Excerpt featuring Drew’s POV from The Seventh by debut author S.D. Wasley w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!

Excerpt featuring Drew’s POV from The Seventh by debut author S.D. Wasley w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!


theseventh cover

THE SEVENTH

S.D. Wasley

 

YA Paranormal Romance. Suspense

Released Jan. 23rd / Evernight Teen / 69.5k

 

~Editor’s Pick~

Blurb:

Sixteen year old Mimi Alston has company. No less than three ghosts follow her around, and only she can see them. At her last school, she was known as the girl with imaginary friends. Now Mimi’s starting fresh in a new town, where she’s determined to make some real friends and fit in for once. She’s ready for a normal life…except Mimi never counted on her fascination with troubled goth-boy, Drew.

 

When she’s invited to join the elite Gifted Program, Mimi discovers she’s not the only one at the school with an unusual talent. Maybe being normal isn’t even an option anymore.

 

 

 

Buy Links:   Evernight Teen     Amazon     Smashwords     ARe

Excerpt:

“Mimi, would you mind telling us about yourself now?”

I swallowed again. How did she expect me to make a coherent sentence after what I’d just heard? If there was another Mimi, a logical one that could step outside of my own body and look at the situation objectively, she would say: Get a grip, Miette. This is bullshit. These people are either lunatics … or they are playing the cruellest prank in history. But the problem was, logical Mimi had gone AWOL. I believed these kids. Deep in my heart, I knew without a shadow of a doubt they were telling the truth and––whether what they were describing was real or not––they believed in their gifts as fact. Doctor Mayer would have a field day with them.

I heard myself launch into speech and marvelled at how unlike myself I sounded. I heard a Mimi I hadn’t heard in years: excited, happy and relieved. “I’m Mimi Alston. I come from Perry Ridge. I have one brother, who’s much older. He lives in Canada with his wife. I love drawing, especially portraits. I had a nickname at my old school. Mimi-and-her-imaginary-friends.” I couldn’t believe I was telling them this secret … a secret I had been so determined to keep that I’d actually been prepared to fake my whole personality, day in and day out, at this new school.

“It’s because I have company with me, pretty much all the time. Meet my ghosts, Hannah, Albert and Marvin.” I pointed at the chairs beside me and the other kids stared. Even Drew raised his head to look at me in amazement. “Hannah joined me when I was thirteen. She was a kitchen maid. She was nineteen, and she was pregnant with her boss’s child. She died having the baby. Albert joined me when I was fourteen. He was a soldier in World War II. He died on the stretcher after getting a serious shrapnel injury. And Marvin only joined me earlier this year. He was homeless after losing his house because of his gambling debts. He died of hypothermia during a cold snap.”

Patience’s eyes looked like horrified saucers as she stared at the empty chairs beside me. After a moment, Mona let out a shuddering breath and even contemptuous Cassie looked impressed. Gabe sat watching me curiously, as if he didn’t expect quite what he was seeing or hearing.

“You’re a Necromancer,” nodded Ms Deering.

Necro … doesn’t that mean dead?” asked Mona.

“And mancy is magic, or conjuring,” affirmed Ms Deering. “Mimi calls the dead.”

“I call them?” I couldn’t help exclaiming. “I never called them! I don’t want them around!”

Ms Deering just smiled ruefully. “I don’t think you can help it. I didn’t mean you actively call them––I meant you bring them … attract them. You invite their spirits to make contact.”

“Why?” I asked.

“The million-dollar question,” Mona laughed shortly, dragging her eyes off the empty chairs beside me. “Why do any of us have these gifts?”

“Can you hear them?” Patience asked me, her face still terrified. Great. She was freaked out. Oh, well … at least she didn’t think I was crazy.

“Yes,” I said. “That’s how I know what happened to them.” My mind drifted towards some of the other things they’d said to me and I hastily changed my train of thought. “They used to talk more, but I started trying to ignore them so they stopped being so … chatty.”

Mona cackled at that. I decided I wouldn’t mention the medication I had been taking to help me “ignore” my ghosts. I could feel Drew still watching me, so I looked back at him. I badly wanted to ask him why he looked so stunned. I also wanted to ask him what his gift was. But I couldn’t form a sentence because his face was so painfully beautiful in that moment that I forgot to breathe and just stared.

