New Release!

global warmingFour Best Friends. Four Love Stories. Just One Summer.

Four college girls, best friends since childhood, have found one constant in their ever-changing lives–summer. Every June the girls choose a destination to reconnect, only this summer is different. This year, each one must face life’s challenges on her own, overcome fear and failure, and learn the beauty of falling in love for the first time.

A Summer Remade by Nicole Deese
Joss Sanders needs an escape, a reminder of a sweeter, simpler, and steadier time. Only her family’s cabin isn’t exactly how she remembered it as a child, and neither is the charming boy who lives next door. Change is everywhere. If Joss doesn’t stop living in the past, she just might miss the promise in her future.

Waves of Summer by Tammy L. Gray
Sydney Andrews wants nothing more than to get away from a controlling ex-boyfriend, find some clarity and enjoy a drama-free vacation. But nothing in Sydney’s life is ever that easy. Especially when the sexy bartender she meets at her mother’s wedding wants more than just her friendship. He wants the girl she’s forgotten how to be.

A Painted Summer by Amy Matayo
Darby Sparks has lived a very sheltered life. A homeschool graduate, a small town resident, and the only child of two over-protective parents. But she’s had enough. She wants to see the world and chase her dreams, and that’s just what she does…until she runs out of money. With limited options, Darby finds herself working for dangerously hot Lennon Dixon, the owner of a downtown Los Angeles tattoo parlor. To call the job unfamiliar is the world’s biggest understatement. And to call her attraction to Lennon unexpected is a very close second.

Wild Heart Summer by Jenny B. Jones
Twenty-one year old Avery Crawford has had to fight for everything in her life, and this summer is no exception. When her culinary internship in a chic restaurant falls through at the last minute, she gets an unexpected offer to work on a dude ranch in the quaint town of Sugar Creek. While Avery’s up to her apron in cattle drives, trail rides, and kitchen duty, the cute ranch manager Owen Jackson is determined to sweep her off her feet. Just as Avery finds herself unable to resist Owen’s Southern charm, her own family secrets begin to unravel, pushing her away from the ranch–and the love of one handsome cowboy.

Just One Summer Is Almost Here!

JustOneSummer BN Kobo-1

Hey, guys! I’m excited about a few things. First, today was our students last day. We teachers are never quite sure we’ll make it ’til the end. It’s always a sweet blessing to still be alive and conscious at the bitter end. And of course, I’m excited about a fun New Adult book coming your way June 10th.

Just One Summer is a novella collection written by four authors, about four young women. It was a lot of fun to write (maybe not nacho-eating fun, but in the creative sense), and really cool to work with friends.

Four college girls, best friends since childhood, have found one constant in their ever-changing lives–summer. Every June the girls have chosen a destination to reconnection. Only this summer is different. Now each one must face life’s challenges on her own, overcome fear and failure, and learn the beauty of falling in love for the first time.

You’ll love the novellas from authors Amy Matayo, Nicole Deese, and Tammy L. Gray. And then there’s mine! And I wrote about a hot cowboy! Does it get any more summer than that? (Okay, yes, if hot cowboy was in a pool. With sweet tea. And Coppertone. And ice cream. But that’s a story for another time.)

Here’s a little peek into my story, Wild Heart Summer:

Twenty-one year old Avery Crawford has had to fight for everything in her life, and this summer is no exception. When her culinary internship in a chic restaurant falls through at the last minute, she gets an unexpected offer to work on a dude ranch in the quaint town of Sugar Creek. The problem? The ranch is owned by the grandfather she’s been kept from all her life.

Avery is completely out of her element with the cattle drives, trail rides, and most of all–cute ranch manager Owen Jackson. Not in the market for romance, Avery still finds herself tempted by the cowboy’s Southern charm and sweet kisses. But as secrets unravel on the ranch, Avery  will have to let go of the old wounds if she wants to hold onto the love Owen offers her. When the summer’s over, Avery must risk it all–or lose much more than her heart.

