Friday, May 30, 2014

#Excerpt: THE PERFECT SCORE by Beth Albright

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth will be awarding a $15 Target gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Ginny Bloom Hunnicutt is crawling back home to Cottonwood Cove Alabama-- her promising CNN news-reporting career in shambles when an on-air flub cost her the job and cost CNN a lawsuit. Putting ego aside, she takes a position at the Chatterbox – the local weekly newspaper run by her mother, the town gossip. What’s a southern belle to do in a crisis but run home to her mama?

But when a mysterious hot high school football coach rolls into town, Ginny’s luck begins to change. Seems he has more secrets than a shady politician and Ginny’s determined to dig up the truth, and write the story that will get her career back on track. Everyone knows in a small, southern town, nothing stays private.

But the more she delves into his past, the more she begins to fall for the former college football star.

The coach’s star player has some secrets of his own and when Ginny uncovers it all, she must decide if she should reveal everything or follow her heart and protect the people she has grown to care for.

Author Beth Albright weaves a saucy southern tale filled with intrigue, romance and laugh out-loud comedy. From the bright lights of Friday night football to the darkened bedroom of unexpected lovers, it’s a richly layered story with more twists and turns—and mud, than an Alabama back road.

Now enjoy an excerpt:
“I’ll have another,” I said as I ordered my second dirty martini. The Sand Box was a dingy little bar near the pier in Cottonwood Cove, Alabama.

Covered in fishing ropes and other remnants of the life on the lake, the place was a dive for the small-towns folk who lived here, and for the kids who were lake rats during the summer. But summer had ended weeks ago, the kids back at school, and we were well into September now. Late that night, the place was nearly empty.

I sat there nursing my drink, drowning myself in what I had come to believe was the most embarrassing moment of my career. The dim lights swung in old metal fixtures from the ceiling of the Sand Box. A jukebox playing Hank Williams Jr. stood missing some of its colored lights in the corner. A few old wooden tables were scattered around with a couple of red vinyl booths shoved in the corner near the pool table and dartboard.

I had come home, tail tucked neatly between my legs, to lick my wounds. My name is Virginia Bruce Hunnicutt. I go by Ginny. My sisters and I all have my mom’s maiden name as our middle name. I kept it as my last name for my TV job. Ginny Bruce, reporting. I was a reporter for CNN in Atlanta. Was being the key word here. I had been fired two weeks prior because one of my sources was a fake. I swear I checked the credentials but the story turned out to be full of inaccuracies and CNN is now in a lawsuit. I may never work in the media again. And CNN was my dream job.

My name is now as muddy as the Alabama red dirt, which is exactly where I ran home to: Cottonwood Cove, Alabama. It’s the safest place to be. And even though I had become quite the big city girl, the one I had always dreamed of being, somehow, the safety of being home in Cottonwood Cove had its perks. Like being in this dive bar in the middle of the week late at night, with only one other soul in here besides me. Oh, God—and he was making his way over to me just as I was finishing my second round.

“What’s your poison?” he asked in his deep sexy baritone. He was beautiful. Rugged and sculpted with dark wavy hair and gorgeous lips; he was about six foot three and deliciously well built. His dark blue eyes undressed me as he moved closer to me—or maybe that was just me thinking I’d be more comfortable with my clothes off with this gorgeous man. He was dressed in a navy Polo button-down and perfect fitting blue jeans. His large muscular thighs and broad defined shoulders were evident even under his clothes. One dimple accentuated the right side his cute, boyish face. He smiled at me like he was fixin’ to eat me up, and oh, I was feeling like dessert as he slid in next to me at the bar. He looked like an athlete. Or a god. Come to think of it, in Alabama, those are one in the same. Regardless, he was heaven to look at, or maybe I was seeing him through double martini glasses. Probably the latter since I only weighed about 125 pounds and I knew better than to have more than two drinks. Ever.

“I’m having dirty martinis,” I answered. “You?”

“I’ll have the same,” he said to the bartender.

