Writing the Tightrope: Elements of Tension Webinar

Tension is vital to all story, but authors often find it difficult to implement in their writing. In this webinar on March 26th I will define tension in concrete terms, explain why it is so important to story, and demonstrate how to create it using plotting, structure, pacing, and tone. Appropriate for all genres from picture books to novels, this workshop is geared toward the advanced writer, but beginners will learn valuable information too. To register or learn more, click here.


Thrillers, mysteries, and…dragons?


With 2018 ThrillerMaster George R.R. Martin, 2018 Silver Bullet Award recipient James Rollins, 2017 ThrillerMaster Lee Child, 2017 Silver Bullet Award recipient Lisa Gardner, and 2018 Spotlight Guest Megan Abbott, and MANY more incredible authors, it’s bound to be a thrilling time!

Registration is now OPEN! We hope you can join us!

ThrillerFest XIII • July 10 – 14, 2018 • Grand Hyatt • NYC

Tucson Festival of Books 2017

Tucson Festival of Books
Author Laura Ellen with reader Kestrel Weyant.

Tucson Festival of Books 2017 was a lot of fun. It was a hot day, but worth it! I had fun meeting new readers and enjoyed my time sharing booth space with fellow YA author Rose Corcoran. Also, thank you to Melissa Koberlein, YA author of the Fireflies Trilogy, for coming by and starting my day off with a smile!

Mesa Arts Center 2016 Season Kick-off

2016-season-kick-off-events-2015-season-kick-off-logoAuthor Laura Ellen will be meeting and greeting readers at the Mesa Arts Center 2016 Season Kick-off on Friday, September 9th from 6-10 pm.

There will be fun for everyone with performances, art, and food! This year’s theme is ‘Between the Lines‘, and Laura Ellen will be there along with fellow Arizona authors Sharon Skinner, Paul Brinkley-Rogers, Albert Monreal Quihuis, Tom Laveen, J.A. Giunta, and Dianne White.

If you are near Phoenix on Friday, September 9, head out to Mesa and join in on the fun! For more information about the event, please see the Mesa Arts Center website.


Submissions for the 2017 International Thriller Awards are now being accepted!

Did you publish a thriller this year or know an author who did? International Thriller Writers has opened submissions for the 2017 International Thriller Awards! Novelsitw_logo_members_bw first published in the English language by an ITW Recognized Publisher or from an ITW Active Member between January 1, 2016 and August 31, 2016 are eligible. For categories and submission rules click here.

Not yet a member but want to join ITW or simply see what we are all about? Go to the ITW website!

Good luck!

Paperback edition of Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

The paperback edition of Blind Spot is out!

 Blind Spot has a cool new cover, and I have to say, I was a bit surprised by that when first told it would be reprinting in paperback. I was in love with my original hardcover art. In a world where readers often do judge a book by its cover, I felt the original cover helped Blind Spot jump off the shelf. It was ‘eye-catching’ – pun intended!

Original hardcover art

Despite loving the original though, I did fall in love with the paperback art too. The icy blue color scheme and the way the eye looks like it is peering through ice, fits the plot well. I was excited to share it with friends, family, and readers. But as I began preparing for its release, I found myself in a marketing dilemma – do I now totally ditch the original artwork for this new cover art? I had been so attached to my first cover, it seemed wrong somehow.

Well I got over that as soon as I saw the cool new bookmarks Amber at Me, My Shelf and I designed for me 🙂 but it did get me thinking about what other authors have done when new editions were printed with new covers — so many classic novels have had numerous cover changes over the years. So….for fun I thought I would post some of my favorite books and the different covers they have sported.

Nancy Drew mysteries have spanned decades and have needed updating from time to time. Here are two popular covers for The Clue in the Diary. I believe the one on the left is the original.

One of my all-time favorite books is Don’t Look Behind You by Lois Duncan. It has seen several covers over the years. Here are three. The one on the left is my copy from 1989.

And how about The Giver by Lois Lowry? This left cover is the one I will forever identify with the book:

But the cover on the right I have seen often in classrooms and bookstores. It looks like a totally different book, doesn’t it?

What are some of your favorite cover changes? Share them in the comments! 🙂


Book Nerd Tours is giving away a BLIND SPOT prize pack which includes signed copies of BLIND SPOT and DEAR TEEN ME as well as BLIND SPOT swag. Click here for details and to enter.

