PRETTY WICKED by Kelly Charon Cover Reveal

The lovely Kelly Charon has a novel coming out September 30th and I have the cover for you and when I saw this cover my jaw hit the ground. IT. IS. PERFECT. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

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The daughter of a local police detective, fifteen-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.

But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.

Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.

*warning – some graphic content

Pretty Wicked is a mature YA novel intended for ages 16 and up.

Praise for Pretty Wicked:

“This creepy novel places you inside the mind of a twisted teen killer, which is even more unsettling because of how familiar and normal she seems. Be prepared to leave the lights on and look at the people around you in a whole new way.”    

-Eileen Cook | Author of WITH MALICE

“Dark and haunting, this witty thriller with its petite feminine anti-hero is an American Psycho for teens. Be prepared to sleep with the lights on.”

Lisa Voisin | Author of THE WATCHER SAGA

“Pretty Wicked is fresh, thrilling, and deeply haunting. I’ve never read anything like it! The story escalates from page one and will leave your pulse pounding as you wonder just how far Ryann will go. 5/5 stars.”

Tiana Warner | Author of ICE MASSACRE & ICE CRYPT

Excerpt from Pretty Wicked:

I heard the bell ring in the distance. Lunch was over. I leapt up to go when I was struck with panic. What if someone had seen me walk out there with Veronica? No one could know what I’d done. My breath hitched.

I ran as fast as I could back to the yard and to the first teacher I saw.

“Mrs. Hopkins! Come quick, Veronica’s really hurt!” I pretended to be hysterical so effectively that she couldn’t understand me the first few times.

She bent down so we were at eye level. “Where?”

“We went into the woods at the far end of the property. I’m sorry. I know we’re not allowed, but she fell and she’s not moving! You have to hurry!” I sobbed, shoulders shaking, snotty nose. I don’t know how I’d managed to look so distraught, but I nearly convinced myself.

Mrs. Hopkins turned to a kid named Austin, who was in the grade ahead of me. “Go get Mr. Chute. Tell him to call 911 and to come out and meet me in the woods.”

Austin, who was paper white, nodded and took off like his ass was on fire.

I ran back with Mrs. Hopkins to the rocks where I’d left Veronica. She was in the exact position I’d left her. Thankfully there was no miraculous recovery waiting for us.

After she was taken away in an ambulance, Mrs. Hopkins and Mr. Chute walked me back and called my parents.

My dad showed up to the school, hugged me, and told me how brave I was.

After my mother had finally stopped fussing and checking on me every twenty minutes, I sat on my bed and thought about Veronica. It would be weird not to see her in class every day or hang out with her at lunch, not that we hung out that much. I was usually with Bao-yu anyway, but sometimes she came along. Maybe now B and I would be better friends. She wouldn’t have to share me anymore.

I wondered what I was feeling—if I was missing Veronica. But I didn’t think that’s what it was. The twinge in the bottom of my stomach didn’t have the achy hollowness that people refer to as a pit. It was more like butterflies.

Pretty Wicked 3D Image of Book Cover Black

Preorder your copy here: Amazon and add it to your Goodreads here

 

Questions about Pretty Wicked:

What inspired you to write such a dark character?

I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and human motivation. Whenever I read a novel or watched a movie or television show, I was drawn to the villain. I wanted to understand what made them act the way they did––delve into what happened in their lives or minds to make them the person they had become.

When there was the odd story from the “villains” point of view, it seemed to characterize them as “misunderstood” and usually spun them into a likeable character who was the hero of that new version of the story. I wanted to write something unique and portray the villain realistically. What would the story look like if they were a true villain? I got the idea for a teenage serial killer who was unapologetic about who she was and what she wanted and thought it was really interesting to explore what her point of view would be if she drove the story and the “villain” was the detective trying to stop her.

Is this your first novel?

Pretty Wicked is the second book I wrote and the first to be published. I have been writing for ten years. My first book was a YA urban fantasy that took me seven years to complete because I kept stopping for huge chunks of time while I completed my degrees (English Lit and Social Work). I finally got serious about writing in 2013 and have just completed my fourth novel.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I did query it to literary agents and received a lot of positive praise for the book. In the end I kept hearing the same feedback: it’s a fascinating concept, the writing and voice are great, but we don’t think we can sell such a dark book to a publisher. I completely understand this. I know this book is going to be very polarizing. People will either love the concept of hate it. So far I have had overwhelmingly encouraging feedback from readers who understand that this is a fictional story that is trying to do something different from most novels. There was some interest from small publishers but the wait times were longer than I was comfortable with. I decided if I wanted to see this book out in the world I was going to have to do it myself. It was an intimidating process, but luckily I have an amazing and brilliant support group who helped me along the way.

