Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What I've Learned from Writing a Series

Be warned - this may be a long post. But a fun one!

I've written series before, but not one where the story continues on and the characters are deeply involved in one another's lives. I have to admit. I LOVE IT! No, I didn't love every minute. Sometimes, I didn't know how to go on. Some days, I stared at the screen and wrote maybe two or three sentences or nothing at all! But, I had to share with you the joys I've discovered in writing The Album series.

First off, let me give you a brief overview of what the series is about. Later on, I'll give a blurb of each book and I have a cover reveal for the first one at the bottom.

The Album is a magic antique which shows the owner whether a couple has a good future together. The photos of the couple are placed in the first two pages of the antique book and then the book comes to life with images of their future in the subsequent pages. Four girlie friends who live in a hot, boring place in South Africa share pain - they've never had much luck with men and love. But they have each other. Ella is the matchmaker of the group and she inherits The Album from a relative. Thus begins her adventure in using The Album to bring couples together. Little does she know that The Album also brings magic into the owner/user's life in the form of love and a whole lot more goodness.

Beware - lots of romance ahead.

Why I enjoyed writing this series SO MUCH:

1. I didn't have to think of new characters for each book.

2. I became deeply invested in the characters' lives and loved having them hang on throughout the series.

3. I loved showing the characters from different point of views, for e.g. Andrea, the heroine of Book 4 is quite a tough cookie. Her friends often find her bossy and that she can speak her mind too easily yet they love her. Ella struggles with her straightforwardness the most. Pauline not as much but a bit. Carol gets on with her easily as she's also tough-minded in several ways. Anyway, in the last book, the true Andrea is understood as we burrow inside her mind and heart. True love also changes her as you will find out...

4. I loved coming up with new ways to incorporate the magic into the lives of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about magic and seeing how it plays it differently with the unique stories and characters of each book.

5. I adored having four girlie friends who stick by each other no matter what. To be honest, I kind of envy their relationships. They're there for each other and support one another through all sorts.

6. I used a series bible to make sure I didn't forget important points from previous books. It can be a bit daunting as I could have gotten an eye or hair colour wrong. I may still find this in editing. But it actually turned out a fun challenge.

7. The message threading through each book also gets threaded through the series.

I could go on, but I don't want to bore you.

Here are the not-so-quick summaries of each story. How hard it was to summarise these stories.

The Album 1 - Looking for Love - Ella's Story

When Ella inherits a magic antique photo album that reveals the future of couples, she embarks on a part-time matchmaking business to bring couples together with the help of her three best friends - Pauline, Andrea and Carol. It's always been her dream to help people find true love. But finding true love herself isn't in her plans. Even when her best guy friend Ross confesses he's fallen in love with her. In fact, she's really mad at him because he may ruin their solid friendship. Ross is devastated that Ella doesn't want to pursue more than friendship. He withdraws and when Ella tried to match him to her friend, Pauline, he's not happy. Maybe he should play along with her plan though just to make her jealous. Through a series of adventures and happenings between Ella and Ross, Ella discovers that maybe The Album brings more than love and magic into the lives of people she meets, but also touches her own life. While she uses it to bring people together, she discovers things about love and what's been holding her back in opening up her heart.

The Album 2 - Love Finds a Way - Pauline's Story

Pauline's dream is to run her own cooking school but she's stuck in a boring job at a quiet crafts shop. At least she has her food blog. When, to her surprise, she gets chosen as a contestant in the reality TV cooking competition called The Culinary Dream and flies out to Italy for the filming, her hopes seem possible. She reluctantly assumes ownership of The Album upon Ella's insistence she needs it. Being kicked out on the first round devastates and humiliates her. Pauline decides to stay on in Italy on holiday so she doesn't have to face up to her family and friends. The cute food photographer and cinematographer of the show, Xaden, catches her eye but she discovers he's the brother of the man who broke her heart, so she pushes him away. Then when The Culinary Dream offers her a job as the magazine editor for their show, she can't turn away the opportunity to stay on in the beautiful European country even if she has to work alongside Xaden. As the couple spend time working together, they are drawn close, despite Pauline's fear of Xaden being like his brother and her reticence to any romance. The Album gives her opportunities to impact other's lives and also makes Xaden more curious about the woman with the magic. But there are barriers to their love - her friends' warnings of her getting involved with a fling with the brother of a heart-breaker and Xaden has his own issues about settling down.

