Sunday, April 6, 2014

Cover+blurb reveal: CAR CRASH HEARTS

I love cover reveals. This one in particular because this book I'm co-writing with Rowan Altwood is probably one of my faves I've ever gotten to work on. I love our characters and our plot, and I can't wait to share this story. And because I'm impatient...I'm going to go ahead and share the cover and blurb with you all. ;)


When 19-year-old Luc Argent’s body begins to reject his new heart, he knows he doesn't have a lot of time left. Which means he’s pushing everyone away more than he usually does in order to minimize the collateral damage when he finally kicks the bucket. 

Then Evelyn comes back to town. 

Evelyn left Californiaand her best friend Lucthree years ago. Since then, she hasn’t gotten so much as an e-mail from him. So when she returns and he shows up at her doorstep with an insane idea for an impromptu road trip, she doesn't know what to think. Running away with a guy is something her mother does. Not her.  

But even after all this time she doesn’t known how to tell Luc no. Just like Luc hasn’t learned how to tell Evelyn about his illness and how serious it really is. He has a destination in mind, he has a plan, and it all revolves around him and Evelyn and what little time he has left.
Add CCH on GoodReads!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Teaser: Car Crash Hearts

Because why not? Rowan and I are so excited for this book. I love our characters and our story, and I love, love, love Luc and Evelyn. So I'll start off this week with a teaser for you all:



The hot water is fading and I don’t want to waste it all and have Evie whine at me if she gets stuck with a cold shower. I finish rinsing and get out, toweling dry to the best of my ability. The mirror is defrosting, leaving me to stare at my own reflection. Messy hair in need of a cut (says my mother). Too skinny body. Long limbs.

For awhile after my surgery when I started the recovery and therapy phase of having a new heart, I looked pretty good. I felt good. I had energy and I could get through a day without feeling feverish and tired. Those good days are getting fewer and fewer and the doctors said it was a bad sign. Rejection is a normal thing with organs but they give you some meds, run some tests, get your body stable and send you home again. That’s all they can do shy of giving me another transplant.

So my choices are to wait for another heart despite that getting the first one was a stroke of luck...or to wait for the time I go into the hospital with symptoms and don’t get to leave again.

Fuck that. I’d rather run myself into the ground enjoying what time I have left.
I slide my fingers along the upraised scar down the center of my chest. Evelyn has never seen it. I want it to stay that way. I want to keep all of this as far from her as I can, for as long as I can.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Come talk to me online tonight!

Hey gang!

In honor of the .99 cent sale (of which HUSHED is a part of) for the Entangled Embrace line, they're hosting a March Madness event on Facebook today. All day, the Embrace authors will be hanging out on the event page, answering your questions and chatting about whatever.

I'll be there at 6pm PST/9pm EST. I'm nervous as hell, so if anyone wants to drop by and say hello, I'd appreciate it. ;)

Link is here!

Cheers!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Birthday @NyraeDawn !

Once upon a time, I wrote a book and had no flipping idea what I was doing.

Then I met another writer who was in a similar boat. We traded manuscripts. We critiqued. I discovered we wrote entirely different sorts of stories, and I was worried she wouldn't want to keep reading for me.

That was over four years ago.

Despite that we greatly differ in genres (hers are warm, emotional, and make you feel good and mine...uh. People die. A lot.) her way of writing has encouraged and inspired me. It's taught me a lot about softening my own writing and not being so afraid about including some happiness and romance-y mush. We're a good match. And I will always be a fan of the brilliant love stories she comes up with.

This girl is one of my best friends and one of the kindest, biggest-hearted women I know. The only bad thing about her is that I still haven't gotten to meet her in person! I feel honored and privileged that I've gotten to watch as she has grown as an author. Throughout rejection, she's kept her head held high. Throughout success, she has remained humble and always in awe, and has never forgotten her journey or the people she met throughout it.

I love this lady. Talented. Smart. Lovely. Kind. Anyone would be lucky to call her a friend. And I just wanted to wish her a very, very Happy Birthday. ♥

Also, GO READ HER BOOKS!

Charade (Games, #1) 16150320 17900008
15783617 16081655 15712838 17332383 17666999 17565070
13561963 13636617
18269671

Sunday, December 8, 2013

12 Days of Kickass Christmas: Tiffany Truitt!

Happy Holidays!