What genres do you write in?

Psychological thriller, urban fantasy, and horror. I have two YA urban fantasy books, though one may never see the light of day. It’s my first book and would need to be rewritten before I decide its fate. The second (currently titled Wilde Magic) is the first in a planned series that I am very excited about.

Is Pretty Wicked a standalone novel?

The Pretty Wicked series will continue with adult books. The sequel, Wicked Fallout, is currently going through editing and the third book in the series is brewing in my mind. I have some very fun ideas for Ryann.

Wicked Fallout takes place twelve years later when Ryann is 27 years old. That’s all I can say right now as to not reveal spoilers.

Ryann is not a very likable character. Do you like her?

I actually do. I really enjoyed writing her. I don’t agree with anything she does at all! In that sense, Ryann is deplorable! But what I like is her humor and wit and the way she owns who she is. She was a fun character to write because she is so different to most characters out there. It’s like when you see a Hollywood actor discuss their favorite roles. Often they say the villain roles were their preferred because it was more fun and exciting to play. There are forbidden elements that make it a bit more exciting than the standard hero. It’s no different for me as the writer.

What is your writing process?

I have a day job so writing usually happens in the evenings and on weekends. I work in a school so I am fortunate to have shorter days, two vacation break periods, and summers off which really help me carve out the time needed.

On a writing day (Saturday or Sunday) I will get up, shower, eat breakfast, procrastinate with some TV and then get to it. I’ll make a coffee and park myself on my couch (even though I have a beautiful desk in an actual home office). I’ll write for about 2-3 hours (about 1500-2000 words on average). I may do another session later that evening if I’m really inspired. I watch a lot of television and read widely to inspire my creativity and ideas.  

I also have an amazing group of friends who are writers as well and we meet up to have writing and brainstorming sessions, which is fantastic!

 

Meet the Author:

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Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Connect with her: Website| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

WITHOUT BORDERS by AMANDA HEGER

Enter to Win an Ebook Copy of WITHOUT BORDERS

 

WITHOUT BORDERS
A Wanderlove Novel
Amanda Heger
Releasing April 19th, 2016
Diversion Books
For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend’s older brother, who’s much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.
Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.
As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another.
 BUY NOW

 

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Amanda Heger is a writer, attorney, and bookworm. She lives in the Midwest with three unruly rescue dogs and a husband who encourages her delusions of grandeur.
 
Her debut romance, Without Borders, is forthcoming from Diversion Books. The story was inspired by the summer Amanda spent in rural Nicaragua, eating gallo pinto, speaking mangled Spanish, and showing high school students how to slide condoms onto over-sized plantains.
 
Her stories are represented by Jessica Watterson of the Dijkstra Literary Agency.
 
 

EDGE OF CHAOS RELEASE DAY!

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Release Date: March 30, 2016
Photo & Cover Design: Regina Wamba / MaeIDesign and Photography
Models: Ripp B. (Dash) & Mackenzy T. (Blake)

Synopsis

Blake Caster has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with Justin for so long, she can’t tell what is normal anymore, and so she clings to the one thing that is solidly hers—her passion for extreme weather.

Three years into her Meteorology degree, Blake meets professional storm chaser, Dash Lexington, who is as gorgeous as he is daring. Instantly recognizing her passion and skills in analyzing weather data, he makes a spot for her on his tight-knit storm chasing team. Dash and Blake form a fast friendship and it forces her to realize just how toxic her relationship with Justin is. She can’t deny the lightning-worthy chemistry she has with Dash or how her heart stalls every time he gets too close to a tornado.

With each chase and the cherished moments with Dash, Blake discovers her own self-worth and gains the strength to end things with Justin for good. But he won’t go easily. As Blake tries to sever ties with one man, she fears she’ll lose the other to his dangerous obsession—and she doesn’t know if she’ll be enough to save him from the impending storm that could end them all.

 

Goodreads

 

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Giveaway

Kindle Fire (7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB w/ Special Offers, Blk) & Signed paperback of Edge of Chaos

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cba4250224/?