The Album 3 - The Magic of Love - Carol's Story

Carol inherits The Album from her friend Pauline. She's always been fascinated with the magic and longed to use it. But then The Album disappears before she has a chance to make use of it. Why her? Why now? Devastated and feeling guilty for losing her friend's antique, she soon discovers her boyfriend, Cliff, is the one who stole it. Anxious for answers and to obtain the antique back, she hires a private investigator to help her out. Darryn isn't into relationships. His main goal in life is to find his late father's killer. That's why he opened up his investigative business years ago. When Carol asks for his help, he's fascinated by her request but even more by her. They embark on an adventure and fly to Canada to find The Album and its thief. Their moments together are charged with sexual tension and attraction. But Carol is devastated by Cliff's betrayal and Darryn holds back because of his pledge. Besides that, Carol discovers that The Album isn't the only magic antique missing. Now she and Darren must find the antiques belonging to several owners back in South Africa who are missing their precious treasures.

The Album 4 - Love's Gentle Wish - Andrea's Story

Andrea's always found the magic of The Album creepy so when Carol dumps it in her bag, she puts the artefact away. She's been working toward a promotion for years, but when her boss calls her in and gives her a retrenchment package instead, she's devastated and financially desperate. Carol insists she take up the job she was offered by Jeanie, one of the magic antique owners, to help her research in writing a book on the magic antiques. Desperate for some income, Andrea takes up the position while also assisting Pauline in the office of her new cooking school. Really, now she has to interview people about magic? Of all things? Andrea moves into the cottage at the bottom of Jeanie's garden to help save money. Jeanie's son, Trent, the mommy's boy, struggling artist, as she presumes, takes an interest in her and becomes her "saviour." Andrea's going to need all the help she can get as she not only inherits a scary magic album, but also her orphaned cousin, Lucy, who doesn't speak to her at all. How will she help the young teen overcome the grief of losing her parents and adapt to a new environment away from her friends? Trent turns out to be not a struggling artist, but rather a knight in shining armour in her time of need. But Andrea doesn't do romance. No, she's suffered a broken heart that, four years later, she still hasn't gotten over.

And here's the cover of The Album 1 for you to get a foretaste of this FUN series which should be coming out in a few months:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rockin Reads Blog Hop

Welcome to the Rockin Reads Blog Hop. What a great privilege to take part. There are prizes up for grabs at all the blogs - find the links below.

I'm giving away an ebook so keep reading.

With Halloween coming up soon, I can't help thinking about my Halloween novella, His Halloween Kisses. I loved writing this book. Although we don't celebrate Halloween much in our country yet - it is growing - I'm fascinated by the festivity of the holiday. So, I wrote a romance. Here's what it's about:


Ali’s never been so scared. She’s housesitting for a colleague on Halloween night, but the lights have gone out, and terrible noises and crashes send her imagination into overdrive. When her brother’s friend comes to her rescue, he kisses her in the dark three times. Once back in the light, Ali is embarrassed at allowing him to kiss her. Byron tries to ignore his strong attraction for Ali, especially seeing he’s not ready for a relationship. When Ali finds out why, she runs away, but life has other plans. What can bring them together? Fate, faith, or the memory of his Halloween kisses?


The TV made a fizz, and the light from its screen compressed into a small dot. All the lights in the house went out.
A power failure.
She sat frozen for a moment, unsure what to do next. This wasn’t her own home. Where did they keep candles and torches? At her place, she stored them in the kitchen drawer, and so did her parents in her childhood house. Wouldn’t that be the logical place? Blinking furiously, she hoped to find some light somewhere to guide her to the kitchen without bumping into something. Nothing. She couldn’t see a single thing. There was no moon tonight. Probably as overcast as it had been the whole miserable, rainy, windy afternoon. She spread out her hands in front of her and walked slowly, one awkward, terrifying step at a time.
In the darkness, the sounds were magnified. Wind whined like a strangled prisoner through every window, door crack, and ceiling board. Something tapped at one of the windows from the dining room. Tap…tap…tap. Probably just a branch from a nearby bush. It couldn’t be a ghost or a zombie, could it? Her quickened pulse didn’t believe any logical arguments tonight.
Images streamed through her darkened vision—pictures of real witches, zombies with bared teeth and deathly pale faces, and horrible creatures with horrific wolf-like snouts and sharp fangs. She shivered. For some reason, tonight, Halloween was getting under her skin.
And not in a nice way.
A crash sounded in the kitchen.
Her leg remained poised for the next step, but she couldn’t take it.
She couldn’t go in there.
What was that? Terror strangled her a moment, making it hard to breathe.
Possibly only the Bauman family cat, their little black and white tabby. A smile curled her mouth in response to the calming thought. Black cat—bad luck. Yeah, she sure was overthinking this whole simple inconvenience of a power outage.
Something brushed past her leg, something warm, soft, and silent.

