The Surrendered Cover Reveal

Guys, I love this cover so much. This is our fourth cover reveal at Blaze Publishing, and I couldn't be any happier with how this turned out. KimGDesigns is super talented and has her finger on the pulse of what young adults love. Am I right?

The Surrendered releases September 22nd!

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.

With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.

Want to stay up to date on everything from Blaze Publishing? Sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss a thing! Being part of our pack gives you access to exclusive news, teasers, prizes, and ARCs!

The Carver Cover Reveal

I'm so excited, you guys! This book is so incredible, and it's one step closer to being published! Just imagine if Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Wendy, and Alice all decided they wanted to grow up and have kids! Now it's 25 years later, they're disappearing, their families have no idea who they "really" are, and Pinocchio's son--who doesn't know he's Pinocchio's son--has to go on a road trip with a jaded Peter Pan!


And that is The Carver!


And this is The Carver's Cover!

So gorgeous! You must read this book and then come back and tell me all the things you love about it! There are so many characters in there who deserve their own books!

I'll stop gushing so you can go pre-order The Carver on Amazon and B&N.

Blurb: The past is in his carvings. The future is in his hands.

THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers...

THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire...

THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world...

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.


When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

Website   Instagram   Twitter   Facebook  Goodreads

Judge a Book by Its Cover ft Mini Me's

My daughters are always trying to worm their way into one of my videos, so this week, when I saw this awesome tag going around, I thought it perfect timing to get my girls in on the fun!

Hope you enjoy, we certainly did!

Show Me Your Asleep Face!

You guys know how much I love to give things away, right? Yes, yes, you do! Don't try to argue with me. 

Now here is your chance to get another something from me, but first, I need you to give ME something.

And that's your Asleep Face!

I want you to take to Instagram (or other various social media) and recreate the cover of Asleep with your face. Use a tree. Use Photoshop. Use expert muscular precision that I do not have to hold one eye open and freaked out while the other is closed and resting.


I've tried it. I looked ridiculous!

Do NOT agree with me! You can tell me how creative I am for trying to use a tree--which I later found out I'm allergic to--to hold open my eye! Everyone with me, "How creative, Krystal!"

Good. Good!

Now that I've used all the Cortisone cream in the house and can see out of that eye again, I want you to do something, perhaps a little safer, to show your love of this amazing cover.

Make sure you tag me (@krystalwade) and #asleepselfie on Instagram, or wherever you decide to post on social media, so I can like the image and vote on it to win--and we can trade battle wound stories over who endured the most pain to do this!

Winner will have their choice of an ecopy of Charming or a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

And in case you need to hear it from me one more time . . . .

Cover Reveal - Because I Love You

Man! This week is full of awesome! As some of you may or may not be aware, late 2015 I decided to launch a small publishing house. This is something I've thought and planned about for years but never felt the timing was right. 

Until last year.

Likely you've heard of Blaze Publishing, but in case you haven't, that is my brainchild. I love it. I love authors. I love having my own brand and working with some exceptionally creative people. I get giddy over their covers as if they're MY BOOKS. I laugh/cry when authors write and tell me that my edits were spot on and they're EXCITED to make changes!

I just freaking LOVE IT.

And my team who helps me bring it all together? They mean the WORLD to me.


So, gushing aside, today we're revealing the cover for our second release at Blaze Publishing. Because I Love You is a story with heart, a story with overwhelming things happening to very young people. It's a story about trials so many young people deal with today, and it's why I said YES after reading it! Not once does Tori (the author) condemn anyone for any choice they might make if they were in this main character's shoes. It's great insight into options available for young people, and how life really can go on after making one of these forever-decisions.

And it's a decision close to home for me.

Am I being vague enough?


Go check it out, and make sure you follow along with our Facebook Party this evening. And while you're at it, add Because I Love You to your Goodreads TBR pile.

Pre-Order Links: Signed Paperback - Amazon

I hope you all love this book as much as I do!

