Live Reading: Any Other Love

In case you missed it, here’s my live reading from Any Other Love on my Facebook author page. Like my page so you never miss future videos!

Five nights under the city lights could give Amarie and Char the happily-ever-after they’ve always wanted, but a devastating diagnosis and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity could send it all crashing down.

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5 Kick-Ass NA Books I Read This Summer

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via Unsplash

Even though summer isn’t officially over, the PSL is back within my reach and the weather has turned a little cooler. Mornings and evenings are now for soft sweaters, and I’ve broken out my boots again. It’s back to reality, and I’ve been busy writing a new book. My iPad is loaded up with books to be read as soon as I type The End, but I’m still mooning over these brilliant New Adult books that I read over the summer.

Kick back, and prepare to load up your Kindle!

Lex Talionis, by S.A. HuchtonLex Talionis, by S.A. Huchton
Standalone. New Adult suspense / romance.

Let the punishment fit the crime.

When Lexi receives a message from her dead best friend after Randi is senselessly murdered, she decides to take revenge into her own hands. A dangerous and calculated cat and mouse game begins, with Lexi holding the strings. I cheered Lexi on, even when her moves were morally questionable. The romance is a small element of the story; it mostly focuses on the friendship between Lexi and Randi. This was a stellar read that I couldn’t put down. A standing ovation for S.A. Huchton.

1-Click buy on Amazon

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, Book 1), by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down, by Sarina Bowen
First in a series. New Adult romance.

The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?

I read this book in one sitting, staying up late into the night because I couldn’t stop. It was the first time I’ve read this author but now I’m determined to read every word she’s ever written. Unlike your typical college sports romance, this book tells a love story between Corey—ex-hockey player who was permanently sidelined after a life-changing injury—and Adam, a hockey star out on temporary injury leave. The author perfectly captures both the frustration and beauty of disability, and the HEA romance that unfolds is a rollercoaster worth the ride.

1-Click buy on Amazon

Fuck Love, by Tarryn FisherFuck Love, by Tarryn Fisher
Standalone. New Adult dark romance.

This book, this book, this book. Another first for me, but I’m itching to read everything by this author now, too. I ripped through it, pausing only to sleep a little. It was like a good but strong drink that goes down like water. I got a little buzzed off Tarryn Fisher’s words; she truly is a fantastic writer. The story is about Helena, a Harry Potter obsessed door mat who begins pursuing her best friend’s boyfriend after she has a dream about what their life could look like. The whole thing is so insane, but I couldn’t help but root for Helena and Kit. This is another rollercoaster that will frustrate you but the ending is so very satisfying.

1-Click buy on Amazon

Rebel Soul (Rebel Series, Book 1), by J.C. HanniganRebel Soul, by J.C. Hannigan
First in series. New Adult romance.

Disclaimer: J.C. is my good friend who I’ve dubbed my “work wife” because even though our publisher closed, we still do a lot of strategizing (and laughing and commiserating) together. I love all of her books, but her latest release is just beautiful. It’s not as heavy as her other books are, though there are still plenty of social issues woven in. Tessa is enjoying her last summer before college when fate shoves her into the arms of bad boy Brock. This book encompasses that hazy, warm summer love feeling, complete with bonfire parties and tender nights full of burning, slow kisses. Though this book is HEA, there’s plenty of aching push and shove between these two. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

1-Click buy on Amazon

Kaleidoscope Hearts (Hearts, Book 1), by Claire ContrerasKaleidoscope Hearts, by Claire Contreras
First in series. New Adult romance.

This NA is a bit different from the usual, because the main character Estelle has recently graduated college. But that whole “adjusting to being on your own” element is still there, because Estelle’s fiancee died in a freak accident, leaving her alone in their house and the gallery they co-ran. Estelle has to pick up the pieces of her broke heart, and just when she thinks she’s recovered, a flame from the past walks back into town. There are a few chapters in Oliver’s point of view, but mostly the story is told through Estelle’s eyes. It’s a beautiful novel with some really brilliant lines.

1-Click buy on Amazon
(You can also purchase the entire three-book series here.)

What are you currently reading? Leave a comment and let me know!

10 Reviews: Diving Into Him Reading and Swag Pack Giveaway!!

I’ve been kidnapped by my work in progress, so I’m behind on… everything. 😳 What can I say? When the muse takes you, you’ve got to just follow her.

Here is the live reading from Diving Into Him as a thank you for helping me reach 5 reviews!

To enter to win the swag pack, you must:

  • be a U.S. resident
  • comment on the video with a link to your Diving Into Him review

I will draw a winner next Wednesday, September 14th.

(Facebook is not responsible for or affiliated with this giveaway.)

If you haven’t read Diving Into Him yet, grab your FREE copy here!