“Drew,” Ms Deering said in a firm tone. “Please tell us about you.”

Drew snapped out of our little two-way staring contest and cast an angry look at Ms Deering before getting up and shouldering his satchel.

 

When Drew first meets Mimi (Drew’s Point of View)

 

Homeroom. Nine a.m.

It had been a bad weekend. I didn’t want to think about it. I buried my face in a book; the Thomas Hardy I’d picked up at the Granary Market book exchange. I was trying to get into that zone where nothing could distract me, but the other kids in Homeroom were being particularly noisy.

No one was talking to me; I’d been liberal with the black and white warpaint that morning, plus I’d put on an extra spiky collar and had even considered some satanic chains; except that Patience always freaked when I wore those. I thought I might get some facial piercings. Most people wouldn’t even look at your face for any length of time if you had piercings there. That could be useful.

There was a new kid in class. I didn’t look at her but I knew it was a girl and figured she must be pretty because Gabe was using his manly, friendly, I’ll show you the ropes voice, and Cassie was being a bitch. Despite my best efforts to shut them out, I could hear them talking about their gifts – covertly, of course, but the four of us in the room who were in on the gifted thing knew what it was about. Gabe joked with Cassie to “call off the dogs,” and then Ms Deering and Gabe had some oh-so-witty repartee about how talent is often accompanied by ego.

I couldn’t deny that. Gabe was evidence of it. But I was pissed off at how blasé Ms Deering was being about it all … as usual. She never tried to check him, or any of the others, when they experimented with their gifts. After what I’d seen on the weekend, I knew with more certainty than ever that these gifts were not to be played with. In fact, I didn’t even think they were gifts anymore. I had started to think of them as curses. I hated that Ms Deering was always encouraging them – us – to use them.

Normally I stayed quiet when they made sneaky comments about their gifts in front of the other kids at school. I tried to take the high road. But because of my weekend, I was feeling raw. I couldn’t resist throwing a spanner into their self-satisfied little chat. Without consciously deciding to do it, and without even lifting my head, I suggested Gabe and Ms Deering should consider that sometimes there was ego even when there was no talent. I didn’t seem to get a rise out of either of them, but Cassie bit, asking me what the hell I meant in that shrieky voice she reserves for me. I pride myself on being able to push Cassie’s buttons – mind you, just about anyone can push Cassie’s buttons.

“Maybe there are some people at Etherall Valley that think they have talent but are actually just royally lame or garden-variety screwed up?” I said. God, that was satisfying.

I hoped Ms Deering was listening. She didn’t like it. She made one of her typical positive values remarks that meant nothing and inevitably got ignored. She didn’t understand that teenagers don’t give a shit about being reminded to use “respectful” language or “show accountability.”

Gabe was quiet. I wanted to catch a look at his face to see if I’d got at him, but when I looked up my eyes didn’t make it past the new girl.

Oh, my god. It’s her.

There she was; the girl whose face had haunted me since I saw it a year or so ago. The perfect fair skin; the dark, almost black hair spilling over her shoulders; and the serious mouth – a mouth that shouldn’t be serious. A mouth so red and soft I’d been fantasising about kissing it and making it smile since I first saw it. Her grey eyes regarded me solemnly as I fought my reaction; tried to hide it. I had to pretend I was neutral – pretend I wasn’t interested in her – and not let her become in the least interested in me. I had to be nothing to her. The battle inside me was physically painful. All I wanted to do was take a long drink at the sight of this living, breathing girl looking back into my eyes across the ordinary classroom desks; and what I knew I had to do was not look, not betray what I was thinking and feeling; not connect.

I dragged my eyes off her and stared down at my book, the words swimming on the page. Meanwhile her heavenly face seared itself across my heart like a branding iron on a bullock’s tender hide.

 

Author Bio:

 

S.D. Wasley was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia.

She has been composing literary works since before she could write – at five years of age she announced her first poem in the kitchen, improv-style. Today, she lives in the Swan Valley wine region with her two daughters, surrounded by dogs, cats and chickens.

