Author Archives: Carrie

Do You Have a Book In You?

While many readers are content to lose themselves in a good book and have no ambitions to write a novel of their own, many others wonder whether they might be able to write a book. It’s sometimes said that everyone’s got a book in them, and that could be true – after all, anyone can type out a novel-length story on their laptop and say they’ve written a book. The real question is, have you got a good book inside you?

The only way to know for sure is to get writing, but many would-be authors choke at the thought of setting their ideas down on paper, because of the fear of failure. It’s a common enough experience – if you don’t try, you can’t fail, and therefore you can avoid the embarrassment and disappointment of not being good enough. It sounds logical, and it’s certainly true, because if you don’t try you definitely won’t fail; but neither will you succeed.

If fear of failure is holding you back, only you have the power to change your mindset. There are plenty of inspirational resources available online that explain why you feel this way and how to overcome your fears, so find the answers to your problem and get rid of your worries. Overconfidence isn’t so much of a problem, because if you believe you’re a great writer, at least you’ll be writing and submitting!

The good news is that it’s never been easier to write and publish your own novel, so you can avoid the issue of rejection from agents and publishers altogether if you wish. Getting signed to a major publisher is still the best way to achieve fame and fortune, but realistically only a very few authors make a living from their writing, let alone make a fortune from it! The development of self-publishing has revolutionized writing as an industry, and is far more widely accepted than the old niche of vanity publishing.

Vanity publishing was a scheme whereby you would pay to have your book printed, most often because publishers didn’t consider it good enough to add to their list. That meant most vanity publishing was looked down upon, but the concept has now morphed into a huge and profitable self-publishing sector, enabling anyone to get their book online for free or at very low cost.

You still have to pay to get hard copies of your book printed, but as technology has developed in recent years it’s now far easier to print short runs of books for private individuals, and many business owners and entrepreneurs self-publish books that they use for marketing and promotion, and to establish their industry credibility. The cost of getting your book printed is within reach of people even on a modest income, and could easily be covered by a small personal loan. Check out this Bonsai Finance article for details of loans you could apply for.

Deciding to write your novel is the first step; now you need to think about what you’re going to write about. If you already have an idea, that’s great; if you don’t, or you can’t choose between several possibilities you’ve come up with, try jotting down a few notes and seeing what develops from them. Dream diaries are good for inspiration, and there are some fantastic books written by successful authors who know what they’re talking about that would be helpful for you to read. If you’re completely stumped, try an ideas generator, which is a tool that you can use in hard copy or online that helps you come up with an outline concept for your novel. One of the joys of writing is that once you get started you often find the writing takes on a life of its own, and you can get to a point where your typing speed can’t keep up with the rate that the words are coming into your head.

Everyone finds a writing style that suits them, whether it’s plotting every step of the story in great detail or making it up as you go along; whether you get up at four am and write for five hours, or stay up until midnight each evening writing. The guidebooks, writing courses and other resources will offer their own take on the best way to write your novel, and you’ll soon see there will be contradictions in their advice. They aren’t necessarily wrong with what they’re saying, just relaying what worked best for them; so if one approach doesn’t stick, try another.

When you write your first draft, you don’t need to worry about grammar, punctuation, typos or any of the intricacies of the written word. You simply want to get your story out so that you have a completed manuscript. Once it’s written, you can edit, proofread and polish your book to your heart’s content, but if you’re continually going over each page as you write you could waste months or even years editing and rewriting. You’ll find that almost always the best results are achieved by getting the story out in full and then sharpening it up later.

If you can get your novel read by other people it can give you a lot of useful feedback on whether it works as a story and how well it’s written. New authors often ask friends and family, but make sure the people you ask will give you an honest opinion. If your mom would tell you it was brilliant no matter how awful it might be, her comments won’t be very useful. On the other hand, if your best friend can be relied upon to tell you the honest truth, that will be far more helpful. You can also join writers groups or have your work professionally assessed for a fee.

When you’re finally happy with your novel, it’s time to get it out into the big wide world, either by finding an agent or publisher or opting for self-publishing. Either way, whatever happens and however many copies you sell, you’ll have succeeded in becoming a published author, and that’s something you should be very proud of.

Types of Dresses to Consider for Your Wedding

If you were expecting to read another guide about what type of wedding dress is best for your body, I will tell you now that this is not the article for you! Instead, this post will tell you rather, WHO in your wedding party will need dresses, and what to consider when deciding what kind of dress you choose for each person.