Hot tears sprang to her eyes.

Buy Links:

Book Trailer:


I'm giving away a copy of His Halloween Kisses to a lucky commenter on this blog post. Tell me what would make you the most scared and whether a kiss would help? :) Please also put your email address in the comment so I can send you your prize. Good luck!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Operation: Bully Renovation by Katy Naas

Today, I welcome Katy Naas, children's writer with her new book, Operation: Bully Renovation.

Victims of the school’s scariest bully are invited to get revenge…


Jack Sullivan is Blackwell Middle School’s scariest bully. When students and teachers see him coming down the hallway, they run the other way. He has no friends; he doesn’t need them. School is a waste of his time.

But after a car accident with his father leaves him in need of surgery, Jack has to have a tissue donor. Strangely, he then begins having memories from events that never actually happened to him – memories of being bullied by bigger, meaner boys. Jack learns he is experiencing cellular memory, which makes him receive the memories of his tissue donor…who just so happened to be a weak, helpless victim of bullying.

Jack decides he has to make things right. To do that, he offers each of his former victims an apology, along with the chance to choose a way to get even with him. But Jack quickly learns that earning their forgiveness won’t be easy... 



Jack shoved the head of the writhing boy further into the toilet, feeling a small glimmer of satisfaction as he listened to the muffled screams. He watched the water bubbles come up from the nameless boy’s mouth as he tried to make noise and fought a useless battle, trying to escape the grip of Jack’s large fingers on his neck. Jack continued to hold the boy’s head under the water, waiting patiently for the boy to stop moving. When he did, Jack quickly pulled his head back out of the water, watching the helpless boy gasp for breath and slap the water off his face while tears filled his eyes.
“If you tell anyone what just happened, I’ll kill you,” Jack growled at the boy, giving him his most convincing glare before he casually walked away, leaving the boy crumpled on the floor, drowning in his own sobs.

Jack walked out of the locker room and rejoined the rest of the members of his gym class just as the dismissal bell rang, signaling the end of his school day. He shoved past several students who were heading for the gym doors, ignoring their grunts and protests as he bumped into them from behind. He knew that as soon as the other students saw who was pushing past them they would quickly shut their mouths in fear. No one wanted to make Jack Sullivan mad. No one even wanted to be on his radar. He was crazy. Unpredictable. No one messed with him; no one even looked at him. The scrawny new boy in gym class had just learned that the hard way. A nice swirly would teach him to ask Jack to pass him the ball.

Jack smiled to himself as he walked down the middle of the hallway, thinking about his own reputation. Every boy and every girl that roamed the halls of Blackwell Middle School was terrified of him. It was obvious at all times, even as he made his way out of the building. The other kids intentionally averted their gazes and deliberately moved to the other side of the hallway to avoid any accidental contact. Even the teachers pretended to be engrossed in something else whenever he came into view. He smirked slightly as Mr. Andrews stared at the file in his hand while he passed, never smiling up at him or even glancing in his direction with so much as a nod, though he’d greeted the group of students a few feet in front of him only moments ago. There was no doubt that he brought terror to the hearts of others, both kids and adults.

That was just the way Jack preferred it. He didn’t need friends; he had no interest in any of the idiots that surrounded him in his classes. He hated school, hated the teachers, hated the classes, and hated the structure of it all. He hated the clubs and the sports and even the stupid cardinal mascot that covered the walls of the building. If everyone were scared of him, no one would try to talk to him. He felt invincible as he pushed through the double doors of the front of the building.
Trudging down the sidewalk toward his home, he never looked back at the building he had come to loathe so much. He couldn’t wait for the day when he’d never have to step foot in that hole of a school again. As an eighth grader, he didn’t have too much longer to wait.