Beth Albright is the author of the award-winning, best-selling series The Sassy Belles. After knowing Beth for just a few short seconds you are sure to learn she is from Alabama. No, its not the lilt of magnolia you can still catch in her voice, or even the way she lovingly describes her undying love for her famous alma mater's football champions. She will tell you she loves Tuscaloosa, even after living quite literally all over the country. Though Beth has had a remarkable career, from New York City to Hollywood, and all points in between, she has never forgotten where she came from...and what she loves. That's why when it came time to write, Beth had no choice but to write about Tuscaloosa and The University of Alabama, and all the quirky people she still calls family, though some do not actually share her bloodline!

Beth Albright has always been a storyteller. After spending nearly 15 years in talk radio, as a talk show host, playing the part of a principal character on the soap opera, DAYS OF OUR LIVES, owning her own acting school and children’s theater, and raising a son who was a nationally ranked figure skater, Beth has decided to return to her roots; storytelling. When she was in the sixth grade, her teacher gave her the floor every Friday to tell her stories. See, Beth was a talker, a future talk show host in the making, and she was telling stories so much that her teacher couldn’t teach. The teacher told 12 year old Beth if she would begin writing her stories down, she would be allowed time to share those stories with the class.

And she’s been writing, AND talking ever since. Beth has interviewed Bob Hope, Oprah Winfrey, Betty White, Wolfgang Puck and George Burns live from the Chinese Theatre, as well as numerous other celebrities, and authors. Then Beth became a principal character on Days of Our Lives. But through all of the excitement of talk shows and soap operas, Beth loved telling stories to her audience the most. With a degree in Journalism from her beloved University of Alabama, She always remains true to her roots, born and raised in Tuscaloosa, “My grandfather was the play by play announcer for the Crimson Tide in the 50s!” Beth will proudly tell you. She is a down homespun girl, although she currently lives in San Francisco with her TV producer husband and her brilliant son. But her heart is always in Alabama.

Author contact links:

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth will be awarding a $15 Target gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

PLOT VS. CHARACTER by best-selling author Michaelbrent Collings

Some people don’t understand how important character is to a successful story. Or how it interacts with the importance of plot.

Well, here’s how important it is: “super-duper.” And that’s a metric super-duper, which is, like, twice as big as a standard unit super-duper.

So: very important.

Plot is also super-duper important (also metric unit), but in a different way. Both are needed to create the Pure Awesome that is a successful story.

Here’s how I like to explain it:

When I first saw my wife, my impression was that she was Amazingly Hawt. She could have given the sun a sunburn.

And, eventually, we got married.

But (yes, there’s always a but)…

… I didn’t marry her because of said Hawtness. I married her because she was smart, and kind, and spiritual, and good.  In other words, the thing that first drew me to her was that she was a babe. The thing that kept me with her was that she was an amazing person.

This, to me, is a perfect analogy for the interaction between plot and character.

The great majority of my books have a “hook” – an interesting plot device that is laid out quickly and clearly. Strangers has a family that is sealed in their own home by a killer who wants to have some, ahem, “quality time” with them. The Colony Saga is about a man who is trying to survive a zombie apocalypse in which 99.9% of the world’s population is changed or killed in only ten minutes. Crime Seen is about a detective on the trail of a serial killer who turns out to have died some time ago.

The reason these are called “hooks” is as obvious as the reason I approached my wife fairly quickly after observing her Major Babe-itude: they are meant to draw in the audience. To create questions in their minds, a need to find out “WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?” These are, basically, plots in microcosm. They are the beginning, middle, and end in a single line. With Strangers you know that the family is going to be locked up, tortured (mentally or physically), and then will either escape… or not. With Crime Seen you know the detective will hunt the ghost, will suffer loss, and then will find a way to exorcise the phantom… or not.

The plot, in other words, draws us in, and maintains a certain level of interest as we read a book or watch a movie or play.

