Friday, April 19, 2019

What Doesn't Kill You Cover Reveal!

So...I did a thing. Because ARCs for What Doesn't Kill You went out early, I decided to push my cover and blurb reveal date up a week. I designed this cover myself, and I am SO excited to share it with you! Also, the pre-order link for the book is now live, and it is for presale on most retailers now! Click here to reserve your copy! You can also add the book to your Goodreads WTR list!

 

If what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Kyler Strong should be Wonder Woman by now.

Three weeks before her sixteenth birthday, Kyler was the victim of sexual assault by three varsity football players at her high school. She was intimidated into silence and slut-shamed at school afterwards, ensuring that anyone she told wouldn’t believe her. She resolved to keep her head down and suffer her way through high school, knowing that after she graduated, she would be free of her attackers, who continued to torment her daily.

Kyler’s plan worked great for two years. But that plan didn’t account for Ian Thomason, the football player who transferred in from out of town. When he asked her to tutor him in Spanish and Algebra, something made her say yes, even though all of her survival instincts were telling her to run. But are those instincts, the ones that have told her that all men are not to be trusted, always right? Or is Ian, the boy she never saw coming, exactly what she needs to help her heal from the wounds of her past?

Fans of the shows 13 Reasons Why and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit will love this tale of strength and survival.

Trigger warning: This book includes a scene where Kyler describes her sexual assault in detail and also deals with the trauma she suffers afterwards. Though it is set in high school, it deals with mature themes and is intended for mature audiences.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

What Doesn't Kill You Announcements!!!

Sorry this has taken a couple of days. Blogger was being weird and wouldn't let me post for some reason. Anyway, I've got some exciting announcements about What Doesn't Kill You to share!

First, I've started putting my ARC team together for this book. If you'd like to be part of that team, FILL OUT THIS FORM. Because What Doesn't Kill You is a standalone and completely unrelated to the Sealed With a Kiss series, you do NOT have to be caught up with Sealed With a Kiss to join the ARC team. However, you do need to be able to commit to reading and reviewing the book by May 31st, which is the release date.

Second, I'm so excited to share the cover and blurb with you that I just can't wait until May 31st. So my cover and blurb reveal will be on April 24th, and I'm going to be hopping around on Facebook sharing the cover and doing some ARC giveaways on that day. So make sure you join me on Facebook that day!

Third, as I stated above, the release date for What Doesn't Kill You is going to be May 31st. I'm starting to reach out to get a release party or two scheduled on Facebook, and I'll make sure to let you know when and where they'll be.

And, finally, I've added What Doesn't Kill You to Goodreads, so you can ADD IT TO YOUR TBR LIST.

I'm so excited about this book and I can't wait for everyone to get to meet Ian and Kyler! I know you'll love them as much as I've grown to.



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

I might be getting the hang of this blogging thing...or not.

Yeah, notice I said I might be getting the hang of this blogging thing. This is still a little late, but I am getting better at it. That counts for something, right? I wanted to write a post to tell you about a new standalone project I'm working on. Fret not, Elijah's second book, My Soul Is Sealed, is still coming. But it'll be a bit. And there's a reason for that, which I'm going to share with you. It's kind of a long story, so sit back, relax, and grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or soda, or whatever your beverage of choice is).

A little bit before Christmas, I ended up in the ER with some health issues. Without going into too much detail, I've had stuff going on that my doctors brushed off for way too long and told me would go away if I would just get an expensive gastric bypass surgery that I couldn't afford. And, well, it ended up coming to a head in a really bad way, landing me in the ER at 10pm on a Sunday night a week and a half before Christmas. I finally got a doctor to confirm what I already knew, that something was going on that was way more complicated than just my being overweight. I needed treatment, I needed specialists, and I needed occupational therapy. For another month, I struggled through working full-time and dealing with my health problems and trying to get to a ton of doctor's appointments. Well, something had to give, so my doctors were kind enough to help me get short term disability from my job so I didn't have to work full-time while I was trying to get better.