 

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Book Trailer

https://www.dropbox.com/s/txz261b9q6y2c31/Edge%20of%20ChaosTrailer.mp4?dl=0

 

Edge of Chaos_FINAL

 

About the Author

Molly Lee is an author, editor, and mentor best known from Pitch Wars, a program that connects promising writers to established authors in the community. She writes NA contemporary and YA urban fantasy with strong heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. Throw in high-octane action or any kind of supernatural element and she’ll be hooked. A military spouse with two children and one stubborn english bulldog, Molly enjoys watching storms from the back porch of her Midwest home and digging for treasures at local antique shops.

 

Connect with Molly

Newsletter Signup Link: http://eepurl.com/8uco5

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollyElizabethLeeAuthor/?fref=ts

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/434107490133398/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14975678.Molly_E_Lee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MollyELee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mollyelizabethlee/

 

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Edge of Chaos by Molly E. Lee Cover Reveal

OMG is this cover hot or what?!

Edge of Chaos_high
Release Date: March 30, 2016
Photo & Cover Design: Regina Wamba / MaeIDesign and Photography
Models: Ripp B. (Dash) & Mackenzy T. (Blake)

Synopsis

Blake Caster has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with Justin for so long, she can’t tell what is normal anymore, and so she clings to the one thing that is solidly hers—her passion for extreme weather.

Three years into her Meteorology degree, Blake meets professional storm chaser, Dash Lexington, who is as gorgeous as he is daring. Instantly recognizing her passion and skills in analyzing weather data, he makes a spot for her on his tight-knit storm chasing team. Dash and Blake form a fast friendship and it forces her to realize just how toxic her relationship with Justin is. She can’t deny the lightning-worthy chemistry she has with Dash or how her heart stalls every time he gets too close to a tornado.

With each chase and the cherished moments with Dash, Blake discovers her own self-worth and gains the strength to end things with Justin for good. But he won’t go easily. As Blake tries to sever ties with one man, she fears she’ll lose the other to his dangerous obsession—and she doesn’t know if she’ll be enough to save him from the impending storm that could end them all.

 

Goodreads

 

Teaser_9

 

Giveaway

One of Five ARC’s for Edge of Chaos 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cba4250213/?

 

Teaser_2

Book Trailer

https://www.dropbox.com/s/txz261b9q6y2c31/Edge%20of%20ChaosTrailer.mp4?dl=0

Edge of Chaos_FINAL

About the Author

Molly Lee is an author, editor, and mentor best known from Pitch Wars, a program that connects promising writers to established authors in the community. She writes NA contemporary and YA urban fantasy with strong heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. Throw in high-octane action or any kind of supernatural element and she’ll be hooked. A military spouse with two children and one stubborn english bulldog, Molly enjoys watching storms from the back porch of her Midwest home and digging for treasures at local antique shops.

Connect with Molly

Newsletter Signup Link: http://eepurl.com/8uco5

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MollyElizabethLeeAuthor/?fref=ts

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/434107490133398/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14975678.Molly_E_Lee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MollyELee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mollyelizabethlee/

 

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Cover Reveal for Charlie N. Holmberg’s MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET

The peculiar tale of an enchanted baker who creates fairy tales’ darkest and most magical confections.

 

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

 

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of the Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet is available for preorder on Amazon and B&N. Ebook, audiobook, and paperback release from 47North June 28th!

You can also preview the novel on Goodreads.

~*~

About the Author

charlieedited

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog.

Kelly Siskind’s MY PERFECT MISTAKE COVER REVEAL!

I’m so excited to be sharing the cover of Kelly Siskind’s MY PERFECT MISTAKE today! Check out the beautiful cover below, read a sneak peek, and enter to win!

Siskind_MyPerfectMistake_2

About MY PERFECT MISTAKE

What happens in Aspen is definitely not staying in Aspen . . .

A girls’ trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She’s got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared.

Kolton doesn’t know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool—although she does have an unholy gift for that—but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they’re both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don’t kill each other first.

MY PERFECT MISTAKE releases April 5, 2016 – add it to your Goodreads list here!

Preorder MY PERFECT MISTAKE now: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Excerpt

He tosses me my anti-sexy helmet. “We should take another run before we head down.”

I catch it and shake my head, unsure I heard him right. “Sorry, we? Shouldn’t you be skiing with your buddies? It’s bad enough you hijacked my lunch and I have to sit at a table with you again tonight. Now you want to ski together? Thanks but no thanks.”

