Just a little Breathless. . .

Here it is. . .the beautiful cover* for BREATHLESS, the second book in the King series.  I am so excited for you all to read this book. . .it was fun to write, and early reviews have been fabulous!

This is just a little teaser. . .it’s coming soon to Amazon and to independent book sellers.

Tasmyn Vaughn is not having the senior year she expected. Her boyfriend Michael leaves for college, she’s being stalked by a suspicious preacher, pursued by the hot new boy at school and blackmailed by her chemistry teacher–who just might be a witch. Tas needs all of her many talents–and a little help from unexpected sources–just to keep her head above water. . .literally.

 

*Cover design by Elizabeth Sharp (http://sharpcovers.blogspot.com/ )

We need YOU. . .

 

 

 

. . .to help with book promotion!

It is so cool to see friends and family posting about Fearless.  I am grateful for every positive bit of publicity, and word of mouth is a terrific way to promote a book.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’ve had some people ask me what they can do to help with PR. There are a few very simple things that would help publicize the series and get more people reading!

  • Go to the book’s page on Amazon. (Just click that word!) If you’ve read Fearless, leave a review there.  It’s easy to do, and it doesn’t have to be anything long and involved. Just a few quick sentences about how you loved the book.
  • While you’re there on the book’s page (see link above), you’ll see a little button that says “Like”.  Click that button! It means you like the book, and believe it or not, that helps.
  • If you are not already doing this, become a follower of THIS website. How do you do that?  See that sidebar on the right? Right under the Facebook button, you’ll see a little link “Subscribe Via Email”.  Click that link, and whenever I update this page, you’ll get an email letting you know.
  • And speaking of Facebook. . if you’re a Facebook user, and you haven’t “liked” my author page. . please click on the Facebook button on the sidebar and do it!
  • Do you tweet, tweetheart?  Well, then click the link and follow me there.
  • If you are not at all computer-friendly and you prefer your word of mouth support to be REALLY word of mouth, stay tuned.  The print version of Fearless will be out in two weeks, and I will have lots of ideas for you then. Meanwhile, if you know of a terrific independent book store in your area, please let me know! Leave a comment below or email me.

It really DOES take a village to launch a book, and I have a wonderful village.  Thanks for everything you do and are going to do. You all rock!

Happy Valentines’ Day!

{This scene takes place after the ending of FEARLESS and before the beginning of BREATHLESS, in February of Tasmyn’s junior year.}

The Florida sun warmed my face as the wind whipped my hair back.  We had the top down on the Mustang as Michael drove the country roads that led us toward Sawood, Michael’s family nursery where we both had part-time jobs.

“So. . .” Michael almost had to shout to be heard above the wind.  “Tomorrow is Valentines’ Day.”

I narrowly avoided rolling my eyes. “Yup.”

“What do you want to do?”

I closed my eyes.  “Ignore the whole day and just get through it?”

I felt Michael’s sigh before I heard it. “Tas, it’s a day for lovers.  It’s a celebration of being in love. . like we are.  Let’s do something fun.”

I didn’t answer, and he turned down the gravel road that led back to the nursery and to his own house. We parked as we usually did in the driveway near the Sawyers’ beautiful cabin.  Michael pulled up the parking brake, turned off the car and shifted to look at me.

“C’mon,” he cajoled.  “What’s wrong with Valentines’ Day?”

I made a face and didn’t meet his eyes. “Oh, where to begin?”  I began counting off my fingers. “It’s a holiday invented by the card companies to make single people feel awful about themselves.  I’ve dreaded every single Valentines’ Day since middle school. Do you know how it feels to be the only girl in the class who doesn’t get roses delivered to her in the middle of class? Who doesn’t get asked to the dance? It was horrible.”

Michael draped an arm over my shoulder.  “But this year will be different.  You have me.  I have you.”

I refused to give in. “Yeah, that’s great for us.  But what about all the other girls who have to get through tomorrow without any love?”

He tilted his head considering, absently twining his fingers with mine. “Would it make you feel better if I had flowers delivered to all of our single friends tomorrow?  Would it relieve your guilty conscience?”

I shook my head.  “No.  That’s nice, but it’s not the same.  It wouldn’t make them feel any better.” I dropped my head to his shoulder and nuzzled his neck.  “But I love you for making the offer.”

Michael tightened his grip on my hand. “Okay.  So where does that leave us?” This is my first Valentines’ Day with a girlfriend–with the girl I’m going to love forever. I want it to be perfect.

We sat in the quiet of the woods as I considered.  A few birds twittered at each other from the tree tops, and I heard something rustling in the bushes near the deck.

“You know what?” I said finally.  “The truth is that every day we’ve been together has been Valentines’ Day for me–I mean, in the best way. So whatever you want to do tomorrow is fine with me.  I promise I’ll behave and I might even make you a card. Okay?”

He pulled me closer and covered my mouth with his own.  When I wasn’t sure where his thoughts ended and my own began, he leaned his forehead against mine and murmured, “I promise that every day, for the rest of our lives, I will make up for all your lousy Valentines’ Days. I love you, Tasmyn.”

A Word From Nell

It was always my mother.

She is my earliest memory.  I can still see her dark eyes laughing down at me, smell the sweet undefinable scent that surrounded her. When she held me close, her hair fell like a drape, and only the two of us existed.

I knew she was important, special. Wherever we went into King, everyone deferred to my mother, spoke to her hushed respectful tones.  They sensed the power just as I did, but they were not part of her as I was. They were outsiders, even the ones from the Old Families.

She made a game of that, of teaching me to suss out who came from which family. We walked down the sidewalk, and as we passed people, she murmured softly, only for my ears.

“Magician.”

“Contortionist.”

“Shifter.”

Our home was my playground and my school room. It was the grandest house in town, built by old Gravis for my ancestor Sarah.  There were secret closets, hidden passages and cryptic words carved into the stone of the fireplace.

I was four the first time she took me to the clearing.  We parked near the lake at full darkness and trudged down a gravel path. When we reached the boulder, she led me into the woods.  I wasn’t frightened, and she was proud of that.

The others were already there, gathered in a circle, dressed in long dark robes. I wasn’t permitted within, but I perched on a log just outside.  After the chanting ended, my mother spoke for several moments in a language I couldn’t understand.  And then she turned slightly and beckoned to me.  I stepped forward hesitantly and took her hand.

“Focus on the center, Nell,” she whispered. “Bring the fire.  Make it burn. Concentrate.”

I screwed up my eyes and tried to obey. At first, there was only silence, the sounds of the woods.  She tightened her grip on my hand, and suddenly power surged through me. My eyes flew open and I stared at the rock pile in the center of the ring.

A bright flame danced merrily among the stones.  She released my hand and smiled down into my eyes.

“It’s a beginning.”