Seems like a great thing for my budding writing career, right? Being off of work should have meant I had more time to write and I could just keep churning out Sealed With a Kiss books when I wasn't at the doctor. Except nothing's ever that easy. The medicine I'm on for pain makes concentrating difficult, which isn't good for writing. I'd already committed to a release date for My Bonds Are Sealed at that point and I didn't want to disappoint, so I pushed myself and got River and Mason's book released on time. And I'm so glad I did, because I think it's my favorite book of the series so far (sorry, Zoe and Elijah, lol). But, once that was released, I struggled to concentrate and get back into Elijah's mind so I could write his second book, My Soul Is Sealed. I was making progress and I knew where the story needed to go, but it just wasn't as good as My Fate Is Sealed was. I didn't want to end up putting something out that I wasn't going to be happy with, because if I'm not happy with it, I know you guys won't be either. Plus, the Sealed With a Kiss series is my baby and Zoe, Elijah, River, Mason, and all of their friends and family have become like old friends in a way. I needed to stay true to them, and I really felt like the best way to do that was to take a break, focus on my health, and then get back into it when I started getting better. So, five and a half chapters into My Soul Is Sealed, I decided to shelf it for a bit. It'll still happen, I promise, but it might be a little while.

I couldn't just quit writing, though. I mean, writing is who I am. It's my escape from the real world. And when I just plug in, put some music on, and put fingers to keyboard, I don't think about the pain I'm in as much. So, after reading an ARC of a book that was a similar trope to a story I'd been thinking about writing for a while (speaking of, if you haven't read the new book Stronger by Erica Marselas, I highly recommend it), I decided to just fool around with writing a new story with new characters for a bit to pass the time. Even if it was just for myself, just for fun. I needed to be writing.

It was around this time that I made a new friend on Facebook named Rebekah. What started as me giving her a few tips and tricks I've picked up along the way about breaking through in this crazy world of independent writing and publishing (not that I'm an expert by any means, but after five books, I've learned a few things) turned into chatting about our books and our stories. I told her about the story I'd started fooling around with, and she encouraged me to keep at it, even if it never saw the light of day. So I did. I kept at it, and it slowly started to take form as a new novel. And with Rebekah's help beta reading and helping me conceptualize some plot points I was having trouble with, it's turning into something way bigger and better than I ever anticipated. Even with my pain medicine, I'm writing again. The words are flowing again. And it's incredible.

So, now that I've completely bored you with my tale...I give you What Doesn't Kill You, a standalone novel about love's healing power (you didn't think I'd completely go off script, did you?). What Doesn't Kill You is a story set in a fictional high school in the Kansas City area and it tells the story of Kyler Strong, the shy and quiet girl who suffered a trauma that she never told anyone about, and Ian Thomason, the football player with a soft side who not only helps her to heal, but helps her get the justice she deserves. While it is a high school story, it's dark and gritty and it talks about the kind of stuff that happens in high schools that no one wants to talk about. Stuff like sexual assault and bullying and teachers looking the other way, and sometimes even participating in it. But it's also a story of hope, and of finding love when you're not even looking for it. If you're a fan of the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why or of shows like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, I think you'll really enjoy this book.

I'm not completely done with the rough draft yet, and because I do still have to take breaks when the pain medicine makes my brain too foggy to continue, I'm not nailing down a release date quite yet. But it'll be coming out soon, before the next installment of Sealed With a Kiss. Once I get a little further along with it and can nail down a timeline I feel comfortable with, I'll announce a cover and blurb reveal date and a release date. But I'm already in love with Ian and Kyler and I just couldn't wait any longer to tell you about them. So, keep your eyes peeled for more news soon. And, until then, make sure you catch up on the Sealed With a Kiss series, especially My Bonds Are Sealed if you haven't read it yet.



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

My Bonds Are Sealed



Hey everyone! Sorry this is a day late. Releasing a book can get kind of hectic. Anyway, I just wanted to come and talk to you a little bit about the latest book in the Sealed With a Kiss series, My Bonds Are Sealed. This book takes place between My Lips Are Sealed/My Fate Is Sealed and My Heart Is Sealed, and it's River and Mason's story. Don't worry, Zoe and Elijah are still featured plenty. After all, if you'll remember, River is the one who set them back up. This book will show you why she did it. And it'll also show how she and Mason met and fell in love. Click on the book cover or click here to get your copy now!



This book is pretty different from the rest of the series for a couple of reasons. First, it's the first book in the series to be told from a dual point of view. You get to hear from River and Mason in this book and see both sides of their love story. Also, this book is a friends-to-lovers romance, so you'll get to see the development of River and Mason's friendship before you see the romance that it blossoms into. I fell in love with these characters and their love story more than I thought I would. I didn't think that any other love story that I wrote would be able to compare to Zoe and Elijah's story for me, but it turns out that I was wrong. The way Mason loves River is inspiring and beautiful in a completely different way from how Elijah loves Zoe.

To whet your appetite a little, here's a sneak peek:



Abby and I walked out of the communication building and I was shocked to find Mason standing there, in full police uniform.

