Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why We Need YA

It is not only a privilege and an honor to write for children, but an obligation. 

Yes. Bold statement. I've been full of 'em lately. Must be something in the air. Or just a matter of digging my voice out of the sand.

There are those who don't give young people enough credit, who undermine their ability and potential. There are some who discount their opinion and capacity to listen. There are those who don't observe the world as kids do; the places on the sidewalk, inbetween the bricks, and in the dark night where the cracks and weaknesses give rise to strength and courage. Then, there are some who do...

It is with this in mind that we write for those emerging from the land of lollipops and cartwheels, for those on the edge of adulthood, and for those who aren't so sure of the world they're entering. By telling stories, we participate and contribute to the depth and breadth of their knowing. 

We say  yes, I hear you. I see you. I want to understand you. I want you to be understood. We also say, look, see this? You can still be a dreamer, a hero, the president of worlds unknown. Don't give up even as this spinning top seems to change, and whirl, around you.

As writers we are both Sherpas leading young people into new and unexplored lands, and the ones being guided. As their consciousness shifts and expands, our own is impacted as well because we are reminded of hope, truth, and our potential to continuing growing (—up, again and again.) It's a duality to be sure, a reciprocal relationship. Childhood and adulthood is too finite. We forever have the capacity to grow, but sometimes forget. It is through story whether told around a campfire, read in the crisp pages of a book between classes, after work, in the glow of an ereader, and in our memory that we return to the place of wonder, connection, and imagination.

As writers, storytellers, and authors we are obligated to continue this lineage, to acknowledge youth and their experience, as we've likely shared, if not in the actual events, but in the emotions, the mood, the ethos. 

The communion of words on the page binds us to reality as we actually live it, it's what makes us humans a community, comforts us when life is confusing and tragic, and brings us together whether or not we realize we need each other.  

This topic has been explored and expounded upon, but I felt the need to contribute my thoughts to the discussion and I'd love to hear yours. 

Check out more on this here from Maggie Stiefvater and Maddie Crum.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

^^^ And I Give You...On the Mountain ^^^

I can't believe it! >>> It's release day >>> Hooray!

Phew. now that's out of my system, we can get on with things. In case you missed it, I just jumped up and down like a monkey on a pogo stick, tossing confetti EVERYWHERE! It was quite the scene I tell ya, only now I have to clean it up. Sigh. 

It's wild to me that just last February I launched To the Sea, the first novel in this sorta-series. By sorta, I mean To the Sea was a stand alone. But then once I pubbed, I simply couldn't get off the Follow your Bliss train. I'd nabbed my own dream, and we were going places...where, well, at the time I just didn't know how wonderful it is to write my heart out (then edit till I'm blobular. Yes, blobular.) and then put the outcome out into the world. 

And today is just such a day, so here, I present to you (hang on, I have to lean in and whisper something to this little book of mine, Go, go and do great things, keep readers awake at night reader, inspire and brighten the days of all who meet your pages.) Here we go...

On the Mountain!

Amazon >>> Goodreads

Here's an excerpt...

The smell of lasagna baking in the oven lured Baskia into the kitchen a couple hours later. She uncorked a bottle of wine hoping to chase away reminders of her headache. Trace had set the table for two and candlelight burned softly between the place settings.

“Will you join me?” he asked.

“How’d you know my favorite?” Homemade lasagna had the potential to earn  him forgiveness.

His rough around the edges appearance and moody demeanor didn’t keep with details like candles and cloth napkins. If she’d been anywhere else, she’d have said so long to him, but there was no escaping him in the cabin, she was rooted there. And the meal 
smelled irresistible.

They didn’t say much while they ate, but Baskia noted the silence wasn’t awkward like with Wes. Of course, she wanted to ask what he’d meant when he said he was dealing with some shit, but instead they made conversation about her return trip to New York after Thanksgiving, a few of the books they’d both read, and their wine preferences. By the time they were done and the grandfather clock struck twelve, Baskia glowed with the satisfaction of a good meal shared in good company.

“Thanks,” she said before retiring to her room.

“No, thank you,” he said, meaningfully. With that, he blinked off the light. 

I'll toast to that. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Monumental On the Mountain Giveaway!

So here we are, the last full-length book in the Follow your Bliss, semi-series. I say semi, because all the books, from To the Sea (book 1) to Kindled (book 6—coming out in December—just in time for the holidays. You won't even believe what kind of goodies I have in store for that!) can be read on their wee lonesome. Meaning, you don't have to read the others to enjoy the story. Or you could have a book reading bonanza and read 'em all. Or, ya know, pick away at them over the cool months, letting the love scenes warm you up!

