Sunday, February 28, 2016

Celebrate Love Blog Series with author Beth Honeycutt and What Dreams May Come

WooHoo! I am off for a week, and can stay around home with my girls, take them skating and warm ourselves by the fire. I can't wait! Savannah, my two-year-old has been pretending to skate around the kitchen wearing slippery socks. I am excited to see how she likes the real thing, and we're lucky enough to have this awesome place to go where the icy path winds its way through the woods. I might even share pics.
OK, ok, back to work now...and on to our next guest, Beth! Read on, you won't be disappointed. 

Could you share a little about what led you to become a writer?
I love stories of all kinds, especially those with happy endings, and being a writer is the only career I've ever really wanted. When I was in fourth grade, I wrote my first book—a story about some baby birds we’d rescued. It won a Young Authors award at school and my mom laminated it (the book, not the award, LOL) and I've never looked back. Wow, that is so cool!

Do you write full time? How much of your life is set aside for writing?
I do write full-time but sadly, not novels. In my day job, I write marketing copy and corporate communications. Now I have to wonder if your work writing interferes with your creative writing, or does your creative writing disturb your work writing.

Could you tell us a little about your novel?
What Dreams May Come is about Ellie, a shy and overlooked girl who would rather live in her dreams than in reality, where she’s a constant disappointment to her mom, who wants her to be slim and pretty, popular and outgoing. Her one comfort is her imaginary friend, Gabe, who's always there for her, waiting in her dreams whenever she needs him. Ooh, I like that.

But then a new guy shows up at her school and he knows things about Ellie—secret things—that he shouldn’t have any way of knowing. Suddenly, Ellie’s faced with the possibility that she may not be as ordinary as she’s always thought and that maybe it doesn't matter if the whole world knows your name, as long as someone special sees you for who you really are. I love it.
Where does the inspiration for your story come from?
This was actually an idea I had for a short story, but as I started writing, it grew into a novel. It all grew out of one tiny seed of an idea about a girl who meets a boy who knows things about her that he shouldn’t have any way of knowing, like how she got the scar on the bottom of her foot. She doesn't know him, but he knows all about her.

I thought about how unnerving that would be, to be faced with someone you couldn’t hide from, who already knew all your deepest secrets, and how interesting it would be to see that play out—especially for a girl like Ellie, who’s so used to being invisible and overlooked, who’s made her way through life hiding away from the world. And how cool it would be to find that this person who knows you so well—the good, the bad, the ugly—loves you anyway, just as you are. Sounds like a great read, something you definitely want to fall into.

What do you think makes a good romance story?
A happy ending, of course. LOL It might be easier to say what I don’t think makes a good romance. I don’t like stories where one of the characters is abusive or mean to the other, who puts up with it in the name of love, hoping to improve them. I don’t like stories where both characters would be better off if they didn’t get together, since their relationship obviously won’t be healthy. And I don’t like stories that aren’t grounded in genuine emotion and character development, but are just focused on the physical aspects of the relationship. Also (and I know this is unpopular), but I hate love triangles. I truly believe you can have a compelling romance without introducing a love triangle. I love romances where the relationship brings joy and light and love to the characters’ lives and they become better together than they were alone. I love romances where the main characters are good friends and really like each other, as well as love each other; where they respect each other and really talk about things. Thanks for sharing, those are good points.

What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life?
A little bit of both. The message behind my story is that you don't have to change in order to be loved, that there is someone out there who will love you and accept you, just as you are. You have value, even if you don't meet the definition of what our culture calls beautiful. There is beauty in you, no matter who you are or what you look like. Now you need to go print out t-shirts with that message and pass them around.

Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow?
I fly by the seat of my pants. I used to try to outline, but I found that knowing everything that is going to happen makes me lose interest in the story. What drives me to write is finding out what's going to happen next. I do usually have a vague idea of the beginning and, hopefully, the end. But for what comes in between, your guess is as good as mine. J Now that's my kind of writing!

What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years?
My novel takes place over the course of just a few days. However, there are flashbacks to incidents in the past that show our couples' history together before they actually meet in the novel.

How much research went into your story?
I love research! It's actually kind of dangerous for me, because I get so wrapped up in finding cool information that I forget I’m supposed to be writing. LOL Actually, this story didn't involve as much research as some of my others. I read interesting things and they stick with me, and then I sometimes incorporate them into stories. That's something that happened with this one. I am the same way with research and I often end up with pages and pages of notes that never make it into the story, but hey, I learned something!

How does this book differ from what you have written in the past?
Most of my other novels are more plot-driven and often have some sort of suspenseful or even scary elements in them. This novel was definitely driven more by the characters and getting to see their relationship blossom. The remaining two books in the trilogy will have more of the suspense and plot-driven elements, but this one is really sort of a gentle love story, allowing the reader to get to know the characters as people and as a couple before we jump into the actiony parts of the series.