Paperback Release Blog Tour

Book Nerd Tours is hosting a party to celebrate the release of BLIND SPOT in paperback! They have a lot planned including giveaway packages and a 10 day tour that will lead up to a book blast on June 10th — the official paperback release date. The fun starts May 31st. Don’t miss out! Here’s a schedule of the blog tour:

Book Nerd Tours

May 31st: Once Upon A Twilight
June 1st: Curling Up With A Good Book
June 2nd: Me, My Shelf and I
June 3rd: A Dream Within A Dream
June 4th: A Bookish Life
June 5th: Bookish Things And More
June 6th: Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace
June 7th: Bookish
June 8th: Mom With A Kindle
June 9th: Jean Book Nerd

Thanks for helping celebrate!

Blind Spot Available Now in Paperback!

Blind Spot in Paperback

June 10, 2014 Blind Spot was released in paperback with a cool new cover and an awesome blurb from author Carol Plum-Ucci! If you’ve been waiting to buy Blind Spot now is the time. It is the perfect summer read on a night when it is too hot to sleep anyway! You can purchase it at any bookstore or — want it signed? — order from me. Just see the PayPal order link on the right sidebar of my site.

To celebrate the paperback release I teamed up with the gals at Book Nerd Tours. It was a blast!

And hey! I want to know what you think about the new look. Drop me a line in the comments section. To help you out, here’s the two covers.

What’s New?: Houston BookRave and Sleuthapalooza Giveaway

FC_What'sYourBlindSpotWHAT’S NEW?

It has been way too long since I posted on my website — and I really have no excuse except that I’m still learning how to balance writing, marketing, and life! To ease back into it, I thought I’d share what’s new:

NEW BOOK: I have been working on a second, stand-alone novel — another YA thriller set in Alaska but with all new characters, lots of suspense and quite a bit more romance this time 🙂 I hope to announce a publication date in the near future.

NEW COVER: I found out recently that the paperback version of BLIND SPOT will be released Spring of 2014 and it has a whole new cover! I will be revealing the cover and release date with a giveaway in its honor soon!

BOOK SIGHNING: I will be attending the HOUSTON BOOK RAVE November 2, 2013 along with many other YA, New Adult, and Adult authors. You can find event details and participating authors here, along with an online signed book sale if you cannot make the event — but hurry! Book sales end October 2.


MEGA GIVEAWAY: And finally, over at the Sleuths, Spies, and Alibis blog — a blog I share with 12 other YA and MG mystery/thriller authors — we are having a Sleuthapalooza Mega Giveaway to celebrate our 2nd year of blogging! The prize? 12 of our books and swag! This is a great prize package for any reader, but pure gold for librarians and middle school/high school teachers, so spread the word! Pop over to the Sleuths, Spies, and Alibis blog for details and to enter 🙂

Well that catches me up! I hope to blog on a more regular schedule 🙂 so will be back soon! Happy reading and writing 🙂


Bridget Zinn’s POISON: Release and Giveaway

poison_w_rosieThe most exciting day for an author is, hands down, your release day. You’ve  dreamt of that day your whole life. The day the cover will hit the shelves; how it will look in the window of your favorite bookstores; how your name will look on the spine; how your friends and relatives will come out to wish you luck on that happy day; and of course, how readers will curl up with it or sit crouched over it into the wee hours of the night unable to put it down.

Your book release day is super exciting and you just want to shout out to the world: “Hey! Look! I am officially an author today! See? Here’s my book!”

It’s a day you wouldn’t miss for the world —- unless you couldn’t.

Today POISON releases and its author, Bridget Zinn, unfortunately can only be here in spirit to celebrate. I didn’t know Bridget, but I know the love she had for reading and writing, and I know the absolute joy one feels when your book releases — so I am helping spread the word about POISON on her behalf today – and I am giving away a copy of POISON to help spread her ‘words’ 🙂 so enter at the bottom of the post after you’ve read about Bridget and her book.

Cheers Bridget!  bridget_zinn_photo


Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.8113512

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

About Bridget Zinn

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell.  They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the “summer of love” and the two celebrated with several more weddings.  Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was “Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect.”

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers’ copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

Links about Bridget

Bridget’s Website: http://bridgetzinn.com/help/index.php

A remembrance of Bridget written by her agent (with a video of Bridget that shows how vibrant and funny she was)

Bridget’s path to publication – in her own words.

A post in which Bridget shares her Sneaky Tips for writing (which also has an audio file of her reading this post)

Want to win a copy of Bridget’s book POISON? Enter below. Sorry, open only to US entrants.
a Rafflecopter giveaway