The character, though… like my wife’s own character, the characters in a story are the thing that makes that story set up residence in our lives forever. We remember the basic story of Lord of the Rings, but the moment that has become part of our DNA is the moment when Frodo demonstrates his goodness by refusing to kill Gollum. We love the general outlines of Star Wars IV, but the moments we love, the moments we wish we could emulate, revolve around Han’s roguishness or Luke’s innocent goodness or Leia’s toughness under pressure.

The plot is the initial attraction, and the thing that gives us reasons to stay when character isn’t counting for much.

The characters rarely have that power. They can rarely catch us from the opening reel the same way a good hook can do. But they have staying power. They become part of our lives, part of our emotional makeup, part of who we are.

Both are important. One gives us a reason to start. The other gives us a reason to stay.

And that creates the Pure Awesome of a wonderful story.


Michaelbrent Collings is a #1 bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His bestsellers include The Colony Saga, Strangers, Darkbound, Apparition, The Haunted, The Loon, and the YA fantasy series The Billy Saga (beginning with Billy: Messenger of Powers).

He hopes someday to develop superpowers, and maybe get a cool robot arm.

Michaelbrent has a wife and several kids, all of whom are much better looking than he is (though he admits that's a low bar to set), and much MUCH cooler than he is (also a low bar).

Michaelbrent also has a Facebook page at and can be followed on Twitter through his username @mbcollings. Follow him for awesome news, updates, and advance notice of sales. You will also be kept safe when the Glorious Revolution begins!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Tour Blast: INTERCEPTING LOVE by L.P. Dover


Intercepting love_highBoth have what she wants … but only one has what she needs.

Working with professional athletes and helping them recover from their injuries has always been Kate Townsend’s dream, but after an accident left her scarred and heartbroken years ago she refuses to let what happened in her past happen again. Staying focused is the key, as well as not letting her feelings interfere with her job … no matter the circumstances. All of that is easier said than done when not only one, but two men crave her healing touch, igniting every single desire she’s denied herself for so long. 

Cooper Davis, NFL’s star quarterback and most eligible bachelor, packs up and leaves his home to move across the states to the East Coast after an injury results in the embarrassing trade to another team. Bitter from the pain, he deals with his problems through drugs and alcohol—almost ruining his football career—until he meets the one woman who makes him want to feel; the same woman who refuses to give up on him no matter how many times he screws up. He has to have her, and he’s not going to stop until he makes her his. Especially, now that someone else threatens to take her away. Motocross champion and local bad boy Luke Collins never takes no for an answer. For the past four months he’s used his charms to get what he wants, and now he’s so close to getting the girl of his dreams … if she’ll give in just once. One time is all he needs, and he’s never been known to fail, but he’s also never had to fight for a woman’s affections. Only one man will win their way into Kate’s heart, but which one will intercept the other and take what they want? Which one will she choose?

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Intercepting love


USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries. Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can't forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols. 

Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over nine novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae. L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.


Where you can find L.P. Dover:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

Whatever you decide to do on this 3-day weekend, say a prayer and a "thank you" for all of the US military personnel who are serving around the world to keep us all safe.

Friday, May 23, 2014

#Excerpt: NO HARD FEELINGS by Maria Tandori

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marta will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Some secrets can’t stay hidden, especially when they involve murder…

Liz Farrell is still reeling over the murder of her mother almost a year earlier at the hands of her father, Leo Bauer, when she receives the startling news that she’s inherited her estranged father’s sizable estate. Unable to come to terms with her father’s unspeakable legacy, Liz and her grandmother, Kate Stanton, visit Leo’s property in Benedict Canyon, desperately hoping to find closure. Instead, they find a bunker hidden under an old hunting lodge that had been used by Leo at one time to hold Liz’s mother captive. Horrified by the discovery, Liz immediately orders the bunker filled and the lodge destroyed but the ensuing demolition quickly comes to a grinding halt after a man’s remains are discovered in a shallow grave at the base of the old lodge. Once the press get wind of the gruesome discovery, rumors quickly surface, linking the remains to a murder spree that took place at the same address almost half a century earlier; a murder spree conveniently covered up by the governor at the time who also happened to be Leo Bauer’s stepbrother. Liz and Kate’s efforts to uncover the truth behind the murders are soon hampered by family secrets and a killer who’s intent on finishing the job started almost fifty years ago.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Karen Devane pulled into the parking lot of her cousin’s apartment building with a squeal of tires. She drove around, trying to find a parking spot. Finally, she gave up and pulled into a tow away zone. Picking up the pizza box on the seat beside her, she hurried into the building before waiting impatiently for the elevator to take her to the second floor. Rushing down the corridor, she stopped in front of the door marked 10B and rapped on it. A second later, she rapped again, this time more impatiently.