“Mason?” I asked, confused. I had so many questions, I wasn’t even sure where to start.

“Hey, beautiful,” he chuckled. “Rob mentioned you had a couple of hours between classes right now. I thought maybe I could buy you lunch.”

Abby looked at me with a question in her eyes. Like she was trying to figure out why he was talking to me like that when he knew I had a boyfriend. But the thing was, he wasn’t being obnoxious. I wasn’t even entirely sure he was flirting. He was just being a good friend. One of the best friends I had, lately. I couldn’t even put my finger on when it was that I started thinking of him as one of my best friends, but I knew I did now.

“Abs, I’ve told you about Rob’s partner, Mason,” I said. “Mason, this is Abby. Disc jockey extraordinaire, fellow music director, and one of my best friends.”

“Nice to finally put a face with a voice, Abby,” Mason said with a smile as he shook her hand. “Rob and I usually catch the tail end of your show before River comes on. It’s usually as awesome as her show, but that song you played yesterday was horrible. Something about comparing a relationship to herpes or some shit?”

She laughed. “Apparently the Sugar Dolls are the next big thing. I don’t see it, but what do I know?”

He chuckled. “So, lunch? Or are you too wound up to eat?”

“We were actually just headed over to Pizza Time,” I told him.

“Great minds think alike,” he said with a smile. “Abby?”

“Actually, I’m going to leave you two alone,” Abby said as she finished checking a text. “I completely forgot about a meeting I have for a group project in fifteen minutes.”

“Okay,” I said, confused. Why would she have offered to go to lunch with me if she had a group project to do? “See you later?”

“Tomorrow,” she sighed. “And call me when you find out how your mom is.”

“I will,” I promised. “You’re still volunteering your camera and directing skills for the lip sync challenge video this weekend, right?”

“Hell yes,” she giggled. “I can’t wait.”

“I wish the same could be said for the other officers I wrangled into doing it,” Mason chuckled. “But it’ll be fun. Which is the point of it.”

“You might not say that when you hear what Grant has in store for you,” Abby teased. “See you tomorrow, River. Mason, see you Saturday.”

And then she left, and I turned back to my impromptu lunch date. I was still a little confused about how he knew where I’d be.

“So, were you stalking me or something? How’d you know where my class was?” I asked him.

He laughed. “No. Rob told me. That okay? Or is it too creepy?”

“No, it’s not creepy,” I chuckled as we started to walk towards St. George Street. “It’s sweet. I still haven’t heard from Mom or Rob to let me know what’s going on. It’s nerve-wracking.”

“I’m sure. But think positive. Them not calling you means there’s nothing out of the ordinary going on that you need to be worried about,” he said.

“You’re so sure about that?” I sighed.

“Yeah, beautiful. I’m sure. So let me buy you lunch and try to get your mind off of your mom for a little while.”

“Okay,” I conceded. “God, this is going to be a long week.”

“It’s every day this week and then Monday next week, right?” he asked.

“Yep,” I muttered. “I guess it’s twice a day, six hours apart. There’s a balloon catheter type thing that they put in that stays there until it’s done. They might end up doing another round before she does chemo if this round doesn’t work well enough.”

He stopped walking and pulled me into a hug. Right there in the middle of the sidewalk. But I couldn’t have backed away if my life depended on it. Damn, did he give amazing hugs. Here in his arms, for the first time in a while, I felt safe. I felt protected. And I knew that, unlike a certain other guy who would remain nameless, he actually gave a shit about how I was taking this today.

“You’ll make it through this,” he told me. “I know it sucks royally, but you’ll make it through this.”

“How is it that you care more than my boyfriend does about how I’m taking all of this?” I sniffled, unable to hold back my tears.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that Patrick got pissed at me for having the audacity to touch his phone when we went to Jacksonville this weekend. And he knows what’s happening today and he hasn’t done so much as send me a text to say hi. It’s like our stupid argument is more important to him than my mom’s health,” I told him. “If it was me, no matter what I was mad at him about, it wouldn’t matter if he was going through something like this.”

Mason didn’t say anything. Not at first. He just pulled me off to the side and leaned against the building, not once letting go of me. I got the feeling that this was one of those hugs that he’d let last as long as I needed it to.

“Do you really want to hear my answer to that?” he asked quietly after a minute.

“Maybe, maybe not. But maybe I need to,” I sighed.

“Patrick doesn’t deserve the fucking time of day from you. He’s an immature jackass if he can’t get over himself and realize that what you’re going through right now is more important than him being pissed at you over something as stupid and trivial as his cell phone. He’s been treating you like shit for weeks, and I hate it,” he said. “You could do so much better, River.”