 

The Seventh is S.D. Wasley’s debut novel.
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Guest Post with author Medeia Sharif featuring 52 Likes w/a $25 GC giveaway!

Guest Post with author Medeia Sharif featuring 52 Likes w/a $25 GC giveaway!


52likes cover52 LIKES

Medeia Sharif

YA Paranormal/Evernight Teen/@ 47K

*Editor’s Pick*

 

 

 

After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. Not knowing the identity of her masked rapist and dealing with the nasty rumors about that night are two things that plague her daily. 

Valerie will have to follow ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site. Why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.

 

14+ due to adult situations

 

 

 

 

Buy Links: Evernight Teen / Amazon / Omni Lit / BookStrand

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

With the girls closest to me, I see their Picomatic profile page, which is a reminder that I have a direct message on there. “Did you DM me on Picomatic?” I whisper to Cookie.

She shakes her head, briefly looking up from her notebook. I should be writing too, but can’t concentrate on the five questions Ms. Garland wrote on the board. She’s seated behind her desk as a student approaches her to ask a question. The student is blocking her face, so she can’t see me at all. During times like these, when teachers are busy, I whip out my phone.

I slide my phone out of my pocket and into my lap. It used to be a wonderful distraction that entertained me during boring lectures and educational videos. Seeing others on Picomatic, I’m now dying to know what the DM is about. Even if it’s an inappropriate or harassing one, I need to see it. If it upsets me, I’ll report it as spam. If it’s extremely bad, pertaining to that night, I have to tell someone, even though last year the school didn’t do much in the way of protecting me from the trio, which was the quartet back then since Hector would play their vicious games.

I open my Picomatic page. Selfies abound, some from a few seconds ago. Most pictures are from P.E. or some other class where teachers don’t supervise as much. Some people are taking pictures of work that has been graded, bragging about A’s or criticizing teachers who gave them F’s. I tap the corner, where the direct messages are. If it’s a graphic with THOT or some other message on it, I need to know that’s not who I am. I never was. Be brave, I urge myself.

There’s a DM from someone named 2beautiful. I can’t recall any friends who use that handle. Where the profile pic should be, there’s a close-up of an eye. The eye is lined, with heavy mascara and purple and blue eye shadow. It’s an attractive picture, although eye pics can be deceiving. Sometimes the rest of the person isn’t as pretty. I don’t recognize this eye, although anyone’s eye can be transformed like this with the right makeup.

I scroll down to see the picture message she sent me. I frown, unsure of what this is, who this is. It’s almost pornographic, but not really since it’s just a sliver of skin, although there’s a hint of the girl’s V between her legs.

The picture is of a slender, yet curvaceous naked hip. The bone protrudes slightly and I can tell the girl is pear-shaped. I’m also pear-shaped, which is especially noticeable around Christmas time when I gain five pounds from eating too much during winter break.

This photo of a girl’s hip has 52 likes. I gasp. Is it a photo of me? Did someone take a picture of me at home or in the shower? Then I think back to the rape, of the flashes of light…I thought it was lightning, but I could be wrong. He had pulled me down to the floor and knocked me around. The room was dark. Maybe I didn’t notice every single thing he had done to me. Had the rapist photographed me?

guestpost

Writing about Rape

 

My latest YA release, 52 LIKES, begins with a rape scene. It’s a strong chapter, and I’m glad that early readers told me that it’s not too graphic or off-putting—no one has yet told me that they had to put the book down because the chapter revolted them. The scene was necessary, because after the rape the main character, Valerie, is on a quest to find out who her rapist is.

 

I had to research about police procedures, rape investigations, STD prevention, and other issues that affected rape victims. Some of these things I had already learned about from reading articles or watching TV shows and films from long ago, while other material was quite new to me. I read accounts from women and visited message boards to gain understanding about the emotional landscape of rape victims, as well as their healing process. Valerie, as broken as she is, does heal with time.