The novella collection also includes…

ISLAND SUMMER by Nicole Deese:
Joss Sanders needs an escape, a reminder of a sweeter, simpler, and steadier time. Only her family’s cabin isn’t exactly how she remembered it as a child, and neither is the charming boy who lives next door. Change is everywhere. If Joss doesn’t stop living in the past, she just might miss the promise of her future.

WAVES OF SUMMER by: Tammy L. Gray:
Sydney Andrews wants nothing more than to get away from a controlling ex-boyfriend, find some clarity, and enjoy a drama-free vacation. But nothing in Sydney’s life is ever that easy. Especially when the sexy bartender she meets at her mother’s wedding wants more than just her friendship. He wants the girl Sydney’s forgotten how to be.

DARBY’S STORY by Amy Matayo:
Darby Sparks has lived a very sheltered life as a homeschool graduate, a small town resident, and the only child of two overprotective parents. But she’s had enough. She wants to see the world and chase her dreams, so that’s just what she does–until she runs out of money. With limited options, Darby finds herself working for Lennon Dixon, owner of a downtown Los Angeles tattoo parlor. To call the job unfamiliar is the world’s biggest understatement. And to call her attraction to Lennon unexpected is a very close second.

WE’RE all very excited about this book. I love, love, love summer, and I’ll take a beach read any season of the year. This book allowed me to go back to my new fictional town of Sugar Creek and write my first cowboy. I kind of had a cowboy crush when the book was done. (insert yeehaws here.) You can pre-order Just One Summer now on most e-retailers, including Amazon. My Facebook friends got to read chapter one of Wild Heart Summer, and my newsletter subscribers got to read the first three. I’m sharing chapters all over the place. I hope you’re not missing out!

Have a great first week of June!

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Need some last-minute gift ideas? Have some folks on your list who are hard to buy for? Here are a few book suggestions.

1. Underwater Dogs, a coffee table book. I gift this quite a bit. It just makes people HAPPY to look at these pics of some very motivated dogs swimming underwater. If they already have it, my pick this year is Harlow and Sage: A True Story About Best Friends. (2 dogs made famous by their Instagram.) Need more words than pics? Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt is a wonderful memoir of an author who went to crazy lengths to save some dogs.
2. Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. Nonfiction, but reads like a Clancy novel. Espionage, intrigue, and plot twists galore. Fascinating (quick) read, especially for your history enthusiasts.
3. Girls who read on a middle school level? This year I LOVED Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd and The Meaning of Maggie. Both so well written, both quirky and fun with lots of heart and “aw” moments. Both books receiving a ton of buzz.
4. Boy readers? My jr. high guys love anything by John Flanagan (Ranger’s Apprentice), the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid, all things Percy Jackson, and The Last Apprentice series.
5. Another middle grade/elementary suggestion: The Warriors series by Erin Hunter. The covers kind of make me laugh, but I can’t keep them on my shelves.
6. For fun: Nail Candy: 50 Ideas for Totally Cool Nails.
7. The chefs in your family might like the NomNom Paleo cookbook. Sometimes healthy food is difficult to prepare or gross. This collection of recipes are really great and very normal. This is my favorite cookbook right now.
8. Know someone who likes to bake? Popular books in my library are: The Big Book of Cupcakes, The Big Book of Cookies, and Cakepops by Bakerella.
8. Picture book readers: Tuesday Tucks Me In and The Day the Crayons Quit. LOVE LOVE LOVE these books.

Happy Reading!!!

Can’t Let You Go

CLYG-Nook

Hey, guys! Long time, no talk. Or write. Or book publish.
I’m very excited to tell you that Katie Parker’s story is finally here. Mostly here. Here in a lot of places.
What is Can’t Let You Go about? I’m so glad you asked.

