Shannon Dittemore
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  • October17th


    This is my first scavenger hunt, you guys, and I’m stoked! So many fabulous authors are taking part. The hunt begins Friday, 10/18 at noon (Mountain Time) and ends on Sunday, 10/20 at midnight. You have oodles of time to visit the 25 stops, so enjoy the trek, okay? This is a fabulous way to discover new authors and their novels.

    Here’s how it works: Collect the clues in RED on each post, beginning from Stop #1 and finishing at Stop #25, then fill out the Rafflecopter form at Stop #26, back at Lisa’s site.

    So what are you playing for? Glad you asked! The grand prize is a fancy shmancy iPad Mini! *crowd goes wild* Our second and third place winners will receive a hard copy of every book on the hunt. That’s 25 books, worth over $300. And yes! The contest is open internationally. So, let’s get started!

     MaryLu TyndallMLtyndall-Headshot

    Please help me welcome my lovely guest, MaryLu Tyndall. MaryLu describes herself as an introvert, patriot, mother of six, the neighborhood cat-lady, tall ship enthusiast, friend of pirates and mermaids, obsessive compulsive control freak, history lover, hopeless romantic, and a sword wielding princess-warrior of the King of Kings. Oh yea, and she also writes novels! You can find MaryLu at

    It’s such a privilege to have MaryLu with us today. Her books are immensely popular and have inspired many. Her newest is titled Elusive Hope. Isn’t that a gorgeous title? Here’s a little more about the book:

    In a colony named New Hope, while their friends are seeking a Southern utopia. . . .
    Elusive HopeCoverHayden is seeking revenge. Relentlessly.
    After years of all but selling his soul to track down his scoundrel of a father, Hayden Gale discovers his search must continue in South America, where his father is reported to be helping colonize Brazil. Hayden has nothing more to lose, certainly not a good reputation, and vows to keep pursuing–at any cost–the vile man who he believes killed his mother.
    Magnolia is seeking a way out. Desperately.
    She’s in the jungles of Brazil against her will, but what choice does Magnolia Scott have? Her father insisted on uprooting their family to escape the uncertainty of Southern life after the Civil War. But how will she survive without all she holds dear—wealthy suitors, beautiful clothes, summer balls, and slaves waiting on her every whim? She vows to find a way to get back home—and attaches herself to handsome Hayden Gale.
    As they journey toward Rio de Janeiro, they both seek to use the other for their own purposes. Deceptively. Falling in love was never part of their plans. . . .


    Here’s MaryLu now, sharing some thoughts with us inspired by this captivating story.


    Would You Want to Peek in a Mirror that Reflected Your True Character?

    by MaryLu Tyndall

    We humans are quite obsessed with our appearance, aren’t we?  We scrub and clean and soften and stretch and pull and tone. We get our nails done, our hair done, our face done. We primp and polish and preen. We buy the latest fashions and makeup. Sometimes I wonder what is it all for? Especially when I notice my body aging anyway!

    Yet societies throughout the ages have always elevated human beauty above most every other attribute. It’s quite baffling since outward beauty is the one thing we humans have the least control over. Yes, we can dress nice and put on makeup, but we can’t truly change the way we look. (Unless you have tons of money and a good plastic surgeon!) Regardless, we are either born beautiful or we aren’t.

    The heroine in my new release, Elusive Hope, is a very beautiful woman. With long hair the color of sunshine, eyes as blue as sapphires, and a figure to put Helen of Troy to shame, Magnolia Scott never lacked suitors vying for her hand.  Trouble was, since she was a little girl, that’s all she was valued for. Her father considers Magnolia his ticket to recover the fortune stolen from him in the Civil War. With her good looks, the family can procure an excellent match with a wealthy gentleman.  So, not only do her parents focus entirely on her beauty, Magnolia grows up believing her appearance is her sole value. She spends her days enhancing her outside while neglecting her character and heart.WomanwithMirror

    But then an angel gives her a mirror. Not just any mirror, but a mirror that gives her a glimpse past her body and into her soul and spirit.  And she is horrified at what she sees!