 

Even though I drafted the book in two weeks and the story poured out of me because I had a detailed outline and had done my research before I sat down to write it, this book was not easy writing. It was emotionally heavy and dark. The light was the ending of the book…although I won’t say too much about that to ruin the book for those who haven’t read it.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

I’m a Kurdish-American author who was born in New York City, and I presently call Miami my home. I received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After becoming a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer dabbling in many genres in college, I found my niche writing for young people. Today I’m a MG and YA writer published through various presses. In addition to being a writer, I’m a middle school English teacher. My memberships include MensaALAN, and SCBWI.

 

Website: http://www.medeiasharif.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharifwrites

Instagram: http://instagram.com/sharifwrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4086531.Medeia_Sharif

 

 

Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Series Spotlight:  The Star Trilogy by Arianne Richmonde w/a print book giveaway!

Series Spotlight: The Star Trilogy by Arianne Richmonde w/a print book giveaway!


 

 

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Sex.
Lies.
Two “reformed” Hollywood stars.
And one hell of a war of wills.
Movie director Jake Wild lives up to his name. A dangerously sexy playboy, he’s used to getting any woman he wants when he wants. Until he meets his nemesis: the beautiful, equally notorious Star Davis.
Ready to leave behind her party-girl ways and set to play the lead in his new film, Star doesn’t expect to fall for the charms of her director. And the last thing Jake wants—or needs—is for his life to spiral out of control.
Two beautiful misfits have met their match.
A match that lights a bonfire…
From the Hollywood Hills to the grasslands of Africa, the epic Star Trilogy takes you on a thrilling journey shrouded in secrets, masked by betrayal, and with unforeseen twists and turns that will make you question whose side you’re on.
Lights . . .
Camera . . .
Action . . .
Strap up your seat belt . . . you’re in for a bumpy ride.
#1 Shooting Star
#2 Falling Star
#3 Shining Star
~Excerpt~
I looked out of the open window as Los Angeles crawled past in the traffic and exhaled a sigh of momentary defeat. This town was doing my head in. Making me lose sight of reality. The palm trees towering into the azure sky like skinny skyscrapers reaching as high as they could go—everyone reaching beyond their means. Grabbing, aspiring, grasping, taking. Even the trees, goddammit. And the houses on Sunset with their manicured lawns, making you believe that life could be controlled, clipped, neatened. Like my father. A control freak who’d move a pencil one inch to the left if he felt it was out of place. Not on set, no. In his own freaking home! A pencil. And I tried to be like him. Organized. Sharp. On the ball. Controlled. A colonel-in-the-army type.
But that wasn’t me and never had been. I secretly welcomed madness with relish. Unintentionally courted it. Nurtured dysfunction as if it were a breastfeeding baby, willing chaos into my life the way some people attract money or women. Right now my mind was rattling with a sort of hectic glee. Star Davis represented turmoil and for some unknown reason it excited me—my curiosity piqued.
“I wanted an unknown for the role of Skye,” I told Brian, willing my thoughts back to safer waters. A nice, new actress with no baggage, no ego and no “history”—that’s what I need. “I’ve been auditioning at drama schools all over the world. I’ve seen sixty-two actresses. I’d narrowed it down to eight. And now you tell me I’ve basically wasted my time?”
“You tell the press that very same thing. ‘I saw sixty-two actresses and, you know what? None of them hold a candle to Star Davis.’ ”
“A candle that’s going to start a fire.”
“You’ll figure it out, Jake. I mean, let’s face it, she’s met her match—match, haha, no pun intended, Get it? She can set you alight.”
I didn’t laugh at his joke. “What’s that supposed to mean, ‘met her match’?”
“Bad boy Jake Wild—you’ve had some good times on the casting couch yourself, my friend. You can’t deny you’ve clocked up quite a reputation over the years.”
“The couch has been reupholstered, Brian. The past is the past. I don’t take advantage of starry-eyed actresses these days. I’m a professional. I get the job done and don’t screw around with the talent anymore. Ever. Well, as of last week. It’s my number one rule.”
“Well leave Star in peace, you know what I’m saying? She’s vulnerable. She’s fresh out of rehab and needs to be looked after.” He fixed his piggy gaze on me, a bushy eyebrow twitching ironically.
“Oh no! Don’t look at me, mate. There’s no way I’ll be her fucking nanny!”
“You’re the only one, Jake, who can keep her on the straight and narrow. We can’t have her going AWOL in the middle of a shoot. She’ll need to be watched like a hawk.”
“What about her sea of bodyguards? her PA, her father, for that matter?”
“None of them can be trusted. She’s too manipulative. Besides, they’re all on her payroll.”
“Her father too?”
“He’s her unofficial manager.”
“Great ‘manager,’ ” I murmured.
“Star’s been supporting her entire family ever since she did that diaper commercial when she was two years old. She has a strange perspective on life. She has never been told ‘no.’ So she’s used to being boss, and getting what she wants.”
“Well she’s not bloody bossing me.” I said that with bravado, yet here I was being ‘bossed’ by the system. Brian. The executive producers, the producers, the moneymen, the money women . . . the goddam accountants. The suits whose faces I’d never even seen. And indirectly, Star herself. She’d slithered her way into winning the part of Skye with her wily ways, by offering herself practically free. Clever girl. She’d probably sucked someone’s dick to get the part. She had me in a corner and I hadn’t even met her yet.
“And one more thing,” Brian added. “Apparently her house is about to be remodeled and she was planning to move into a hotel for a while. But I don’t trust the idea of Star Davis running around loose in a hotel, you know? Too many distractions—too much booze on tap.”
“What’s your point?” I said, meeting his eyes with a stony glare.
“I thought until every shot is in the can it would be a good idea if she stayed in your home—you can make sure there’re no temptations—no drugs or liquor anywhere near her.”
I stared at him incredulously as he smoothly took a bend, the Porsche revving with a quiet growl. He went on, “We can hire our own bodyguard— someone who can’t be bribed by her to slip her anything— he could live in your guest house—the one in your garden? And she could stay in one of your guest bedrooms. So, you know, she’ll be under your roof.” He was serious when he said this.
“No. Brian, you’re really pushing your luck. I have limits. I don’t want some wayward teenager telling me to fuck off in my own house. I’m not her father. I’m a film director. I have work to do. Storyboards to prepare, scenes to plan out. I have to stay on top of the shooting schedule, liaise with my assistant director, my lighting cameraman—Jesus, what the fuck? I don’t have time to deal with some drug-addicted, attention-seeking, Cristaldrinking brat!”
Buy Links:    Amazon US   Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   iBooks   Google Play    Kobo 
~About the Author~