To see the rest of the rewards, read this post.

Video Reading: Diving Into Him, Chapter 3

We reached 100 people RSVPed to the Savannah’s Song release party! Thank you so much to everyone who came. As promised, here’s the reading of Diving Into Him Chapter 3—with a special bonus!

*drumroll* And here’s the reading!

Jett snorted. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” She glanced at Koty. He eyed Perry like an exterminator staring down a cockroach. She tapped her lip, considering her limited options. She needed a bassist, immediately. Even if Perry wasn’t being dramatic, going head to head with King Riley would keep her motivated. It would be a fun challenge. She turned back to Perry. “We’re going to be at Malden Street Studios tonight. Meet us there.” Giving him the address, she marched through the front door.

“Whoa,” Koty called after her as she jogged down the front steps. “Hold on.” He caught up with her and shot her a perplexed look. “Why did you invite him?”

Pausing, she flipped open her notebook. “Why not?” She scanned the list of names. She still didn’t know Boston well enough to tell who was closest to Perry’s neighborhood. Pulling her phone out of the pocket of her leather jacket, she typed the address into her GPS.

“He’s trouble.” Koty touched her arm.

She tilted her head at him. “What do you mean?”

Follow along with the full text here.


Update, June 3rd: The South of Forever series is back! Shop all retailers here, or use the sexy widgets below to one-click your way to steamy musical heaven.

Video Reading: Diving Into Him, Chapter 2

We hit 75 people RSVPed to the Savannah’s Song release party sometime around midnight last night! 🎉 Just as I’d promised, here’s the video reading of Diving Into Him, Chapter 2.

“Wait,” Koty said. He trailed behind her, the towel slipping from his waist. Clasping it to his hips, he stood in the middle of the room. “What if I just pay him back?”

Jett wrinkled her nose. “That’s ridiculous.” She stood with her hands on her hips, an eyebrow arched.

“Why?” Koty bent in front of his dresser and began pulling out clothing. “I give him the money that you owe him, and he goes away.”

She shook her head. “It’s not that simple.” He was already paying for their condo and groceries. Technically, it was money that he would probably never use if they hadn’t moved to Boston. The most expensive thing about his New York apartment had been the furniture—one of the only signs of exactly how rich he was. He could have bought a house in Beverly Hills, if he’d wanted to.

“Why?” he asked again. He tossed jeans and a T-shirt onto his bed. He stood, watching her, the towel hitched around his waist.

Follow along with the full text here.

When we hit 100 people “going,” I’ll post a video reading of Diving Into Him, Chapter 3. Click here to RSVP and invite your friends.


Update, June 3rd: The South of Forever series is back! Shop all retailers here, or use the sexy widgets below to one-click your way to steamy musical heaven.

Video Reading: Diving Into Him, Chapter 1

Whoo-hoo! We’ve hit 50 people RSVPed as “going” to the Savannah’s Song (South of Forever, Book 2) release party! As promised, here is a video reading of the first chapter of Diving Into Him (South of Forever, Book 1).

Jett Costa let her eyes open slowly. Gray light stung her retinas. Squinting against the haze, she glanced at the alarm clock on her nightstand and yawned as she read the time. It was only seven in the morning. She should still be sleeping. Groaning, she turned onto her stomach and let herself sink back into the velvety darkness behind her eyes as she tried to remember what she had been dreaming before she woke up. Maybe she’d been having a sexy dream. She snorted. Dreams were the closest she had come to having sex in the last three months. Part of her had hoped that, even though she and Koty had separate bedrooms, the condo they shared would become some kind of sex haven when they moved in together.

Gripping her pillow, she sighed. She was pathetic. She needed to remember that they were better off keeping things platonic. They had way too much work to do to waste time on each other. The band would never take off if they continued going back and forth. Still, sometimes she wished that he would come into her bedroom and crawl into bed with her. Not so long ago, he had pressed his lips to hers in a dark tour bus, back when things were less complicated—before she ruined her entire life.


Update, June 3rd: The South of Forever series is back! Shop all retailers here, or use the sexy widgets below to one-click your way to steamy musical heaven.

A Look Back, and a Plan for Moving Forward

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via Unsplash

I can hardly believe that 2015 is almost over—yet I’m also relieved.

This year went by fast. In a way, I guess it was kind of like ripping off a Band Aid. I’ve now been writing full-time for a full year. It wasn’t what I’d planned; it just kind of happened. And although I’ve yet to make a full-time income, I’ve learned a lot about the business and myself. I wrote several novels and released a couple, too. I spent a lot of time evaluating my plan and changing things up. Literally nothing went the way I thought it would. Not that that’s a bad thing. Halfway through the year, I got picked up by a publisher.