    Her story got me to thinking, what would I look like in such a mirror? How beautiful is my spirit and soul or is it old and wrinkled and ugly like Magnolia’s was in the story?  Would I be pleased with the appearance of my spirit?

    monsterI believe before we submit to God and invite His Spirit to live within us, our spirits look something like this grotesque creature to my right. But once God sets up shop within us and He starts to work, we begin to change. It’s a slow process, but as we submit to His gentle blade, a cut here, a twist there, we start to look a lot better.  Magnolia found this out the hard way, yet once she realized it, she began to allow God to work on that image in the mirror!

    In the end when we shed this old body, it is only our spirit and soul that will remain. What we end up looking like is up to us. Will we shine like the stars in heaven? Or will we be dark and lumpy?

    I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have a special mirror like Magnolia’s so I could check on my progress daily!

    You can find Elusive Hope at the following retailers:

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book | Deeper Shopping


    The Scavenger Hunt Skinny

    Before you go, write down the Stop #8 clue:


    Your NEXT STOP is MaryLu Tyndall’s very own website.

    *BONUS PRIZE! If you’d like to win a book from my Angel Eyes trilogy (winner’s choice), be sure to leave a comment here about MaryLu’s upcoming book or her inspiring post. I’ll announce the winner at the conclusion of the scavenger hunt.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • September13th

    It’s FRIDAY! Thought we’d have a little fun! Tell me what you think of my Dream Cast and you’ll be entered to win signed copies of each book in the Angel Eyes trilogy! Scroll down for the Rafflecopter!

    My webmaster (a.k.a. the husband) put these graphics together for me. Cool, right? Originally they were used for the Dark Halo blog tour hosted by YA Bound. If you haven’t stopped by their blog, you absolutely should. There’s a bunch of reviews and other nifty Dark Halo related stuff.


    The graphic above was first shared on the Reader Girls Blog. Check it out.


    This graphic above was first shared on Jessabella Reads. Check her out.


    This graphic above was first shared on Leisure Reads. Click to read their review of Dark Halo.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • September9th

    On Fear

    Posted in: Articles

    FearAuthors write what they know. And I know about fear.

    It’s a theme that threads its way through the Angel Eyes trilogy. Brielle is terrified. She’s afraid her best friend’s death was her fault, she’s afraid of being alone, she’s afraid of the dark. But she’s not the only one dealing with fear, and as we meet one character after another, we find that all of them are afraid of something.

    Fear is universal and in an attempt to show that, I’ve given it a physical appearance. A cold, black, tar-like substance. The fear Brielle sees smeared on the faces of her friends is the very same fear that shakes her hands and wraps itself around her legs holding her frozen, immobile.

    There are all sorts of fears, aren’t there? Even healthy ones. But, here, I’m talking about the things that haunt us, the terrors that worm their way into our guts and refuse to let go. I’m talking about anxiety-inducing, life-altering, sleep-depriving fears.

    For me, they came on quite suddenly. See, I’d never really been in love before. But when I started dating my now-husband, I grew terrified that something would happen to him. And when my children were born, that same irrational fear loomed larger and larger until I just knew I’d lose them as well. It’s so easy to write now—just a couple sentences and those emotions are summed up—but I tell you, I was a wreck, and it affected everything in my life.

    And then one day, a friend shared with me about her own suffocating fears. I couldn’t identify. I really couldn’t. The fear had been with me for so long, I didn’t even know I was afraid. That sounds weird, I know, but we get used to the baggage we haul around and that’s where I found myself. So used to the fear that I couldn’t even name it. I left that day feeling very sorry for her. It was an entire week before I realized her words were putting a face to the thing I’d been dealing with.

    It was fear. And I needed help.

    The journey to find help is going to look differently for everyone, but one of the things I hope my stories stir in readers is the truth that you’re not alone. You are not alone in your fear and your anxiety. If darkness teaches us anything, it’s that it takes just a bit of light to shatter it. And, for me, light came in the form of another girl sharing her own struggle. If I can, in any way, break through the darkness with my own stories, I will be most satisfied.

    You’re not alone. Never forget that.

    In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. ~ Psalm 118:5-6

    Click here for more on my latest book, Dark Halo, and the Angel Eyes trilogy.