Welcome to Entangled Teen’s 12 Days of Kickass Event! We are joining together to share some exclusive content with you all! There will be 2 teams: The Smartass Team, who will post a good or swoon worthy deleted scene or an excerpt, and The Badass Team who will post a villainous deleted scene or excerpt. And the cool part is we’ll be posting on each other’s blogs! The party starts on December 2nd and goes all the way to December 13th! We will wrap up the event with our monthly twitter party on December 13th 9 PM EST/6 PM PST as well. Each day will have 2 posts from us along with an EPIC giveaway!

So how do I join in, you ask? It’s easy; follow along with the tour and find the hidden word (it will be highlighted) in each post and fill out the Rafflecopter form! You can win one of 2 Kindles and we’re giving away 5 sets of 5 Entangled Teen Print Books (US only), and 10 Entangled Teen eBooks (international)! Also we will be giving away more books and Amazon and Barnes & Noble Gift Cards during the twitter party. That means 2 people will win a kindle, 5 people will win 5 of our amazing print titles, and 10 people will win eBooks!

I'm particularly honored and excited to get to host Tiffany Truitt's Team Smart Ass post today, with a never-before-seen peek at her upcoming book, which is pretty kickass all on its own. So...take it away, Tiffany!

***

I am so excited to be part of Entangled Teen’s 12 Days of Kiss Ass Posts! Today, I am thrilled to share with you a sneak peek from book three of The Lost Souls Trilogy, The Creators. In this scene, we find Tess and James, the star-crossed lovers of the series, sharing some sweet, sassy, and highly-charged moments together in the woods. On the run from the council, a government bent on tearing the two apart, the two hold onto their wit and good humor despite the dark forces that try to tear them away from each other.
 Haven’t read book one or two yet? Don’t worry, there’s still time. Chosen Ones and The Naturals are both available for order in print and ebook! A perfect present from the smart ass or bad ass in your life.



James reached down and pulled me off the ground. He wore a satisfied grin on his face. “Someone is mighty proud of one’s self,” I teased.
            He laughed. It bounced through the forest, calling it awake. Readying it for the day. “I’m just insanely happy.”
            I stood on the tips of my toes and kissed him gently on his scar. “I’m insanely happy too,” I whispered.
            James looked down at me, and I was lost all over again. I would never tire of looking into those mismatched eyes. They didn’t make him different. They made him, him. He chuckled as he reached over and pulled a leaf from my tangled hair. “They’ll know just by looking at you that we’ve been up to no good.”
            “No good?” I purred. “I thought it was very, very good.”
            James growled and lifted me up into the air. I wrapped my legs around his waist. He pressed his lips hungrily against mine. I moved my hands to his hair, curling my fingers into it, attaching myself to him. I never wanted to let go. Every part of me ached to be touched by him, and every part of me ached to touch him right back.
            “Do you know how much I love you?” he breathed into the base of my neck. His lips fluttered against my skin.
            I nodded, kissing the top of his head. “As much as I love you.”
            James slowly put my feet back down on the ground. On the way down, I pressed my body against his. Slipping blissfully to the ground. He cradled my face in his hands. “That will never change. No matter what.”
            I looked deep into his eyes. “I know.” Because I did. It was one of life’s few assurances. I would always love James.
            I pressed my lips once again to his scar. “I adore this scar,” I whispered, unable to hide the smile that seemed etched on my face all morning.
            “Only you would love a man’s fault,” he chuckled.
            “I love every part of you,” I replied, running my fingers down his chest.
            “You’re enough to drive a man crazy,” he said The tremble of his voice caused my toes to curl. I wanted him again. And again. And again.
            My fingers traced the waist of his pants. “Tonight?” I promised, knowing full well it was a promise that I probably wouldn’t be able to keep.
            James grabbed my hand and brought it to his lips. “Tonight,” he echoed.
            As the sun climb higher into the sky, I knew our moment was coming to an end. James reached down and placed his hand over my heart. “Thank you,” he said.
            “Thank you for what?” I asked, my voice choked with emotion.
            “For everything.”