<3 Krystal

Sometimes, love is sacrifice.

Eight weeks after sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton gives her virginity to her best friend, “the stick” says she’s pregnant.

Her friends treat her like she’s carrying the plague, her classmates torture and ridicule her, and the boy she thought loved her doesn’t even care. Afraid to experience the next seven months alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, Neil Donaghue, a dark-haired, blue-eyed player. With him, she finds comfort and the support she desperately needs to make the hardest decision of her life: whether or not to keep the baby.

Then a tragic accident leads Andie to discover Neil’s keeping a secret that could dramatically alter their lives, and she's forced to make a choice. But after hearing her son’s heartbeat for the first time, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to let go.



Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay at home mom, Tori Rigby grew up with her nose in a book and her fingers on piano keys, always awaiting the day she’d take her own adventure. Now, she goes on multiple journeys through her contemporary and historical romances. She longs to live in the Scottish Highlands, and her favorite place in history is Medieval England—she’d even give up her Internet and running water to go back in time! Tori also writes high-concept genre fiction as Vicki Leigh, and when she isn’t writing, she’s kicking butt in krav maga or attending classes to learn how to catch bad guys.

Asleep Release Day!

It's finally here! The moment I've been waiting for so long to arrive (hopefully you have too)! Asleep is ALIVE and out in the world and waiting for your grabby hands to pick it up!

In honor of this monumentous release, we're partying over on Facebook and would love for you to join in.

Some amazingly-talented authors will be in attendance, and they're prepared to shower you with gifts just for playing along!

And if you hop around to the different blogs participating in our tour, you might just win something extra.

There's a Dream cuff, $25 gift card, ebook bundles of all my books, signed swag, and more, more, more!

So come on over! Don't make me beg. I will.

Image found on Gif Library and linked back. 

Image found on Gif Library and linked back. 

Look at those eyes! That is me asking for you to support Asleep and yourself. Because PRIZES! And books! 

I hope to see you there!

<3 Krystal

P.S. You may order the book at your favorite retailer, but here are a couple handy links! Amazon - B&N


Shadowhunters Live Chat

Join me tonight, 6:00 PM EST, for a live #blazelitchat to discuss my thoughts, as well as a few others' thoughts, on the newest attempt to bring Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instrument series to life.

I'll be on live, but you'll have the opportunity to ask questions of any of our attendees!

See ya there!

Listen to the Silence

This morning was a rather unusual morning for me. I got to sleep in. Thank God. I got to cook my daughters breakfast and get them ready for school. Always an adventure. I got to drop one daughter off for Chorus rehearsal and then rush back home to get the other daughter on the bus. Whew! We did it!

I love being a parent. And while I'm a parent daily--brush your teeth! take a bath! do your homework! don't eat that off the floor! cry on my shoulder; it's okay--I treasure the days where I get to do extra. Normally we have family who gets my children on the bus and to chorus rehearsal, but due to old age and surgeries (Ha! Sorry, Rob) and hectic schedules, I pitched in and decided to arrive at work a little later than usual. For my kids.

But something happened once they were gone. Something I don't usually get to enjoy. Like ever. I was alone. In my car! ALONE!

No children. No slugs (if you don't already know what that is, just go read my About Krystal page). No husband. No dog. I was gloriously alone.

I wanted to do All The Things you're supposed to do when alone in the car! Turn up the radio to its fullest level. Roll down the windows and let the wind take my hair. I decided against that one. I think the breeze would have frozen my hair and then broken it off. A girl can dream, though, right? I wanted to use my imaginary microphone and sing at the top of my lungs. Check.

Then something else happened. Pandora decided to play chill music--which I somehow found a way to sing to like my life depended on it, like Shelter by Ray LaMontagne--and force me inside myself.

So, now I was alone and reflective. And that made me silent. I stopped thinking about All The Things that usually run through my head--what needs to be done? when? will I make it? do I need help? did I set out the chicken for dinner?--and felt the emotions of the songs. I felt the rises and falls like they belonged to me. My imagination listened to the silence, told me to stay in it, to hold onto it, to embrace it. That I needed it!