How do you handle marketing? Do you have a plan, a publicist or just take one day at a time?
The amount of planning I do varies—sometimes I have a plan I’m following, other times, it’s just a day at a time. I've attended a lot of sessions on marketing at conferences and try to follow the advice I’ve gotten there and from other authors. I definitely don't spend as much time on marketing as I should, though, because my free time’s so limited. When I do have free time, I’d rather write than do marketing. I’d kill for a publicist. I hear you! 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My biggest advice is to find out what method works for you, whether you’re a plotter (someone who outlines and plans it all out) or a pantser (someone who writes by the seat of their pants) or a mixture of the two. Either way, I find the most motivating thing for actually finishing a project—whether it’s flash fiction, a short story, or a novel—is to have a deadline and accountability.

For this reason, one of the best resources out there, and one that I recommend to all aspiring writers, is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Not only is it a great motivator that provides accountability and a deadline, but it provides companionship with other authors and turns the novel-writing experience into a wild, crazy roller coaster of writing fun. Definitely check it out! If nothing else, it’s nice to hang out with other people who won’t look at you funny if you say something like, “I just found the coolest way to kill someone!” For sure, LOL. I remember getting worried because of the strange searches I was doing online. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Could you tell us what you’re working on now?
Definitely! I'm working on WHERE NIGHTMARES WALK, the sequel to WHAT DREAMS MAY COME. It starts to introduce more suspense and danger into the couple's storyline, but rest assured that everything they face, they face together.

 What Dreams May Come: In Dreams, book 1

He knows her darkest secrets, sees into her dreams. Math class will never be the same.

Reality is overrated. Or so Ellie Cross believes. She greatly prefers the dreams she shares with her imaginary friend and lifelong BFF, Gabe, to the nightmare of her real life. And okay, so yeah, lately Ellie’s noticed that Gabe’s kinda hot. Make that incredibly hot. But that doesn’t mean she’s crazy or anything. So what if she happens to have an itsy-bitsy crush on her reality-challenged friend? Who’s it hurting, really?

But things are about to get complicated, because there’s a new guy in school—a guy with hauntingly familiar eyes. A guy who knows things about Ellie that he shouldn’t have any way of knowing…

Come check out the book that readers are calling "fantastic," "wonderfully sweet," and "a young adult novel with true heart and soul."

Across the room, their gazes locked. Time seemed to move syrup-slow. Green—she could see now that his eyes were a familiar, brilliant green. All the saliva in her mouth dried up.
Those eyes…they were the eyes from her dreams. It was impossible, but…he had Gabe’s eyes.
For a long moment Ellie sat stunned, just staring at the new guy. She felt lightheaded and dizzy, like the world had fallen off its axis and was spinning madly.
She realized she’d forgotten how to breathe. Crap. Breathing—that was important. How did that work again?
She started to panic as black dots appeared in front of her eyes. So not good. Forcing herself to close her eyes, she concentrated and finally drew a shuddering breath, then another. Phew, back in business.
Now that she was fully functional again, she opened one eye, peeking at the new arrival, then, when he still appeared to be there, she opened the other, looking at him full on.
He was definitely still there, still staring back at her with those impossible eyes as he took his new textbook from Mr. Barker and deliberately made his way across the classroom toward where she sat.
Was this a dream? None of her Gabe dreams had ever taken place at school before. Just to be sure, she pinched herself. Yep, that hurt.
Still, this couldn’t actually be happening—she had to be dreaming. Or was this it? Was this the moment she finally lost her ability to tell the waking world from the dream one?
It was just…his eyes. She looked down at the notepaper in front of her, then back to the new guy who seemed to be watching her with interest, as if somehow aware that she was experiencing an existential crisis. Watching her with Gabe’s eyes.                
Ellie shook herself, trying to dislodge the idea. They were just green eyes. Just regular, ordinary, not-belonging-to-a-figment-of-her-imagination eyes. Not Gabe’s eyes. Just eyes…belonging to a guy with an admittedly similar name...
That must be it—the name. It was making her see things that weren’t there, making her think he was looking at her like he knew her. But…that wasn’t possible. Gabe was imaginary. As in not real. She’d made him up. And—this was ridiculous. She was arguing with herself.
Someday I’ll find you, Ellie, her memory whispered in Gabe’s voice.

Beth M. Honeycutt

A professional writer and editor, Beth has written everything from poetry and short stories to proposals for government contracts, science textbooks, and standardized tests (yes, you have her to thank for those!). Her real love is writing fiction, though, especially YA. She loves to travel and has been to nine different countries (more if you count layovers!). At home or abroad, she can usually be found with her head in a book or madly scribbling down ideas for a book of her own. She loves spending time with family, stories of all kinds, and happy endings. She firmly believes in the enduring power of love.