Bridesmaids

So, yes, if you are here as a prospective bride, you most likely know that your bridesmaids will need dresses.  The styles you will end up with largely depend on two things: the overall look you want to achieve for your wedding, and whether or not you want to give your bridesmaids freedom to choose their dress.  Chances are there will be some people who don’t love your choice of dress if you only present them with one option, so think about that.  Although dresses might be uniform in style and color, they will not look the same on every body.

Flower Girls/Junior Bridesmaids

Many brides like to have their junior bridesmaids and flower girls look like miniature versions of themselves, and I can see the appeal of that.  It would make for very adorable pictures! But junior bridesmaid and flower girl dresses can have small variations to make them fit the theme of the wedding but make the girls look unique.  Making sure the young girls in your wedding look good doesn’t have to be expensive, either! There are tons of places online to get cheap flower girl dresses online.

Mother of the Bride/Groom

Although these are not the dresses a lot of brides will first think about, it’s important to have these ladies looking good too, as they will also be making a trip down the aisle! If you’d like your mom’s or future mother in law’s look to coincide with the rest of those wearing dresses, make sure you confer with them to let them know your thoughts.  They might not always listen, but hey, at least you have made yourself known!

No matter what the people in your wedding end up wearing, you are sure to have a great time. I have yet to see a bad wedding photo when all the people in it are smiling and happy!

BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY: The Dating Alternative by Jennifer Woodhull

I am so excited that THE DATING ALTERNATIVE by Jennifer Woodhull is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Jennifer Woodhull, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International, courtesy of Jennifer and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Title: THE DATING ALTERNATIVE
Author: Jennifer Woodhull
Pub. Date: December 26, 2018
Publisher: Jennifer Woodhull
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 288
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

Brie picked the wrong guy—gave him the
wrong finger.


When her fiance walks out three weeks before their wedding, she slowly picks up the pieces with the help of her friends. A serial monogamist, she’s not quite ready to start dating again. There are some things she misses about having a boyfriend, though. Her friends convince her to try something more casual.
Random hookups have never been her thing. When a guy she has flirted with for a while offers his services to solve her dilemma, she can’t help but be intrigued. Now she’s trying to keep things casual, but when she’s wrapped in his arms, it’s hard to remember she’s not supposed to be falling for him.


Max has had a few hookups since he split with his last girlfriend. Lately, though, he feels like something is missing. He has crushed on the girl he affectionately calls Cheese for years, but the timing was never right. When he finds out they’re finally single at the same time, he is poised to make his move. Unfortunately, she’s only looking for something physical. Of course, Max is happy to oblige, but the more time they spend together, the more certain he becomes that she’s the perfect girl for him.


He pulls out all the stops, and just when he’s about to make his move from the friends-with-benefits zone to serious dating, Brie completely ghosts on him. Now he has to figure out if she has really walked away, or if something more serious is keeping him from the girl of his dreams.


Funny, sexy, and satisfying, The Dating Alternative is a standalone new adult/contemporary romance.

 

Chapter 1 Excerpt – Sabrina
As I lay on the bed, wearing my ex-fiancé’s t-shirt and remembering the night he left me six months ago, I realize that tears are slipping silently down my cheeks.
I’ve done reasonably well, too. The first week, I was catatonic. The first month, I was practically a zombie. In those days, even showering on my day off had been a challenge. Within a couple of months, though, I was doing better. By the ninety-day mark, I could be mistaken for someone who hadn’t been virtually left at the altar.
Now, lying on the bed six months after Grant had thrown away our life together, I was almost indiscernible from a normal girl. Looking at me most days, you would never know that my life had been ripped apart by an exotic Olympian named Isabel and my former fiancé, Grant.
I sit up, realizing how far I’d come since that night. I put the back of my hand up to one cheek, then the other. No more. That asshole doesn’t get another single tear from me. Control-G-Delete.
Chapter 1 – F*CK YOU by Cee Lo Green
Chapter 2 – We All Want Love by Rihanna
Chapter 3 – I Don’t Need A Man by Pussycat Dolls
Chapter 4 – I Want You To Want Me by Cheap Trick
Chapter 5 – Me Without You by Gwen Stefani
Chapter 6 – Closing Time by Semisonic
Chapter 7 – Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield
Chapter 8 – Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police
Chapter 9 – Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon
Chapter 10 – Toothbrush by DNCE
Chapter 11 – After You by Meg Myers
Chapter 12 – Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding
Chapter 13 – Time To Get Closer by Foster the People
Chapter 14 – Bonfire Hearts by James Blunt
Chapter 15 – Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins
Chapter 16 – Waiting for the Weekend by The Vapors
Chapter 17 – Isn’t It Ironic by Alanis Morrissette
Chapter 18 – In Between Days  by The Cure
Chapter 19 – Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
Chapter 20 – It’s My Life by No Doubt
Chapter 21 – Freedom by George Michael
Chapter 22 – Halo by Beyoncé
About Jennifer:
Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.
A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.
“The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provide the perfect place to write,” she says. “If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it’s time to close your tray table, please have patience. I’m just trying to finish one more sentence.”
Join Jennifer’s Newsletter!