Tiffany Truitt ASSETS
Creator's Blurb:
Heartbroken but more determined than ever after a tense showdown in the woods, sixteen-year-old Tess once again returns to the safety of her community of Isolationists. Bolstered by new alliances and desperate to protect those she loves, this time she knows she can return stronger and more powerful than ever to take back what is hers.
As she trains in combat and grows more confident, Tess receives beautiful letters penned by her forbidden love, the chosen one James, from his prison in Templeton. He is now serving as a bodyguard to the creators—the team of scientists who created artificial life in the first place. And what he has discovered about the true origin of the illness that halted natural life could change everything.
Enemy will become ally and death will bring new hope in this stunning conclusion to Tiffany Truitt’s epic Lost Souls trilogy.



About Tiffany:
Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of  one McDonalds and Banana Rats (don’t ask), she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).
Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman(5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. She currently teaches the following novels: The OutsidersSpeakNight, Dystopian Literature Circles: The Hunger GamesThe GiverThe Uglies, and Matched.
Tiffany is proud to call herself an educator and Young Adult author. Her first book will be published by Entangled Publishing.
Where you can find Tiffany:

Haven’t read today’s other post? Stop by Tiffany's blog and check out my deleted scene.

Giveaway Details:
2 Kindles (valued at $69) US ONLY
5 sets of 5 Entangled Teen Print Books US Only
10 Entangled Teen eBooks International!
(no purchase necessary)
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway



And here’s the post schedule so you can follow along each day!
12/2/2013            Kendra Highley will host Rachel Harris with a Smartass post.
12/2/2013            Rachel Harris will host Kendra Highley with a Smartass post.

12/3/2013            Christine O’Neil will host Vivi Barnes with a Badass post.
12/3/2013            Vivi Barnes will host Christine O’Neil with a Badass post.

12/4/2013            Karri Thompson                will host Danielle Ellison with a Smartass post.
12/4/2013            Danielle Ellison  will host Karri Thompson with a Smartass post.

12/5/2013            Princess Sophie will host Cecily White with a Badass post.
12/5/2013            Cecily White will host Princess Sophie with a Badass post.

12/6/2013            Jolene Perry will host Lea Nolan with a Smartass post.
12/6/2013            Lea Nolan will host Jolene Perry with a Smartass post.

12/7/2013            Victoria Scott will host Sara Hantz with a Badass post.
12/7/2013            Sara Hantz will host Victoria Scott with a Badass post.

12/8/2013            Kelley York will host Tiffany Truitt with a Smartass post.
12/8/2013            Tiffany Truitt will host Kelley York with a Smartass post.

12/9/2013            Melissa West will host Cindi Madsen with a Badass post.
12/9/2013            Cindi Madsen will host Melissa West with a Badass post.

12/10/2013         Rebekah Purdy will host Shea Berkley with a Smartass post.
12/10/2013         Shea Berkley will host Rebekah Purdy with a Smartass post.

12/11/2013         Lisa Burstein  will host Jus Accardo with a Badass post.
12/11/2013         Jus Accardo will host Lisa Burstein with a Badass post.

12/12/2013         Renee Collins will host Tracy Clark with a Smartass post.
12/12/2013         Tracy Clark will host Renee Collins with a Smartass post.

12/13/2013         Chloe Jacobs will host Brooklyn Skye with a Badass post.
12/13/2013         Brooklyn Skye will host Chloe Jacobs with a Badass post.


We’re super excited to share all of these awesome posts with you and make sure to follow along on twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #12DaysOfKickass!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cover Reveal: DIRTY LONDON by Kelley York

It's about time, isn't it? I've been talking about this book for awhile and I figured I ought to share the cover. ;)



Blurb
All London Noble wanted out of her senior year of high school was anonymity. The complete opposite of Jasmine, her emotionally unstable baby sister, London has worked hard to stay out of the spotlight.

Then she discovers that Wade, one of the most popular guys in school, is gay like her and their new-found closeness based around their shared secret has half the student body convinced they're hooking up...and a lot of girls aren't happy about it. Rumors are flying about "Dirty London" and her inability to keep her clothes on, and London is pretty sure she's developing a crush on the only girl who sees through it all.

If she could admit why stealing boyfriends is the last thing on her mind—not to mention find out what's going on with Jasmine and her rapidly disappearing psych medications—her life would be a much brighter place. But if her and Wade's truth gets out, and if she doesn't find a way to help her sister, London faces losing a lot more than her obscurity.