And so I did. And I feel amazing for it. Refreshed. Excited.

For that hour it took me to drive to work ALONE in MUSIC-INDUCED SILENCE, I relaxed. No phones ringing. No kids crying. No things needing to be done other than focus on the road.

And now I want to write. I want to dream. I want to take on this world. And I want you to feel it too.

When's the last time you found your silence? Does music help you like it does me?

Excuse Me!

I feel like I'm always apologizing! Seriously, life is busy! You know this. I don't need to tell you. But Asleep is coming out in a little over a month, and I've barely shared any teasers with you. There have been several of them so far, and I've just... not posted them.

So, I'm here to make up for that. You'll find teasers below, and since I'm a slacker I've decided to make this fun! Comment on this blog and tell me which teaser is your favorite (or what you've been up to lately; really, just say hi if you want), and one lucky commenter will receive a $5 gift card (Amazon or B&N) of their choice.

Easy, right?

Drum roll, please....

Here are the teasers:

And don't forget you can pre-order SIGNED paperbacks of Asleep from Blaze Publishing's website!

There's also an international giveaway on Goodreads.

I can't wait for you guys to read this! 

<3 Krystal

ASLEEP Cover Reveal

The moment has finally arrived! You can now view the gorgeous cover for ASLEEP, my newest book that releases 2.16.16! You can also pre-order Asleep if you're a Kindle Reader!


"To cure fear, you must use fear." 

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.

I'm really in love with this cover! And if you like it and share it and are one of the first five people to share it on social media (and tag me in it), I'll make sure you receive a matching bookmark!**

Make sure you head on over to Facebook to join in the cover reveal party today. It starts at 6:00 pm EST, and there will be quite a few awesome prizes going out. Hope to see you there!

Thank you for always supporting me!

<3 Krystal

**(US, UK, and CAN Only)**

In The Know?

When nightmares blur with reality, sanity is a hard thing to hold onto.

In case you live under a rock, or you're not subscribed to my newsletter, I have a new book coming out!

That's right, people! Mark your calendars, because February 16, 2016 marks the release of ASLEEP!

What's it about, you ask? Well, if you know me and like my books, you better believe it's dark, it's creepy, and it will have a wicked-awesome cover! (You can read down further and find the description, or add it on Goodreads, or both!)

Starting October 1st, I'll begin sharing cover teasers with you! This image made my daughters SCREAM and look away, my husband say, "That's nice, honey," because he's not into the creeptastic, and my son say, "Cool."

Best. Response. Ever.

And, there's more big news coming soon. But I'm not even giving you guys a hint as to what that might be!


Stay tuned!

<3 Krystal


Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.

Chameleon by K.T. Hanna

It's been far too long since I've boasted about one of my author friends, so I'm here to change that today with the release of Chameleon by K.T. Hanna! Check it out and enjoy! (Meanwhile, I'm working on a new book. Will share my playlist with you soon!)

Chameleon Releases Today!

CHAMELEON Domino Project 

Front with Text 2

"Wow! A fast-paced, science fiction delight with fabulous action, a seamless world, and the most unique characters I've read in a long time." Elana Johnson, Author of the Possession Series.

When Sai's newly awoken psionic powers accidentally destroy her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. Her only options are pass or die.  

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake-- a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, and partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite psionic hybrid.  

After eliminating an Exiled scientist, she discovers nothing is what it seems. With each mission more perilous, Sai must figure out who to trust before her next assignment becomes her last.

Available at:

Amazon |  KoboiBooks | IndieBound

If you'd like a signed physical copy, Watermark Books has them in stock.

We're having a blog hop, and an e-card & mega swag Rafflecopter giveaway!

The blog hop stops are noted below. Each day has a different theme and you can find out about the process, the idea, and the evolution of Chameleon, and even a bit about K.T. by visiting each blog, when their posts go live.