Giveaway Details:
1 lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Is it Time to Seek Therapy?

I have spoken before on this blog about seeking mental health counseling, and provided some ways to find where you can turn to find a counselor that’s just right for you to speak to.  But how do you know when it’s time to talk to someone? The signs may be different for every individual, and some may not get to as far a point as others before they decide to find a therapist.  But, here I will provide a guideline that has some general symptoms you should be on the lookout for that will give you a hint that it’s time to talk to someone who can help.

You feel all emotions very strongly

When you’re sad, you’re not just frowning–you’re full out sobbing. When you are angry, it’s not just a little bit–you are full of rage. Extreme emotions do occur from time to time, but should not be the norm; feelings should happen in a wide range.

You have experienced a traumatic event that you cannot seem to get past

Of course, what is considered traumatic will vary from person to person, but some examples of highly emotionally affecting experiences include breakups, deaths in the family, and careers such as military and emergency healthcare. If you are withdrawn or cannot stop thinking about the process that happened to you, it might be the time to open up to someone about it.

You don’t enjoy things you used to

You may have once had a passion for gardening, or sailing, or drawing, but you can’t seem to find the energy to commit any time to any of your favorite hobbies anymore.  If you are generally bored by life, and especially those activities you used to love so much, you might be suffering from depression.

You have recurrent and unexplained aches and pains

It might not be something you realize at first, but mental health issues can manifest themselves in physical symptoms in a person’s body.  If you’re always nauseated, have an aching head, or other twinges of pain, this might be a sign of anxiety.

You are disconnected from your relationships

Whether it’s from a significant other or your best friend, you don’t talk to your loved ones about your problems or much of anything.  You can’t feel empathy or joy when someone shares their feelings with you.  You aren’t necessarily hiding something, but you just can’t imagine they’d understand and value your problems.

Your friends and family seem worried

If you have disconnected from the ones you love, they will notice.  If it goes on long enough and you don’t talk to them about it, they will worry about you and ask what’s wrong.  If more than one person asks you this, it means your mental state is obvious enough to those around you that they sense that you are not yourself.

These are just a few signals that you might want to talk to a therapist about any mental health circumstances you may be facing.  Trust your judgment and don’t be afraid to reach out. Help is here for you.

BOOK TRAILER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY: Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch

Beneath the Lighthouse

by Julieanne Lynch

YA Supernatural

Book Description

SOME SECRETS ARE MADE TO BE UNCOVERED.

Sixteen-year-old Jamie McGuiness’s sister is dead. Sinking into a deep depression, he frequents the lighthouse where her body was discovered, unaware of the sinister forces surrounding him.

When an angry spirit latches onto Jamie, he’s led down a dark and twisted path, one that uncovers old family secrets, destroying everything Jamie ever believed in.

Caught between the world of the living and the vengeful dead, Jamie fights the pull of the other side. It’s up to Jamie to settle old scores or no one will rest in peace—but, first, he has to survive.

Julieanne Lynch is an author of YA and Adult genre urban fantasy, crime and contemporary romance books. Julieanne was born in Northern Ireland, but spent much of her early life in London, United Kingdom, until her family relocated back to their roots.

Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, with her husband and five children, where she is a full-time author. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University and considered journalism as a career path. Julieanne has several projects optioned for film.

Julieanne is both traditionally and independently published.

WEBSITE
TWITTER
GOODREADS
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM

PURCHASE THE BOOK

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

– Winner will receive a $25 Dollar PayPal/Amazon Gift Card.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

Too Cold to Get Out? Try Online Counseling!

It’s a scientifically proven fact that millions of people suffer from “the blues” every year around this time.  If you think about it, it’s easy to come up with the reasons why.  The days are shorter, giving you less time to spend outside in the sunshine.  There are so many holiday functions, get togethers, and parties going on.  We are dashing from shop to shop trying to finish buying gifts.  We all have to-to lists that seem to never end!