I smiled. He thought the world of me. I could tell. But he also didn’t know Patrick very well. He didn’t get our relationship. Not really.

“I only vent to you when he pisses me off, though,” I said. “I don’t tell you when he’s sweet or romantic or does stuff just to make me smile.”

“When was the last time he did?” he asked.

“Um…” I trailed off, trying to think of the last time he’d done something romantic or sweet for me. I couldn’t really say this past weekend, because it had turned into a shit storm. And I couldn’t even say Thursday afternoon, because having sex in the back of his car, no matter how great the sex had been, wasn’t really sweet or romantic.

“Okay, beautiful, if you don’t know the answer to that question, then it’s been too long,” he chuckled tensely. “It’s not my place to tell you what to do, but you said maybe you needed to hear what I had to say about him. That’s what I have to say.”

I nodded. “Maybe I did need to hear it.”

“Still want that pizza? Or do you want to be mad at me now?” he asked.

“Why would I be mad at you?” I wondered as I pulled away from the hug to look at him.

“Because I just trashed your boyfriend,” he said. “And because you’re stressed out right now and if you need to be mad at me to release that stress, you can be. It’s okay. I can take it and I’ll still be here when you need me.”



Tuesday, December 25, 2018

...And it happened again! D'oh!

After I literally just said in my last blog post that I was going to get better about updating this blog, guess what I did? Yep, I let it slide again. So much so that I didn't even post when My Fate Is Sealed went up for sale. Sorry about that. So, yeah, go get your copy of My Fate Is Sealed if you don't already have it. It's probably the most fun I've had writing a book so far and I'm pretty proud of it. I'm so happy to finally have been able to introduce Elijah to the world. He's a pretty special character and I loved getting to know him better so much.

But there's a lot more happening. Namely, after realizing that having my books exclusively on Amazon and in the Kindle Unlimited program severely limited my ability to share my books with readers overseas, I decided to pull them out of the Kindle Unlimited program so that I could have more control over who has access to my books. What does this mean for you? It means that you don't have to have an Amazon account or a Kindle (or the Kindle app) to get my books. You can now get them on Kobo, iBooks, Nook (Barnes and Noble) and a bunch of other sites. So, because of the number of stores my books are now available on, the links in the sidebar and the links I'll put in my posts from now on are going to be universal links through a site called Books 2 Read. Basically, it's just a website that lists all of the places the books are available. You can set your preferred site to wherever you buy your e-books from, and then whenever you click on a Books 2 Read link, it'll take you right to that site instead of to their site.

Also, I've started a reader's group on Facebook, where you can come talk about Zoe, Elijah, and their friends (or about any other good books that you've read--I love getting new book recommendations) and where we can all hang out and get to know each other. I'm really looking forward to getting to know some of my readers there. So head on over there and check it out! The only way a Facebook group is any fun is if there are people there to make it fun. That's where you come in.

I've also started a monthly author newsletter. I promise, I won't spam you. It'll just be a once-a-month thing to let you know what I'm up to and to give you a look at what some of my other romance author friends are doing too! Check out the link in the sidebar to subscribe. And if you do, you'll get Our Christmas Is Sealed, an exclusive free novella about Zoe and Elijah's first Christmas in New York, which you can only get through the newsletter. While it is a Christmas story, there's a lot more to it than just that. And I feel some other bonus scenes or novelettes coming on for my subscribers with future new releases too.

Speaking of future new releases, I've also decided to try something different with future releases and make a limited number of Advanced Reader Copies available through Booksprout for review before the release date, so you can read them and tell me what you think on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. So make sure you follow me on Booksprout (see the link on the sidebar) to get alerted when I post new ARCs there.

...And that leads me to a quick update on My Bonds Are Sealed, River and Mason's story. I'm probably about 2/3 of the way done with this book and I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of February. I am SO excited for you guys to meet River and Mason, I can hardly stand it. They're turning into such amazing characters and they're taking this story in a direction I never would have imagined. You won't want to miss the opportunity to get an Advanced Reader Copy of this book and review it, trust me! So go head on over to Booksprout to stay up to date!

Whew! That was long. Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone! And I promise, my resolution for the coming year is to keep this blog more up to date so you don't get treated to another novella the next time I post.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sorry I've Been MIA...

Okay, I know it's been a while since I've written on here. I've been so buried in my writing lately that I haven't come up for air to update this blog and let my readers know what's going on. So, here's an update.