4-Aug 5-Aug 6-Aug 7-Aug 10-Aug
Fun facts about the book What I learned writing Chameleon Author Interviews The world of Chameleon The Evolution of Chameleon
Manuel Soto Marlo Berliner Leatrice McKinney Rebecca Enzor Patricia Lynne
J Elizabeth Hill Stacey Trombley Dawn Allen Sharon Johnston Bex Montgomery
E.L. Wicker JC Davis Suzanne van Rooyen Mandy Baxter Madelyn Dyer
Jessie Mullins Andrew Patterson Heather Rebel Jessica Therrien Carissa Taylor
Emma Adams Lady Jai Elyana Noreme Kendra Young

We're giving away e-cards of your choice from B&N, iTunes, & Amazon – one to the value of $25, and three to the value of $10! Each prize includes a swag pack of a magnet, sticker, bookmark, postcard, and mousepad!

Just follow the options listed on the giveaway and you'll be entered!

full swag pack

About the Author

Me Squared
KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgis, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis


Okay, I Lied

I'm a liar. I promised you all daily posts from UtopYA 2015, but you know what? I got busy, and I put it off. Mostly because I was having a rocking-good time. Partly because there was just no way to bottle up all that wondrous fun and post about it in a concise way that wasn't all OMG, THIS IS SO MUCH FUN, I LOVE THE WORLD, I LOVE UTOPYA, I HAVE NO VOICE BUT AM STILL HAVING A BLAST, OH THE LOVE, MY FRIENDS, HUGS FOR EVERYONE.

You know? I didn't want to look like that. :-)

Now you're probably wondering why I haven't posted anything since I've been back. And I have a laundry list of excuses, but the one I want to talk to you all about is the best one, the one that means something to me and should to you too.

Old Rag Mountain, Virginia

Old Rag Mountain, Virginia

I've been living.

If you're a creative-type, this might instantly make sense to you. If you're the type bogged down by a day job you don't like, or you're overloaded with schoolwork, or just plain whatevering, you'll probably get it too.


We forget to do this. Every. Single. One. Of. Us is guilty of NOT LIVING!

We go to work or school. We come home to chores and dinner and bath times and sitcoms and sleeping. We arrive at the weekend and complete more chores and run to stores. But none of that is really living. 

Look, Mom, no feet on the ground.

Look, Mom, no feet on the ground.

None of that is dropping chores and responsibilities to go explore the world. To make memories with friends or family. To spark the imagination.

We forget. We get caught up in duties.

And my husband and I have decided to break free. For us, living means exploring nature. It means the possibility of a bear encounter on a trail in the mountains. It means gripping steel cables mounted in rock and holding on for dear life. It means eating dehydrated foods after hiking five miles, ten, maybe more.

So that's what we've been doing. With our kids. With our dog. With each other. 

And it's fantastic.

Love, me.

Love, me.

So, my challenge to all of you, dear friends, family, and readers is to discover what living means to you. What excites you, what makes you feel alive and invigorated, and DO IT!



UtopYA TIME + Giveaway!

Woohoo! It's Tuesday, which means there's only twenty hours left until I hit the road with my good friend Lisa Graziano and make my way to Nashville for UTOPYA! This event is so spectacular. I'm going to TRY to post every day. That way if you aren't there, it will feel like you are. I'll post pictures, incoherent mumbling, maybe some videos.

Oh, that's right. Can't forget the GoPro!

Or the computer.

I already realized I forgot to pack copies of Wilde's Fire. D'oh! Glad I'm not leaving today. I have zero, zilch, nada packed as far as clothes go. And I've actually considered throwing caution to the wind and just buying all new things once I get there.

Though my husband might not appreciate me spending all our hard-earned money. No, he definitely would not. No might about it.

