Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Silence" Covered

Was it at least a little "pun-ny?" Oh, come on, it's eight in the morning, cut a girl a break. I'm trying to be cute but I'm still asleep. Who's coming to make coffee? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, I was afraid of that. 

So, the lovely, wonderful, amazing Texas postman (or is it a lady?) delivered something to me yesterday! *Insert squee of pure excitement*

It's beautiful, right?! I geeked out for a solid hour over it. I realize from this picture that you can't get the entire front/back thing going so let me post the wrap around view. 

I am in love with it. Which means here is where I have to give Sara Fuller her credit for coming up with the idea. I thank her enough in the back of the book but I must give credit where credit is due. She came up with this beautiful idea and I put it together. I could not be happier with it. 

Which means SWFF is going on sale soon! Here is the schedule for that. So if you absolutely love it, want to buy it for someone else, or just want to throw it out to the world that it's on sale, I would greatly appreciate it! Because, let's be honest, who doesn't need a little bit of Atlas Ryker in their life? 

It's also my daughters SECOND (oh my God, when did that happen?!) birthday on February 7th, and if you're in the DFW area it's going to be cold, cold, cold. That means, stay at home, and read a book. 

In other book news, I have a teaser from "Having Hart" for you. Yes, we're getting all of our book basis covered today. 

"The way Low carries herself, full of grace, and full of ease, it makes things right with my soul. Her presence alone makes the voices in my head a little easier to battle. I think my demons just like to cuddle with hers." - Hart

I think that's just about everything I have for you guys today. Book cover, sale, Hart teaser... Yeah, it's time for me to find some caffeine and go back into my writing hole. I hope you all love it as much as I do. 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Waiting Game

If I'm to be really honest with y'all- I am not a patient person. Patience was not a virtue that was bestowed upon me at birth. I hate waiting in line, in traffic, on the phone, the post office, etc. So this waiting on the proof of "Silence" to arrive is killing me. I probably check the mail starting an hour before it's even to be delivered, ya' know, just in case it decided to come early today. Needless to say it hasn't and it's driving me absolutely freaking insane. 

As soon as the proof gets here I will release the cover. You know you want to see it. It's gorgeous. So now you can be impatient with me. 

Until then I have been working diligently on "Having Hart" and the climax, revisions, things of that nature. I love where this book is going. It's not the normal contemporary romance style that I'm used to writing. There are chapters in here that I would have to walk away from my laptop because I was sobbing too hard to see the screen. I am hoping I do the nature of the situation justice and with a delicate hand. Because it is not a delicate situation. 

There is a possibility of a North Texas/Dallas area author signing which I, of course, threw my hat in for. Right now it's myself, the marvelous C.c. Wood, and a few others who will attempt to make this happen for you guys. I will let you know when and where when I know when and where. But keep your fingers crossed until then. Hah, now you can play my patience game with me! 

Alright, that's really all I have going on right now. I did put up the revised edition of "Something Worth Fighting For" on Amazon, so that one pesky spelling mistake that no one caught is fixed. 

I have teasers for "Having Hart" though! If, ya' know, that interests you. It does? Awesome. Here ya' go. 

"Love, I can't do this without you. You've always been the person that took care of me. I don't know how to do this life without you. This is not how our fairytale ends; it can't be. I need a happily ever after and growing old with you." -Hart

"Love is not something someone teaches you, Hart! It's something you feel, it's an emotion. It's not an equation to be formulated or deciphered, there is no X or Y you can solve for here. You learn from loving someone, from experiencing it. Not how to love someone because a person taught you how. No professor or book can show you how to do it, it's something that just happens and you buckle up and go for the ride. Whether that's a straight and narrow road or a roller coaster. You hold on with both hands, hold your breath, and let go. Sometimes it comes to a stop, a sudden jerk, a short walk with a sudden stop. And then every once in a while it's a road trip, the trip around the world, the long way home." - Marlow

"I am not responsible for any injuries sustained due to tickle torture, Hart Ellis." -Marlow

"God, do you not have any brains in that big meat head of yours?!" 
"Apparently not." I smirked, running my hand down my face. "Please let me in?" 
"Pretty please?" 
The door slammed shut in my face.

Thora vs Hart

"You use your fist instead of words, you drink too much, you test my trust, and honestly, I'm not sure I can remember a day that I wasn't in love with you." -Marlow

That's all for now. 
Hopefully the next blog will be a cover reveal! 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Okay! "Something Worth Fighting For" has been updated! This means that the spelling mistakes have been corrected, a few little things I'm particularly picky about, and a little bonus playlist has been added. 

The print copy will be updated as well to match because I was not aware that I had spelled a word wrong. Do you know how much that pisses me off? Seriously, ugh. 

