New Pen Name and New Cover

My friend, Staci Troilo, has a new pen name and new genre. Look at this stunning cover! I’ve preordered my copy, and I can’t wait.

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! Life’s been busy, and it just got CRAZY. My publisher moved the release date of my new book from October to May 7. May 7! That’s less than a month away! I’ve got so much pre-release work to do. Starting with a cover release. So… ta-da!

It’s it stunning? I’m so excited about it.

Let me back up a step. First, you’ll notice it does NOT say “Staci Troilo” on the cover. We’ve talked about this before, here and there or in passing. I’m writing under a pen name (D. L. Cross) for this series. We can talk more about that later, though.

Second, you’ll note an alien ship on the cover. Aliens, as in sci-fi. It’s not a genre people associate with the name Staci Troilo, which is one of the reasons I’m writing under a pen name. If you’re interested in science fiction and aliens, this…

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An Interview and #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Tony Eames hosted me for an interview at yesterday – you can read the interview here.  Find out how I deal with negative feedback, and my creativity tricks (spoiler ahead – not that many), among other things.

Then jump over to Michele and Nina’s blog, 2Quirky, to read Nina’s reviews of both Sarah and The Gemini Connection.  Nina’s not really a sci-fi or horror reader, but I was thrilled she took a chance on my books and enjoyed them!

Book Review: Sarah by Teri Polen #Review #YAHorror #YALit #Horror #BookBlogger @TPolen6

This was such a wonderful surprise, and it made my week! Shannon over at Reads & Reels reviewed Sarah, and called it a “…toe-curling reading experience.” Drop by for a visit – Shannon reviews books and movies, and also runs R & R Blog Tours.

Reads & Reels

Book Review


This is a creepy AF cover… Which is why I had to read it!

Omg, it feels like ages since I’ve written a review! I am so behind because of work but I promise, I will get those bad boys up!

Today it’s time for Teri Polen’s book, Sarah, a YA horror that makes my skin crawl just looking at it. Which is good because it’s horror!

Sarah (Release Date: December 1st, 2016)

Sarah was named a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Don Massenzio, Marcia Meara and Teri Polen

This sure brightened my dreary Monday a couple of days ago – what a wonderful surprise! Not only did Sally feature a recent review of The Gemini Connection, but also my review of Don Massenzio’s Extra Innings: Can You Go Home Again? Marcia Meara’s (in my TBR) Riverbend spinoff novella is also included. Sally is such a generous blogger, and features indie authors regularly. Make sure to check out her books while you’re there, including her most recent release, Tales From the Irish Garden!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the author updates this week. As I was posting Christmas promotions for authors from mid-November I am going to be sharing reviews from that time onwards until we are up to date..

The first author with a recent review is Don Massenzio with his book Extra Innings: Can You Go Home Again?

About the book

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path…

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Interview with Author Teri Polen!

I’m over at Janice Spina’s blog talking about my writing process and other stuff not writing-related. Come over for a visit and check out Janice’s books – she’s got something for all ages!



Teri Polen

Teri Polen

Please help me welcome author Teri Polen to Segment of Interview and Author. 

Hi Teri, it’s so nice to have you here today. Please feel free to begin. The spotlight is on you!

Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a young adult writer of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  My first book,Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was released in December 2016, and my second, The Gemini Connection, a YA sci-fi/thriller was published in June 2018.

jjspina: I enjoy sci-fi and fantasy but have never read all three in one book. Sounds intriguing!

What is your target audience for your book?

As a YA writer, my target audience is readers from age 12-years-old and up.  YA books aren’t only for teens–a large percentage of YA readers are over the age of eighteen.  One of the book clubs I’m in, Pardon My Youth…

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Switzerland, #BookPromo Woes, and a Book Bash

Hubby and I had a relaxing fourth of July – saw Ocean’s 8 the day before (awesome cast, writing could have used more humor), then spent the fourth with friends grilling out and chilling in the pool.  Which felt delicious in the 95 degree heat.

The youngest son is still on his European tour, and performed in Switzerland this past weekend.  Since it’s one of two places he was most excited to visit (the other is Germany), I asked how he liked it.  His response?  ‘I’m going to try to find out the logistics of moving here.’  Guess it met his expectations.

I’m completely frustrated with promoting The Gemini Connection.  Whatever worked for Sarah, isn’t connecting with TGC.  Even with the price drop, it’s just not moving, and I’m not sure what else to try.  If you have suggestions, please share them.  I have a blog tour and a few more promos coming up in July, so I’m hoping that’s the push it needs.

If you’re in the Lexington, KY area this Saturday, July 14th, I’ll be at the Lexington Legendary Book Bash.  Looking forward to meeting readers and seeing authors I’ve met at other events!  Hubby and I are also helping the oldest son move into his first ‘adult’ apartment.  I have high hopes he’ll keep it looking like an adult lives there and not revert back to his piggish college ways.  Keep your fingers crossed.


The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Teri Polen #blackrosewriting #YA

I’m at Don Massenzio’s blog today for his author interview series. Besides being a huge supporter of indie authors, Don recently released a new book, Extra Innings: Can You Go Home Again? and launched DSM publications, offering editing and formatting services to indie authors.

Author Don Massenzio

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with Kentucky author Teri Polen

You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at

Now, please enjoy this interview with Teri Polen:

author photo

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Definitely original.  I just write the stories narrated by the characters in my head.  I never set out planning what to write – they completely determine the path.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Start earlier!  Study the craft, research, and get started writing.

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