Anyway, you can tell I'm pumped, and to make this a little more exciting for YOU, I've teamed up with the wonderful Jessica Therrien (who's just returned from maternity leave) to bring you a HUGE giveaway. Look at that gorgeous banner!



Two of those covers have never been seen before today....Congrats KT Hanna and Jessica Therrien! They are beautiful.

Now, you're probably wondering what you have to do to get in on this giveaway. Glad you asked . . . Check out the Rafflecopter below!

Teen Disparity

IMG Courtesy of:,manual

IMG Courtesy of:,manual

Lately I’m noticing a trend. That doesn’t mean it’s a new trend, or that you haven’t already realized it. Me being WAY behind isn’t totally unheard of. I mean, I’m just now catching up on Pretty Little Liars, and I haven’t even started Gossip Girl yet. But, nonetheless, the trend still exists.

Adults playing teens.

I hear you all groaning already. This isn’t news, Krystal. This happens in Hollywood all the time, you idiot. Look at how old the women and men are who play twenty-somethings.

But I think it’s getting worse. Take The Vampire Diaries, for instance. The show’s been on since 2009, and the main cast (the living ones, or now they’re mostly all undead) went from either their sophomore/junior year of high school to their sophomore year of college. Elena’s actress, Nina Dobrev, aged from 20 to 26, and her role is as someone age 15/16 to 19/20. Stefan’s actor, Paul Wesley, started at 27 and is still on at 33, and his character (though long-dead) is someone who could be in the same grade as Elena. Don’t even get me started on Ian Somerholder. Yes, Ian, you are smoking hot and have always been one of the older characters on the show. But you were 31 when TVD started, and now you’re 37.

And maybe that’s it. Maybe in the world of television, casting directors can’t assign roles to actual teens because women like me, women who will forever remain 28, cannot fathom drooling over a guy still full of baby fat. Because I see lots of that when I swing by the local high school to pick up my son. None of those kids have veins cording their ripped muscles or intense stares that melt my insides. They have backpacks slung over their shoulders, or lacrosse sticks outstretched and ready to combat with a friend in the parking lot, or their shoulders are raised with tension because they have SOLs to prepare for, or midterms, or their girlfriends expect them to act like those thirty-somethings-on-TV-who-play-teen-roles. Or, worst of all, I see fear in those kids’ faces. Fear because the world is as unforgiving as it’s ever been, and one little mistake will destroy their lives forever.

Yes, that’s definitely what I see.

When I was in high school, we didn’t have shows like TVD or Pretty Little Liars or Gossip Girl. We had Full House and Saved By the Bell and cartoons. Lots and lots of cartoons. Guess how old Hottie Mchottie Zach Morris was when the show started?!

IMG Courtesy of:

IMG Courtesy of:

Fifteen. He was fifteen years old, playing a kid in high school. I think I even remember his voice cracking. He went through puberty while the show aired!

So why the shift? Why can’t teens play teens?

And is this trend making its way into young adult literature? Are teen guys being portrayed in ways that are well-above their maturity, not only in body but in mind, to appease an older audience?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


Upcoming Events

My already snow-covered back yard getting a few more inches on Saturday. Pretty, but oh so cold.

My already snow-covered back yard getting a few more inches on Saturday. Pretty, but oh so cold.

We've had snow on the ground for the past week. And while some across the country have been buried far longer, I'm done with the white stuff. I want warm sunshine, blue skies, sand, maybe some shrimp. Mmm. Definitely some shrimp.

And I'm going to get ALL of that--well, except for maybe the sunshine and blue skies, given the most recent weather report--this week when I venture down to Ft. Myers Florida for the Second Annual Literacy Festival at Riverdale High School.

This high school, guys, is so beyond special to me. I've never met a group of kids who are more energized about books. Or a school's administration. They buy hundreds of books for their students long in advance of the event and get them out to the students to read. Then the students draw door art, hang banners, have cover contests in their graphics design department. Practically the whole school, in some form or fashion, finds a way to be involved in the event. Students have time to plan out questions to ask their favorite authors on a panel in their theater, and if they didn't get to ask there, they get another chance while we all do classroom visits, or on the football field when we sign the books the students have purchased.