ARIANNE RICHMONDE IS THE USA TODAY bestselling author of STOLEN GRACE and the Pearl Series books: Shades of Pearl, Shadows of Pearl, Shimmers of Pearl, Pearl, and Belle Pearl – all full length novels. The first three books in the series are also available in one trilogy bundle/box set as The Pearl Trilogy. She has also written Glass- a provocative short story and most recently, the highly acclaimed suspense novel, Stolen Grace.

She lives with her husband and coterie of animals in France. She loves to travel and meet people and is thrilled that her books have touched readers from all parts of the globe.

Author Links:   Website   Facebook   Twitter    tsu    Goodreads   Newsletter sign up

~Giveaway~



Arianne Richmonde is giving away one print set of the Star Trilogy to one lucky winner during the tour. Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win,

Top Ten List w/Melissa Frost featuring The Dating Tutor:  Matt’s Story w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!

Top Ten List w/Melissa Frost featuring The Dating Tutor: Matt’s Story w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!


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The Dating Tutor: Matt’s Story

Melissa Frost

Contemporary Romance, @30k

 

The Dating Tutor, 3

Matt Wendell is perfectly content in his single life. That is until Sasha walks into it. Being the cousin of his best friend Alec, Sasha is off limits. She’s the one girl he can’t have, and the only one he wants. Even if he wasn’t restrained by the ‘friends only’ stipulation, Sasha has put up a wall around her heart that is going to be hard to tear down. 



Alec introduces the two under the strict instructions that Matt is to learn how to become friends with a woman. This task proves difficult, as Matt’s only interaction with the opposite sex has been of a romantic nature. As time goes on and their friendship strengthens, things get more and more challenging, because the more he learns about Sasha, the deeper his feelings for her become. 



Can this non-committal guy change his ways? And can he convince Sasha that he’s in this for the long haul? 