“Who is it?” came the muffled question from the other side of the door. .

“It’s me,” Karen replied. She heard a few locks turning and the door was thrown open a minute later by Liz, wearing a bathrobe and a forlorn expression on her face. .

“Hi.” Her eyes were puffy and red, and it was clear that she’d been crying. .

“Hi yourself.” Karen charged into her apartment, not waiting for an invitation. .

Liz followed behind, watching wordlessly as Karen marched into her kitchen and began opening cupboard doors, looking for plates. Everything about her small apartment, from her dining room table to the small balcony that was a myriad of colors and scents, was neat, orderly, and inviting. “Cupboard on the right of the sink, second shelf,” Liz told her automatically, pulling up a chair to the other side of the counter. “What are you doing here … or is that kind of a stupid question?” .

Karen gave her cousin a pointed look. “What do you think? Grams told Mom what happened at the attorney’s office and Mom told me.” She flipped open the lid of the pizza box and extracted two cheesy slices before plopping them on a plate and handing it to Liz. .

“Figures.” Liz listlessly picked at the crust of her pizza. .

“You might as well get used to how things work in our family.” Karen helped herself to several slices of pizza and went over to sit beside her cousin. “Want to talk about it?” .

Two lone tears slid down Liz’s cheeks. “What’s there to talk about? How totally screwed up my whole life has been, or how screwed up it is now?” .

About the Author:
By the time Marta Tandori reached fifth grade, she was an avid reader and writer with a stack of short stories collecting dust in a box under her bed but it wasn’t until she began studying acting in her early twenties at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York that Marta realized acting wasn’t really her passion – writing fiction was. What followed was years of writing workshops as well as correspondence courses in writing for children through the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut. She credits the award winning author, Troon Harrison, as the instructor who helped her find her literary voice. Marta’s first work of middle-grade fiction, BEING SAM, NO MATTER WHAT was published in 2005, followed by EVERY WHICH WAY BUT KUKU! in 2006. With her more recent endeavors, Marta has shifted her writing focus to mysteries and suspense having “strong female protagonists with closets full of nasty skeletons and the odd murder or two to complicate their already complicated lives”.

To learn more about Marta, please visit her website at, her Facebook Author Page at, or her Twitter page @MartaTandori .

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#Review: TAKING ANGELS by C.S. Yelle

3 of 5 stars

Britt Anderson has been handed a tough lot in life. At only 18 years old, she's dying of cancer and she's tired of fighting. A final family trip camping has Britt determined to end her life. Convincing her father to help her to the river, she propels herself into the current and goes over the waterfall. It's her final gift to her parents to relieve them of their suffering watching her die inch by inch. When her battered and bruised body washes ashore at the bottom of the falls, it's not death that meets her. She is touched by Allister Parks and not only does he bring her back to life, but she is now cancer free and her injuries from going over the waterfall are healed.

This book started out strong and I was immediately drawn into the story. How would this young woman handle being healthy again? Britt reconnects with her 3 best friends and they begin their senior year of high school together. When Allister and his sister show up at the same school, Britt is drawn to the handsome young man. I found this part of the book dragged especially with page after page of Britt getting dress, jumping in her friend's jeep and them going to school. The book got interesting again with the introduction of Kendal, an Eternal, who has been doing evil deeds and breaking every code Eternals are supposed to follow. I don't want to give any spoilers here, but I didn't like the path this character took. While the author does present some unique perspectives about Eternals, angels, and half-angels, I found this book was too easy to put down. However, an intriguing Epilogue should keep young adult readers interested in this series.