Really outstanding effort to promote literacy at this school. I applaud the staff, the students, and everyone involved with the fundraising. *claps*

I'll be there Thursday and Friday afternoon. And while you can't visit me unless you're a student or somehow involved with this particular school, you can come out to Barnes and Noble Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. I, along with nine other amazing young adult authors, will be on a panel in the book store, then signing afterward. (B&N is located at 13751 Tamiami Trail, Ft. Myers, FL 33912)

I hope to see you!

If you can't make it, you can at least keep up with what I've been reading and reviewing over on The Witty Remark. Today I reviewed The Diviners by Libba Bray. Great read!

And for those of you looking for an update on my next book, ASLEEP... I'm almost finished with the first draft! You're going to adore Rose and Phillip and feel so terrible for the hell I put them through. Keep your eyes open for teasers coming soon!


What I've Been Up To


I swear to you all that I'm alive and well. I've been working on ASLEEP (title subject to change), busy at the day job, getting excited for my sister-in-law who's about to have TWINS, and prepping for the Riverdale Literacy Festival.

Oh, and I've been reading a TON! I actually just blogged about a recent read, Snow Like Ashes, over on The Witty Remark, a website dedicated to fun reviews, banter, interviews and the like that's just getting off the ground. And one I'll be a regular contributor on. Make sure you check it out.

If you're missing my commentary, make sure you follow me on Instagram. Pictures are easy and fun to take, and they give me a quick opportunity to connect with you guys. You can follow me @krystalwade. I'm over there more often than I am anywhere these days, it seems, so come say hello and check out my new glasses!

In other news, my son has his first girlfriend (OMG!), he's halfway through his freshman year of high school (how is that possible?), reminding me that he'll be old enough for a job soon--and driving--and that I should just generally hide under a rock and scream I'M NOT GETTING OLD! However, he's been really cool. He even made an intro for my website...that I'm not sure how to use yet, but figured it would be good filler for this post!


Boys vs. Girls


Yesterday, my family and I headed to my daughter’s indoor soccer game already knowing we were two girls down. We brought pinnies just in case any other girls didn’t show up and give our team the necessary five players, figuring the Ref would allow us to borrow extra kids from our opponent. And when we arrived, we found gut instincts had steered us right.

Only four girls showed.

Insert nervous, sweating parents. Our girls, some who don’t even weigh forty pounds, going up against a team of ALL boys. And not just any boys, the house team with the best record, the oldest boys, and lots of subs and kids who’ve played indoor soccer their whole lives and nothing else and know how to work the field.

Now our girls freaking rock for only having played in this arena five times, but being down against the toughest team from the get go? Not good.

My husband goes to the referee, a tall, skinny dude in an orange and black shirt with a very close to bald head, and asks if we can even up the team a bit by borrowing some players.

“Nah, just let them play,” he says, as if it’s no big deal to play five boys against four girls.

He should have at LEAST only allowed the other team four boys on the field. AT LEAST. But what did the Ref do? He let the other coach play FIVE boys, one of whom had to weigh ninety pounds, against FOUR girls.

And almost instantly the other team dominated.

The boys repeatedly ganged up on our strongest offensive player every time she touched the ball. And I mean GANGED UP. They saw how amazingly good she is and laser-focused on her. One boy ran up from behind, jumped (both feet off the ground, which is not a legal move) in front of her, SHOVED her to the ground, and ran off with the ball.

The ref’s response to this girl jumping to her feet, red in the face, a big welt on her arm, looking for a penalty? “That’s okay. Just keep playing.”

And when that boy scored a goal on our team with that very same ball he just illegally stole? “Good job, boys!”

His comment to our six-year-old girl, only played goalie three times in her entire life? “Great job, goalie. Keep it up.”