"I haven't found a book since the Twilight series that held my attention long enough to finish. I couldn't put this book down. 5 STAR all the way."
"Wow, this book rates right up there with some of the best I have read. LOVED IT."
“Ms. Honeycutt weaves a tale of magic. Effortlessly written and thoroughly enjoyable.”

“This story was everything I hoped for as well as everything I believed that it would be. It was sweet without being too sensual and romantic without being too sappy. My heart just smiled with every endearment that was spoken. It was truly just beautiful.”

"A sweet story about finding love unexpectedly and finding the courage to take a chance with the seemingly impossible. It's a quick read, but a must."
"I'm so glad I read this book. This is a well written, 'clean' book that proves that you don't need sexual innuendo and filthy language to keep a reader's attention. I love the unique story and very likable characters. I can't wait to read the sequel!"

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Celebrate Love Blog Series with author Sarah McLendon and My Forever

Tomorrow is going to be a long day, becasue before I even get into uniform, I have a 15 hour day ahrad of me....outside in the snow once again. So while I should be getting my gear ready, I am taking a few moments to get this out to you. Our next guest id from Georgia...I'm pretty sure there's no snow down there. 

Could you share a little about yourself and what led you to become a writer?  
I am in the education field and have been since the age of 19.  I am married to an amazing man named John and we have 2 fur babies.  I have always had a love of reading and after losing my mom, I channeled my pain and healing into writing a book. I started writing after having lost my daughter, so I can relate to that.

Do you write full time? How much of your life is set aside for writing? 
I work full-time so I do not have a tremendous amount of time to write.  Usually, weekends and evenings are used for writing but I balance that with the time I spend with my husband.

Could you tell us a little about your novel?  
“My Forever” is fictional but I drew on my own grief and loss to hopefully make the reader believe the character’s pain.  It begins with loss and pain but slowly evolves into a love story.  It has some twists and turns, but the reader will have to read to find out if there is a happily ever after.  I am also working on the sequel to “My Forever”.  It is entitled “Forever After”
Would you take us on a brief tour of your novel and the world you’ve created?  
It is set in the scenic North Georgia Mountains.  The main characters both have suffered loss in their past and are both trying to heal.  The meet and try to develop a relationship and while helping oneanother heal and grow at the same time.  They both work in the medical field.  The book is a clean read.

Where does the inspiration for your main character and story come from?  
Savannah is loosely 
based on me and the loss of my mother.

What do you think makes a good romance story?  
True love, trust between the characters, ups and downs and a little drama. We're going for the full load here!

How do you handle the emotional side of romance writing? 
I feel the pain and anguish that my characters feel. For sure knowing first-hand what those emotions are makes it easier to write down...much more so than trying to imagine what it is supposed to feel like.

Which elements do you think are more important in this type of writing?  Emotion.  You need to be able to make your reader feel
what the character is going through. 

What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life? The message behind “My Forever” is to have faith, believe in God and be patient that your blessings will come.  The story started as a way for me to heal and such evolved as I wrote. I hope you found some peace through your writing.

Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow? 
I do not use an outline to write from.  I sit and write when I am in a writing frame of mind and the words flow onto the page. My favorite way to write!

What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years? “My Forever” occurs over about a year and a half time frame.

How much research went into your story?  I researched Blue Ridge and the size of the town to make it more realistic but I travel to Blue Ridge frequently and am familiar with the feel of the town.

Could you tell us how you go about your research, how you ‘catalogue’ information to make it all work?  While I get information on size and location and climate, I really just write what I am feeling at the time.

How do you handle marketing? Do you have a plan, a publicist or just take one day at a time?  I have a publisher and they handle some of the marketing but I rely heavily on social media and people that I know to promote my writing.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?  Start writing and worry about formatting later.  Get your thoughts and ideas on paper and then organize them.  Never give up.  If a publisher turns you down, there are 100 more and someone will say yes when God feels it is the right time.  I wrote “My Forever” 7 years before it was published.

Could you tell us what you’re working on now? The sequel to “My Forever” as well as a Biography about a very dear friend with terminal breast cancer.

My Forever
Sarah McLendon
Christian Romance, Romance, Fiction

Only a few years after tragically losing her hearing, Savannah James is blindsided by the death of her mother. Alone, in a world that can hear what she cannot, Savannah struggles to find her way without the most important person in her life. She returns to the radiology department at Mountain View Hospital, hopeful that immersing herself in work will help ease her pain. With her self-esteem at an all-time low, can Savannah's chance encounter with Nurse Carter Reed, with secrets of his own, lead to a blossoming romance? For the first time, Savannah is not self-conscious about being deaf. Will Carter and Savannah be able to overcome the darkness they both have had to face in their lives to find My Forever...