He often considered quitting. He would call it an early retirement, he decided. But then he would remember the state’s dumb law that a person has to be sixteen to quit and be left alone. If he stopped showing up now, the feds would get involved and make his life complicated. Not that he was scared of a bunch of low-life feds; he wasn’t. But he knew they wouldn’t be as easy to avoid as his teachers and the students at school. If he could just hold out for a couple more years, he could quit and no one would bother him about any laws. So for now, he showed up most days, keeping the number of days he skipped strategically low so that they would go unnoticed.

As he approached two girls standing together near the end of the block, giggling incessantly, Jack wrinkled up his nose in disgust. He glared in their general direction, laughing on the inside when their annoying high-pitched laughs ceased at once. It was more than fear that the kids felt toward him, he decided. It was respect. And to Jack, respect was the most important thing in the world.

Author Bio:

From the time she was old enough to talk, Katy Newton Naas has been creating characters and telling stories. As a child, they sometimes got her into trouble. She knew she wanted to write books when she won a Young Author's competition as a second-grader for her short story titled, “The Grape Pie.” (Don't let its tasty title fool you - it was actually a sad little tale!)

Katy devoured books as a child and young adult, always doing chores and odd jobs in order to make enough money to buy more of them. Though she continues to age, her true literature love is and has always been children's and young adult fiction.

Katy currently teaches middle school reading and high school English in southern Illinois, as well as children's church. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in English Education and a master's degree in Reading and Language Studies. She enjoys her life out in the country with her husband, her two sweet and rowdy young sons, and all her other “kids”: four dogs, three cats, and eight ducks.

She loves creating both realistic and futuristic stories about kids, tweens, and teens, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.

Buy Links:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mamarazzi Character Interview and Review

Today, I have Brooke Williams promoting her Hollywood inspired romance novel called Mamarazzi. We're having a character interview and I've also written a review for this book.


By Brooke Williams

Release Date: September 11, 2015 from Prism Book Group

Order HERE

Join the Sept. 15th Release Day Party on Facebook HERE
Enjoy giveaways with a dozen different authors!

Danica Bennett isn't sure what she hates more...her job or the fact that she's good at it.  As one of the many Hollywood paparazzi, she lives her life incognito and sneaks around trying to get the best shot of the latest star.  When she is mistaken for an extra on a new, up and coming TV show, her own star rises and she becomes the one being photographed.  Add that to the fact that she's falling for her co-star, Eliot Lane, and Danica is in a whole heap of trouble.

Add “Mamarazzi” to your Goodreads list HERE

About the Author

Brooke Williams writes in a sleep-deprived state while her daughters nap. Her romantic comedy is best read in the same state. Brooke has twelve years of radio in her background, both behind the scenes and on the air. She was also a television traffic reporter for a short time despite the fact that she could care less about hair and make-up. Today, Brooke stays at home with her daughters and works as a freelance writer for a variety of companies. When she isn’t working for paying clients, she makes things up, which results in books like “Accept this Dandelion.”  Brooke is also the author of "Accept this Dandelion," “Wrong Place, Right Time,” “Someone Always Loved You,”  “Beyond the Bars.” She plans to continue the Dandelion story into a series and looks forward to her first children's book release “Baby Sheep Gets a Haircut” in June 2016. Brooke and her husband Sean have been married since 2002 and have two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn (5) and Sadie (nearly 2).

Connect with Brooke:

Note from the Author on the book's inspiration:

I've always been fascinated by the Hollywood life and the idea that "they" are different from "us." The idea for Mamarazzi has been with me for a long time. I'm not even exactly sure when I came up with it, but in college, I had a screenwriting class and I had to write a portion of a screenplay. I wrote "Paparazzi," which was the same general idea only with a male lead character. When I began writing romantic comedy, the idea came back to me and I decided to chance the main character to a female and call it "Mamarazzi." I even had a naming contest so that facebook fans and blog readers could name the characters in the book. Every character in the novel is reader named and approved! Overall, I wanted to examine what happens when you take someone from one side of the fence and plop them on the other side. In the end, famous or not, we're all just people. And in this book, they all have secrets...