My Fate Is Sealed is almost done. I'm done writing it and now I'm doing the annoying copy editing part where I'm turning into a grammar Nazi and making sure there are no misspelled words and that the autocorrect on my phone didn't do anything stupid while I was using Word mobile. My hope is to have it available for purchase by October 13th. That's my birthday, but more importantly, it's Elijah's birthday (yes, I gave him my birthday--so shoot me). And since My Fate Is Sealed is his first book, it seems like a fitting release date (or maybe I'll make it October 12th, since that's a Friday). I cannot wait for you guys to meet the amazing character that Elijah's grown into. He's a good guy with a heart of gold who just happened to fall in love with someone society said he shouldn't love. He's also kind of witty and he's definitely torn about his feelings for Zoe, though not torn enough to convince himself to let her go. Anyway, I have to say, I almost like Elijah's version of events better than Zoe's, and I'm stoked for you to get to see this story through his eyes.

There's much more in the works, though, and I'm so excited about all of it that I have to talk about it now. Because part of the reason why it's taken me so long to finish My Fate Is Sealed is because I've gotten sidetracked with other awesome story ideas. And I'm one of those writers who has to write stuff down while I'm thinking of it before it gets away from me. So, grab a snack or a cup of coffee, sit back, and relax while I tell you what's coming in the Sealed With a Kiss world.

I was going to let Elijah's story end with My Fate Is Sealed, because we all know he ends up getting his happy ending. But when I was about 3/4 of the way done with this book, I got incredibly sad at the thought that his story would end with him watching the love of his life drive away bound for New York. I realized that he deserves his happy ending just as much as Zoe did. And I decided that I needed to write it for him. So, yes, he's getting two more books too. They're tentatively titled My Soul Is Sealed and My Dreams Are Sealed, but I'm not dead set on those titles yet. I'll wait to see how his version of the story pans out to make a definite decision on them.

But before we pick back up with Elijah when he finds Zoe again, another character has a pretty interesting story to tell while they're apart. River was in a very unique position during that time, being that she was still close with Zoe but attending Elijah's classes at Flagler College. Also, she was at home and got to be around 24/7 while Mia was going through her cancer treatments. And, well, she fell in love. With someone she never thought in a million years that she'd end up falling for: her stepfather's partner. I've written a few chapters and snippets for later parts of the book and I'm already in love with River and Mason. They're turning into great characters and their love story is very different from Zoe and Elijah's, but it's just as epic. I'm chomping at the bit to really start sinking my teeth into this book, which is called My Bonds Are Sealed.

Madison and Kelly are getting their own books too. The idea for Madison's book was born when I started thinking about Madison's journey through the second two books. First realizing that she has feelings for Zoe and then falling in love with an old friend of Elijah's, who she met at Zoe's wedding. I thought it would be an interesting story to write and I also liked the idea of branching out since I've never written a lesbian romance before. I haven't written much of this one yet, but I've jotted a few things down and I'm already intrigued. I do already have a working title for it, though. It's called My Pride Is Sealed.

Then I started thinking about Kelly's journey. She escapes her abusive relationship with Scott with the help of her friends, and then she's single for the rest of Zoe and Elijah's story (as she should be, because she needs time to find herself after Scott took so much of her identity from her while she was with him). But then in the epilogue of My Future Is Sealed, which takes place about two and a half years later, a new boyfriend named Shane is mentioned. I thought about everything Kelly would have had to overcome after Scott to be able to trust anyone again and I thought about what Shane would have done to break down the defenses she'd built up around her heart. I wanted to know more. So, guess what I decided to do? Yep, you got it! I decided to write it. Again, I haven't written a ton yet, but I've written enough to know it's going to be interesting. The working title for this one is My Past Is Sealed.

So, anyway, lots of exciting stuff coming up for our gang in St. Augustine. It'll be enough to keep me busy for a while. I'm going to commit to being a lot better about updating this blog, though. Because if I do that, I won't end up doing what I just did, writing an entire novella to catch you up.

Don't forget, though, while you're waiting on My Fate Is Sealed to be released, you can read Zoe's version of the story in the first three books of Sealed With a Kiss. They're available exclusively on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format, and they're free to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Check them out on Amazon here!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Want a sneak peek at My Fate Is Sealed?

Hey guys! Want a sneak peek into Elijah's mind as I write My Fate Is Sealed? Well, then, you're in luck! FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM to see sneak previews of what's going on in Elijah's mind during the events that took place in My Lips Are Sealed! I'm so excited about this book that I just can't keep it to myself until the release. So, as I work, I'll share screenshots of Elijah's thoughts with you to whet your appetite until the release (which is still TBD).