C.S. Yelle was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN, the “almost” middle child of six.  He attended Grand Rapids Senior High School where he enjoyed music and sports.  He received his BS in Chemistry from Mayville State University, Mayville, ND in 1987.  He taught 7-12 Science and coached for six years in several North Dakota schools and currently works as an Executive Account Manager in the Water Treatment Industry where he has been for nearly seventeen years.  He is the father of four and grandfather of one.  He writes novels, screenplays, and an occasional short story.  He has been writing seriously for over ten years and plans to continue until his fingers are unable, maybe longer.  He currently resides in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with his wife Jennifer and their rat terrier, Holly.

Author Links:

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Guest Post: To Plot or Not to Plot: That is the Question by A.J. Lape

When I started writing, I didn’t even know someone along the great literary way had divided us into groups. Wouldn’t you know I’d fall into the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants one? For those that are into the label thing, there are two types of writers: plotters and pansters. A plotter is like a general. They like structure and plan things out before they even open a notebook or fire up their laptops. In fact, the lack of organization is kind of like trying to get to California from Podunk, Kentucky without a road map. They’d feel more prepared if they had an outline in their heads of what would get them from Point A to Point B. A panster, however, may have an overall plot in mind, but mostly they’re flying blind, letting the story develop as they peck on their keyboards. In fact, pesky rules tend to disrupt the creative juices.
Oh, God help me, I’m sooooooo a panster. I spent two weeks making an outline once, only to throw all that hard work out when I got to chapter three. In fact, I often write chapters out of sequence because that scene is so strong in my head that the characters won’t leave me alone until I immortalize their little rants and ravings. I’m actually like one of those little pilot fish, just sucking on the back of a character and hanging on for the ride. That being said, a panster often doesn’t know the end of their stories until they get to the last chapter. And even then, rewrites might change pertinent details on what they think is a finished product before it is uploaded for sale.
Here’s an example. I’m revising DEFCON Darcy right now, book four in the Darcy Walker Series, and it was actually the first book I wrote. So for me, I haven’t even written the books in my series in order. What happened with DEFCON Darcy was once I wrote the book I realized I needed to go back in Darcy’s past to explain how she became the person up to that point. It took three books for me to feel comfortable rolling out DEFCON Darcy and tackling the albatross around her neck that made her the Darcy the reader knows her to be: that catalyst being the mysteries surrounding the absence of her mother. That being said, I wrote the majority of DEFCON Darcy in 2008. Now that I have revisited it again, I’ve written in a character from book one, Grade A Stupid, because without him, there would be a huge gap in the story. Did I know this character needed to be there in 2008? Um, no, he was barely a blip on the proverbial radar, but the evolution of the series made this character a glue that will tie all four books together nicely.
And for a little peek into my personal psyche, that is totally unlike who I am as an individual! As a person, I like to have Plan A, and then if Plan A goes down the sewer, I will make a Plan B and C. When I write, it was only logical to think I’d operate in the same fashion, but my creative process doesn’t cooperate. I can’t force things by an outline, I wish I could—things might go faster—but I will let characters lead me where they want to go and when I feel that wash of peace drizzle over me, I know a scene is what it should be. So in essence, there is no right or wrong way to create—whether a plotter or a panster. It’s what works best for the author and gets those creative juices flowing.

Book & Author Details:
100 Proof Stud by A.J. Lape
(The Darcy Walker Series #3)
Publication date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

Sometimes life smacks you right in the kisser with a whole lot of ohhhh craaaaap.

Just ask Darcy Walker.

100 Proof Stud picks up four months after No Brainer’s cliffhanger ending, and Darcy discovers the aftermath pales in comparison to the crisis her heart is in. All of a sudden it’s raining men, and this teenage heroine’s personal life turns her inside out.

