#HolidayHorror, #Life. Tell us your story

Hi all~ Kristi Rose here today and looking to hear your #HolidayHorror story. You know you’ve got one.

Who here has had a holiday that looked like it was scripted by the writers of Christmas Vacation?

I know we’ve been the Griswolds a time or two.

Courtesy of Youtube

Courtesy of Youtube

Come on, what’s your story? A Charlie Brown Christmas tree?

Courtesy of reddit

Courtesy of reddit


Maybe it’s something to do with family?

Courtesy of reddit

Courtesy of reddit

Tell us your story! Make sure to tag is #HolidayHorror and #Life


I’ll go first. In college one of my closest friend gave me a silky pajama set for Christmas. It looked very dated and well…faded in certain spots like it had been on a shelf, never touch, with light hitting it all day. I decided to exchange it for something a little more…me. Thankfully, the tags were still on it. Expecting to get a store credit, I shopped before I went to customer service. Unfortunately, that never happened. While, yes, the pajama set did come from the store it hadn’t been sold there in over four years. No, I never said anything to my ‘friend’. But I did start picking different study partners. #HolidayHorror #Life




Greetings everyone! Today we’re going to do something a little different. The chicks and I are starting a new game and we’d love to have you play along!


There are so many universal things about being a mom. I know these are going to resonate with a lot of you. On the helpful side, my mom always said “This too shall pass.” I can’t tell you how often I’ve found comfort in those words. On a more humorous note, here’s something I say to my 14yr old boy almost daily: “You can repeat that as often as you want, it’s not going to make it true.”

Oh, and because we’re feeling the love, we’re giving away 2 $5 Amazon gift cards and some ebooks. I think Kristi even has an audio book in the mix. We’ll select and announce the winners from the comments Monday November 23rd.

So how about it? What are some things your mom says?


Sabine red

Honorary Chick…Carol Hanlon

CIMG0880It is my absolute pleasure to introduce this week’s Honorary KickAss Chick, Carol Hanlon. Carol and I first connected after she read and reviewed my book SOULFIRE. Later she told me she was scrolling through Goodreads and saw SOULFIRE’s cover, saying “it didn’t just call to me, it yelled at me!” (Yay for wonderful covers!)

Now, as an author, it’s not normal practice or advisable to respond to every reviewer. But her review told me she got every single thing I intended for the characters and their love story. It was so eloquent and wonderful and even beautifully enhanced with pictures representing the story that I couldn’t NOT reach out to her. Something, fate perhaps, nudged me to tell her how grateful I was. So I did. Long story short, we’re now very good friends. She is my #1 reviewer on every book I write. You should SEE the latest one. Blew me away.

But what is so impressive about Carol is her deep passion for books and the way she shows it to the world through ALL of her reviews. She takes such great care with each and every one. She is the #13 top reviewer for Goodreads this week, and she always seems to be up there in the top somewhere. Do you know how many reviewers there are on Goodreads? That’s impressive! She is generous of her time and certainly with her spirit, and I thank the book gods that she stumbled across my cover once upon a time. She’s a joy to know, and one of those people who makes me grateful for being a part of the “book community.” I’ll stop blabbering now and let you hear from Carol. Here she is…

What are the top three things you look for when you’re deciding which book you should read next?

  1. The cover of a book is the first thing that catches my attention.  Sometimes they even call to me.  Ha ha  “Read me, Read me”  
  2. Next I would read the Synopsis.  
  3. And finally I would look at other reviews.  

Can you give us an estimate of how many books you read each year? Good question, I had to look up my stats on Goodreads.  It’s the beginning of November and I’ve already read 225 books so we’ll see how many more I fit in before the end of the year.  I’m getting ready for Christmas books so I hope to squeeze in as many of those as I can.

Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Favorite Things: Reading of course.  My family.  The beach.
  • Pet Peeves: Waiting in line or being on hold.  I have no patience.
  • Addictions: Goodreads. Again, Reading.  Chocolate. Sexy cowboys. And my most unhealthy addiction is Pepsi.  I know it’s unhealthy and I do limit myself but I’ve loved Pepsi since I was young.  (Which was a long time ago!)
  • Kick Ass Superpower: I’m not sure how to answer this.  I am kind of wimpy so I wish I was stronger.  I love reading about strong kick a@# women possibly because I wish I could be like that.  
  • Your best book boyfriend:  Oh my gosh, I have so freaking many book boyfriends.  How can I choose?  Instead of answering this the way it was asked, I’ll just say that I love the strong alpha male that is soft for the woman he loves.  I love shifters, particularly dragon shifters, oh and fallen angels.    
  • For the night:  Logan from Dannika Dark’s Mageri series
  • For a dirty weekend: Julian from Jennifer Armentrout’s Unchained
  • To have and to hold: Ozzie from Elle Casey’s Wrong Number Right Guy (He’s actually human!  Ha ha  These are all very sigh worthy men that have stuck in my very much overloaded brain.)

Reading is such a big part of my life. I have always read. The books I read make my life bigger, brighter, and more amazing. Thank you so much to the authors of The Kick Ass Chicks and so many others for giving me that.

Connect with CAROL…



Honorary Chick: Gabrielle Battistel

Honorary Chick: Gabrielle Battistel

Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s my turn to highlight an individual I feel is deserved of “Honorary Chick” status, and today’s guest is someone I’ve had on my “to be nominated” list since we began:  Gabrielle Battistel.

TRM_PICFor those of you who have been around the blog block a time or two, you may recognize Gabrielle as the author behind the GabbaWrites blog (formerly on blogspot, now on WordPress and Facebook). She’s attended online writing classes with me, had her writing featured in a wonderful Australian anthology, and even started her own absolutely amazing, author-centric video production company named Trailermade Production. (FYI–if you see something animated on my website, it came from TMP.)

Today’s feature, though, isn’t a sales pitch for her company or its services. Rather, it’s a spotlight being shined on one fantastically amazing and supportive individual who has come alongside countless authors to offer her unfailing encouragement, guidance, wit and charm. Writing can be a very lonely process, and as such many writers I’ve chatted with struggle from time to time with worry, anxiety, doubt, and even envy. But when you have individuals like Gabba in your corner, always there smiling and encouraging you to keep on keeping on, well they’re the ones who make authors love what we do…and convince us to continue onward even when the words don’t seem to want to come. P AT THE KA CHICKS FB PARTYAnd of course her P-Boi panda has graced many a screen on the Book of Face, and those of us who are “Doin’ it Posse Style” always look forward to seeing where P might pop up next.

So in honor of her tireless cheerleading, her forward thinking and her totally kickass accent, may I present to you my lovely and talented dear friend from halfway across the globe: Gabrielle Battistel.

So…tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an organically inspired, pragmatically steered type who has one foot squarely rooted to the ground with the other on the ascent. I’m interesting, engaging, boring and persnickety, cheeky, funny, serious, dry and (people say) fun to be around…. Wit, earth-like intuitive, weirdo and wisdom are also the descriptive bandied around of my presence.

I am the founder, chief creative and manager of a boutique style–full service Audio Visual Production Company that focuses on the publishing sector. I’m also trying to be a writer … needs must.

I have two dogs, a husband and a life surrounded by gum trees in Australia.

What inspired you to launch TMP, and what do you enjoy most about it?

trm ka billboardThe marriage of two loves launched Trailermade. Writing and Audio Visual/Filmmaking brought something I know and love together. Saw a gap, went and filled it (thanks to great clients). It’s a great space to be in since the creative and technical process, the writers themselves and the stories they tell leave me at times questioning my day to day… vis a vis:  “Is this legal to enjoy myself this much?” #lovewhatido

What are the top three things you would encourage authors to avoid when creating/commissioning a book trailer?

When it comes to both creating and commissioning trailers:

  1. Avoid Trite…. Please… avoid the trite. There are a lot of books out there and things can get confusing. Know what you think (for absolute certain) and think about what you know. Ask yourself: Is what you’re seeing – really what is to be seen?
  2. Know your brand. Both your Author and book brand (like the back of your hand).
  3. Do your best to be professional to your author ethic/presence, to others you have commissioned and to the broader world within your “corporate identity.” Reaching out into a very competitive world can be daunting but it is possible to be remembered for the right reason.