An old love whose kisses make her weak, but whose secrets threaten to destroy all she holds dear…

Fresh out of college, Katie Parker had it all—a charming romance, a role in a famous stage production, and an idyllic life in London. Until she found her boyfriend cheating and got herself fired from the play. Leaving everything behind, Katie hops a plane home, only to run into her first love, Charlie Benson. As the couple returns to In Between, Katie questions everything she ever thought she wanted—including a renewed romance with her high school flame.

While she attempts to rebuild her life, Katie’s plan to manage the family’s theater meets a devastating obstacle, dragging her into a legal battle that will rock her small town. And the boy who once broke her heart seems to have the power to do it again. As Charlie’s secrets unravel, Katie must make a choice. Can she overcome her past and trust Charlie with her heart again?

It was a lot of fun to return to In Between and write these characters. I have missed Mad Maxine. If I could stick her in every book, I would. I’m excited about the book and very proud of the cover, created by Kelli Standish. For those of you who helped us make cover decisions on Facebook, thank you! (For those of you who don’t hang out with us on FB, where ARE YOU?)

It was also a lot of fun to write this age, something I’ve never done before. Though I’m not sure why, since I was only 23 a few years ago myself. *coughs*

I’ll talk more about the book later. I don’t want to be one of THOSE people who won’t shut up about it, won’t stop making you look at photos of cute things the book is doing, the book playing with the cats…

You can check out the book on Amazon HERE.
You can check out the book on Nook HERE.
CLYG will be at all online retailers hopefully by the end of the week, including paperback at Amazon.

I appreciate all of you. I have the best readers ever.
Have a great week!

Stereotypically Yours

I’m spending two days at a conference for librarians. It’s interesting people watching. Any conference is.
There is a vendor fair here, and a company is selling tshirts. One of the shirts was for the librarian with a house full of cats. I did not see one shirt for the librarian who loves puppies or guinea pigs.
Is there anything more exhausting than sitting? Even when I’m interested in the material, my tush is totally bored.
Today I learned about every app and website known to man. I need an app to process all the information I took in.

What are your pet peeves at conferences or classes?
Here are my suggestions:
1. If turning down the air conditioning to -42 is the hotels way of combating global warming, I think the polar bears will forgive us if we raise the thermostat just a skootch.
2. If you’re the presenter and you speak in a monotone, you will not survive without bringing your class chocolate. The good kind. A good speaker could get away with cheap candy. You cannot. If you doubt me, check out the presenter feedback survey I turned in. Mine was the one with skulls and crossbones all over it.
3. Don’t schedule a conference in a hotel without Starbucks. I don’t even drink coffee, and I felt slighted.
4. When you say, “To be more environmentally friendly, I didn’t print out handouts,” I hear: “I’m cheap; take your own dang notes.”
5. Your sign-in sheets hurt my feelings. It’s like you don’t trust me to actually go to the class and stay. Maybe I was in the bathroom the whole 2 hours I was unaccounted for.
6. I don’t need to know where emergency exits are. I need to know where vending machines are.
7. Conference food. One time I dropped a burrito on the floor of a movie theater and ate it. The fact that I wouldn’t touch today’s lunch says something.

Care to add anything? What drives you nuts in a class or conference or even church?

 

Would You Rather?

While finishing up standardized testing prep last week, I found myself overseeing a classroom of 7 eighth-grade boys. We had had 20 minutes left with nothing to do, so a game of “What If?” broke out.
Each of the boys threw out the typical questions.
“Would you rather eat worms or a live fish?”
“Would you rather have the power to fly or read minds?”
“Would you rather be a billionaire or be immortal?”
“Would you rather have a car or truck?”

One boy had been sitting on the fringes.
“Jake, what about you?” I ask. “Give us a question.”
He doesn’t hesitate. “You’re stuck on a desert island. Would you rather wipe your butt with aluminum foil or sandpaper?”
The ensuing debate rivaled Obama vs. Romney.
; )