He lifts his arms over his head and stretches from side to side. A sliver of skin peeks out below his jacket. “The guys called it quits early. Worried you can’t keep up?”

As fucking if. The dude’s obviously egging me on, but he snaps my self-control. Everything between us is action, reaction. Spark and flame. What’s his deal, anyway? Why sit with me and ski with me when we’re worse than cats and dogs? If he thinks firing me up means he’s getting a replay of last night, he’s mistaken. Still, I need to beat his ass on the slopes. “Fine. I’ll take that run. It’s about time I put you in your place. But let’s be clear. We can have lunch and ski together, but there will be no sex.” A teen walking by stops midstride and doubles over in a fit of giggles.

“I didn’t catch that.” Kolton leans forward and cups a hand around his helmeted ear. “Do you mind speaking up?”

What a total douche.

“Everyone is wise until he speaks,” I mumble, recalling my granddad’s words.

Kolton straightens, a question passing across his face. “Are you Irish? My granddad used to say that all the time. Along with, ‘Shut your mouth and eat your dinner.’”

I laugh, abrupt and maniacal, the sharp sound catching me off guard. The energy shifts between us, like the first time I understood my Spanish teacher—the foreign becoming familiar. I frown, unsure I want Kolton to feel familiar. “Yeah, I am. The first curse I learned was feckin’ arse, and I’d kind of like to use it now.”

He smiles to himself, as though we’re friends who would sit and talk and laugh about our shared upbringing. Ruffled, I cram my helmet on, get geared up, and try to stomp out of the lodge all look out, buddy, but with the boots and Martian head, it’s a fail.

Skis on and goggles down, we race to the lift. He arrives first, making like he’s been waiting forever with a dramatic yawn. I roll my eyes and push past him. The lift line is empty, so it’s just him and me on the four-person chair.

“Mind not doing that?” he says partway up as I swing my skis.

The chair sways in response, and I rock my legs harder. “This?”

His olive skin grays. “Yeah. That.” He leans his elbows on the safety bar and closes his eyes.

If he pukes, I’ll likely toss my cookies, too. When my brother got food poisoning from China House’s all-you-can-eat buffet, it wasn’t pretty. I hadn’t eaten a thing there, but the second he threw up, I proceeded to reenact that pie eating scene from Stand by Me: projectile vomit, solid stream, fire hydrant force.

I still my skis and stop bouncing.

We pass one supporting tower, then another, before he opens his eyes.

“You regretting that lunch?” I ask, smirking.

He flexes his hands, and the poles dangling from his wrists knock around. “No. I’m regretting getting on this chair with you.”

Such a charmer.

Giveaway

Want to win a digital ARC of MY PERFECT MISTAKE? You can enter to win on the Rafflecopter below!

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About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group.

2015 Golden Heart® Finalist

Connect with Kelly Siskind

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest 

Blog Tour: PLAY ON by Michelle Smith – Excerpt & Giveaway

Play On Cover

Play On

by Michelle Smith

Release Date: April 21, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

 Get your copy from:

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndiebound

Be sure to add it to your Goodreads list.

 

 

Read the Synopsis:

In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma’s flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she’s also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there’s something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek–he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything–maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.

About Michelle: 

Michelle Smith Author Photo Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where  she  developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet  tea, front  porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all  things happy,  laughs  way too much, and fully believes that a  little bit of kindness goes  a long  way.

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.

Be sure to follow Michelle’s sites. She’s a lovely person to chat  with on twitter and her tumblr is always on pointe.

Website| Twitter| Facebook| Tumblr

Read an Excerpt:

In this scene, Marisa’s reporting for her first training session at the Braxton family’s flower shop, and Austin is in charge of the grand tour.

~

I clap my hands together and start for the first display cooler. Marisa’s shoes squeak against the floor as she follows me. “All right, then,” I say on an exhale, turning to her. She stares up at me, all bouncy ponytail and bright eyes. “We’re supposed to be training. So, first things first. Flowers: how much do you know about them?”

She giggles, and dang it, she needs to stop. Please make it stop. All these little things she does that make my stomach do weird flip-flops are going to turn into big things, and big things are a lot harder to ignore.

“It’s safe to say I know a bit about flowers,” Marisa says. “Your mom gave me one heck of a quiz during my interview to make sure I knew my stuff. She even asked what my favorite flower was and how often I’m supposed to change vase water. I mean, really?”

