From Bookworm to Social Butterfly

YA Author Rendezvous

wwywtryWritten by
Julie Tuovi

The eReader was a great invention for YA fiction-addicted adults everywhere—for those who dared read that awful Twilight gender swap book without getting flack from coworkers! In PRE eReader days, there was no hiding your reading preferences from the lunchroom crowd: your cover was right there for the world to see!

(YOU know what I’m talking about, you book addict, you. I know I’m not the only one who got odd looks for reading Harry Potter during my law school downtime, instead of catching up on Wills and Trusts…)

But the eReader era brought a breath of relief, didn’t it? Thousands of books at your fingertips, and no one is any the wiser as to whether you’re reading Hunger Games or an age-appropriate, snooze-worthy biography on the subway. Because hey, all eReaders look essentially the same from the back, don’t they?

But good news! Socially outcast…

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Get Ready to Write

YA Author Rendezvous

DMK

Written by
Debbie Manber Kupfer

Ever since I was small I’ve always written. As a child I filled notebooks. At one time I had a whole series of school stories each in own exercise book. Somewhere in my basements these books still sit (I rarely throw anything away) and along with these childhood “books” is my first attempt at a novel. It was a kid’s fantasy. I remember it had a rather cool ogre in it. I wrote it in my twenties in exercise books. At the time I was living in Israel in a tiny one-room flat. I scribbled away in those notebooks, but somewhere along the way I got lost. Life took over and I stopped writing.

I moved to America, got married, had two children and finally found a career I love (I write puzzles for puzzle magazines). In the back my mind I knew I still…

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Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring! Blog Hop

winterspringbloghop

Welcome to the next stop on the Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring! Blog Hop! A big thank you goes out to Natalie Star for working so hard to arrange this Hop! And thanks to all of YOU for stopping by!

Spring is a wondrous time, especially given the harsh reality of winter that many faced this year. (Not so much of a harsh winter here in Florida, but I don’t want to rub that in anyone’s face… well, not too much, anyway!).

To Sophie, the main character in my YA novel A Life Interrupted, and me, the best part about Spring is that it is baby animal season. Every spring, the wildlife rescue center where Sophie volunteers becomes inundated with baby songbirds, shorebirds, birds of prey, squirrels, raccoons, otters, fawns… even baby bobcats, foxes, and coyotes… that have been abandoned by their parents for one reason or another. As sad as it is that all of those baby animals lost their parents, it’s a pretty amazing experience to feed them and help raise them until they are old enough to return to the wild. And they do return to the wild, unless they have an injury or birth defect that would inhibit their survival on their own. In that case, the rescue center becomes their permanent home.

Here are a few of the animals that Sophie learns to care for while volunteering at the wildlife rescue:

Baby Screech Owls waiting to be fed

Baby Screech Owls waiting to be fed

Baby bobcat. She has seizures and will never be released back into the wild.

Baby bobcat. She has seizures and will never be released back into the wild.

A young Brown Pelican after being released.

A young Brown Pelican after being released.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our favorite part about Spring. Now it’s time for the real fun! For a chance to win a Kindle copy of A Life Interrupted and read more about Sophie and her adventures, leave a comment below about your favorite Spring activity. A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday morning.

Also, be sure to check out the other blogs in this Hop and enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $70.00 gift card for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The Rafflecopter ends at 11:59 pm EST on Monday 3/23.

Click here to visit other blogs connected to this Hop!

Click the link below to enter for your chance to win a $70 Amazon or B&N Gift Card!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7833060829/

Short Story Sunday – Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of Short Story Sundays. This week we have the next part to the paranormal romance short story The Stranger. Hope you enjoy!

The Stranger

A Paranormal Romance Short Story

Part 2

“I went jogging after work,” Sara murmured simply, as if that would explain everything. Angie glared at her friend until she continued. “I worked until seven, so it was dark by the time I got home and changed. I jogged down to Central before looping through the park to come back. One block away from here, something slammed into me. I was knocked clear off my feet. As my body slammed into the cement, something tore into my side.”

Sara was out of breath from speaking through the pain. Angie stared at her, torn between shock at what she went through and anger at the fact that she went jogging alone after dark knowing full well about the recent attacks. Angie held her tongue as Sara proceeded.

“It was painful and dark, but I could tell that whatever it was that attacked me, it was not a dog or wolf or anything like that.  It had only two legs… it was human.”

Angie’s mouth fell open in a gasp. It took a few moments for her to regain her senses and formulate words. “Human? Are you sure? How did you get away?” She could not believe it. What human would run around attacking and biting people? Well, there was that guy in the news a few years ago from Miami that was high on bath salts that bit someone…

“Yes, it was definitely human,” Sara replied, nodding as much as she could while writhing in pain on the floor. “Unless we’ve been invaded by human-like aliens. And I don’t even know how I got away. A loud bang came from somewhere and the attacker bolted. I basically crawled my way home.”