Author Bio:

Sarah McLendon is from Georgia and lives with her husband John and 2 furry children.  My Forever is her first published book and she is currently working on the sequel.  She is also working on a biography about a terminal breast cancer patient.  She has been published in the Reader’s Gazette and was featured in the Blog for London Books (Clean Indie Reads), the home of Flinch Free Fiction.  She has spent the last 22 years in the Education Field and she values her Faith in God and uses it daily to help her live her life like she is meant to live it!

Purchase Links:

Contact Links:

Twitter: @mclendonsarah

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Celebrate Love Blog Series with author Donna G Driver and Passing Notes

February is coming to an end, and we are down to the last few romance authors. Fear not, those who have already run out of chocolate, Easter is around the corner! 

Could you share a little about yourself and what led you to become a writer?
I didn’t plan on being a writer when I was a kid. I was always planning on being an actress/singer. I even majored in Drama in college. All the while, though, I was writing as a hobby: stories, poems, songs, plays and one fairly horrible horror novel in my spare time. Around the time I graduated college I had finished that first novel and was starting a series of romantic fairy tale novellas and children’s novels. When I finally sold a story and got a play produced I was hooked, and I’ve been writing (with intention) ever since. Eventually, I gave up pursuing acting in Hollywood and turned all my creative focus on writing. Now that I’m a little older and living in Tennessee, I do an occasional community theater musical to satisfy that theater itch, but I’ve really had to pull back on those to make more time for my writing career. Quite an interesting evolution.

Do you write full time? How much of your life is set aside for writing?
I have a full-time teaching job, and I’m a wife and mother. My writing happens in the evenings after work (when I can fit it in) and mostly on the weekends in writing sprints. Most of my weeknight time tends to go more toward marketing than writing. I get that. I am sitting here going over the interview, wearing my field dress (combat) uniform, taking advantage of the available time.

Could you tell us a little about your novel?
Passing Notes is a young adult romance novella. It’s not terribly long, but it’s very sweet with a paranormal twist to it. In this story, Mark is a senior in high school and has been in love with Bethany for years. She’s finally given him a chance, but he’s pretty inept when it comes to flirtatious texts or romantic emails. He begins finding little handwritten notes giving him advice about how to write the perfect love letter. Who is haunting him with this advice? And if he follows the suggestions, will it work and win Bethany’s love?
Would you take us on a brief tour of your novel and the world you’ve created?
Mark isn’t a great student, and he’s planning to join the Army when he graduates. He’s not in any of Bethany’s classes, because she’s one of those really smart girls in the Honors classes. The story takes place in the realms of his life: school, his fast-food job, and his home where he lives with his parents and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandmother. While this is a high school love story, Mark’s relationship with his family is also important to the story and something that has attracted adult readers.

Where does the inspiration for your main character and story come from?
This novella began as a short story. One of my step-daughters was in a relationship where they only texted each other, never talking, and all of their texts were silly and nonsense. There was nothing personal or romantic about it. Not surprisingly, the relationship didn’t last. Around the same time a lot of the elementary schools were beginning to drop cursive as a course of study. I thought that was terribly sad. So, I wanted to write a story about reviving the art of the handwritten romantic love letter.  Who would have no idea how to write one? Someone like Mark. Who would appreciate one? Someone like Bethany. Who would teach him how to do it? Well, that is the question, isn’t it? Ha! Love it.

What do you think makes a good romance story?
I like to see how characters meet and connect. That’s my favorite part of romantic stories. I like when two people are able to get past all the nonsense and see each other as they really are. I’m a sucker for happiness and romantic gestures. Which is something we could all use a dose of.

How do you handle the emotional side of romance writing?
Whether the story is a romance or not, it should have an emotional side. I’ll admit to having wept while writing a sad scene and clenching my jaw through stressful ones. I definitely experienced some of that when writing Passing Notes. I agree. So much of our everyday life is emotion-based, so it's important to be able to bring out emotions in our readers. 

Which elements do you think are more important in this type of writing?
I’m not a romance author per se. I’m a YA author, so my focus is more on writing authentic teen characters even if I put them in slightly fantastic situations. So far my YA books have focused on blooming romances. First love. That said, I think an author needs to write characters the reader cares about, or they won’t care if they fall in love or if the guy gets the girl. Agreed. I think writing characters that the readers can relate to is a must to draw them into the story. 

What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life?
Passing Notes is about being genuine. It’s about being expressive. It’s about being true to yourself and caring for your family. Did I plan this ahead of time? No. It all came from Mark and his relationship with the ghost sending him notes. I’m going to have to read that.