  • August29th

    Writers are an interesting breed. Not only do we spend much of the time trapped inside our own heads, but we can grow so accustomed to it that social endeavors begin to feel awkward. Oh, not social networking, but the actual go-outside-see-the-people kind of social. And you would think, truly think, that in our writing caves we would find solace, security. Inspiration even.

    IMG_20130803_145330But I find my writing cave to be a most terrifying place. Why? Because that’s where the dragons are. The fire-breathing inadequacies that tell me I’m not good enough. That tell me I can’t actually write another novel. That I have nothing left to say.

    They hide out in my cave. And when I get there, I have to somehow silence them so that the characters who have been talking to me all day can have a say. I have to try to capture what I see in my mind and transfer it to the page, all the while the flames are licking at my back reminding me that I just don’t have it in me. In my writing cave I am confronted with my own lack, while just outside the door my family waits, wondering what the heck I’m doing shut away with a candle and a keyboard.

    Why would I ever, EVER, lock myself away like that? Why would I willingly march into a place where fear and doubt crouch in the shadows ready to pounce? And while those are very good, very logical questions, the answer is a simple one.

    A story begs to be told.

    The plot and the characters are always hidden just behind my own anxieties and so I go into my cave, not only to escape the busyness of the world around me, but to face my deepest, darkest fears.

    Every time I sit down to write, I win.

    My writing cave is not a safe place. In it, I am tested. It’s there that I succeed or fail. It’s not my sales that determine that. Not my Amazon ranking. It’s whether or not I can shove past the darkness, light the candle, and put pen to the page. If I can do that, I cut down another enemy. And while fighting dragons can be exhausting, their presence reminds me that what I’m doing matters. That there’s a reason for the insanity.

    We all have monsters to hunt and insecurities that chew at us. I say, face them head on, swing that sword, and celebrate the victories as they come.

    And if you’re up for the fight, I promise, they will come.

  • August22nd

    Old books_candleLike most of you, I am a product of the public school system. I think we would all agree it has its issues, but looking back I can honestly say, I had some fabulous teachers. One of my favorites was my AP English teacher, Mr. Cimino. I can’t remember precisely which book he was lecturing on, but let’s just pretend it was Lord of the Flies (because I distinctly remember being mortified by that book).

    So, one, very normal, very school-type day, Mr. Cimino was dissecting Lord of the Flies and he made the point that Simon was the Christ figure in the story. Simon who was killed while trying to deliver truth to the others. For a preacher’s brat at a very public school, I was enamored. It was the first I’d ever heard of this Christ figure idea. But, as Mr. Cimino lectured on, I realized it was a concept that preceded me entirely. There were Christ figures in more books than I could count. My brain whirred and all of a sudden I had a Gru-like LIGHTBULB moment. I raised my hand, desperate to add to the conversation.

    “Doesn’t the very idea that authors are keen to place a Christ figure in their story prove that there is veracity to the Biblical account of Christ?”

    While I probably didn’t use the words keen or veracity, I’m certain I used the word prove. And I’m also certain that it amused Mr. Cimino to no end. He smiled down at me, the hideous fluorescent lights doing nothing to brighten the dullness of his old glasses.

    Prove is rather a stretch,” he said.

    And he’s right. The presence of a Christ figure in a novel confirms nothing about history, or even about the author. These days, I know plenty of lovely authors who use the Christ figure concept to much success, but many of them are not believers and others are very conflicted about Jesus in general. Even JK Rowling, who so brilliantly fashioned Harry after the Christ ideal, admitted in an interview with Oprah that yes, she believes in God, and yes, she does struggle with it. I think many authors find themselves in the same boat and I applaud them for being willing to wrestle with the idea.

    And yet, to this day, whenever I open a book, I actively look for a Christ figure. Sometimes, he’s not to be found. But, often, the storytellers of this world are drawn back to the Story of Stories. To the Hero of Heroes. Many of them do it subconsciously. Perhaps the only Christ figures they’ve ever known were Neo or Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins or Optimus Prime. But, there is something, SOMETHING about a character who would die for others that speaks to the soul of humanity. And while that in itself proves nothing, it does point to a people who crave the heroic.