14+ for sexuality and adult situations

 

Buy Links:

Evernight Teen / Amazon / AllRomance eBooks / Bookstrand

 

 

Excerpt:

“You’re telling me you just walked right out?” Alec’s voice held confusion and disbelief as he repeatedly tossed a hockey puck into the air, catching it each time it returned to hand level.

“I’m telling you, I walked out. No hassle. No fuss.” Matt leaned back against the wall of their dorm room. His hockey stick was in his hands, and he balanced a puck on the blade.

“And you’re okay with that?”

Something in Alec’s tone put him on edge. Shoulders tensing, Matt gave his best friend a dirty look. “Not all of us are looking to meet Mrs. Right at eighteen. I’m just having a little bit of fun. That’s what college is about.”

Alec shook his head with an expression of amusement. “She used you man, plain and simple.”

“Maybe I liked being used.”

“You liked being used?” Alec gave a snort. “No one likes being used.”

Running a hand through his unruly hair, Matt shot Alec a look of frustration. “What would you like me to do? I’m not like you. I didn’t live next door to the love of my life. Meeting the right girl isn’t going to just happen, not like it did for you.”

“Ever wonder why that is?” Alec shot him a pointed look, pausing in his casual game of catch.

“No. But I’m sure you’re about to tell me.”

Alec shot him a crooked grin. “I am.” Clutching the puck tightly against his palm, he pointed his index finger at Matt. “You go after the absolute worst girls. The dumb, giggly, annoying types. Your problem is that you don’t know how to be friends with women. Therefore, you pick the ones least likely to engage you in real conversation.”

“Friends?” Matt couldn’t keep the skepticism out of his voice. “You want me to enter the friend zone?” He shook his head. “You’re delusional.”

“I was friends with Ellie before we hooked up.”

“That’s different!” Matt waved this off. “You grew up together. And honestly, I feel like you two defied the odds. You guys are weird freaks of nature who shouldn’t exist.”

Alec only grinned at this. “Thanks.” His expression grew solemn. “I’m serious though, Matty. I think you just don’t know how to be friends with a woman. I think it’s keeping you from meeting the right type of girl. If you’d only just try it…”

Matt threw up his hands in exasperation. “I just don’t know how, Alec! I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’m used to hockey, and fist fights, and all that stupid shit girls hate. The minute they start talking about lip gloss, I zone out.”

Alec rolled his eyes. “They don’t actually hold many discussions about lip gloss, you know? Not that I’ve seen.” He waved this irrelevant comment off. Then he set Matt with a determined and meddling look. “If I found a girl for you to befriend, would you give it a shot?” He held up a hand before Matt could protest. “I’m not talking about a date. I’m talking about forming a friendship. Just take her to dinner, hang out, and learn to socialize and talk with girls without any pressure to make out at the end of the evening.”

“And where are you going to find a girl willing to waste an evening out with a guy there’s no chance of hooking up with? Seems like a waste of time.”

Alec grinned. “My cousin Sasha goes to school here. She’s a sophomore. She owes me a few favors. Maybe I’ll cash in and make her hang out with you for an evening or two.”

“You’re going to blackmail a chick into hanging out with me?”

“Sure am,” Alec said with a cheeky grin.

The thought was so absurd, Matt nearly laughed. He’d never had any trouble finding himself dates. Girls tended to hang onto his every word, and hang onto his arm too. Having to blackmail a woman into spending time with him was downright ridiculous. But what could it hurt? It was only one evening.

“Fine. You win,” Matt said with a huff. “I’ll hang out with your cousin.”

Alec’s lips spread into a slow grin. “Game on, my friend. Game on.”

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Top ten things you don’t know about me:

1. Cotton or Silk? Cotton

 

 

  1. Champagne/beer/wine? None. I’m not much of a drinker. If I have something, it’s a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. That or a Rum and Coke.

 

 

  1. Plotter/pantser? I’m a total pantser. More interesting things happen that way. I have a basic idea of the end of a book, but I don’t know how I’m going to get there.