I twirl my finger, signaling for her to continue. “And your answers were…?”

She tilts her head to the side. “Purple roses. Every two-to-three days. Do you think I’m an amateur?”

Even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. I’d train her all day, every day as long as she kept smiling at me like she is now. But that smile falters as her gaze falls to the floor. She clears her throat and says, “Before we moved here, my mom was obsessed with gardening. She taught me everything I know.”

Her voice dips. Before I can ask if she’s all right, she shakes her head and looks back to me, her eyes not nearly as bright, but still as piercing as they were before.

I shrug and force a smile of my own. “Looks like we have something in common. My momma’s a gardening freak, too.” As if owning a flower shop didn’t already give that away. Strike two, Braxton.

She steps to my side, her arm brushing against mine as she gestures to the cooler. “Anyway, continue, Floral Prince. Teach me your ways. I’m sure you know much more than I do.”

I narrow my eyes. “You’re makin’ fun of me, aren’t you? Is it the apron? Because I’ll have you know, I’m rockin’ this apron.”

She grins. “I would never make fun of a prince,” she says seriously and curtsies. The girl freakin’ curtsies.

I cross my arms. “All right, feisty pants. I see what you did there.”

Her jaw drops. “You did not just call me feisty pants. What are you, sixty? Who even says that?”

“I do, obviously. And what I was going to say is, you can’t put whatever flowers you want in the cooler. This is where we keep the special order arrangements and loose flowers. Single roses and stuff like that.”

Instead of replying, her lips curve up again. My heart hammers against my chest. No matter how tough he acts, every guy dreams of someone looking at him this way. Like every word out of his mouth is coated in gold, even if it’s the cheesiest thing that person’s ever heard.

No one’s ever looked at me this way before, not even Jamie. It’s killer. And it’s kind of freaking me the hell out because I’d never even seen this girl until a week ago, and she’s got me acting like an idiot.

“What—” I cough to cover the crack in my voice. “What’s that look for?”

She shrugs and moves past me toward the cooler. In its reflection, I see her staring at the arrangements, her fingertips pressed lightly against the glass. “I like your voice,” she says. “It’s laid-back. Easy-going. Like you have all the time in the world.” She faces me again. “And your accent’s kind of to die for. But you can pretend I didn’t say that.”

The Giveaway: 

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of PLAY ON (US residents only) by entering below.

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HEARTSICK Cover Reveal And An Author’s Willingness to Change

My agency sister, Caitlin is blogging today about your willingness to change your MS as a writer and to reveal the gorgeous cover for her upcoming novel HEARTSICK.

Willing to Change

I have a bit of a dark, morbid mind sometimes, which can be evidenced through a lot of my flash fiction. However, I also love rom coms and light humor and kissing scenes. And I think this is all perfectly fine when it comes to my different layers, but it’s trickier when you’re talking about a specific piece of writing.

And this is why I will be forever grateful to my agent who helped me parse out a marketable novel from a novel that lacked direction when it came to overall tone. HEARTSICK (which I’m revealing the cover of today!), was originally called PATIENT ZERO and, in addition to a love story between a college student and a cop, and a speculative disease with unknown origins, the story also had a vicious serial killer.

When Andrea Somberg (my now agent) got back to me after reading PATIENT ZERO she said she loved so many things about the book, but she had reservations because “the turn of events felt just too violent, too extreme for the overall feel of the manuscript.” She asked if I’d be willing to tone it down and I said yes. We chatted on the phone and I got to brainstorming ways that I could still keep many of the mystery aspects and even the base root of the murderer’s motivation, while scaling back on grit and gore and unbelievably dark motives.

Every scene changed at least a little bit, and about a third of the scenes were either drastically revised or swapped out and replaced with brand new scenes. And, you know what? I actually hit on some of the darkness in humanity better than I did before because the actions are more subtle. Additionally, it allows for other important subplots to have some room to breathe.

So, now, I’m even happier with the book! Obviously, every writer needs to make these types of decisions themselves. I wouldn’t hold it against any writer if they decided no, I want my book just as it is even if an agent would want a different version. That’s fine! But I would encourage writers to be open minded. Sometimes big changes can actually help you get closer to your original vision.

Thank you Caitlin for sharing such great advice. Now let’s see that gorgeous book cover!