Do you work from an outline or just go with the flow? If you use an outline, how detailed is it?
Normally I do write from outlines, but not this time. As I wrote above, this story began as a short story. I wrote it to enter into a contest. It didn’t win, so I put it away for a while not knowing what to do with it. Then one day I got an idea of how to stretch it out into a longer format. I never did an outline for this story. I just started adding to it like adding shadows and highlights to a painting. Fire and Ice YA Books (who had published my novel Cry of the Sea earlier in the year) agreed to publish this novella as an ebook. That’s great.

What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years?
The story takes place over a week – the first week of the 2nd semester of school. I always find it fascinating how a hundred years can fill a few pages and a few days can fill an entire novel.

How does this book differ from what you have written in the past?
I like to write contemporary fantasy or magic realism, so this story fits into that genre because of the paranormal aspect of it. My other fiction tends to be more plot-driven adventure, however. Whereas Passing Notes is a quiet, romantic, character-based piece.

How have the changes in present-day publishing impacted your schedule as a writer?
Social media and marketing take up a tremendous amount of time. I feel the urge to constantly be posting on my pages or updating the blog, finding new reviewers, places to guest blog, etc. With my limited time, my writing time evaporates quickly. I used to write a lot faster than I do now. I actually do better writing if I take my laptop somewhere where there is no wifi. Even if it means sitting in my car at the park. I am not a self-published writer, so I don’t have a hand in how my books are produced. I do want to try to put out at least one book a year, if possible, through Fire and Ice as long as they’re into it. I am shopping manuscripts around to agents too, mostly my Middle-Grade fiction. Marketing can be overwhelming for sure. I look at others who have completely self-published, doing things I cannot do because I have a publisher behind me as well, (you know, like having they one typo corrected, lol). I am completely satisfied with Ravenswood Publishing and couldn't imagine going at it alone.
How do you handle marketing? Do you have a plan, a publicist or just take one day at a time?
Sadly, I don’t have a plan. I have slowly but surely been making connections with bloggers and other authors. We help each other out. I really do take this all one day at a time.  It can be some overwhelming; I think that pacing yourself through the process is best. Sadly, what works for one does nothing for another, so there is not 'right' way to go about it.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t rush. Take the time to make a good quality story. It’s not a race. Really, it’s not. The book will sell more if it’s awesome than it will if it’s so-so because you were in too much of a hurry to get it on the market. Sound advice. I always wonder how some authors manage to pump out books several times a year.

Could you tell us what you’re working on now?
I’ve just finished plotting the 3rd book of my Juniper Sawfeather series. Cry of the Sea and Whisper of the Woods are the first two books about a teen daughter of environmental activists who discovers mythical creatures during her efforts to protect the natural world. The first book involved mermaids, and the second book involved an ancient tree spirit. I can’t say what she’ll find in the 3rd book yet. It’s a secret. Learn more about these books at my website:

I am very excited to share a character interview with you from Passing Notes. I'll go whip up a few steaming mugs of that awesome hot cocoa from Snow Job while you read on. Enjoy!

Interview with Mark Dowd from Passing Notes by D. G. Driver

Tell us a little something about yourself.

I don’t know what there is to know. I’m 17 and almost done with high school, thank goodness. I’m in ROTC, so I’ll be joining up right after graduation. I used to be on the hockey team but had to quit when my grandma got Alzheimer’s and had to move in with us. So, now I just work at the Sonic drive-through after school. I guess I’m kind of an ordinary guy.

But something extra-ordinary has happened to you, hasn’t it?
Yeah, I guess you could say that. Over Winter Break, Bethany Rivers started going out with me. I don’t know if we’re for sure boyfriend/girlfriend, but I thought it was going that way. She’s been pretty distant since we got back to school, though. I think her friends are telling her not to be with me.

Yes, that’s interesting and sweet, but that’s not the extra-ordinary thing I was asking about? Care to share?
Oh, about the notes? Is that what you’re asking about? I kind of was keeping that a secret. I thought only Jill Pietenpol knew about them. Did she tell you? She’s such a busy-body. I should never have asked her to read that first one for me. It’s just that it was in cursive, and I couldn’t read it very well.

Mark, just answer the question. What’s going on with the notes?
Well, I keep finding them. Sometimes they’re in my desk or my backpack. They’re all in cursive and have annoying messages about how letters need to be sweet, polite, private and written in nice handwriting. Stuff like that. Thing is, they always seem to show up right after I say or do something awkward around Bethany. I send her a dumb text and BAM! there’s a note telling me how stupid I was and how I should try again with more romance and tact. I’m not good at that kind of wordy romantic stuff, and whoever’s giving me the notes is kind of getting on my nerves.

Do you know who it is?
No. At first I thought I was finding notes from long ago that someone lost. Next I thought someone was being sneaky or playing a trick on me. But then the words on the paper changed in front of my eyes, like they were being written by an invisible person. Now I’m wondering…. You’re going to think this sounds stupid.