Anyway, the cover for "Silence" is completely amazing. I love it and I cannot wait to show it to you guys. 

I'll give you a hint: There's glitter involved. No, not on the actual book itself but... Ah hell, you'll see. 

Other than that I am about to get started on "Having Hart" again, the plot twist gave me goosebumps, and that's all I'll say about that.  

Book four is stirring in my brain thanks to my sister. It will be a challenge and not something that I am particularly used to writing. But there will be a dastardly villain to sink your teeth into. You will despise him/her. I am looking forward to tackling it and lost sleep last night over it. 

I think that's just about it for now. I don't have a new "Silence" teaser for you guys yet but I'll try and find some time to work on one or get someone to make one, whatever. Unless you're interested in seeing the cover? Hmm... 


Friday, January 17, 2014

A bit of this, a lot of that.

Less than a month until you guys can get your hands on "Silence" and I'm stoked. Everything is almost finished. As in I should have final edits done today, cover done this weekend, and the rest takes about five minutes after that. 

I very sincerely hope that y'all love Finn and Layna as much as I do. 

"Having Hart" is on the back burner until I finish with "Silence" but it's still there, open, mocking me. That's an all attention kind of story and I just can't split it right now. 

So this is what I'm going to do for y'all. We're dropping the price of SWFF for the weekend before Valentine's day. Buy it for yourself, someone else, a stranger, I don't care, and then the weekend after or depending on how well that goes and how much love you show me, we will release "Silence" and trust me, you want to get your hands on these two as soon as you can. 

I think that about wraps everything up. Almost done with "Silence" and SWFF is going on sale, and... I'm just a busy gal. 

Here are your teasers, you know that's why you even came. These two are both from Finn's POV. 

"We were young, you were scared, and I was crazy." 

"It was like the worlds most complicated game of chess. One wrong move and the king goes down at the hands of the queen." 

I also happen to think Finn is completely dreamy. Ya' know, for a guy that looks like an Avett brother. 

Anyway, that's all for now. 


P.S. A wise person told me that Nirvana's Bleach album and coffee was good for the creative writing process. I'd like to publicly state that person is a genius. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Having Hart

It's been a few days. How is everyone doing? Oh me? I'm well, thanks for asking. 

Sunday night, Golden Globes are on! No seriously, I love, love awards show season! It's my guilty pleasure. Some people like reality TV, I like awards shows. 

Anyway, I figured since I was watching I could at least write you guys a blog while I'm at it. This blog is going to be mostly teasers from book three aka "Having Hart" aka I'm not sure if that's the title yet or not. 

Characters let's start there. 

Marlow "Low" Tayte: Fairly normal girl, no tragic past, nothing remarkable about her, and while her parents are wealthy, she isn't one of those Mommy and Daddy buy me everything kinda gals. She's smart, quick, a little fast to jump to conclusions, and completely in love with Hart. She also has completely amazing hair. What? All the awesome girls have pink hair. 

Hart Alder: Is your typical loud mouth, standoffish, bad boy with a screwed up past that causes him to have panic attacks. The man thinks that being screwed up is in his DNA. While he loves Low even after trying not to admit it to himself, he has to do what he thinks is right: Push her away so she can have better.

As soon as Low is gone, Hart realizes he has actually screwed up this time and will go to great lengths to fix what he has done. But the real question is will Low move on? Two years she waited for Hart just for him to mess it all up. How far is too far? Is love enough to forgive the unforgivable? Does he get a second, third, fourth chance? Or does Low finally realize that she has one life and make the rest of her life the best of her life? 

"Do you need me to draw you a picture?"
"Excuse me?" 
"With crayons?" 
"I'm not stupid." 
"So why are you still standing here?" 
"Fuck you, Hart." 
"I keep getting that lately, what the hell?" 
- Hart & Dawn

"Turns out, just when you think you've cried all the tears you have, it seems that you are unfortunately able to produce more." - Low 

"You are a perfect to me, Low. Even if it's perfectly flawed, you are just that, and it intimidates me." -Hart

No, I am not finished writing this book yet so you will have more of these to look forward to. I will be giving more insight into their own brand of crazy later on. 

I have a website coming! (Other than this one...) So look for the link to that coming up hopefully in the near future. 

I have some awesome swag coming too! I will be giving some away, along with some signed book, and other things next month. It'll hopefully coincide with the release of "Silence" and then there will be stuff for that later too. 

I feel repetitive. 

Going to shut up now. 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

About Me & What's Coming Next?

Alright, I've told you all about my next book but what's coming after that? 