Now for some fun–here comes the Rapid Fire Questions…

Favorite Things: My mutty dogs (though technically they are people not things). Also, only suddenly realizing that it has been two hours since I picked up a book (thinking that the vacuuming should have been done couple of hours ago). Yeah totes sorry about that… am on my way!!!!

Pet Peeves: Inconsiderate people who do so on purpose.

Addictions:  Potato chips… and when the groove is on… making trailers and good books. Good conversation will keep me up all night too.

Kick Ass Superpower: Making Trailers that give people goosebumps (and make people go and buy books – it happens)

Your best book boyfriend…

  • For the night: Detective Lincoln Drummond. (Pieces Of A Lie, by Rowena Holloway) complex, interesting, passionate. He reminds me of those cordoned off places in castles and manor houses…curiosity levels at an all time high but they’re cordoned off for a reason.
  • For a dirty weekend: Now don’t take this the wrong way (no bias intended I’m sorry….) Nate Steele…(Armed With Steele by Kyra Jacobs). He’s a dog lover, is honourable to a damsel in distress (of her own making) and is Indiana enough for a good time!!!!
  • To have and to hold: Mr Darcy (hey that’s a really tough call though… the real life “have and to hold” is actually in my bed!!!!!)
Many thanks to you and the KA crew for having me!!!
And thank you for being exactly who you are and for all you do, Gabrielle. Best wishes in all of your endeavors!


For a little extra fun (and not just because she listed my Nate as a book boyfriend, I promise), I’m including a link to one of our recent skype chats where I try to explain just what panda P-Boi and Posse Style means to me…  And I will warn you: with the 15 hour time difference between us, I may have been a bit tired/giggly by this point in our conversation. But the comments were heartfelt, and the images perfect for sharing a glimpse into the world of GabbaWrites. Have a great weekend, everyone, and be sure to say hello to Gabrielle while you’re here!

Honorary Chick: SuperReader Amy Barber

I’m very excited to welcome Amy Barber as our Honorary Chick today. Amy is a super-reader and super-fan I first met a little over a year ago. She as sweet as they come and always willing to read new authors and to promote authors she loves. I can’t say enough good about her. Read on for a little bit of information about Ms. Amy.



1) Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a Kentucky native. Born here, raised here, never left. I’m a single mother. I’m an avid reader & music lover, with a pretty eclectic taste when it comes to both.


What are the top three things you look for when you’re deciding which book you should read next?

  1. Covers sometimes draw me in, but the synopsis seals the deal.
  2. I’m pulled in by a unique storyline or unique character/situation.
  3. The author sometimes plays an impact. If I have a book by an author I haven’t read as opposed to an old favorite, I’ll read the one I know first.


Can you give us an estimate of how many books you read each year? Uuummm… This fluctuates.

Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite Things: the sound of children’s laughter (especially my own children), the vibrant colors of fall, the beauty in trees, the peace in staring at a star filled sky on a warm night

Pet Peeves: judgemental people, spoilers in reviews, math – I’m so not a math person

Addictions: mountain dew

Kick Ass Superpower: Fighting off monsters that lurk under beds & Healing boo-boos with a single kiss. 🙂

Your best book boyfriend:

  • For the night: Rick Newman from Blind Trust by Peiri Ann
  • For a dirty weekend: Grant Andrews Healing Hearts Series by Renee Dyer.
  • To have and to hold: Sam Kerrigan from the Five Senses Series by Gemma Brocato

So you know – I did not bribe her to say that last bit. Thanks, Amy, for your support, your sense of humor and your super-support. 

Gemma Sig-1a

Honorary Chick Cora of Cora Graphics

Honorary Chick Cora of Cora Graphics

Hey all, Sabine here, back on deck!

Today I bring you the fabulous Cora from Cora Graphics. Her covers come to life and bring books a wonderful new dimension. Cora did the cover for my Rebellion (below) and I adore it, so I had to give her a shout out. Cora is Italian and I love to think of her traveling around my favorite Italian haunts. Venice anyone?