Just say it.
I think it might be a ghost.

What do you think this ghost wants?
For me to write a great love letter to Bethany, I guess.

But why? Doesn’t sound like a typical haunting, does it?
I don’t know. That’s what I keep asking myself. Why would my love life matter some old ghost? But hey, I’ve got a question for you, interviewer: do you think I should do what the ghost suggests? Should I follow his advice?

Couldn’t hurt, Mark. I know if I got a beautiful love letter, I’d be pretty tickled.
Aw, that’s what I thought you’d say, but then again, you’re a writer, aren’t you?

Is Bethany a writer?
No, but she’s super smart and on the debate team so she’s great with words. She reads a lot of books. I’m not even close to being as intelligent as her. Plus, she’s really pretty and has always been nice to me. I’ve known her for years.

You really care for her, don’t you?
Yeah. So much.

That ghost might be onto something then. What are you going to do?

I don’t know yet. I definitely don’t want to embarrass myself any more than I already have. I’ll think about it and get back to you. Okay?


A sweet YA romance with a paranormal twist!
Mark has finally gotten the attention of the girl of his dreams. Only, his lame attempts at romance through texts and emails seem to be turning her off. When he gets put in the back of the room in an over-full class at school, he begins to discover old notes giving advice about how to write a great love letter. At first, he thinks he’s stumbled on some long-forgotten notes passed in class ages ago, but every time he reads them they seem directed specifically to him. They also appear at the perfect moment each time he needs more advice. It’s like someone is haunting him. How do the notes keep appearing? Who’s writing them? Why?
And if Mark follows the ghostly writer’s advice, will he win Bethany’s love?

Ready to find out more about our guest author? Well then you're in luck, I just happen to have her bio on hand. Read on...

Author D. G. Driver has been a published author for 21 years. She has several award-winning, critically acclaimed nonfiction books as Donna Getzinger. Through Fire and Ice YA Books, she has published three Young Adult contemporary fantasies: Passing Notes, and the Juniper Sawfeather Novels, Cry of the Sea and Whisper of the Woods. In addition to being a writer, she is an actress/singer and a teacher in Nashville, TN. 

Contact Links:

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What Reviewers are Writing About
Passing Notes by D. G. Driver

"Passing Notes is a novella about young love but with a touch of paranormal. It’s a sweet story that I enjoyed. Even though this is a novella, D.G. Driver did a good job at developing the characters. It’s obvious that Mark, who is telling the story, is a good guy who is hopelessly in love. A couple of current issues are brought to attention, both of which are bothersome to me. One is how much texting and emailing replaces talking and spending time together in relationships. The other is that cursive writing seems to be becoming a thing of the past. I enjoyed Passing Notes and I believe young adults and adults alike would like it. I wish it had been longer!" - Bound4Escape

"This is such a good read!! I really enjoyed reading this short novella. I really did feel Mark's frustration when he would attempt something to woo Bethany and it would just backfire in his face. Then he started getting the letters, and when he listens... it's amazing for him! He learns of a long-forgotten connection, and he learns a new skill as he goes. You will love the ending, and you will love the whole package!" - Dowie's Place Reviews

"Passing Notes had a beautiful and fitting end that came full circle and was satisfying to read. For any teen that stumbles through dating, this is a wonderfully informative and entertaining novella that they can learn from." - Rachel Barnard Reviews

"The subtle moral of this novella is that love can only grow when we put some thought and effort into it. With the use of texting and social media days, it's easy to become lazy and complacent in our relationships so I honestly believe that this should be required reading for any young (or young at heart) person in your life. It might even save a few marriages… Oh, and you'll probably be able to guess who the ghost is but the confirmation provided one of the most powerful moments of the story. Ms. Driver proves once again that she's an author to watch!" Cullen House Reviews

"I really liked this story.  I liked how Mark just couldn't seem to convey his feelings properly to the girl he so desperately wanted.  I liked the element of a little magic helping him along. 
I liked how the whole thing tied to his family. The only thing I didn't like was that it was too short!!!!!!" - Read Around Sue

“I can't explain how amazing this short read was. It’s so simple but the impact and the message in and of itself is beyond powerful… Grinning like a damn idiot just remembering the goodness of this book.” – Curious Obsessive Bookworm

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fill Your Kindle Giveaway

Fill Your Kindle Giveaway Banner1Ten clean indie authors. Sixteen gripping stories. One HUGE giveaway.
Enter below for your chance to win 16 books plus a $100 Amazon card.
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As The Ash Fell by AJ Powers


Taking care of ten kids was the last thing Clay Whitaker expected by his twentieth birthday. Then again, after acclimating to the volatile nature of life in the Texan frozen wastelands, he's not surprised by much anymore. That is, until he meets Kelsey Lambert. Now, with a brutal winter rolling in earlier than ever, Clay must swiftly adapt to the changes in his life to ensure the safety of those he cares about.