In June, I plan (hope) for you to meet, Hart and Marlow ("Low"). They have a... complicated relationship. 

Here's the deal: Marlow met Hart two years ago during their sophomore year of college and after a more than awkward introduction Hart decided he was going to, one way or another, make Low be his friend. But Marlow fell in love with Hart along the way, unbeknownst to Hart. 

With them we'll take a trip through friendship, love, heartbreak, grief, and everything in between. Because who doesn't love a little angst, am I right? I thought so. 

Your very first "Having Hart" (working title?) teaser: 

"Hart, love is the worst feeling in the world when it goes wrong. But when it's right and both people put all they have into it," a smile played at her lips like she knew the secrets of the world. "When it goes right you will never get a better high, you will never have a better drunken night, you will never be... be more fulfilled. You can look at that person and know that no matter where they go, you're going to follow them down. You will see their ugly side and decide to stay. You will have days where you wonder if love is worth the fight, the battles you go through with that person. Then you'll look at them, the way they smile, the look in their eyes when they say they love you, and you realize that you are willing to go to war." 

(P.S. I did not make the picture so the words/grammar (are/is) a little jumbled. That's okay though, I love it all the same!)

I've told you all about my books so what about me? I hate talking about myself so that's the hard part. I'll give it a go. 

My name is Ashley (obviously), I am twenty six years old, and live in Terrell (just outside of Dallas), Texas.

 I have two amazingly awesome kids, Jasper who is four and Marlaina (Blu) who is almost two. I am the head chaos manager in our house. Which basically means I clean up everyone's catastrophes. 

I have always lived somewhere in Texas but daydream of moving somewhere colder, maybe one day. I have a serious love for hair color (mine is currently pink) and tattoos. I have three animal babies: Ares who is a border collie/black lab mix, Smokey, our cat, who adopted us, and Poena, my pit bull who is my biggest baby of all. 

I am a PODC (parent of a Deaf child) and that's where the inspiration for "Silence" came from. Jasper was born Deaf and is absolutely perfect the way he is. Well, except for his attitude but I swear he gets that from his father. 

I love all things panda,Hello Kitty, coffee, art, and baking cupcakes. Seriously, who doesn't love cupcakes? Get out, go, right now. 

I also have the worst potty mouth out of everyone I've ever met. It's pretty ridiculous. 

That's really all I can think of and hell, that took me an hour to write. 

Here is your "Silence" teaser! 



Tuesday, January 7, 2014


The next book I plan on releasing is entitled "Silence" which is still a working title because I'm sure if I'm crazy about it yet or not. 

Anyway, I released "Silence" for the first time a couple of years ago and well, it wasn't the story that the characters deserved, nor the reader I guess, but as a writer I'm concerned about my characters. 

In "Silence" we follow the story of Magdalayna (Layna) and Finnley (Finn) from meeting in high school and then years later when they're grown. So yes, this book comes in two parts. How they met and how they grew up. It is written in both points of view, alternating chapters. No, part two is not a sequel! It is an all included book because, as a reader I know, waiting for a sequel sucks and usually never lives up to the first book. 

Layna is an artist, she lives and breathes painting. But it's behind a computer screen that she meets Finn for the first time. She becomes his sign language tutor over their schools peer helping peer instant message system. Virtual study buddies basically. Over time though they grew into a friendship and even without knowing each other physically they developed feelings for one another. 

Senior year, Finn isn't paying attention and (literally) runs into Layna. And with a chance encounter, a (possibly stolen) sketchbook, and a reason to talk to her again, Finn is finding out who Layna is. 

Together they'll figure out who they both are and how to survive when they're apart. 

That's part one. I don't want to write about part two because it gives too much of part one away. And I want you to read the book and take the adventure with them. 

Now then, I know most of you are big on character pictures. You like to have a visual of who these people could be if they were real people. So these are my version of part one to part two Layna and Finn. 

Alright, all that's left is some teasers. Here are a few of my favorite quotes and quips from Layna, Finn, and even Layna's little sister, Taylor. 

"Lennix, telling me to calm down right now is going to go about as well as baptizing a cat!" -Layna (Part Two)

"Kissing you makes me nervous" 
"It's... devastating." 
"That's not a very nice thing to say!" 
Finn & Layna (Part One)

"Artist like Layna, they feel the world the way we look at it. ... She's a rare breed." 
(Said about Layna by  her art teacher)

"Why should I? Every great story has to have a casualty." - Finn (Part One)

"Glitter is a necessity." - Taylor (Part One)

"You're a princess Taylor and every princess has a prince charming. Even if you have to date a few toads first." 

That's all I have for you today. I may have some more of those quotes and teasers in the next blog. 

Look for "Silence" on February 14th on Amazon. 