Aside from writing, I spent much of this year battling depression. I’m actually kind of ashamed to talk about this. Turns out, it was a combination of trauma and poorly handled meds. I’ve most likely been struggling with PTSD all these years, which explains why antidepressants only make me feel worse. There’s nothing chemical about my depression, but as a result of multiple traumas, I’ve been trapped in certain behaviors and coping methods. (For example, I beat up on myself and withdraw.) Even worse, I’ve dealt with a lot of so-called professionals over the years who only made things worse for me.

Someday I want to share my story. I don’t really want to be anyone’s poster girl, but I long to be understood.

In a lot of ways, 2015 was about getting hopelessly lost and then finding my way back to myself.

Some good things happened this year, too. I finally got a diagnosis: enthesitis-related arthritis, probably reactive arthritis. (My rheumatologist thinks the medication I’m on will get rid of it completely. I’m not getting my hopes up, but my fingers are crossed.) Mike and I moved out of my parents’ and into our first apartment in a cute little town.

Already, 2016 is shaping up to be my year.

My Goals for 2016

I still want to be a full-time novelist. I’ve been writing professionally for four years now. My best production year was 2014; I slowed down a lot last year. In 2016, I’m aiming to release something new every 2-3 months. In February, my publisher Booktrope will be re-releasing The Nanny with the Skull Tattoos. Then, sometime during the spring, my team and I will be publishing the first two books in the South of Forever series. Diving Into Him will be getting a facelift and Savannah’s Song will be released for the very first time. I know a lot of you have been waiting for this, and I’m super excited to finally give it to you! The rest of the South of Forever series will be released as 2016 progresses.

In the meantime, I’d like to write six new novels. Currently I’m doing pre-production for a standalone romance that I plan to start writing in January. Ideally, I’d like to arrange my schedule so that I’m writing a complete novel in roughly four weeks, taking a week to refill the well, using another week to edit a previously completed first draft, then spend another week or two on pre-production for the next novel. Now that I have a publisher and creative team behind me, I’m confident that I can pull this off. It’s basically what I was doing when I was self-publishing, only a little faster.

I don’t want to write my year away, though.

I’ve fallen absolutely in love with the little town we moved to. Though I’m an introvert, I’d really like to get more involved. I’ve kind of been toying with the idea of joining a social club.

I’d also like to read a lot more books. I spent a lot of 2015 doing and though I read quite a bit—I even re-read several older books—I’ve been making an effort to read even more. I enjoy a little bit of everything, so let me know if you have any recommendations! I’m especially looking to read more NA. (Some that I really enjoyed: Scorched by Jennifer ArmentroutCam Girl by Leah Raeder, and As You Breathe Again by Molli Moran—my super awesome critique partner.)

I’m also working on practicing acceptance. When it comes to trauma, I’m really good at placing it in a box. But denying it only brings more heartache. Accepting trauma, to me, means just acknowledging those feelings. There are a lot of nights where I lay awake, in this sort of frozen mode where the fear starts to take over. Sometimes I’m really angry. And a million other feelings. I’ve been working on being more kind to myself and telling myself it’s okay to feel however I feel.

My work is cut out for me in 2016.

It’s going to be my year.

What are your goals for 2016? Leave a comment and let me know!

October Goals

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via Unsplash

I used to set goals for myself every month.

I don’t know why I stopped.

Maybe because I thought they were stupid, that they were just distracting me. In truth, I think they were keeping me on track.

My goals for 2015 were divided into three areas of my life:

Career

  • Make a full-time income
  • Write the South of Forever series
  • Write a YA series

Marriage

  • Get an apartment
  • Have a date every week
  • Be more patient

Health

  • Get a diagnosis and treatment
  • Eat healthier
  • Do more yoga

Jury’s still out on the yoga thing. I remember to do it maybe once a month. #oops

The last time I set goals for the month was July.

That’s two months of nothing. Interestingly, I was super depressed throughout August and September. Does setting goals really impact my mental health that much? Maybe.

When I think about September, I think about new beginnings. But when I think of October, I can only think about the impending winter. November is even worse.

It doesn’t help that I feel so heavy because of the medication I’m on. Thinking is very hard right now. But I want those goals. I need something to refer to this month to keep me on track.

I think, when you are in a fragile place, you need to set goals that are super attainable but not too easy. I decided to pick three things that I’m already working on.

  • Release Savannah’s Song
  • Adjust depression medication
  • Read 1-3 books

Savannah’s Song comes out on the 26th. I’m seeing my APRN tonight to do something about my meds. (I still think I want to come off of everything and start fresh.) And I’m already reading K.A. Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths.

Sometimes, when you’re down, you need to build yourself back up.

I’m a work in progress.