And next from Brooke Williams....

"Dandelions on the Road"
releases November 5, 2015...
pre-order today by clicking below

Character Interview:

Hi, my name is Danica and my story is featured in the novel “Mamarazzi.” Thanks for having me today and I hope you’ll go easy on me. What do you want to know? I’m literally an open book, if you read “Mamarazzi.” Haha.

(P.S. This interview occurred before the events of the book took place)

What’s your favourite part of the day? Morning, afternoon or night?
I have to pick just one? As far as my job goes, night is best. It’s hard to take pictures after dark, but the good shots are always available with night as a veil. Personally, though, morning is best. The day is fresh and anything can happen.

If you had to take anyone with you on a long journey away from home, who would it be?
My mom. She’s been there for me all of my life and continues to be a support no matter what I do. Time with her is precious because as I get older, I understand days are fleeting. Hers are limited and I want to make sure I get as much as I can in with her.

What is your motto in life?
Grab every opportunity you can, when you can. You never know when something else might roll around. It’s easy to make mistakes when you grasp anything that whizzes by, but if you don’t get on the train when it comes, you’ll never know where it ends up.

Name one of your weaknesses that you’d like to work on.
Well, I have plenty, but I’d say my profession is my biggest weakness. I’m a photographer by trade and I really want to get into the professional photography business. But breaking into that world is really tough and I’ve fallen into taking, you could say, not so flattering pictures of celebrities. I want to quit, but I need the money to keep myself and my mother afloat.

If you were able to invent something totally new for your world, what would it be, and why do you think it’s needed?
I’d invent a machine that allows people to glimpse a snippet of their future. I wouldn’t want to see too much and ruin the element of surprise. But if I knew a few things about my future, I’d know better how to conduct things today.

Give a memory from childhood.
I remember spending endless hours in Nebraska cornfields. Sounds boring, right? My mother took me to a variety of landscapes around the state so she could shoot the fields at sunset or at other times of the day. While she took pictures and tested the light, I was left to entertain myself. It’s amazing what a kid can come up with in an empty field! Those were some of my fondest memories of growing up.

Are you similar to how you were as a child or have you changed significantly? If you’ve changed, what changed you?
I think my sense of wonder is a bit jaded now that I’m an adult. When I was a child, I didn’t realize how much adults struggle at times to make things meet. I still have my childlike belief that if you try hard enough, you can succeed. But I also know how hard success can be to achieve.

What is the most sacrificial thing you’ve done for someone else?
I care for my mother. She’s too young, but she has Alzheimer’s and it’s advancing fast. Though she lives back in Nebraska and I live in Hollywood, I pay for her care and all of her needs. I wish I could see her more than I do. It kills me to be this far away, but it’s also hard when I visit and she doesn’t know me. I don’t see her care as a sacrifice, really, though. She’s my mom and she’s done so much for me, I owe her way more than I can ever do in return.

Cat or dog person?
I love animals in general. I don’t have pets myself, but I grew up in a rural area and there were plenty of every kind. I look forward to the day when I am more settled and have regular hours so I can have some of each!


This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

I was hooked by this story right from the beginning. The plot kept me going throughout and didn't bore me. What a great story! I thoroughly enjoyed it. The twists and turns and the happenings were so unusual, different and yet authentic. When an ordinary person enters the world of Hollywood and acting, their life changes forever. So it is with Danica who is a paparazzi photography and gets swept up, purely by accident, into a part in a TV series called Cousins. I loved taking Danica's journey as she struggles to keep her past a secret and to balance all the changes in her new life. Even though the things she did in the beginning really got to me, I understood why she did them and could sympathize with her. I could also see the character arc as she changed through the book. I don't want to spoil it and share too much, but it's well worth a read if you want a book that will keep you hooked and invested throughout. Great setting, characters and what fun to enter behind the scenes of Hollywood.

4.5 stars (oh sorry, Eiffel Towers)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor of Love Bloghop

From sweet to dark, divas of romance work their fingers to the bone for your reading pleasure in the Labor of Love Bloghop from 9/4-9/6. Come join me and enter to win a Kindle with new, heart-pounding titles just for you!