Before she can sort out her feelings, she chases a spray-painting vandal and stumbles upon a case of identity theft right in her own backyard. Darcy jumps into the fray headfirst to prove she can hang with the big boys.

But it’s not just to hang…nope, she’s chasing reward money.

Tapping her band of misfit brothers for help, she turns Valley upside down trying to unearth the criminals. Problem is, the cloak and dagger goes high-octane, and she raises the bar on “crazy” in the process.

Bullets ring out…dead bodies appear…and Darcy rubs shoulders with the ultimate sociopath. In the midst of murder and mayhem, will she finally follow her heart or build a fortress of lies around it? Will she even get the chance?


A. J. lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two feministic daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola. She studied English, Journalism, and Political Science at Morehead State University and left the business world when her daughters were born. Her love for suspense and a good story was born from watching Mystery Science Theater with her sister during childhood. That and any B-movie with comedic undertones they could get their hands on.

From a small town in Kentucky, her sister and she lived in their imaginations on a regular basis, and A.J.'s love for the bizarre and paranormal still holds true to this day. She loves roller coasters, scary movies, and haunted houses and the weird sense of accomplishment it gives her when she can make it through without keeling over.

If Life has taught her anything, it's the need to acquire a wicked sense of humor, come up swinging, and to never, ever give matter what obstacle is in front of you.

When she's not riding that razor-thin line between creativity and insanity, she likes to read, watch too much cable TV, or cheer like a banshee at her daughters' sporting events.

A. J. loves to connect with fans! You can find her via Twitter and Facebook or send an email.

Amazon Author Page:

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Monday, May 19, 2014

#Excerpt: ONLY WITH YOU by Cecilia Gray

Book & Author details:
Only With You by Cecilia Gray
(The Jane Austen Academy Series #5)
Publication date: May 2014
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph…

Emma has it all – looks, money, and luck. It’s not like she keeps it all to herself – she’s totally committed to helping those less fortunate. AKA, everyone. She invites her heartbroken friend to help with a weekend charity event with an eye to match make, but when that friend turns her eye toward the guy Emma wants for herself, how will she choose between friendship and her own feelings?

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…
The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beach side California boarding school.

Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.

She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.

Author Links:


Emma slipped into her pink silk camisole and sat in front of her vanity. She usually continued her nightly ritual with fifty strokes of her wide-toothed comb along her scalp to stimulate hair growth, followed by dry brushing and moisturizing head to toe. The same routine a starlet had taught her mom years ago and that her mom had then taught her. Gail Greene was famous for her youthful beauty, and Emma wanted to be famous for everything her mom was famous for.
Her door swung open, and in her vanity mirror's reflection, she saw Knight charge in, still dressed in jeans and a dark-gray tee, his hair sticking up in every direction. She whirled around. "Knight! What the—"
"What is this weekend really about Emma?" Knight stopped in front of her and crossed his arms. His gaze dipped a moment but shot back up to her face, more irate than ever. "Don't tell me it's about saving puppies."
Emma folded her arms over her chest. "This weekend is about a lot of things. I told you. I'm a multitasker. I want to spend time with my friends. And yeah, I want to save a few puppies."
"I'd be fine with all that, but this is also about you trying to set up Anne and Josh." He paused a beat as if waiting for her to deny it. His voice was strangled. "Emma—"
"So what? Why shouldn't I want to set up Anne and Josh?"
Knight's face pulled into a look of utter distaste. "Don't tell me you'd do that to Anne. Especially after what Josh did to you. Why would you waste that extraordinary energy on him?"
"Why, Knight," she said when a sharp spear of pain lanced through her at his biting remark, "I believe you just called me extraordinary."
"You think Josh is going to make her happy? Did he make you happy?"
Her smile fell, but she swallowed it under a smirk. "No, he didn't, and no, he won't make her happy, either. So typical, Knight, to assume I'd think boys were the answers to all our problems. Having fun, getting confident, and not living in the past anymore. That's what will make Anne happy. It's going to take more than compliments from Josh, but it's a start. I'm trying to help her, which is more than I can say for you."
Knight's expression softened. He took three steps toward her. He was almost standing between her bare legs, the camisole riding up on her thighs. He rested his hands on her shoulders, and his thumb rubbed softly against her skin. Every single strand of hair on her arms felt charged, and she didn't need a mirror to know her face had flushed.
"I know you mean well, Emma. That's one of the things I love about you—you always mean well."
"Another compliment?" Emma said. "Is it my birthday?" She felt warm even as his words stung. That was the problem with Knight. He was always so disapproving of everything she did. Every compliment came with a cut. Every sweet word with a sarcastic sting. "It's three dozen dogs and cats. Two friends. One weekend. Just stick with me."
He smirked. "When have I not?"
His gaze brushed over her as he gave her shoulders another quick squeeze. She glanced at his hands, noticing for the first time the rough skin at his knuckles from his weekly boxing sessions, the veins running along the skin. The tip of her nose brushed his wrist, and she was caught off guard by the sudden urge to turn to him, press her cheek against his hand.
She imagined him palming her face, pulling her to her feet, sliding his hand against the smooth silk of her camisole at her waist…
Knight pulled away and walked quickly out to the balcony.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Interview with Kate Jarvik Birch