 

HEARTSICK

 Blurb

Quinn is looking forward to her senior year. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend Mandy, flirt with cute boy-genius Rashid, party at her favorite dive bar, and figure out what she’s going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major degree.  But that is before she meets Luke, a hot townie who moves back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it is before the weird epidemic that starts sweeping campus in which people’s eyes mysteriously turn purple.  Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug? Is it a rogue bacteria that was developed in a campus lab? Whatever it is, tensions are heating up as the town starts blaming the university, and the student religious group is convinced that it’s the mark of the devil. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle, especially when Quinn learns that Luke isn’t just a happy-go-lucky, redneck boy-next-door—he is a detective—a fact that triggers Quinn’s phobia of guns and memories of her deceased uncle.  In spite of herself and her desire to remain unattached and independent, Quinn finds herself falling for him.  But when town and gown relations heat up even further, and Quinn’s friend Danny mysteriously falls to his death, Quinn vows to discover the truth behind the epidemic.  As she searches for the people responsible, she realizes that sometimes to gain your independence, you have to be willing to give a little bit of it up.

Excerpt

 “Did you go to college?”

His jaw is tight. “Yes.”

“Do you think I could guess your major?” I ask.

“Probably not,” he says.

I don’t like that I don’t even get a hint at what he did before or what he studied. I shrug, start on my second hotdog and then lean back, really aiming for a glint in my eye, if that’s possible to control. I’ll make this a game. “Well, do you think you can guess mine?”

He smiles. “Do I get something if I guess right?”

I hop up onto a stool and let the tip of my toe brush against his knee. When I make contact, he starts, before leaning in. “What do you want?”

“I want a lot of things…” He stares at me. “But for now, I’d settle for a second date.”

“Okay, if you can guess my major, on the first try—” I emphasize that bit with a pointed finger, “—then I’ll reluctantly agree to go out with you again.”

“I don’t like the reluctant part, but I’ll take what I can get. Now, let’s see…” He rubs his chin as though he’s an old-timey detective. He’s ready to pace back and forth across the room with a pipe and a deerstalker hat. “You like photography.”

Shit, he does know that. I start to hum the Jeopardy! theme song. Maybe if time is running out he’ll be more likely to guess quickly and get it wrong? Do I want him to get it wrong?

“Okay, I got it.” He rubs his hands together. “You’re an art major.” His cheeks swell with the weight of his smile.

“You got that just because I take pictures?” I rub my forehead.

“I know more than that.”

“Someone told you,” I say. “If this bet was rigged, it doesn’t count.”

He jerks back and shakes his head, frowning. “No, I wouldn’t do that,” he says. “I noticed you had some pottery on your coffee table, with initials on it, a Q. B.?”

I nod. He’s talking about the bowl I made last year. Initials usually go on the bottom, but I painted them big and proud in the middle. And the bowl is empty. Mandy and I haven’t decided what to put in it. We narrowed it down to fake fruit (lame), M&M’S (which we would devour) or Micro Machines. Clearly, we’re leaning toward Micro Machines.

Luke takes my hand. I think he’s trying to convey his earnestness, his respectability and seriousness of not tricking me into a bet. The pads of my fingers brush against his rough palms and I suppress a sigh. His thumb runs along my pointer finger, sliding to the fingernail. “You also have paint under your nails.” His victorious, smug smile is in full bloom.

I pull my hand away, embarrassed. “Yeah, it’s hard to get all the paint off.”

“I’m sure,” he says.

Links

Caitlin Sinead SocialAuthor Bio

Caitlin Sinead is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. and her debut novel, Heartsick, will be published by Carina Press in 2015. Her writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery MagazineGlimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The AlarmistThe Binnacle, CrunchableJersey Devil Pressand Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

CHASING THE SUN Cover Reveal

The lovely Sasha Abernathy is back, showing off the cover for her novel, CHASING THE SUN. Don’t you just love it?

Release Date: October 21st, 2014; will be available via Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.

Hunted by Chaos. Protected by Death. Guided by Fire. Terran is now the key to a world she never knew existed.

CHASING THE SUN

For Terran, life was simple – until she meets the new art gallery owner, Aiden. Through him, she finds herself surrounded by terrifying nightmares and gods. When an ancient evil threatens to escape and unleash all Hell, Terran must dive into a world she never knew existed to save them all…even if that means giving up her life to do it.

Excerpt:

“Aren’t these Aiden’s pieces?” Micah had caught up to me and seemed as perplexed as I did.