    As a Christian, as an author, as a lover of story, that excites me. Sure, there are things in many books that I struggle with. Things that could be offensive, that misrepresent my belief system. But in most stories I can find hope and faith, and often, I can find some representation of Christ. It comes down to the eyes I see the words with, the lens I view the author and her characters through. I do not expect every storyteller to agree with my beliefs, but if literature itself has taught me anything, I can expect most of them to agree that the Christ figure is a compelling one and a concept worth examining.

    And that’s the kind of common ground I appreciate.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Christ figure in literature. A Christ figure is usually defined as a character who shares more than one outstanding trait with the Biblical Christ. For example, a character may have an astounding birth story, the ability to perform miracles, a sacrificial death, or even an experience resembling the resurrection. Do you have a favorite character fashioned after this concept? Does it make a story formulaic once you’ve identified the Christ figure? Do you make a conscious effort to look for faith-resembling elements in books you pick up? Tell me! I’d love to know!

  • August20th

    Shannon with bookToday, Dark Halo is released into the wild. It’s the third and final book in the Angel Eyes trilogy and I still can’t believe there are three books out there with my name on them.

    As I near the end of this particular road, all I can think about is how GRATEFUL I am. Deeply, truly grateful for the adventure I’ve been given. And that’s exactly what’s it been. An adventure.

    It’s like God knows me or something. It’s like He KNEW just the journey I needed, so He booked the tickets and settled in next to me for the ride. Or maybe (most definitely!) He’s the pilot and I was the one tucked in back, staring out the widows, doing my best to listen to His voice, scribbling words furiously all the while.

    This path hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been right. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but even in the hard stuff, I’ve known that God had a plan.

    And while I’m so glad my books have found their way onto many of your bookshelves, I am overwhelmed by this very simple, very naked fact: these stories have changed me. If they never, ever touch anyone else, they were worth writing. I didn’t set out to document my own spiritual journey, but I see myself in Brielle’s fear, in Jake’s frustration. I see my loss and my ache in Marco’s struggle. But you know what else, I see victory there too. And for those who know the rocky ground I clamored across just prior to the “whole writing thing” you know–I needed these books.

    And God knew that.

    So I want to thank Him. But I’m so awkward at doing it in writing! Honestly, it’s SO awkward for me, that I don’t even thank God in the acknowledgements of my books. Many authors handle it all with such grace and panache, but I always feel like where my gratitude to the God of the Universe is concerned, I’m at a loss. There are just too many words to say.

    Because, truly, He is my everything. My all. My reason. When I didn’t think I could write one more word, when I was lost and stuck and had left my characters stranded in dark places, there was only One who knew where the story was headed, and without Him, Jake might still be strapped to a chair. If that’s not a metaphor for my life, I don’t know what it is.

    So, see? While I am honored that other people read my books, for me, the Angel Eyes trilogy has been a personal journey. And even now, as I try to pen a thank you to the One who made it all possible, I can only cry and start and stop, and I’m left with this:

    Heavenly Father, I am nothing, nothing without you. Thank you for the time you spent with me in my writing cave. For taking care of my family while I was in the trenches. Thank you for compelling me to imagine what the invisible might look like. And though it’s been hard at times, thank you for knowing that I often find myself in words, and that if I’m not careful, I can lose myself there too. Thank you for never letting me go, for holding tight when I was falling, and for allowing me to experience the thrill of placing one foot after the other, for letting me climb. Thank you for the glorious mountaintops and for the lonely valleys. Thank you for gifting me with this adventure. I will never, ever be the same.

  • August15th

    Dark_Halo_Poster_Final.inddCan you believe that just 15 months ago Angel Eyes hit shelves and in FIVE DAYS the trilogy comes to an end? Makes my head spin to think of it that way. But right now, there are several things going on and I wanted to make sure you’d heard about them.

    First, all major etailers (AmazonBarnes and Noble, iTunes, and CBD) are celebrating the upcoming release of Dark Halo by discounting Angel Eyes and Broken Wings. The ebooks are running $1.99 and $2.99 but the sale will not last much longer. This is such a great time to grab them and get caught up. Help an author out and spread the word, okay?