Release date: February 2014 (tentatively)



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sign ups for the cover reveal of DIRTY LONDON

If you're interested, I'll be doing the cover reveal for DIRTY LONDON in December. Just add your info below, and you'll be on the list to get all the info to participate!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hard Goodbyes

About a month ago, I made a post about a dog I used to have and how close I was to her, and how since she died, my cat, Cecil, was the first pet I've connected with in the same way.

Today, I had to say goodbye to Cecil.

He began sneezing shortly after I made that post. It isn't uncommon for cats to get colds, especially when stressed, and with getting ready to move and the house in chaos, and rehoming two of my other kitties--one of which was his good buddy--I suspected him to be anxious and unsure of what was going on. When the sneezing didn't subside and he rapidly began losing weight, I brought him to the vet who gave him a round of antibiotics and said if they didn't help to return for a full blood panel. The antibiotics cleared up his breathing and sneezing, but everything else steadily worsened. He stopped eating. He showed interest, but would sniff at his food and then ignore it. He was drinking water at first, but that stopped, too.

My wife took Cecil back to the vet on the last day of his antibiotics and we had them run the blood panel. That night, Cecil began wetting himself because he was becoming too wobbly and weak to make it to the litter box. We let him sleep with us anyway, wanting him to be comfortable rather than isolated in the bathroom. We cleaned him up when he needed it. We gave him an IV from the vet twice a day in order to keep him hydrated. We gave him constant love and reassurance. My wife too him onto the balcony at one point (picture below), letting him relax in the sun while watching the world go by. He was vaguely alert, but not mobile. All he wanted was to sleep next to me.

Yesterday was my 5 year wedding anniversary, but my wife had to call me at work to deliver bad news from the vet. All of Cecil's tests came back horrible. Very little on the blood panel fell into normal ranges, he was extremely anemic, and although the vet ruled out leukemia (my primary concern), he now suspected Cecil had a tumor. More tests could confirm or deny this, but the vet admitted that he didn't think Cecil would survive any kind of surgery. His muscles, kidneys, and liver were shutting down. His breathing was getting worse.

This morning, we took his lab results and him to another veterinary clinic. It was stupid to hope they would tell me something different, but even as the new vet was looking over his results I could tell from the look on her face it wasn't good. Her suspected diagnosis was FIP, something I hadn't heard of before, but something fatal that has no known cure. She said we could try hospitalizing him, inserting a feeding tube, doing an ultrasound, etc. All treatments ranging in the thousands of dollars that I certainly do not have. She also said even with that treatment, she couldn't promise he'd live, especially if FIP was the culprit. This last bit, I'm not entirely sure if she meant it or was trying to console me.

I held Cecil while they put him to sleep. He is not the first pet I've had to do this with, and yet for some reason, it was the hardest and I'm trying to figure out why that is. I wonder if it's because he was so young--a year and a few months old--or maybe it was because it happened so suddenly and so out of the blue, and blindsided me during an already chaotic time when I really needed him. I had just rehomed two of my other cats because we had to move after my landlady passed away. Cecil was the one I chose to keep, because he was my darling, my best friend. I am not used to being home without him near me, in my lap, near my feet, on my shoulder, somewhere within sight.

Tomorrow, I'll be getting his ashes back. Something that is only possible because of the kindness of a friend who reached out, wanting to pay for it because she knew how devastated I was. I can't thank her enough.

Cecil was a mellow cat. He would crawl up your leg when he wanted attention. He couldn't meow properly, just opened his mouth and made a weird little noise. He loved children and was endlessly patient with them, even as they carted him around upside down or under their arms like a football. He liked having his paws played with and would stretch out his toes. He liked to sleep under the blankets, or between my and my wife's pillows. He wasn't a huge fan of people food, and he liked to sit at the back door and listen to the birds. Before I had to give up Lestrade, the two of them would curl up together, or sleep in boxes with one another. Cecil was incredibly well behaved. Even during his first vet trip, he was patient, friendly, and everyone loved him.

The pic in the bottom right corner was taken last night, when I knew it was likely to be the last photo I had with him. Before this, it was my author photo used in the back of MADE OF STARS. My roommate's cat has Cecil's coloring. I keep catching sight her out of the corner of my eye, and for a second, thinking this entire thing has been some mistake. I don't understand why it's hitting me so hard, and I doubt many will understand the way this is making me feel.

I just want my little guy back. I hope I made his short life worth it.

Miss you, baby boy.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rest in Peace, Kelsi.