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Who would have thought he’d donate his work?” Micah commented and then lost interest, walking away as she saw someone she recognized.

I stayed, staring in shock.

“Don’t look so surprised. Your friend Jon’s charity is truly for a good cause.”

I shouldn’t have lingered. By now I should have known to avoid anything having to do with Aiden. Many of the contributing artists were here to help promote their pieces so I should have known. But somehow he always caught me off guard.

“Actually, I’m surprised you have a heart at all.” My disdain oozed off my words as I gave him the biggest scowl I could muster.

However ugly I thought his attitude, I couldn’t say the same about his appearance. Aiden cleaned up nicely in his all-black tuxedo. His hair had been gelled down, but you could still see the natural wave of it. His tux looked as if it had been custom-made, which made me curious. How many black-tie events did he go to in order to have purchased a custom tux?

But, who cared? With my shoulders back, chest raised, and chin up I turned my head, grabbed my dress on the sides and walked away. Screw him.

I got about three steps away before I heard him.

“You look beautiful,” he said to my back. It stopped me, my heart thumping loud in my chest. An immeasurable amount of time had passed since someone besides my friends had told me I was beautiful. I could feel him staring at me, but I didn’t move. I only stood there, frozen.

“Terran,” His voice was soft with yearning. It was then that I gained enough courage to walk away. I had already made up my mind about him. He was too complicated and I was tired of the ups and downs of his mood. This man would break my spirit, at least what little of it I fought to keep.

About the Author:
Sasha

Born in Germany to a Puerto Rican mother and All-American Military father, who saw fit to give her a Russian name, Sasha Abernathy has always loved storytelling and travelling. Raised in Oklahoma, but eventually moving everywhere from Alaska to Spain, Sasha has finally settled in the beautiful state of Colorado. With her loving husband, two wild sons, and neurotic labradoodle, Sasha is surrounded by way too much testosterone and escapes through her mysteriously whimsical and romantic novels.

Social Media: 
Website: Sasha Abernathy
Facebook: SashaAbernathyBooks
Twitter: @EarthRelic

Meet Caitlin Sinead

I’m excited to be interviewing my agency sister, Caitlin Sinead, about her writing process.

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Let’s just dive right in, shall we? What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a kid. When I got married, I realized my life was tumbling forward and I still hadn’t written a book. I’d been relying too much on “someday.” I decided to get to work! I launched into a year and a half of fits and starts and a fair amount of first chapters.

Then, finally, I got the idea for Denali. It just grabbed me and I needed to write the story.

You just described my writing life with your answer! Are you a pantser or a plotter and how did you approach writing your story?
I wrote my first book as a panster and I’ll never go back to that. I had no idea what I was doing. And if it hadn’t been for my love of the premise and characters I don’t know if I could have withstood the multiple (multiple!) plot overhauls. Finally, I realized I needed help. So I looked into outlining books and found Story Engineering to be very helpful. Still, I had to take those principles and apply them over a work I already wrote, which was kind of like fitting a circle into a square peg. Since then, I’ve crafted the square peg first, which makes things a lot easier and more fun!

I love to outline. Some people hate it. I’m glad you found what works best for you. What books have most influenced your life?
One of my favorite books is Winesburg, Ohio. I’ve read “Adventure” dozens of times. The book deals heavily with themes of loneliness, but it actually reminds me of why fiction is so powerful. It serves as a connection.

That’s a very important and powerful reason to read. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I had the fortune of knowing Reetika Vazirani when she taught creative writing at William and Mary. She was always very encouraging of my writing and thought I should pursue an MFA. I did eventually get my masters from Johns Hopkins where I got to learn from a host of other amazing writers, but I’m not sure if I would have thought it was a possibility without Reetika’s early encouragement.

That’s wonderful to have had someone on the College/University level that encouraged your growth. What book are you reading now?
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. I got to hear her talk at a writers’ conference earlier this year and she was just so delightfully funny! Additionally, she said she wrote her books sentence by sentence. She’d write a sentence, get it exactly perfect, and then move on to the next sentence. I had to see what the end result of that process looked like.

That’s quite a process. I’m going to have to check that book out now. What are your current projects?
I’m wrapping up (well, on my end anyway…who knows what edits will come!) a book that’s set to come out next summer. It’s about the daughter of a vice presidential candidate who has to deal with rumors that her deceased father isn’t biologically related to her. It’s my first book with no speculative elements whatsoever. My WIP is getting back into the speculative realm and is about characters with the ability to hypnotize people. If you’re an X-Files fan, think this episode.