Everyone might feel sad or down from time to time, but if you are experiencing a deeper feeling, which might have you shutting people out, making you lose interest in your normal activities, sleeping excessively, or not wanting to leave your house at all, it may be time to talk to a healthcare provider about what’s going on.  And if you’re a person who doesn’t want to leave your house, don’t worry–with telehealth, you don’t have to.  With an internet connection, an online counselor can virtually come to you!

Internet based medical and therapeutic services have been in existence for several years now.  Instead of having to go out to an actual office and wait for an indeterminate amount of time, you simply request an appointment, and you will be contacted in the comfort of your own home by the provider you choose.  You might have known that you can get checked out for such things as colds, sore throats, and rashes, but did you know that you can also find certified therapists and counselors in some telehealth services?

I myself have used some of these services before, and I have always been satisfied with the results.  I think the best part is, you can have one session as a sort of trial, and if the counselor or just the idea of telehealth turns out to be something that’s not for you, you can always decide to go the route of traditional therapy.

Since the advent of telehealth, both medical and other services such as counselling have been accepted by more and more insurance companies as being a cost effective way to get clients seen.  Thus, many insurance companies will cover the cost of virtual doctor visits.  And if your insurance company does not, you should know that telehealth visits are often still less expensive than going to the traditional provider’s office and paying out of pocket for a visit.

Another fact that might be important for you to consider is that the providers on telehealth services, most of the time, have all the same privileges online that they do in their offices–meaning they can write prescriptions, thought this is not true in all states.  That’s why seeing your doctor online might be a good choice if you just need to do a quick check up to get a prescription refill.

In the rush of this season, no one wants to spend unnecessary time in a doctor’s office! If you need to talk to someone, ask your doctor or insurance provider how you can connect with a telehealth service.

 

 

BLITZ & GIVEAWAY: Winterdream by Chantal Gadoury

 

I am so excited that WINTERDREAM by Chantal Gadoury is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Chantal Gadoury, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book, US Only, courtesy of Chantal, Parliament House Publishing, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About the Book:

 

Pub. Date: November 27, 2018
Publisher: Parliament House Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 290
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N

This Christmas Eve… no creature was
stirring…


Except, maybe, a mouse.


At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?


For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of
the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the
extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.


But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing
contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of
Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest
dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?


Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But
what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?


Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara
Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’
Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war,
redemption, and Christmas magic.

PROLOGUE
Large, white puffs floated all around me. Sinking into my flesh with their cold, yet light kisses. Every snowflake
was different, specially crafted before it fell from the sky. They were beautiful, even as they melted. I tipped my head back to catch the snow as it fell. I felt as though I was floating through air, caught in a haze of ice flakes as sugary and sweet as the icing on the gingerbread house my governess and I had made together.
I stretched my arms out to my sides, spinning in place.
The green forest turned with me, a wood full of large spruces perfect for Christmas trees. They were decorated as such, lighted with white candles and draped in silver tinsel. On some, icicles hung on the tips of the limbs. It was a world in which the snow was like sugar and the air smelled delicious, like freshly baked cookies. It was perfect—a world of my own making, if I was capable of crafting something so… wonderful.
“Clara…”
The sound of my name trilled from a distance, carried on the cool, winter wind.
Turning slowly, I peered over my shoulder, catching a glimpse of a young boy my age. He was dressed in a bright
red suit, adorned with golden epaulettes. His blond hair was brushed away from his face, revealing two bright blue eyes. His lips, pink as his cheeks, curved into a smile.
“Clara…”
“Yes?” I asked curiously, turning to face him. As I slid my hands over my cream and ivory lace nightgown, I suddenly
felt quite foolish. My mama had always insisted I never wear my bedclothes in front of guests or visitors. And yet, here, in this strange and beautiful world, such things hardly seemed to matter. He took my hand and flashed another
warm smile as he led me to a large, white carriage.
“Where are we going?” I asked softly, pausing before the door. The panels were solid ivory, adorned with a golden
handle and step.
“Winter Dream,” the boy said with a relieved expression. “Home. Home to Winter Dream.”
“Winter Dream?”
“I’ve come to take you back, Clara. To where I am—to where all the people who love you live.”
“But I don’t know where this Winter Dream is. I’ve never been there…”
“Come with me,” he beckoned, squeezing my hand gently. “Come. . .”
The snow fell all around us; small flakes clung to the tips of our hair and eyelashes. As much as I longed to go .
. . there was something holding me back. Something. . .
As I peered behind me, a small, dark shadow began to form. It started out small, like the size of a mouse, and it
grew—or was I shrinking? The boy beside me held my hand, and his eyes grew wide with fear.
“No!” I screamed, tucking myself into his shoulder. Whatever it was, I didn’t want to see. I didn’t want to know.
“Clara, wait!” I heard him beg, his urgent tone tugging at my heartstrings. “Come with me, please.”
“No! I want to go home!”
As soon as the words poured from my lips, I woke with a start.
Here, there was only me and the four walls of my bedroom. A sheer sliver of light crept through the space of an open curtain, sparkling with the bright white of the snow outside. It was quiet, as if the world had not yet woken. As if I was the only one no longer dreaming sweet things. Instead, while everyone else slept, I contained the chill of my
own strange dream.
I buried myself beneath the duvet and hugged my knees to my chest. I was alone, completely and utterly alone.
I closed my eyes tight, not wishing to face that Christmas morning. I wished only for the chance to slip back into my
dream. To return back to that magical world, where a boy with bright blue eyes was waiting for me. Back to the place where an enchanting land called ‘Winter Dream’ existed.