The other night, a Tumblr blogger killed herself.

I won't say she did it only because of the anonymous hate she received, because it takes more than that. It takes someone who feels trapped, helpless, and hopeless. Someone who feels there is nothing left and the only way for the pain to end is to die. They often feel like a burden to those around them, and any offerings of kindness are usually brushed aside because the person feels undeserving.

I know this, because I've felt like this. I sometimes still do. Depression is a horrible, miserable thing, and it's very very real. It's why I write books about it--because sometimes knowing you aren't alone and others are going through what you are can help.

Sometimes. Not always.

I didn't know Kelsi, though her blog was one of my wife's favorites and the few times they spoke, she said Kelsi was incredibly kind and sweet. Looking through the link above, it's obvious she had many, many people who loved her and are torn apart by her death.

She was in her early twenties. She had a husband and a child. Some people have the audacity to say, "She was a selfish bitch to leave her kid like that," and while I do feel horrible for the family and broken pieces she left behind, please don't ever think what she did was out of anything other than desperation. Most people who commit suicide feel they're doing their family a favor by leaving. It goes right back to that 'feeling undeserving' factor.

I wish she had turned off anonymous messages. I wish I had known the day she did it so I could have reached out. So I could have asked everyone I know in my circles and communities to reach out. Maybe it would not have helped, but I would hope if I were in that situation someone would have it in them to say my name and remind me that bad things don't last forever.

To my friends, to my readers, to anyone and everyone: I will always talk to you about your feelings if you need me. And if I see you hurting, I will try to reach out.

To Kelsi's family and friends: All I can say is that I'm sorry. She was a beautiful girl with a beautiful family, and the pain of what has happened will linger forever. I hope the good memories shine through the grief.

To the anons who were sending her hate and coaxing her into killing herself: I hope you're satisfied. And because I don't want to wish ill on anyone, I hope the one time you need help most in all your entire sad, hate-filled little lives, someone reaches out to you...and you realize it's what you should have done for Kelsi. I hope it stays with you forever that you had a part in her death.

When someone is on a ledge, you don't push them, you hold out a hand.

Rest in peace, Kelsi.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

All this silence...

Just wanted to apologize for how quiet I've been across all social media, and how horrible I've been about responding to email. These last few weeks have been a whirlwind, both good and bad.

There was the release for Made of Stars that was exciting and fun, but equally tiring because it requires a lot of plugging reviews, blog tour posts, interview questions, etc. I received my Junior Library Guild certificate and lapel pin in the mail the other day! And that was awesome. I'll probably frame that little certificate and put that pin on my purse like a dork.

On a good note, I got to see my best friend from high school for the first time in about 13 years, along with his children and wife. It was emotional and exciting, and he's now living fairly close by (compared to the 8 hour distance before, anyway) so I'll hopefully get to see him every month or so now.

Another good note--my and Wife's 5 year wedding anniversary is October 30th! Right after the move, ha. We're still trying to decide how we want to spend it.

We've also been preparing to move. Our living arrangement is going to be cramped and stressful while all of us adapt (including the person we're moving in with). The move was fairly sudden because our landlady passed away (she lived next door for the last 7 years and she was amazing and one of the kindest people I've ever met). Her son put the house up for sale and it was snatched up by the first person who came to look at it. Meaning we're scrambling to get out as soon as we can.

The hardest thing, though, was that we had to rehome two of our cats, and I'm still reeling from the heartbreak of that. Quinn went to a nice woman and she has texted to inform me Quinn is adjusting well and made friends with her other cat. Lestrade is the one I'm still devastated over, though. Don't get me wrong, he went to this great guy who drove all the way out from Carson City, Nevada, just to get him. He writes me several times a week and often sends photos, so I'm thrilled my big orange boy found a best friend and a home.

The remaining three, thankfully, are able to come with us. Of course...it would figure as we're tight on money and preparing to move, Cecil would get sick. Sneezing, lethargic... I'm hoping it's only allergies and not, like, a respiratory infection, but we'll see when I get him into the vet this week.

A plethora of other things are happening. Including packing, a massive garage sale, keeping up with article writing, book writing, work at the salon, and cover designing, getting daughter registered for another school for when we move, etc. Overall Wife and I are just burned out and dead on our feet, but we're managing. We move next weekend, and hopefully life will quiet down after that.