade cheese tortellini, a spinach salad and homemade ice cream for desert, was sure to make the night a memorable one.

Everything was going to be special; everything was going to be perfect.

The bedroom door creaked open and a woman's laughter piqued my attention.

...the woe's of authorship-ism-ology

So, being the budding author that I am, I have to say, I'm having to do things I've never even considered part of the "craft." While I know designing book covers, taking author photos, and coming up with slogans and back-cover dialogue is all part of the game, I never really imagined myself doing it. 

But...alas! Back cover design for L2 Books's first publication is ready to go! Our first author picture has been chosen and we wrote our bios! AMAZING, right? Here's mine :)

"Lindsey Pogue is a history addict, traveling fool and food lover who dreams of the day she can go horseback riding, write and read, all in a days work."

On small victory!

...to be in nature...

So...I've always loved nature and being in it does something magical, it seems. I love the smell of red dirt, dry oak leaves, and sunshine. Yes, I believe sunshine has a scent, especially when you combine the three things. Being in nature is both rejuvenating and enlightening, and I've always wondered if living up there would be a healthy, smart choice or if visiting it is just the change of pace I need every once in a while. Needless to say, there's something to be said for Mother Nature and her tranquility and beauty. Sigh.

So...Summer is coming to an end...winter is crouching low, stalking around the mountains and trees to settle in for the next few, dark months. While I welcome the beauty of winter, I loath it's chilling presence. Unless, of course, I have a good book in hand, a soft blanket, and a crackling fire to sit beside.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

...Bob Ross...I truly miss you...

"There are no limits here....Believe that you can do it."

...After The Ending begins!...

After The Ending, Book One - The Ending Series

Here is the newly revealed cover for the book project I'm currently working on. After much thought and deliberation (consisting of many sighs, pinched brows, headaches, and pursed lips), we finally chose one, thanks to our FB followers feedback. One small victory in the name of self-publishing! Sound the victory horn - burp-ber-der-burrrr!