For this occasion, I am offering up, a signed paperback of On the Mountain, a book mark, a lovely XO necklace inspired by a scene in the novel, and some more book swag goodies from the other titles in the Follow your Bliss series. Wink, wink. I'm cheeky like that. 
Let's just say, 
I have an Etsy Shop and I'm not afraid to use it. 

Read on, tell your friends, and enter below. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

On the Mountain Teaser #3, an excerpt & a Freebie

Here is the third teaser for On the Mountain. What's this, you ask? Someone other than Baskia and she's laying in the grass? Who is she? What does this mean? Why is she asleep and how can she possibly MOVE mountains? Let's just say she plays a pivotal role in bringing people together and awakening them to their potential, even as she sleeps.


"The hammock swayed slowly as the sun dropped behind the mountain. Baskia leaned her head against the back of the Adirondack chair that she’d pulled over. Trace glided toward her in the hammock, his face just inches from hers. She gazed at his lips. The bottom one was slightly fuller than the top. The hammock swayed, carrying him away. Then he returned. The impish grin stubbornly remained fixed on his lips, as if he could read her thoughts, answer her desire, but refused to. The heat or beer or him made her sizzle inside. She leaned in, just close enough to touch her lips to his, but then the hammock glided away." 


Do you like these teasers? Intrigued by On the Mountain? It would mean HEAPS to me if you Pinned, Tweeted, Facebooked, Tumblred, (wonky verbs happening in that sentence!) or otherwise promo-ed the forthcoming novel. It releases Tuesday, October 14th. I'd also love it if you added it to your Goodreads TBR too! I send you so many thank yous it sounds like a chorus in here! Also, as an extra special thank you, Mirrored, the 4th book in the Follow your Bliss series, is FREE today! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On the Mountain Teaser #2, an Excerpt & a Free Book

Meet Trace. He has a past that he's not willing to share, among other things, but as days stretch into weeks and into months on the mountain, Baskia and Trace get to know each other, well. Find out how it turns out when the novel, On the Mountain, releases 

Tuesday, October, 14th. 

Will they or won't they? Does Baskia accept or reject her new life and the people in it? Does Trace have what it takes to be honest and present? 


"Like the water in the lake, his eyes were clear, despite the heat and row of empty beer bottles. They were the exact color of an exotic spice she couldn’t recall the name of, but had to throw toward the camera during a shoot in Morocco. His hair, his motorcycle, his voice was as all-American as they come, but there was also something about him that was just out of reach, mysterious and off-limits. She wanted it." 


 If you'd like to check out another title from the Follow your Bliss series, 
Surfaced, is FREE today! 

Remember, each book stands alone or the series can be read in order for a deeper reading experience. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

On the Mountain Teaser #1, an Excerpt & a Freebie!

We're just weeks away from the release of On the Mountain, a city-girl goes country with spotty Wi-Fi, a Christmas spent snowed in, and mysterious Trace, who may have found his way into Baskia's heart. 

"Being bored out of her mind, keeping to her room, and dealing with a brooding hottie—on top of the trench of uncertainty that continued to plague her anytime she thought beyond the present moment—was way, way worse.

And it was hot. Baskia lounged in the wooden Adirondack chair, reading and rereading a line in one of the thick, glossy books on interior decorating her mother had artfully displayed on a shelf inside. She couldn’t focus, so she rounded to the back deck, hoping for a breeze to come over the mountain, blowing away her restlessness." 


This novel can be read on its own, but if you'd like a deeper experience, check out the other novels in the series. To the Sea  is FREE for a limited time! 

 To the Sea. 

 Happy reading! And come back soon for more sneak-peeks! 
Oh, and you can PRE-ORDER On the Mountain here! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On the Mountain Cover Reveal

The months and weeks leading up to a book release is an elastic time. It seems to bounce and spring of its own accord. Then during the days leading up to the big book birthday, I feel time get really taut like a rubber band, pulling back, back, back and then woosh, away we go on a wild ride: up, down, and all around with excitement and anxiety. 

(((think waking up in the middle night because there may or may not be a comma after a particular sentence that I'd been working on. chances are i remembered it. i mean, why wouldn't i? it's like making sure the coffee maker is off. no, i don't drink coffee, but still. i convince myself it's there. but it is too late to check.))) 

Other anxieties surface too, will readers like it? Was I fair and true to my characters? And what about the cover? 

Yeah, what about the cover? 

Well, we have all waited patiently for the book art that graces that stiff, shiny front page (or screen) of my new adult contemporary, On the Mountain. You've seen some teasers, hopefully they've been pleasers, and now I'll get on with it and finally show you the cover for ON THE MOUNTAIN. 


If  you'd like to give ON THE MOUNTAIN a read, check out the pretty back cover below and read the blurb. It would be great to add it to your Goodreads To-be-Read list...that way it won't get lost in your stack o' books. 

And the back of course!

Thanks and please, let me know whatcha think!