2015_8 Labor of Love hop_D2 copy

Happily ever afters only come after heart-breaking work, and this Labor Day weekend, we are celebrating our written labors of love by giving our readers a chance to win a brand-spankin' new Kindle with our personal bests. That's right, you could win all of our books! Aren't you excited? We are! So here's your chance, just click the link below to enter our giveaway:

Sometimes love happens to you against your plans. So it was with Elaine. She'd always vowed she wouldn't date an athlete. Her brother's an Olympic swimmer and she's gotten to know the athletic lifestyle. Athletes don't have time for love and family. Especially Olympic athletes.

When her brother's team-mates come over one evening, hungry Winston Harper comes into her kitchen, her domain. She's taken immediately with his humble and pleasant nature. But Winston has come from a difficult background. Her family and friends disapprove of him. But Elaine cares too much to let him go. Have you ever had someone persuade you not to pursue a relationship? I know what it's like. When my husband and I were dating, some people said we weren't right for one another. Twenty years later, we're still together.

Three Tiers for Win is a story of adventure, romance, and family passion that unfolds with the backdrop of the 2012 London Olympics. Elaine said she would never date an athlete as they’re too driven. That’s until she meets kind, yet intensely focused and ambitious South African Olympic swimmer, Winston Harper. He stands for everything she’d chosen not to go for. Win also has a bad family history which keeps him from opening his heart to her. When intense attraction and affection breaks through some of their barriers, family secrets and conflicts pull them apart again. Only Elaine’s support and Win’s brokenness can draw them back together, but will that be strong enough to wipe away the past?

Elaine pressed the remote to open the garage. “There’s the top of an old sewing table of my mom’s.”

“Let me see.” He followed her in. Feeling suddenly overwhelmed by a sense of need for his help and support, Elaine became flustered while looking for it. If only Win wasn’t an athlete and would be interested in someone like her. He made her feel so
at peace with the world, so calm and so focused. Oh well, there wasn’t time to pine about that now.

“Here it is,” he said as he pulled the board out from behind the lawnmower.

“Oh no!” Elaine gasped. “Wait here.”

“What now?” She could hear a smile in his voice as though he must be thinking she was a drama queen or too panicky, or worse still, badly disorganized, which was definitely true. After running inside to grab a wet cloth from the kitchen, she came up to Win who was already loading the board in his boot.

“Look at me,” she commanded. He looked at her, all innocence, and she searched for breath. A manly cologne and the scent of freshly washed hair and a touch of his sweat sank into her. The combination warmed her from her toes. She swallowed.

“You’re covered in dust on your nice new tuxedo.” It had to be new. It wasn’t Mick’s, she knew that. Had he bought a new one especially for the day? She suddenly felt all weak and wobbly at the thought that he would go to the trouble of doing that for her.

“There,” she choked out after wiping his one sleeve and abdomen. “Now you look perfect. Oh!” She placed her hand over her mouth at the statement she’d just made. Whipping herself around, she ran back to the house to put the cloth down and lock up. He mustn’t know that she liked him — it would be mortifying and would set

her up for real hurt.

You can buy Three Tiers for Win here: 

To win one of my ebooks of your choice, you can comment below. Answer the question: Where will the Olympics be held in 2016?

Also, don't forget the rafflecopter giveaway for the blog hop above. 

2015_8 Labor of Love hop_D2 copy

Thank you for join joining our Labors of Love Blog Hop. To see who's participating, click the link below and work your way through our participating authors:
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Release by Krysten Lindsay Hager

A warm welcome to Krysten who'll be sharing about her brand new release, a YA novel called Next Door to a Star.

by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult


Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama.

However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.

Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?


The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.
Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.

Author Bio:

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Author Links:

Buy links:

Thursday, August 6, 2015


I'm starting a new thing on my blog....

A monthly themed blog post. The first one is ESCAPE.

I'm excited to feature six authors and six books related to the theme escape. The authors will offer a blurb and a short teaser excerpt plus some buy links. A special congrats to Chris as this is release time for his debut novel.

First up...

Spell For Sophia
By Ariella Moon
Book 4, The Teen Wytche Saga

Kidnapped by her lawless parents, Sophia resorts to thievery and arson to escape. Her survival depends on her mastering magic and the supernatural, and guarding her heart against Breaux, a voodoo queen’s grandson. When magic hurls the teens through time, Sophia’s friend Ainslie will risk her sanity to find them. Fate and ghosts await, and conjuring always exacts a price.

