Character Counts

I’ve written and spoken before about my tendency to be a character-driven writer. For me, it’s the people, their past, their motivations and their relationships that make me want to know more.

beautiful brunette girl on background wooden wallNowhere has this been more evident than in the book about to be released. In Always Our Love, the main characters are Jenna Sutton and Lincoln Turner. I am fairly certain that this is first of my books where both main characters were introduced in earlier books in separate series (the Crystal Cove Romances do have previously-introduced leads, but all from the same series).

Jenna Sutton was first mentioned in The Only One, as a cousin of main character Rilla Grant. I needed a babysitter for Mason’s daughter Piper, and since Rilla had just ‘found’ her absentee mother’s brother Boomer, it worked to have his daughter jump into the fray. At that point, all we knew was that Jenna was the youngest of the Sutton. I knew Boomer had all daughters, because he had bemoaned to Sam (in The Last One) the fact that he was overrun by females at home.

When I knew there would be three more books set in Burton, Georgia, I knew that Maureen Evans, sister of Flynn, would be the lead in one book, and one of my readers suggested Jenna as another. I noted her mentally, but to me, Jenna was young and pretty one-dimensional. I wasn’t sure she would work.

But as it turned out, a lot happened to Jenna Sutton between her babysitting gigs and her book. And it all had to do with Trent Wagoner.

At this point, I had Maureen as a lead for one book, I had Jenna as a lead for another but I needed one more. For some reason, Trent Wagoner kept popping into my head. I’ve written elsewhere that Trent was not my first choice of lead, but he grew on me. But what made this admitted man-whore changed his stripes?

We first heard about what happened between Trent and Jenna in Always For You, when Maureen tells Smith the story she’d heard. We got a little more insight when Trent showed up in Crystal Cove for the Christmas short Underneath My Christmas Tree, and even more during Trent’s book, Always My Own. But we never actually see Jenna until she stops in at Kiki’s bakery in the short My One and Always.

Writing from Jenna’s point of view was a huge relief after nearly a year of telling her story through others’ eyes. We’d gotten bits and pieces of Jenna–clues about her character, how she had changed since her introduction–but finally, we could see why she’d made some of the choices she did, as well as what was she was struggling with currently.

Jenna and Linc are both in recovery from different trauma. (We’ll talk about Linc next week.) Their wounds are what make them both interesting and appealing, and how they move on, both together and alone, is what makes the story.


You can preorder





And the first two books






are available now.

New Adult Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway 2016

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Welcome to New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are THREE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the TEAM PURPLE–but there is also a red team and a blue team for a chance to win two different sets of books!


Team Purple S2016

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number. Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on Team Purple, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by May 1st, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


I’m happy to be hosting author Jessica Ruddick.

Jessica Ruddick lives in Virginia and is married to her college sweetheart–their first date was a fraternity toga party (and nothing inspires love like a toga, right?). When she doesn’t have her nose in a book or her hands on a keyboard,Jessica-cropped she can be found wrangling her two rambunctious sons, taming two rowdy but lovable rescue dogs, and battling the herd of dust bunnies that has taken up residence in her home. LETTING GO and WANTING MORE are Entangled Embrace releases, and she has a forthcoming romantic suspense release with St. Martin’s Swerve under her pen name, Jessica Linden. To learn more about Jessica, please visit her websites and


Today she’s sharing some exclusive content from her book WANTING MORE (A Love on Campus novel).


WM_500Bri Welch likes to play it safe. I don’t. She’s wound tight, and I’m all about a good party. But there’s something about her that makes me want to pull those uptight layers away one-by-delicious-one. But the worst thing is she makes me want more… I can’t stop wanting her…




In Wanting More, Josh plays guitar. Below are some of the songs he plays in the book.

“Little Lion Man,” by Mumford and Sons

“Dust in the Wind,” Kansas

“Landslide,” Fleetwood Mac

In the end of the book, Josh composes his own song. (I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book to find out the context of the song.) These two songs are sort of what I had in mind, though.

“Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran

“In Your Eyes,” Jeffrey Gaines


I LOVE this music–and can’t wait to read the book! Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by Jessica Ruddick, me and many others!

To enter, you need to know that my lucky book number is 9 .

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on Team Purple and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

And for a chance to win even more, enter the rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Tellulah Darling.


New Adult Scavenger Hunt

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Hello Everyone! Hope you are excited as I am, because we have less than two weeks until the Spring 2016 New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins!

Here are the Spring 2016 #NewASH teams:


Team Blue S2016


Team Red S2016


Team Purple S2016

I hope you all are as excited as I am! The New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins at Noon Eastern Time on Thursday, April 28th and runs through Sunday, May 1st. Be sure to visit for more information and the prize listings.

Cover Reveal for HANGING BY A MOMENT!

Facebook Cover

Have you read When We Were Us yet? Did you fall in love with Leo, Quinn and Nate? Are you ready for MORE?

Hanging By A Moment releases on May 24th! And today I’m so excited to share the cover with you. It was designed by the very talented Robin Ludwig of Covers by Robin.


When life shatters, it helps to have friends. I don’t know what I’d have done without Leo and Nate to comfort me, to hold me up and to keep me sane in face of sudden and terrible loss.

And if one of those friends happens to be the love of my life, the one guy I thought I’d never be close to again . . . I’m not going to complain. After all, in a vast sea of things that aren’t fair, being with Leo again feels like the only shining beam of hope.

I know there aren’t any guarantees for us. Leo’s heading south to play football, rocking a full-ride at one of the top colleges in the nation. Meanwhile, all of my plans have fallen apart, and I have to figure out what comes next. Having Nate by my side is more important I could have imagined.

The next four years were supposed to be the most exciting time of my life. Instead, they turn into a rollercoaster of uncertainty, complete with breathtaking highs and lows that threaten to break my heart.

In the end, the decisions we make now could change everything for the three of us, forever.

Preorder now! iBooks/Amazon/Nook

Hanging by Moment Sml


And don’t miss


Available everywhere!
iBooks/Amazon/Nook/Kobo/Google Play

Read an exclusive excerpt right here!