 

About Chantal:
Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing.
Since graduation, she has published
“The Songs in Our Hearts” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and
“Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow.
Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today.
Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.

 

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will win a signed finished copy of WINTERDREAM, US Only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

From Contender to Champion: Creed II

When I am home with my kids on holiday weeks such as this, I love to spend time with them watching movies I loved from my own childhood.  My 10 year old always asks me about how certain things were “in the nineties” (so long ago, right?) so I show him films I grew up with.  He always loves sports based movies the best, such as The Sandlot, The Mighty Ducks, and Rookie of the Year. But the one we like best is Little Giants!

For a boy, it hits all the movie marks: football, kids being funny, and fart jokes.  I can appreciate it now on another level as a mom because it shows my son that you don’t always have to be the biggest and best to win, and that heart is the most important aspect of whatever you participate in. He might not quite grasp that upon watching the movie at first, but I hope he can get the message.

If you’re looking to be inspired this holiday season, the film CREED II is what you’re looking for.

“Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.” 

“But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

– Rocky Balboa

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

 

 

The film releases in theaters on Wednesday, November 21.

BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Seven Torments of Amy & Craig by Don Zolidis

The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig

by Don Zolidis

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Janesville, Wisconsin (cold in the sense that there is no God)
1994

The worst thing that’s ever happened to Craig is also the best: Amy. Amy and Craig never should’ve gotten together. Craig is an awkward, Dungeons & Dragons-playing geek, and Amy is the beautiful, fiercely intelligent student-body president of their high school.

Yet somehow they did. Until Amy dumped him. Then got back together with him. Then dumped him again. Then got back together with him again. Over and over and over.

Unfolding during their senior year, Amy and Craig’s exhilarating, tumultuous relationship is a kaleidoscope of joy, pain, and laughter as an uncertain future-and adult responsibility-loom on the horizon.

Craig fights for his dream of escaping Janesville and finding his place at a quirky college, while Amy’s quest to uncover her true self sometimes involves being Craig’s girlfriend and sometimes doesn’t.

Seven heartbreaks. Seven joys.Told nonsequentially, acclaimed playwright Don Zolidis’s debut novel is a brutally funny, bittersweet taste of the utterly unique and utterly universal experience of first love.

She laughed again. “You know what I’m saying?”

“Sure,” I said, realizing I had zoned out again and she had probably said something important. “It’s just like . . . ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’ By T. S. Eliot.”

“Well, yes, but I think that’s more about alienation than anything else, and what I’m talking about is acceptance. Like,

Prufrock can’t accept that he’s changed and the world is becom­ing different, you know?”

“Yup,” I said, crossing it off in my notebook. Shit.

You’re probably beginning to understand why I wrote down things to talk about.

“I think my favorite line,” I said, looking down at the rest of my notes, “is ‘I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.’”

“Aww,” she said. “Why?

I smiled into my pillow. I hoped she could see it too. “Because that’s how I used to feel before I met you.”

“I’m singing to you,” Amy said into the phone. “Except I really suck at singing.”

“I think the singing is metaphorical.”

“Maybe they’re like the Sirens. Luring lonely poets to their doom. And really they’ve got teeth like knives and will rip you to shreds if you come too close.”

“That pretty accurately describes my love life up to this point.”