I'd thought escaping would uncoil the fear and worry squeezing my heart. I figured I'd stop looking over my shoulder once I crossed the California state line, or Arizona's, or New Mexico's, or the border between Texas and Louisiana. But I hadn't. Terror and hunger dogged me. I reeked of desperation. My head throbbed from all the bad decisions I had made since I'd found my bio-parents.
I could still pull out of this; save Christmas. Call Ainslie, the voice inside my head urged. I bet he'll loan you his phone. My gaze zeroed in on the leader of a ragtag group playing basketball on the schoolyard. His short black curls had been coaxed away from his face, revealing warm nutmeg-colored skin and kind, dark eyes. Fifteen years old? I wondered.

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Rest Thy Head
By Elaine Cantrell


Running away from a fiancé who betrayed her, Peyton O’Malley finds employment at a beautiful mountain inn called Rest Thy Head. She didn’t expect to live in the haunted room or to fall for the inn’s owner, a fire-scarred, war veteran who uses the inn to hide away from the world. She didn’t expect her sister to show up at Rest Thy Head either, much less her formidable mother. 
Now, thanks to the aid of a friendly ghost, Peyton has a shot at true love, and so does her sister Ashley, provided the guys cooperate of course! 

Teaser: My heroine escapes from her kidnapper

She paused for a moment to get her bearings. Should she take Reggie or not? Yes, she should. Both horses were still tied to the bush where he had left them. Where did he get a horse anyway? Stolen, probably; she wouldn’t put it past him. If they still hung horse thieves, she might get rid of him that way.

She quickly unsaddled his horse and removed its bridle. “Get going,” she softly cried. The horse huffed and vanished into the dark night. “Let’s go, Reggie,” she whispered. Reggie butted her, and the two of them also melted into the shadows.

Two hours later Peyton admitted she was lost. The trail she had followed had abruptly ended at the top of a steep ravine. If not for Reggie, she would have fallen, probably to her death. Whether she liked it or not, she’d have to backtrack and try to find the right trail. The lighted dial on her watch caught her eye. Four thirty. It would soon be daylight, and she feared to be too close to the cabin when day finally broke. “Hurry, Reggie,” she cried. “Let’s get out of here.” 

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Tempting the Earl
By Wendy May Andrews


After escaping from Bedlam where her cousin had her committed for refusing to marry a man of his choosing, Emily must masquerade as an earl’s servant to remain hidden. To her astonishment she finds she enjoys the role, but unfortunately finds herself attracted to the haughty young earl.
He too struggles with an attraction to his beautiful new maid, but has his mind set n pursuing a courtship with the much more appropriate Lady Maude.
Who is Emily? Why is she hiding in the earl’s household? Can a case of mistaken identity lead to true love?


“What’s going on here, George?” he called out in slightly accented French as he approached.

Emily was fluent in the foreign tongue but felt unsure how to proceed. Have I gone all the way to France? her confused mind questioned. That hardly seemed possible. Would it reveal too much to acknowledge her understanding? She waited nervously to see what would develop as the young lord approached the rear of the carriage. Up until very recently Emily had led quite a sheltered life, and she felt unprepared to deal with a handsome nobleman in her current state.

No amount of dirt could hide the refinement in Emily’s face and bearing. Philip wondered dispassionately what this beautiful but bedraggled creature was doing huddled in his carriage. His left eyebrow rose in a questioning look as Emily burst into speech.

Buy Links:

For kindle:  http://amzn.to/1D0RB0B

Paperback:  http://amzn.to/1DPANdi

Vidal’s Honor
By Sherry Gloag

Which will Honor lose first? Her head or her heart?


When plunged into a world of spies, agents and espionage during the Peninsula wars, Honor, Lady Beaumont, flees for her life when the French capture her husband at Salamanca, and relies on his batman to arrange her safe passage back to England.

Viscount Charles Vidal is ordered by Robert Dumas, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to travel to Spain and escort the only woman he’s ever loved, Lord Devlin Beaumont’s widow back home before the French discover her whereabouts.

Their journey is fraught by danger, least of all knowing whether they are surrounded by friends or foe. Will they survive long enough to explore the possibility of a future together or will whispers of treason be enough to see Honor dispatched to Tyburn first?