    Second, I’m giving away a Kindle! As part of the launch festivities, I’ll be hosting a live Twitter chat on Tuesday, 8/27 and would love for you to join me. If you’re not on Twitter, this is a FABULOUS time to join! We’ll be chatting about the Angel Eyes trilogy, giving away some goodies (including the Kindle!), and taking questions from readers. Come tweet with us!

    YA Bound blog tour

    Third, starting 8/19, YA Bound will be hosting a blog tour where you can read reviews and such about Dark Halo. There will also be some fun extras included. The schedule is here and will be updated as the tour progresses. Thank you, YA Bound!

    Lytherus, will also be featuring Dark Halo on their blog every day during its release week. This is a new stop for me and I am so looking forward to it!

    And finally, if you’re in the Sacramento area (or just want to make the drive) Barnes and Noble, Birdcage in Citrus Heights, is hosting the launch party and signing. Join us, won’t you? See that pretty Dark Halo poster up there at the top (Could You Resist The Temptation)? I’ll be giving away a bunch of ’em during the event. So, come on out and say hello!


  • August1st

    It’s party time! Dark Halo releases in less than three weeks, and if you’re in the greater Sacramento area, I’d love to celebrate with you. The Barnes and Noble at Birdcage in Citrus Heights will, once again, be hosting the party. I’ve been assured that all three books (Angel Eyes, Broken Wings, and, of course, Dark Halo) will be available for purchase. So, come on out. Books and giveaways and freebies, oh my!


    And because I know it will not be possible to celebrate with all my readers in person, I have a way for you to participate in the launch online. On Tuesday, August 27th, I’ll be doing a celebratory Twitter chat. During the chat, I’ll be announcing the winner of a 7″ Kindle Fire HD. That’s right! I’m giving away a Kindle. The graphic below will take you to the contest landing page. So, go! Enter. And then on 8/27, I’ll see you on Twitter!



  • July30th

    Broken WingsPreparations for the Dark Halo release are well under way, so today I thought I’d share something fun with you.

    This is a scene I cut from Broken Wings. In it, we are looking at the world through Damien’s eyes.

    I wrote a handful of scenes from Damien’s point of view, but eventually decided to cut his chapters from Broken Wings in favor of Pearla’s.

    On the whole, I’m very happy with that decision, but I do like this moment with Damien. Enjoy!


    Damien chooses a spot in the shadows, near the rear of a semi-truck. He drops to the ground and presses himself into the Terrestrial. The task takes effort and his unpracticed human form slips in and out of sight twice before the transfer is finally complete.

    He lifts his hands before his eyes and though human flesh will always remind him of the Christ and those he came to save, Damien can’t help but grin at the familiar disguise. He’ll need these hands in the days to come.

    He releases himself into the Celestial and then transfers back, repeating the process over and again, until he feels he’s regained a seamless transition. Then, in his terrestrial form, he stands and takes several breaths of tepid, earthly air. He’d forgotten how stale it tastes. How dull.

    He rounds the trailer, pausing at the side-view mirror to take in his appearance. His reflection is a handsome one by human standards—black eyes, a chiseled chin, dark, smooth hair that falls away from his face—and seeing it reflected brings more sensations to the surface of his fabricated humanity. He remembers the adrenaline that female attraction sent coursing through his human veins. And the terror in a man’s eyes when he’d been displeased.

    Yes, it sweats and stinks. It breaks easily and moves agonizingly slow. It craves food and rest incessantly, but there are things to appreciate about this body.

    He strides toward the truck stop, his boots kicking up gravel and dust.

    “Just you this afternoon?” A thin, gangly brunette stands with a stained apron tied around her waist and several greasy menus wrapped in her arms.

    “Just me.” Damien’s voice is low, gravelly. The sound pleases him and he smiles.

    The waitress blushes and smiles back. She walks him to a table in the corner.

    “Look it over,” she says, dropping a menu in front of him. “I’ll be back in a jiff.”

    “Anything good?” he asks, catching her hand.

    The light blush on her cheeks turns blood red. She looks down at his hand, but doesn’t withdraw her fingers.

    “The cheese curds aren’t bad,” she says, her voice tight.

    “Bring me that,” Damien says. “And a cup of coffee.”

    “Cream and sugar?” she murmurs.