Cowboy Leaning in Doorway of Barn
The Cowboy's Last Goodbyeby Shanna Hatfield

Contemporary Western Romance

Ben Morgan has no problem safeguarding his heart until he meets a sweet woman determined to ignore his considerable charms. Harper Hayes knows the very last thing she needs is the entanglement of a relationship, especially with a handsome cowboy like Ben Morgan. However, their hearts, her uncle, and a military dog have other ideas.

Finding Faith (Love's Compass: Book Four)by Melanie D. Snitker

Contemporary Christian Romance

Single mom Serenity Chandler is determined to do anything to provide better opportunities for her son, Gideon. That includes moving so he can attend a special needs school. The satisfaction of helping children and being a part of their lives is one reason Aaron Randall loves his job as a music therapist. Dueto Hope Academy's dating policy, any relationship between them will put his job at risk. The more time Aaron spends with Serenity and Gideon, the harder it is to ignore what they could have together. With Aaron's job and Gideon's education hanging in the balance, they'll have to rely on faith to find their way.

In Her Eyesby Wesley Banks
Sports RomanceBook Page
(Pre-order ComingSoon)When Ben Wilder is given a second chance he focuses on the one thing he's always been good at: running. After walking on to the University of Florida he begins to quickly move up the national rankings,paving a path towards the NCAA Track & Field Championships. Everything is going the way he planned, until the day he bumps into Casey Taylor. *Disclaimer: Content includes explicit language*

Life and Salvation_Front
Life and Salvationby Faith Blum

Christian Western Romance

Three novellas, three men, three women, three very different problems. God is leading each couple, but will they listen? Will they all find true love in the midst of their problems? 

Mercy's Prince Kindle cover
Mercy's Princeby Katy Jones

Young Adult Christian Fantasy

When his older brother dies in battle, Valerian must set aside his dream to be a scholarly monk and become crown prince. Armed with a brave heart and the love of a pacifist Healer named Mercy, Valerian sets out to find the legendary dragons, the only hope of salvation for his kingdom.

None But Youby Franky Brown

Chick Lit

Anna never expected to see Erick Walsworth again. Breaking off their engagement eight years ago was the worst decision of her life. With circumstances throwing them together and a best friend insisting on playing matchmaker, Anna can’t escape the one question she fears most: What happens if she can’t convince her first love to give her a second chance?

Reluctantly Marriedby Victorine Lieske

 Contemporary Romantic Comedy

What starts out as a harmless on-air date between local morning show co-hosts ends up going viral, and Megan Holloway is thrown into a whirlwind fake romance. But what starts out as pretend, soon becomes real, and she must decide if her heart can take a chance on love.

Snow Jobby Debbie Brown


When NY divorce lawyer, Sarah Lindquist, stepped out of her office to clear her mind before her next client showed up, the last thing she expected was to come to in the middle of the Colorado Rockies, with two park rangers standing over her. The ex-military rangers are convinced someone wants her out of the way, but how to find out who, without putting her life at risk and letting that 'someone' know they've missed the target?

Write Me Home-FINAL Ebook
Write Me Homeby Crystal Walton

Contemporary Clean Romance

Firefighter Ethan DeLuca couldn’t get out of Haven’s Creek fast enough. But the trouble with trying to outrun his past? Memories still burn under the ashes. Especially when coming home brings a feisty redheaded fire into his life that he has no idea how to put out.

Fill Your Kindle Giveaway - 16 books plus a $100 Gift Card 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Celebrate Love Blog Series with Author Ines Bautista Yau and her novel Plain Vanilla

Our next guest brings Ice Cream...and that is awesome! I mean, don't get me wrong. I like chocolate....but I love Ice cream. J Oh, and I'm not going to talk about the weather because someone up there can't make up their minds if they want to freeze us or snow us in. So, back to ice cream, and our next guest, Ines Bautista Yau. Welcome back  Ines! 

Could you share a little about yourself and what led you to become a writer?
I studied Communication Arts in college because I always wanted to write. It didn’t matter what form it took, I just wanted to write. Then when I began working in a public relations company, a friend suggested I teach in my former high school. I had no idea what to teach, but something inside was ignited and I couldn’t sleep that night. The next day, I called the school and asked if I could apply. I figured I could try to be an English teacher. It was my favorite subject anyway. So I got accepted and I studied my masters degree in English Language and Literature Teaching (I am a comprehensive exam and thesis away from my degree). Afterward, I joined the editorial team of Candy magazine, a teen magazine. My life has always been in flux between writing and teaching.

Right now, I freelance and work from home because I have two little girls and I want to be there when they need me. Hmm, if that's anything like my youngest ( which I believe are the same age as your two), they need you ALL the time. Or more specifically, as soon as you try to do anything for yourself, worke related or not.