Parents were furious but hopeful this man would actually start calling some of the many egregious fouls these boys were racking up, even though we’ve had this Ref before and know how much he favors the boy teams, so they didn’t get involved.

While shouting encouragements to our daughters, we cringed when the boys traded out tired players for fresh ones, when they would SLIDE into the ball, TRIP our girls, push, shove, kick the ball on the NET (out of bounds), and jump up and down when they scored their twenty-fifth goal. (And yes, I’m just as mad at the other coach as I am the Ref.)

So, what happens when parents witness their children getting beaten up by not only the other team but the Referee too? Well, one of them says something to said Referee about how he keeps allowing these boys to rack up penalty after penalty without doing anything about it, right next to the spot where a boy tripped his daughter and rammed her into the wall.

“I do everything I can to run a CLEAN, SAFE game. Any time you think you can do a better job than me, or that I’m not running a CLEAN, SAFE game, you are more than welcome to lodge a complaint.”

We’ll get back to THAT in a moment.

Said parent zips his lips, and the game resumes.

Just before the start of the second half, a fifth player arrived and evened out the teams. With our confidence boosted a bit with the extra player, the boys attacked harder, continuing their penalties, and the Ref continued his, “Good job, boys.”

Did any of our girls cry? Fat freaking chance. They were pissed.

And when our strong offensive players got the ball in scoring position and were about to shoot, one of the boys, not the goalie, PICKED UP THE BALL! He freaking PICKED UP THE GOD FORSAKEN SOCCER BALL.

What did the Ref say to this?

He waved his hand and said, “Just keep playing.”

I bet you can guess what that parent did, can’t you? He lodged a freaking complaint.

And it wasn’t because we were losing some thirty to two or whatever it was. Hell, we’ve lost before. We’ve lost bad before. The parent lodged the complaint because everything these boys did that referee turned a blind eye to. And you know what? He wasn’t doing them any favors. When they get into a better league and get penalty after penalty, they’ll either wonder why or get thrown out.

That referee was also teaching those boys something deeply disturbing, something that I haven’t been able to let go of since we left yesterday afternoon: He was teaching boys they are better than girls. That they’re stronger. That they’re more important. That they can do no wrong.  That they deserved to win more.

That girls shouldn’t even be there.

As the boys left the arena yesterday, celebrating their win, cheering and smiling and laughing, I felt sad. Sad they had such piss poor examples of humanity surrounding them. Sad our team of girls experienced such mistreatment at a young age (even though I know it’s going to make them tougher and fight harder!).

And I was sad this vicious cycle of boys thinking of girls as beneath them would continue for another generation in my lifetime.

So, I want to hear from you. Have you experienced something like this before? Would you lodge a complaint? Tell me about it in the comments.

Have a Charming Halloween!


Happy Charming Halloween!

I love this time of the year, all the crisp weather, the rich colors of the leaves, the smell of pumpkin spice and apple cider, carving pumpkins, and great costumes.

Yep, tonight's the night when people all across the country will don their spookiest, cutest, craziest costumes and go knocking on people's doors demanding candy.

Seriously the weirdest "holiday" we have. But whatever. I'm certainly not complaining because this day keeps my pantry stocked with goodies for quite a long time. In fact, we leave our Halloween bucket in the pantry all year long.

The kids raid the bucket until it's empty and then demand we refill it, to which we let them know exactly how far away Halloween is.


Clarissa, my four year old, keeps asking me what I'm going to dress up as tonight. A mother, I always tell her. Yeah, I never really got into dressing up. But the kids do. Abby's going to be a witch, Rissa a rainbow unicorn, and Ethan a fourteen year old who doesn't do stupid, childish things anymore.

*insert frowny face*

Anyway, I hope everyone has a CHARMING Halloween. Stay safe. And... from me to you, I'm offering my newest spooky release for just 99 cents TODAY ONLY. So, go buy it, read it, curl up under the covers and wonder when the bad guys are coming for you!

<3 Krystal

What are you going to be for Halloween?