“I’m sure it’s not that bad.”

“It’s pretty bad.”

“Oh come on.”

Amy was my first girlfriend. Well, okay, there was Jessica Southern, my junior year, who I went out with for nine days. We kissed once, and then she decided that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Which it probably was. So, twelve days into my first relationship with Amy, we had already lasted exactly 33 percent more than my previous record (yes, I had done the math).

 

 

About the Author

Originally from Wisconsin, Don Zolidis is a novelist and one of the most-produced playwrights in America.

His 102 published plays have received more than 12,000 productions and have appeared in every state and 64 countries.

His first novel, The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig, will be published by Disney-Hyperion in October 2018.

He currently splits time between Texas and New York and aspires to owning a dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

PURCHASE THE BOOK

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Book Depository

 

3 winners will win a finished copy of THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY & CRAIG, US Only.

 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

The Girl at the Grave

by Teri Bailey Black

YA Mystery

Book Description

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

 

 

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi there! I’m Teri Bailey Black, the author behind GIRL AT THE GRAVE, a YA novel of love and murder set in 1849 Connecticut. I live in Orange County, California, but feel like I spend most of my time in imaginary places. If I’m not wandering in some story, I’m probably obsessing over another creative endeavor. I love sewing, gardening, baking delicious fattening probably chocolate things, and decorating the house. And shopping! I don’t need to spend money; window shopping works too! I’m married and have four children.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve loved writing since I learned to read. I won a school writing contest when I was nine, and by the time I’d finished high school, I’d filled a small filing cabinet with my stories. Then I got married and had four children, and writing took a backseat for a while. My first child was born with severe disabilities, which brought a few extra challenges. Plus, I started a home business that took off and kept me creatively happy. Life was busy! But now my kids are teenagers, so I have more time on my hands and started writing again. I wrote aimlessly at first, trying to figure out WHAT I wanted to write, then I found the right story and some critique friends, put in the hours, attended writing conferences, endured my fair share of rejection, and finally received that wonderful phone call of success. GIRL AT THE GRAVE is my debut novel.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

So many ideas! They’re everywhere and endless. Any good book or movie gets my creative juices flowing. Some ideas drift away, others settle in, but the final idea is always quite different from the initial spark. For instance, I recently watched a History Channel show on World War II that really struck a chord in me. Ideas started flowing—but not war stories. Not even set in that era. But it made think up some interesting characters and situations. (I jotted notes but have yet to write that story.) I usually have several ideas started at once. They’re just vague, shadowy things, a few chapters written, no idea where the plot will go. Then one of the stories starts to fill out in my mind. I keep writing. As I come to understand the characters and fall in love with them, I want to write their story—so I do!

4.  Tell us about The Girl at the Grave.

GIRL AT THE GRAVE is a story of murder and romance set in 1849 in Connecticut. As a child, Valentine saw her mother hanged for murdering the wealthiest man in town. She’s grown up feeling like an outcast, fending for herself in a crumbling estate. She’s worked hard to prove herself at Drake Academy and overcome her mother’s crime, but when a new string of murders strikes the town, everyone suspects her—the daughter of a killer. As Valentine hunts the killer to clear her own name, she uncovers dark secrets she’d rather keep buried. Oh, and there are a couple of good looking guys in her life as well. So basically—a Gothic murder mystery with lots of atmosphere. No ghosts. Not paranormal. (The spooky cover has confused some people.)

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I wish I were one of those super speedy writers who pumps out books. I’m not a slooow writer—I’m probably average—but I’m definitely not a fast writing machine. For me, much of the joy is playing with the words, being creative, wandering one direction, then another, figuring out the story, changing my mind, maybe murdering a different person. I would rather take my time and get it right than get it fast. That said—I do push myself to outline and write as quickly as possible because publishing deadlines do exist. I just wrote a book in 10 months. Is that slow? I think that’s as fast as my writing brain can create.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

The time of day makes a huge difference for me. I write really well in the wee dawn hours. I actually start writing at 4 or 5 in the morning—yes, really! The world is asleep, the house is quiet, and I can disappear into my story. Then, alas, the sun rises, the house gets noisy, time to shower and make the bed and throw in a load of laundry. I still write throughout the day, but I’m much more productive in those early morning hours. The downside: my brain melts at 8pm.

 

About the Author

Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.

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Prize: Wonderland Book Beau, size XL for a standard hardcover (USA only)
Starts:10/25/18
Ends: 11/2/18

 

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