“Wow, I can’t believe you made it home in this condition! And a human attacker? Given the vicious nature of the attacks, it’s almost easier to believe that it was an alien.”

Sara tried to shrug, but winced instead.

“You have to tell the police exactly what you saw,” Angie stated emphatically. “Hopefully, it will help them find whoever the maniac is that is trying to eat people.”

A sharp knock on the door caused the women to shriek and jump. “About time,” Angie huffed as she peaked through the window to see the paramedics. She quickly ushered them in and stood aside as they assessed Sara’s injuries. “This wound needs some serious medical attention,” one of the medics stated. “Do you have any idea what caused this injury?”

Angie and Sara shared a quick look before Angie responded, “No, we have no idea.” The medic narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to say something more, but a police officer walked through the open door.

“Evening,” the officer nodded at the medics and made his way to Angie. “Ma’am, I’m Officer Lang.”

Angie drank in the sight of him, the only bright spot in the whole night.  Officer Lang looked to be in his early 30s with short blonde hair, a straight nose, strong jaw, and the clearest blue eyes, which Angie thought could see straight into her soul. Sara, from her prone position on the paramedic’s stretcher, took one look at Officer Lang, smiled, and let the pain steal her into unconsciousness.

“Can you tell me what happened to your friend tonight?” Officer Lang asked as the medics wheeled Sara out of the tiny apartment.

Terrified for her friend, Angie made a move to follow the medics, but Officer Lang reached out a gentle hand to hold her back. “Do we really have to do this right now?” Angie asked, her voice nearly a whine.

“I understand your worry, but this will only take a moment,” Officer Lang soothed. “Then we will meet them at the hospital.”

“Ok, I guess. I don’t really know that much, just what Sara could tell me through the pain.” She repeated the details of Sara’s story as the officer jotted down notes on a small notepad. She was careful to avoid staring at his handsome face as she shared what she knew. She had to keep her wits about her.

“Thank you, Miss Sparks,” Officer Lang said as he tucked his notepad into the front pocket of his uniform. “Did the victim tell you the exact location of the attack?”

“No, she just said it happened about a block away. She was coming back from a run through the park, so I think it was near the intersection of Lake Avenue and Potter Street.”

“Well, that gives us a starting point, at least. I will have other uniformed officers canvass the area while we head over to the hospital,” Officer Lang said as he turned towards the door. “Thank you again for your help. Do you need a lift to the hospital?”

Surprised by the question, Angie smiled. “No, thanks. My car is right over there. I assume the paramedics were taking her to Memorial?”

“Yes, Memorial. I will meet you there. Drive safely.” With a smile, Officer Lang walked down the front steps toward his patrol car. Angie stared after him, noting with delight that his uniform hugged his frame and accentuated his ass. She always loved a man uniform.

Shaking herself from the naughty direction her thoughts were headed, Angie hastily shut and locked the door to Sara’s apartment and sprinted for her car. Once she backed out of the guest parking area and turned onto Lake Avenue, she glanced in the rearview mirror to see Officer Lang was right behind her. The sight brought a smile to her lips. She sure hoped he was single so she could ask him out once all this drama was over.

Cover Reveal for An Insomniacs Dream by Allison Cosgrove

Please join me in celebrating the Cover Reveal for Allison Cosgrove’s new release, An Insomniacs Dream!

Join the Party on February 1st, 2015 for the Release of the third installment in the Stan Brookshire series!

Blurb:
As a kidnapper with a lifelong grudge holds an innocent woman captive, Detective Stan Brookshire has little evidence to go on. When he accepts help from an unlikely source, he comes to rely on her psychic vision. Will she lead him to Missy before it’s too late? Or will he humiliate himself and the entire Lake City Police Department chasing bogus leads while Missy Sheen’s time runs out?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00060]

About the Author:
Allison Cosgrove was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. A married mother of three daughters, she runs her own business by day and creates her own worlds by night. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters hiking in the woods or sitting by the fire reading a good book. She has had the love of reading and writing detective mysteries from the age of twelve but it has only been since the birth of her youngest that she has gotten serious about crafting some of her own works for others to enjoy. She credits her family and friends with being the driving force that has given her the strength to breathe life into her books.

Praise for Sacrifice of Innocence:
Allison has created a memorable detective with Stan Brookshire. The premise of the story is, a cult has been killing children and Stan has to stop them before it’s too late. The police believe they have the right man in custody but another kidnapping casts that into doubt. The trial is not going well, and despite the hope that the child was abducted by a copycat, Stan begins to believe that something more is happening. The mother of the child gets involved, and slowly the protagonists realize that this is not a standard kidnapping. 