Welcome Cora! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hello everyone! I’m a simple person with a passion for books, dogs and art. I live in the countryside with my husband and two dogs, and I do a job that I love because it allows me to express my creativity.

How did you get into cover design?

I was a Web designer, but I did not like it. I wanted to do cover art, so about 2011 I started to create some images, then I created a small website and waited.

Fortunately it worked!

What’s your pet peeve when it comes to covers you don’t like?

I’m not very good at realizing covers techniques, like manuals, or essays.

For me, the covers have to be full of detail and color.

What was one of your favorite design projects?

King of Ash and Bone

There are a many, but my favorite is “King of Ash and Bone” of Melissa Wright.

Melissa was very precise in the description of the characters.

I created two characters, taking body parts from many images. It’s been a long job, but very creative.

(I had to go and see this baby. Nice! Very nice!)

Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite Things: Books, walks with my dogs Theo and Olga
Pet Peeves: Dog
Addictions: Books, Milk, Pizza

Your best book boyfriend:

  • For the night: Tobias Heaton “Four”
  • For a dirty weekend: Jericho Z. Barrons
  • To have and to hold: Edward Cullen

Please tell everyone how to find you online.

Twitter: @CoraGraphics

Website: http://www.coragraphics.it/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cora.graphics

Mail: info@coragraphics.it

Thanks, Cora, for being brave and coming to play with the crazy KickAss Chicks! 

Sabine red

Honorary Chick – Xio Axelrod

Honorary Chick – Xio Axelrod

Meet the other half of my brain. Honorary Chick today is Xio Axelrod and I swear we were separated at birth. Let me give you the official bio before we get to know her a bit better.


Philadelphia native and global citizen, Xio Axelrod, is an author of love stories, contemporary romance and (what she likes to call) strange, twisted tales. She also writes erotica and women’s fiction.

Xio grew up in the music industry and began recording at a young age. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in the studio, writing songs, or performing on international stages (under a different, super-secret name of course). She lives in Philadelphia with one full-time husband and one part-time cat.

Xio is a big proponent of what she calls “diversity in romance”, and I’m going to ask her to explain what that means to her.

As you know, I’m fairly new to the romance genre – both as a reader and as a writer. As I started to consume all of the wonderful stories out there, one thing that really stood out to me is that they’re pretty…well…homogenous. Do a quick search for “romance novel” on Google and you’ll see exactly what I mean. As a person that lives, breathes and celebrates diversity, I found it shocking. Okay, I realize that not everyone lives in such a culturally diverse place as my hometown of Philadelphia, but it still surprises me how under-represented huge swaths of the population are in mainstream romance. And worst, novels written by people of colour are often shelved differently in bookstores. You have to wander, often to the back of the store, to find these “special” sections. As if a story with an Asian or African-American protagonist wouldn’t appeal to all readers. (Don’t even get me started on books by LGBT authors.)

It’s sad, really. Love is universal and, as an industry, we have a wonderful opportunity to open the hearts and minds of our readers. I’ve always maintained that art is the perfect tool to teach tolerance. What a beautiful, complex, diverse world we live in. Why don’t we celebrate it? I certainly do, and I am not alone in that, thank goodness.

Now for some fun! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite Things: Summer rain, travel, and languages. And custard.

Pet Peeves: Intolerance, auto-tune, and the sound of other people chewing. (Drives me crazy, lol.)

Addictions: Genre television (Outlander!!), angsty love stories, and music (obviously).

Kick Ass Superpower: I can write a sentence that will make you laugh, make you cry, or make you… blush. (What did you think I was going to say? Naughty.)

Your best book boyfriend:

  • For the night: Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files)
  • For a dirty weekend: Cole “Deuce” West (The Undeniable Series)
  • To have and to hold: Duh! Jamie Fraser (Outlander)


Early in the fall, Xio will release her long-awaited novel, Falling Stars, a story about finding the right person at the wrong time. It is book one in a series that she promises will be exciting, sexy, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting. Click on the image to find out more.