 

 

  1. Describe your workspace. My workspace depends on the day. Many days, I drop my son off at preschool and sit in the parking lot on my laptop. So my workspace is my car. When I write at home, my computer is in my living room. I have a shelf above it with Pop! characters from my favorite shows. I’ve got Agent Coulson from Shield, The Governor from Walking Dead, Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones, Daryl from Walking Dead, Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, and Loki. They give me some oversee all of my work. Haha.

 

  1. Sports fan or just tolerate it? I’m a total sports fan. The Dating Tutor series actually revolves around sports. Matt is a hockey thug and Sasha is a soccer player. I played softball growing up. I was a first baseman. My younger brother played baseball. He was a pitcher. He also played football, so I spent much of my time watching him play as well. My son now plays soccer and hockey. We’re all big sports nuts.

 

  1. Who is your biggest influence on writing? My biggest influence was Colleen O’Shaughnessy Mckenna. I won a writing competition in fifth grade and got to participate in a workshop with her. It was an amazing experience.

 

  1. Favorite food – I only get to pick one? That’s hard. I might have to say tacos. I love tacos.
  2. When did you start writing? I wrote my first short story in the second grade. I was hooked. Then when I got to participate in the writing workshop with Colleen, I knew writing was what I wanted to do.

 

  1. If money were no object, where would you like to live? Somewhere much warmer than Pennsylvania! I am so tired of winter right now! My husband and I were discussing where we would like to go with a better climate. He kindly rules each place out to make me feel better. Texas is too hot. Kansas has too many tornados. Georgia is overrun with zombies…

 

  1. What’s next for you? Next, I plan to work on Sasha’s Story. We saw their courtship through Matty’s point of view. It’s time we heard from Sasha. We’ll get to see more of her family connections – Alec and Jerich. We’ll get to see more of her involvement with soccer. I think it will be a lot of fun.

Author Bio:

Melissa Frost grew up loving young adult novels and continues to immerse herself in the current authors on the market. In the fifth grade, she won a writing competition to work with children’s author Colleen O’Shaughnessy Mckenna, and it inspired her to write stories of her own. She never looked back.

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Top Ten List with C. Lee McKenzie featuring Sudden Secrets w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Top Ten List with C. Lee McKenzie featuring Sudden Secrets w/a rafflecopter giveaway!


suddensecretsSudden Secrets by Lee McKenzie

YA Romantic Suspense, 62k words

Released Dec. 19, Evernight Teen

 

 

One Secret 

 

Cleo has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid pitying looks.

 

 

One Mystery 

 

Something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see.

Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her.

 

Another Secret 

 

In one night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide her secret from the world so she can silence small town bigotry.

Then Cleo happens.

 

14+ due to adult situations

 

Buy Links:     Evernight Teen    Amazon   Buy in Print

 

Excerpt:

It had been a terrible and very long journey from that tragic Christmas to now, and I couldn’t think about losing another one of us. We’d each done all we could to live without Aziza.

Dad went as far away as possible from where the accident happened. Mom sold our    house and moved us to a new town. Still, we weren’t over that December day.

Mom buried herself in her work for long hours.

Grandpa pulled into himself, wearing that glazed look he’d adopted before the funeral.

I was almost sure he’d wear that look for the rest of his life. He loved Aziza. And what wasn’t there to love? Beautiful golden girl, my mom called her, forever poking her four-year-old nose around the corner daring any of us to chase her. Teasing, begging for attention, which we gave because we couldn’t resist her…

Grandpa loved my sister a lot. I was afraid he loved me very little now.

I wasn’t so fond of myself, either. I shut out all of my Buena Vista friends and started running alone.

From the window over the kitchen sink I watched Nefertiti as she sat on the step, preening in a sunny spot around the back of the house. I went out to sit with her, stroking her fur and surveying the weedy backyard that Mom hadn’t had time to think about. She kept saying she planned to hire a gardener, but there was always something that derailed that plan. In September, it was the new show at the museum that she had to set up by October. She was in charge of staging the Egyptian pieces coming on loan, but she was shorthanded and putting in extra time to make up for only having two assistants. It was going to be a while before the toilet and other debris disappeared.

It was all too depressing to look at, so I walked around to the front and for a minute glanced at the windows of the house across the street. I almost expected to see someone staring out at me. I couldn’t shake the creeped out feeling I got every time I looked at that place.