It was a well-­crafted mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. But the real reason I kept reading was I felt like I really got to know Detective Stan Brookshire through the story. I loved his interactions with the different characters and how he becomes emotionally involved. 

I can’t wait for the follow­up and to read more about Stan Brookshire. I would strongly recommend it to anybody who has grown tired of the other detective series out there.

~Joel Mark Harris, author of 1000 Bayonets
Praise for Dragon Twins:
In Book 2 of the Stan Brookshire series, Cosgrove doesn’t miss a beat. Continuity is perfect as the recurring characters and places are just as they were in Book 1. Stan & Jane once again take a case to heart as it becomes personal and throughout the action and psychological thrills we are also treated to the strength of family – both that with blood ties and that without. Stan still hasn’t really learned how to follow the rules; will this be the case he loses his job over? I highly recommend this read, as well as its predecessor ‘Sacrifice of Innocence’.

~Lacie Redding, Kissimmee, FL

Short Story Sunday – Week 1

Welcome to the official start of Short Story Sunday here on my blog. The first short story being featured is my first attempt at writing in the paranormal romance genre. This story will be posted in serial format every Sunday and will likely consist of 8 to 10 parts. Here is the first part. Hope you enjoy! As always, comments are greatly appreciated!

The Stranger

by Lauri Fern

~~~~~

Nights worried her.

Streetlights and headlights from cars glared off of her eyeglasses, making it hard to see. Shadows lurked around every corner. Sound echoed off of the tall buildings, leaving her unsure which direction it actually came from. She did not even want to think about the mysterious happenings that had been reported in the newspapers recently.

In the past two months, the police reported ten attacks on people in her neighborhood. Four of victims were still in the hospital. The others were not so lucky. The attacks were gruesome, the news reported. The victims appeared to have been attacked by a vicious animal, but there were no animals big enough to cause that kind of damage in Tampa, Florida. The officials ruled out alligators early on, since gators liked to rip apart limbs and eat their prey. The victims were savagely attacked, but all limbs remained intact. And the attacks occurred in areas where alligators were unlikely to frequent.

Angie Sparks was afraid to leave the house at night until the authorities figured out the source of the attacks. It was just her luck that her best friend would have an emergency in the middle of the night and no one else could be reached.

Scraping her thick brown curls into a ponytail, Angie slipped on her black plastic-framed glasses and a pair of pink sneakers to go with the pink tank top and black yoga pant she was wearing. With a sigh, she grabbed her keys and cracked the door open to peek her head through.  The street was still with no people in sight. Gathering her wits, Angie sprinted down the stairs to her Honda Pilot, eternally grateful that she had an automatic starter installed back when she lived up north. She pressed the start button before reaching the bottom step and climbed into the already running car. Without pause, Angie backed out of her driveway.

“You owe me big time, Sara,” she whispered to the empty car as she stomped on the accelerator and took off down the quiet street.

The roads were empty as she drove across town with the gas pedal to the floor. Angie figured the risk of speeding was worth it compared to being attacked. She arrived in Ybor City without being caught by the police or the unknown attacker.

“What happened?” Angie asked, breathless, as she charged into Sara’s ground floor apartment. Sara was sprawled on the floor, a bloody towel clutched to her left side.

“I was attacked,” Sara muttered through gritted teeth, grimacing as the effort of breathing increased the pain to her side.

“I can see that.” Angie knelt down next to her best friend and gently pried the blood-soaked towel from her side. When Sara whined, Angie shushed her. “Let me have a look, hun. I need to see how bad it is.”

After a year of nursing school, Angie knew enough to assess the wound and dress it, but that was about it. With the towel out of the way, Angie examined the ragged, gaping wound. It was an inch deep and almost three inches in long. The boundaries of the wound were jagged, without any distinct markings. No debris was visible and blood was flowing fast. Angie wiped away the blood a few times as she made a mental note of what she saw. Not wanting to risk Sara bleeding out, Angie reached for one of the clean towels stacked on the coffee table and applied pressure to the wound.

“You need to go to the hospital, Sar.” Sitting back on her heels, Angie gazed down at her friend worriedly. “How did this even happen?”

Grimacing as Angie maintained pressure on her wound, Sara replied, her words consisting of grunts riddled with gasps of pain. “I know. You might as well call an ambulance, I don’t want to get any blood on your seats. I’ll tell you what happened after you make the call.”

Sara nearly fainted from the effort of saying so much and Angie had no recourse but to call 9-1-1. Pulling her cell phone from the waistband of her yoga pants, Angie maintained pressure on the wound while she told the dispatcher what she knew about Sara’s injury. Once the call ended, Angie glanced at Sara’s face, hoping to get the details of what happened.

“Ugh, this really hurts!” Sara grunted. “Give me a few moments to fight the pain, then I’ll tell you what happened.”

Tune in next Sunday for the next part of The Stranger.