I began writing when I was a child. I guess, like all writers, I love to read, and as a child, I always carried a book around with me wherever I went. Somehow, the natural progression was to begin writing my own stories as well. At first, I began writing in a diary because I was given one by an aunt, but I grew tired of merely recording what happened to me that day. So I made up my own stories and the thrill and freedom that came with that hasn’t left me.

Do you write full time? How much of your life is set aside for writing?
My full time job is being a mom. Im taking care of my two-year-old for what feels like 24/7 and my seven-year-old when shes home from school. When I find time in between to breathe, I write. Its incredibly challenging and I dont know how Im going to finish another book, but I was able to do it last year and I know I can push myself to do it again this year!

Could you tell us a little about your novel?
My novella is entitled Only A Kiss. It is a sweet romance set in the Philippines and it’s about two best friends, Chris and Katie. They went to the same grade school and always had each other’s backs. When high school hit, things began to change. Chris had his heart broken for the first time and his life spun out of control (at least, according to Katie). In the end, they learn a thing or two about love and friendship. I enjoyed reading this one very much.
What do you think makes a good romance story?
I believe a good romance story must be believable. It has characters that tug at your heartstrings and make you feel something, characters that make you care about what happens to them, and of course, characters who fall in love and find a way to be together in the end. And very important, they have to end up together! Haha! Yeah...that one, tiny, last detail, is the reason my novel, Emma, to Begin Again, could not be considered romance. But alas, their fate had been sealed by the previous novel.

How do you handle the emotional side of romance writing?
I love this part. Its when I have to dig deep and call forth the emotions my characters are feeling. Its not easy if its something I havent experienced yet but thats when I tell my imagination to run wild and come back with something I can work with. So far, it works but it takes a toll on my tummy because more often than not, its tied in knots alongside my characters tummies! Lol, the sign of a true artist.

Which elements do you think are more important in this type of writing?
I think the characters need to shine through and be very real. This is the only way the reader can be invested in them and want their happiness. If the reader doesnt like them, then she wont care what happens to them in the endand your happily ever after will be pointless. Now that makes sense!

What is the message behind the story? Was it something you specifically wrote a story around or did it develop as your characters came to life?
That love will happen, though it may take time. It’s funny, I didn’t really set out to include a message in the book, but readers have been telling me that they’ve learned a lot from it and that they now have hope that someday, they too will find love. And even if I didn’t mean for that to happen, I’m glad that’s what they took away. Ah, the sign of inspired writing.

What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years?
Years J It begins when theyre children and ends when they are in their twenties.

Could you tell us about your other works?
I have just released a short story collection called Just A Little Bit of Love and the stories basically happen in the same world as Only A Kiss. They can stand on their own, however, and do not need to be read together. What I love about this collection is there are three doses of love but they all pack a lot of feels.

I also plan to release a short story for Valentines called Plain Vanilla. The story opens on Valentines Day when a teenage girl named Tempest attends a Valentines party thrown by her wild and wacky family. She feels shes the only normal person there then she meets Paco, a boy who intrigues her. But when she finds out he calls her vanilla on Facebook, she gets really upset and sets out to prove him wrong.

How does this book differ from what you have written in the past?
This is only my third book, but my other two did not span almost an entire lifetime. I think thats the main difference. Also, I cover both points of view in Only A KissKaties and Chriss. In my other two books, I use the first person point of view.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. Learn everything you can about your craft. Don’t ever stop learning. And don’t ever stop writing. You can only get better with time and practice.

Could you tell us about your other works?
I have just released a short story collection called Just A Little Bit of Love and the stories basically happen in the same world as Only A Kiss. They can stand on their own, however, and do not need to be read together. What I love about this collection is there are three doses of love but they all pack a lot of feels.

I released a short story for Valentines called Plain Vanilla. The story opens on Valentines Day when a teenage girl named Tempest attends a Valentines party thrown by her wild and wacky family. She feels shes the only normal person there then she meets Paco, a boy who intrigues her. But when she finds out he calls her vanilla on Facebook, she gets really upset and sets out to prove him wrong.
Oh, I want to know what happens! That sound like fun.

I just wanted to add that I  love your book covers. They are beautiful. Different from what we often see. Well done.

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, Only a
Kiss, and Just A Little Bit of Love. She has also written four short stories: “Someday With You,” “Flashbacks and Echoes,” “Plain Vanilla,” and  “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom to two little girls and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at The Author Project is a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head.

You can find her at:

Twitter and instagram: @inesbyao

Purchase Links:

Only A Kiss Amazon
Only A Kiss
Plain Vanilla
What’s in your Heart
One Crazy Summer
Sola Musica

Someday With You