You had me at X-files! I can’t wait to read it. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My writers group has been phenomenal. They have been so supportive and have kept me on track.

Having a group of writers at arms length is definitely convenient. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
For Heartsick, I think no. It’s the best book I could have written. I am still tweaking my other projects.

Great answer. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I wrote a story in second grade about a child who was scooped up by the stars and saw the city below. My mom and teacher thought it was great. I decided then that I wanted to be a writer and that desire stuck.

Wow. Add that to your WIP list because I think that would make an awesome novel. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Honestly, the hardest part probably didn’t have much to do with writing at all, but rather the belief that it was okay to be audacious enough to write a book. I have a wonderful support system and have been surprised (to the point of happy tears) at how encouraging many of my family and friends have been. But I also had some friends who were downright dubious that I could write a book. What did I really have to offer? Did I really think I was that good of a writer? Did I actually believe I could write a whole book!? Not everyone in your life is going to be as supportive as you want them to be. They’ll think you’re crazy for trying to write a book. The truth: you are crazy! But that’s what makes you interesting ;-). Ignore them and do what you want to do.

That’s right, ignore them! Great advice. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t get caught up in the waiting game. My cat died the same week I heard back from an agent I was desperately waiting on, and it still makes me sad to think that I spent the last few days with my cat “can’t waiting” for a later point. Not realizing, of course, that he wouldn’t be around at said later point. As much as I loved him, I get that he was a cat, not a person. What if my husband or mom or someone else close to me had died? While I obviously want everyone in my life to live long, healthy lives, my time with them is still finite. Spending a few days desperately waiting for an email instead of, you know, enjoying what I have, is a few days too many.

That’s so true. Waiting sucks, but don’t forget to live in the meantime. Which character was your favorite to write and why?
This feels like picking a favorite kid, but if I have to…it’s got to be Luke in Heartsick. I told my husband not to worry about me fantasizing about Ray, the love interest in Denali in Hiding, because he’s loosely based on my husband. This is not a lie! But, it wouldn’t be obvious to most people that that’s the case. So, with my second book, I more directly based the love story on how my husband and I met and our dynamic when we first started dating. (We didn’t have purple eyes or a murder to solve…heh…but the dynamic was similar).

I also based an aspect of Luke on a newer characteristic I’ve noticed in my husband. He has a tough job where he often has to confront the darker aspects of humanity. When he makes work calls around me, it’s strange to hear his serious, world-weary voice. But, when he gets off the phone, he’s back to being goofy and romantic with me. In fact, it seems the worse the case, the goofier he gets afterward. It’s like he needs that goofy time to ameliorate the harder aspects of his job. I applied that quality to Luke, who’s a SERIOUS COP with off-the-job goofy tendencies. Even though plenty of aspects of Luke aren’t derived from my husband, it was fun giving my husband a bit of an homage. And he gets a kick out of telling people that a Harlequin hero is based on him.

I’m not sure if I could answer that last question. It’s hard. LOL Since we’re agency sisters, I already know the answer to my next question, but I’ll ask anyway. Who is your agent?
The wonderful Andrea Somberg! <<she’s a=”” rockstar!=””>>

Andrea was always one of my top choices to query, but my conversation with you convinced me to do it sooner rather than later. So thanks. How did you meet your agent?
Good, old-fashioned query. Here’s the story.

Such a great agent story! Do you have a favorite line one of your characters says in your book?
A few CPs suggested I cut this from Denali in Hiding. I know all about darlings and can usually be pretty brutal with myself, but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of this darling! I’m including the line before it for context:

“I thought it was only a matter of time before Rosalyn noticed Ray’s defined stomach, which I can see when he lifts his shirt up after a run to wipe his face; or how his voice can get low, like a strong hum, when he explains something; or how, despite his aura of precision, he has a mischievous grin, which comes out every time I suggest we run off the trail. We stomp down the mud and the muck and the leaves, jumping over rocks and slapping our sneakers through streams.

Thank you so much for sharing. What’s all your social media links to share with readers?
Twitter: @CaitlinSineadJ
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caitlin-Sinead/391938884273747
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/CaitlinSinead
Website: http://www.caitlinsinead.com/index.html
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/CaitlinSineadJ

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