When plunged into a world of spies, agents and espionage Honor, Lady Beaumont, flees for her life when her husband is captured at Salamanca. Lord Vidal,  sent out to Spain, brings her home to a city full of enemies. Which will she lose first, her head or her heart?

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The Fourth Generation
By Chris Von Halle


In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen.

Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion.

Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.


In my YA dystopian novel, The Fourth Generation, the main character Gorin lives in a society that doesn’t allow its citizens to have possessions (among other things). However, over the years Gorin has both illegally and secretly kept for himself a few objects that he’s found out in town. And every evening, after a long day of hard, grueling work, he covertly studies/plays with them in his bedroom as a way of momentarily “escaping” his unfair, freedom-devoid society, which allows him to gain some perspective on it. Below is an excerpt taken from one such evening.

I held the necklace, which had some kind of silver-lined red stone on it, up to the torch. Supposedly the rulers still didn’t know what the point of necklaces were. I put it around my neck, something I’d started doing about a year ago. It just felt right. I stepped in front of the mirror above the wardrobe.
The gold glinted in the torchlight, and every muscle in my body relaxed. So precious…The necklace looked out of place next to the mottled gray tone of my skin, which seemed even darker than yesterday, if that was possible. Now that I only had two months to live before the plague finally got me, my skin was darker than most kids’ in town. Such was life. Still, I could make out my large, blunt features. Not exactly good-looking, but I was tall and my decent-size muscles stretched even my sweater’s sleeves. A couple more reasons I was a supply hunter, and good at it.
I rubbed my thumb over the red stone, curling my other hand into a fist. It was so unfair I wasn’t allowed to keep things like this. So unfair everybody in Middleton had to transport all objects they found to the Baudelux family at the mansion.

Veil of Secrecy
By Robin Alexander


Rachel Brackett arrives in Sullivan, Montana with simple goals: relocate, settle an estate, and manage her own antique store. Her parents and friends back home called it running away. That’s just fine with her.

Rachel’s curiosity leads her into the forest, and she finds creatures who know more about her ominous heritage than she does. The creatures only exist in nightmares – grotesque mutants and shapeshifters. They seek vengeance for hideous crimes in genetic engineering, and Rachel is the prime target for retribution. While Rachel searches for the truth behind the family she never knew, a bounty hunter stalks her every move. Only Leonardo, a figure shrouded in the shadows, offers protection. A were lion with the perfect blend of human and feline features. Terrifying. Impossible. Alluring.

When Rachel’s home is ripped apart and a friend attacked, it’s clear there is no safe haven. She is no longer running from her past, but trying to survive to make it to her future.


Rachel Brackett watched road signs and mile markers blur past through a haze of tears. She could run for years and find no escape existed from relentless memories, pain and sadness. Never be able to give an explanation for the relief or excitement, or the confusion born from the messy concoction. If anyone knew what brewed inside of her, they’d think she was crazy. Or worse.

Someday, Rachel thought, I might be able to get the emotions under control … but not today.
All she wanted was to run.

Rachel pushed a button to open the driver’s side window. Fresh mountain air wafted through the car, and a soft curl dressed the corner of her lips. Everything she needed. Fresh air. Time. As much distance from the past as possible.

She whisked away remnants of tears, and, thumping both thumbs against the steering wheel, glanced out the window. Rachel drew in a heavy breath, filling her lungs and calming the tidal waves within. She couldn’t deny how captivating the drive had been since leaving the city. Winding curves shimmered in the high afternoon sun, twisting through rich jade broadleaf and evergreen trees. Alongside, rushing rivers snaked through deep gorges and under occasional white stone bridges. Rocky shores decorated by wildflowers, and more than one fisherman stood knee-deep in the gurgling waters with nylon lines dancing in the passing wakes. Alpine peaks of the Sapphire Mountains to the west and the Bitterroot Mountains to the east jutted skyward, snow-covered, even in midJune. The further south Rachel traveled, the closer the mountains edged towards the road, cliffs laced with trees and trickling water. Big Sky Country, Land of the Shining Mountains, the Last Best Place. All nicknames discovered in her limited research seemed appropriate. Whatever anyone wanted to call it, one word summed it up best. Beautiful.

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