Are you a Planner or Pantster?
Very much a planner! In fact, one of my favorite parts of writing a novel is the initial plotting stage. Maybe it’s because I’m still totally smitten with my idea (SNIS: shiny new idea syndrome) and everything is chock-full of possibility! At this stage the idea is still perfect. Of course, once I start writing it’s exciting to see the story morph and change into something alive, but it never stays exactly the same as that initial seed of an idea.

How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?
It varies, but I’m usually pretty speedy with the first draft. It can take anywhere from a month and a half to three months. It’s the subsequent drafts that end up taking MUCH longer.

Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi-tasker?
I’m not the greatest multi tasker because I tend to get pretty obsessed with whatever idea I’m currently working on. Maybe it’s because for the book to really come alive it has to percolate inside my head 24/7. Who knows when a great idea is going to hit. It usually seems to happen in the shower or while I’m driving. But if the story hasn’t been given room to just sit quietly inside my skull, those epiphanies don’t tend to happen. I’ve had to learn how to divide my energies while working on revisions with editors, but it’s still difficult for me.

Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?
Always! Every time! What if the words don’t come? What if I can’t make this scene work? What if I don’t have any original thoughts? Those first few minutes sitting down to write are always difficult, but I’ve noticed that it’s like warming up a muscle and after a few minutes those cold, hard feelings soften and melt away and the real writing can begin.

Have you ever quit on an ms, and how did you know it was time?
I’m not sure I’ve ever REALLY quit on one. I’ve put them aside, but always with the promise that I’ll come back and try again some time.

Do you think social media helps build your readership?
I’d have to say a resounding YES!!! There’s a wide array of authors that I’ve only discovered through social networks whose work I wouldn’t have found on my own. I can only hope that the same thing will happen once my own books are out in the world.

Book & Author Details:
Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch
Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication date: April 15th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

One People. One Union. One Future.

Wynne’s entire life is dictated by the Union: the clothes she wears, the books she reads, even the genes she inherited. And like every other girl in the Union, Wynne dreams of being chosen as a Carrier on her 16th birthday—one of the elite selected to carry the future generation within her womb. Wynne and her best friend Odessa are certain they will both make the cut, but when Odessa is chosen and whisked off to a life of privilege, Wynne is left behind to work as an assistant, delivering perfectly planned babies for the Union.

As Odessa slips deeper and deeper into the role of Carrier, Wynne begins to see the Union for what it really is: a society that criminalizes the notion of love, and forbids words like mother and family.

For the first time in her life, Wynne is faced with a choice: submit to the will of the Union, or find a way to escape and save Odessa before she is lost forever.


Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit

Author links:

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