Right in my own backyard

 

I’ve written a lot of books. They’ve been set in small Florida towns with mystical histories, in South Jersey college towns, in senior citizen communities in central Florida, in New Orleans, in a small farming community west of Savannah, Georgia, and even in San Francisco circa 1967.

But when Fifty Frogs came to me, it clearly took place much closer to home . . . in my own backyard, as a matter of fact. Quite literally.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This story happens in other areas of the small central Florida town of Summer Meadows as well, but some of the key scenes take place just outside my back door.

What’s odd is that usually, when I’m deep in a story, I live in that setting. I can tell you details about it, how it’s laid out, all the subtle nuances. But this time, I felt a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; I didn’t have to go any further than my own backyard.

I love living on a lake, and so does Vivian. I’m blessed to spend many evenings sitting by the water, enjoying a pre-dinner drink or post-dinner coffee with my husband. It’s peaceful and lovely and very romantic.

Of course, there are a few little drawbacks . . . and some of them come in the form of critters. Vivian runs into one in particular. Oddly, we hadn’t seen any of this particular creature around our yard in reality until after I wrote Vivian’s scene–but we have since. Perhaps fiction informed real life!

But I do know one thing for sure: I’ll always think of Vivian and Charlie when I glance over to the bench in the adjacent yard . . .

One Week Until Hanging By A Moment Releases!

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One week!

Seven days!

168 hours!

Yes, I’m literally

HANGING BY A MOMENT

waiting for this release.

Book 2 of the Keeping Score Trilogy

comes out May 24th,

and I can’t wait.

 Amazon/iBooks/Google/Nook/Kobo

So since it’s #TeaserTuesday, I thought I’d give you a little sneak peek.

Young sensual couple during romantic evening

“Babe, you awake?” Leo’s voice was low and husky, murmuring against my ear.

I snuggled a little closer to him. “Mmmmm. Kind of.” My bedroom was dark except for the faint glow of the streetlight just outside. Tonight, for the first time all week, I hadn’t dropped right off to sleep after I’d laid my head on Leo’s broad chest.

“I talked to my mom a little bit tonight before they all left.” His fingers moved in small circles on my upper arm. “She didn’t push, but she suggested I give you and your mother some space tomorrow.   She said you two need to talk about some stuff and make decisions.”

Panic welled up inside me, and it was on the tip of my tongue to argue. But I knew deep down that Leo couldn’t stay glued to my side forever. We both had to figure out what was going to come next for us, just like my mom and I had to do the same.

“Yeah.” I swallowed hard. “She’s probably right.” I turned a little, resting my chin on Leo’s sternum, staring up into his face. “But don’t go far, okay? I’m not sure I’m ready to go cold turkey on my Leo addiction.”

He brushed his hand over my hair. “If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll sit in the car outside, just in case you need me.”

I sniffed. “You don’t have to do that. Maybe after breakfast, you could just go home for a little bit.”

“That works.” He crunched up, bending so that his lips could reach the top of my head. “Hey, Mia? We haven’t really talked about anything serious yet. I mean, about us. But I wanted to say this now, before anything goes any further.”

Trepidation gripped my gut. “I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with this.”

“Babe, no.” Leo slid me off him, rolling to lay on his side so that our faces were close together. “Nothing bad. I just wanted to say . . . I love you, Mia. I didn’t say it to you last week. I hoped you understood it, but I thought I better be clear. I love you. I loved you before, and I never stopped.”

I traced his jaw with one finger. “I love you, too, Leo. Still. Always. Forever.”

He released a breath as though he’d been holding it. “Okay. Good.”

I frowned. “Did you doubt that I did? That I do?”

“No, not really.” He nuzzled my neck. “But I wasn’t sure if you were ready to deal with me again. I know you needed me this week, but I was afraid once things started to settle down, you’d think that maybe I wasn’t worth the effort.”

Following my finger with my lips, I kissed his chin. “You’re worth everything, Leo. And I hate that it took my dad—what happened, I mean, to get us back together, but I’m not going to have any regrets anymore. Loving you is part of me, and so are you. I wouldn’t have made it through this week without you.” I paused, enjoying the feel of the late-night scruff on his neck. “That first day, before you got here, I wanted to die, too. It hurt so bad, and I felt like nothing was ever going to be right again. But then you came to me, and I’ll never forget that you were here for me.”

“I always will be.” He tipped up my chin and kissed my lips, softly. “Nothing in my life works without you.”

Want MORE? You can read a sample chapter here . . .

And if you preorder, the full book will show up magically in your ereader next week!

Amazon/iBooks/Google/Nook/Kobo

If you haven’t read WHEN WE WERE US yet, grab it now so you’re ready for next week!

iBooks/Amazon/Nook/Kobo/Google Play/Goodreads

When We Were Us

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!

 

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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.

***THE SCAVENGER HUNT***
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.

LET THE HUNT BEGIN!

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 atwww.jessicaruddick.com and www.jessicalinden.net.

 

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

 

***CONTINUE THE HUNT***

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

GOOD LUCK!!

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

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And don’t miss

WHEN WE WERE US

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

Read an exclusive excerpt right here!