I knelt to check my laces, and then I was racing down the street, hoping to shed old fears, old thoughts . . . at least for a while. I was at the end of the block, deciding which way to turn, when I spotted Grandpa. I went in the opposite direction, so neither one of us had to pretend that everything was all right since that letter from Dad.

The high school was only four blocks away––one of the reasons, Mom said, she chose this location. It also had one of the best academic ratings in the valley. Another reason she told me she zeroed in on our cozy cul-de-sac.

When I reached the school, I stared up at the two-storied building where I’d spend my last two years of high school. Then what? Junior college, or a job at K-Mart? I worried that I’d bomb on my SAT’s.  I’d bombed on almost everything, hadn’t I? My grades, my friends––being a sister.

I walked up the stone path, leading to the main doors, imagining that first day here, my stomach balling up with worry just on the edge of dread. That first day was going to be the worst.

Off to my right, a thick oak sheltered tables with benches, so I jogged across the lawn and sat on the wooden slats and thought about how it was going to be when school started. Everything new. Everything different. The stares all newbies get. Nobody would know who I was or why I was here. They wouldn’t know my mom was famous for her books on Egypt, or that my dad was an archeologist—the one people called when they dug up important ancientanything in the Middle East. But they’d know something was different about me the minute they heard my name. Cleopatra wasn’t on any baby name list they’d ever read. Neither was Aziza, but she was too little for her name to embarrass her. She’d only just learned what it meant. Precious. And she was that. She was.

A breeze brushed my cheek and I shivered. I thought I’d gotten over feeling that chill, but the healing process wasn’t just slow, it was uneven, too. Sometimes Aziza was only a whisper inside me, and then her image would spring from around the corner just like she used to, full of mischief and giggles. Then there would be that moment when the memory of the chilled air of our old entryway blasted across my face.

Stop it.

I jumped to my feet and jogged to the track behind the high school as fast as I could. I didn’t have a devil at my back, but I had a tiny ghost that shadowed me when I stayed still for very long.

 TOP TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ME:

 

1.  Cotton or Silk? I cotton to silk. That’s mid-western/southern for “silk” is my thing.

 

 

  1. Champagne/beer/wine? Wine, most definitely. Champagne makes me giggle. Beer makes me burp, and since I try to be dignified whenever possible, I go with wine because it mellows me out and makes me feel smarter than I really am.

 

 

  1. Plotter/pantser Very simple. I’m an out-of-the-closet pantser! Yay! Let’s see where these characters take me.

 

 

  1. Describe your workspace I have a wall of windows in my office. I love to see the forest outside while I write. I love to watch the sun or the rain or the wind while I try to find the words I need, and then, of course, I love to daydream while staring out those windows. My big desk takes up most of one wall and is always a mess.

 

  1. Sports fan or just tolerate it? My grandfather made me into a baseball fan. I also like hockey and now Lacrosse because my nephew plays it . Soccer yes. Football not so much. Tennis, absolutely.

 

  1. Who is your biggest influence on writing? I guess that’s the hardest question here. S. E. Hinton (love her gritty characters). F. Scott Fitzgerald (love the sound of his prose). I adored Faulkner, but struggled to understand him, still do. Dr. Seuss. He made me understand just how much fun books should be.

 

  1. Favorite food – Shrimp, deep fried.
  2. When did you start writing? I don’t know. Maybe when I was ten?

 

  1. If money were no object, where would you like to live? Exactly where I do now. It’s perfect.

 

  1. What’s next for you? On the personal side, I’m off to do some more traveling this year. Santorini, Tibet and Ireland. Writing-wise. Working on an idea for a young adult that’s been in the back of my brain for a while. It has a title. It has four characters in search of a story. Now I have to find that story.

 

Loved your questions. They made me think a bit and I liked that. Thanks so much, Pink.

 

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About the Author:

Lee McKenzie is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets—usually strays that find her rather than the other way around. She writes most of the time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can. Her favorite destinations are Turkey and Nicaragua, but because she had family in England, Switzerland, and Spain she goes there when she can. 

She takes on modern issues that today’s teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. She just published her first middle grade novel titled Alligators Overhead.

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