    “Now, what do you think?” He squeezes her hand and releases it, but it’s left hanging there for a moment, like a crane whose task has been completed but whose operator has nowhere else to store the thing.

    She still hasn’t responded to his question.

    He drops the dreamy traveler bit, disgust coating the single word that spills out his mouth.


    But the waitress just blinks at him.

    Abruptly he reaches into her apron and withdraws a notepad and pencil. B L A C K he writes in hurried sloppy script. He thrusts the pad into her hands and shoos the girl away. She ambles into the kitchen and Damien leans back in his booth.

    Stupid, easily-seduced humans.

    He turns his gaze to the other diners. Superficially, he sees families dining, a young couple arguing, two teenage girls poring over a magazine, and a plump waitress smacking her gum as she takes another order. In and among the locals, there are truckers here and there. They sit alone, sipping a beer and reading the paper, watching the baseball game on the television plastered to the wall.

    He picks at his teeth and basks in their naiveté. This place—this earth—is writhing with an entire race, thoroughly unaware of the forces around them. A deception that is easily maintained because darkness was introduced into their world by the choice of a man and his wife—a choice that echoed the selfish ambition of a traitorous angel ages before.

    Darkness was all it took.

    It permeated and seduced and the Creator was forced to drop a veil between the Celestial and his people—to protect them from the light they were created to dwell in.

    Sometimes the plight of humanity is laughable.

    His knobby-kneed waitress returns. She slides a plate of fried cheese and a half-empty coffee cup in front of him. His presence once appealing, seems to unsettle her and she keeps her eyes averted, which suits Damien just fine. He ignores the food but downs the lukewarm coffee in one gulp.

    “Check please.”

    The waitress shuffles to the register and a tremor of daring runs through Damien. He’s tucked away here, in the corner.

    No one’s watching him.

    “Why not?” he thinks.

    And like that, he releases himself into the Celestial, his human form disappearing, his gigantic black wings lifting him from the booth.


    He should take to the sky. He has other things to do. Many other things. Plans to make. Souls to enslave. But, like his kind, Damien’s an opportunist.

    He flies low between the tables, pressing his frigid wings here and there, brushing the diners’ shoulders, their thighs. He flicks at them with his invisible fingers, whispering nightmares into their ears, chuckling silently as the delectable stench of fear begins to grow.

    When he’s comfortable with the chaos he’s unleashed, he settles himself by the door, his elbow resting on a gigantic gumball machine.

    And, he watches.

    His Celestial eyes pan the same scene once again. Violent red flames surround a mother sitting at a square table with her family. She adjusts the dark glasses on her face and wraps her arms tightly around her stomach. One of the teenage girls drips misery, murky and sad, onto the magazine she’s reading while she flashes the bus boy a flirty smile. The young couple now staring off in opposite directions ooze fear—midnight black and soupy—as it worms its way up the arm of the waitress now refilling their coffee cups. Her hand begins to tremble and coffee sloshes from the pot.

    Pleased with himself, Damien digs his talons into the floor and shoves away from the earth. He flies high, pushing through skies of eternal daylight, finally turning toward central Oregon. Toward the two children of God who bested him before.

    He flies harder.

    He’ll not be bested again.

  • July8th

    It’s July, people. JULY! That means we are in the final weeks of preparation before Dark Halo releases and we all find out (okay, YOU ALL FIND OUT) just how the Angel Eyes trilogy concludes. Any guesses? You can pre-order Dark Halo, by the way. You knew that, right?

    ANYWAY, I’m not here to tease Brielle’s fate today, but to invite you to join my newsletter mailing list. Now, I know. It sounds boring (another newsletter, bah!), BUT! I solemnly swear to always be entertaining and always brief and I shall only drop you a newsletter when I have something fantastic to tell you. You know, newsworthy fantastic! And! I will try to give away books from time to time. Good books. Great books! Glorious books!

    Want to hear what I’ve decided to call this newsletter of mine?

    Of course you do! Because you’re nice and you’ll do anything to shut me up.

    the THINGS UNSEEN newsletter

    Killer, right? And kind of spooky. But not really. But kind of.

    Okay, click the link below to join my mailing list, and look for the first installment on August 1st wherein I shall give you a very special sneak peek of Dark Halo. *Beams*