Monday, January 6, 2014

Something Worth Fighting For

Okay, I'm going to answer all the questions I've had about "Something Worth Fighting For" and throw in a few things that you might or might not know about the book. 

I was sitting in the car probably drinking coffee, probably listening to Pearl Jam, and I could just picture Ellie. Crazy red hair, tattoos, everything, working in this little shitty diner, and I thought, "Yeah, she deserves a story." So I pulled out the notebook that I take with me everywhere and started writing down the first chapter. Just a rough draft of what would come. 

This is my version of Ellie: 

Atlas didn't start out as a Marine and this story probably changed at least a thousand times before I was happy with it. How did Atlas become a Marine? That's a great question, I wish I knew the answer to it. Either way I owe thanks to a couple of Marines who answered a bunch of seemingly ridiculous questions. They didn't want to be named and for their valued expertise, I left it that way. 

These are my versions of Atlas (Only minus the plugs. I like plugs, just not for Atlas) I couldn't decide which one I like better: 

With how studly both of those men are does it really matter? 

Ellie has a playlist in the book. I did not add it but it is there. In no particular order: 

Angel’s Wings - Social Distortion
Your Surrender - Neon Trees
9 In The Afternoon - Panic! At The Disco
All These Things That I’ve Done - The Killers
Kiss Me Slowly - Parachute
Reminder - Mumford & Sons
Falling Slowly (Live) - Glen Hansard ft. Eddie Vedder
The Feel Again (Stay) - Blue October
Come Home - One Republic
Longing To Belong - Eddie Vedder
20 Years - The Civil Wars
Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars
Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins
Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band
Just Give Me A Reason - P!nk ft. Nate Ruess
Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
Heartbeat Slowing Down - All American Rejects
Sleeping Sickness - City & Colour
Bad Company - Five Finger Death Punch
Not Broken Anymore - Blue October

What else? Let's see... Why did I kill off Adam? Yeah, about that... Adam didn't originally get killed off when I wrote it. Both Adam and Caleb survived. However, I knew that it would help shape Atlas in a way. And yes, I almost killed off Atlas too. (And saved Adam) But that would have made for an entirely different book. There might possibly be a novella one day that is Adam and Darcy's story.

Ares is the name of one of our dogs. Brei Betzold graciously allowed me to use the "My Misery Muse" name after she read the ARC and flipped out (in a good way) that it was in there. (P.S. Go check her books The cover of the book has a set of dog tags and wedding rings. The dog tags were my grandfathers and the wedding rings were my set.

Why did Ellie have such a dark past? Was it really important to the story? Yes and no. I think it made Ellie more relate-able in a way. I didn't want this just picture perfect story. Girl meets boy, boy goes to war, comes home, happily ever after. It doesn't always work that way. People are real, raw, and go through all types of tragedy in their lives. I wanted Ellie to be as real as a fictional character can be. I wanted her to feel and feel deeply. I wanted there to be a reason by her take-no-shit attitude and her guard. I wanted Ellie to be stronger than she knew she was.

Atlas, Atlas, Atlas... What is there to say about him? I wanted Atlas to be the alpha male. The kind of guy that didn't know he had a weakness until Ellie came along. He had to be determined and stubborn because I haven't met a Marine that isn't one or both of those things. I wanted him to be real and not perfect. I see so many male characters in books that don't have a single damn flaw. That drives me insane. I wanted them to be decent by themselves and unstoppable together.

Will I ever write a follow up to "Something Worth Fighting For" that is based off Ellie and Atlas... No. I finished their story and that's all there is to it. As far as I'm concerned it is a stand alone. If I do ever write the novella, it will be published here.

I think that's just about everything I can say or at least that I can think of or that I've been asked. If you want to ask me questions, awesome. I'm happy to answer them for you. Just leave a comment or if you have Twitter you can tweet me: AshleyPanda (I was serious about that panda obsession...) or better yet if you have Google+ you can add me on there! I love interacting with you guys and I'm so open to everything.

Thank you to Sara Fuller for this awesome, awesome picture:


Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Time For Everything...

Looks like you found me. Fantastic! No seriously, that's great. Welcome, come on in, have a seat. 

I'm Ashley McNiel the author of "Something Worth Fighting For" and you can find it... 

Something Worth Fighting For

I was asked to make a blog to keep you guys up to date on what's going on, teasers, giveaways, and things you can and probably cannot expect coming from me. 

Yeah, this was short and sweet, straight to the point, and I have nothing left to say right now. But! Subscribe and stay tuned for teasers from my next book. (Which is a complete re-write of a book I published a couple of years ago. I promise it's worth a second chance.) 

Until then...