Countdown to The Secret Ingredient of Wishes: 2 Months to go

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes Giveaway

Guys, my book comes out in two months. TWO! MONTHS! How amazing is that?

I am beyond excited to have this book out in the world come September. (A little freaked out too, but we’re not going to talk about that now. Now is for celebrating and getting other people as excited as I am. Okay, maybe not that excited but I’ll settle for somewhere close to it.) So to celebrate, I’m giving away a signed ARC! For those of you who don’t know what THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES is about, read on…

26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.

Sound like something you want to read? If so, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! (You can also pre-order it online or from your local favorite indie store if you’re so inclined. Pre-order links are on my website.)

Giveaway: The Choices We Make

 

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Karma Brown’s second novel The Choices We Make comes out next week. And let me just tell you how excited I am! Karma is one of my favorite people (and my Pitch Wars co-mentor this year!) and deserves all of the critical acclaim she’s been getting for both of her novels. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this book, and it does not disappoint. (But make sure you have some tissues handy.)

Since the book is all about the lengths best friends will go to for each other, I’m giving away a copy of the novel and a gorgeous (not cheesy!) set of gold best friend necklaces–one for the winner and one for her BFF! Here’s a longer description of the book:

Following her bestselling debut novel Come Away with Me, Karma Brown returns with an unforgettable story that explores the intricate dynamics between friends and mothers.

Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate’s skirt with a mirror. While they’ve been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can’t help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls.

She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah’s heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it’s Kate’s turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah’s surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so.

Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of two mothers, one incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true.

So what are you waiting for? Go enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Giveaway: Lies and Other Acts of Love

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It’s officially summer, so to celebrate I’m giving away a signed copy of Lies and Other Acts of Love by the delightful Kristy Woodson Harvey. This book is the best kind of beach read. Here’s what it’s about:

After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.

Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.

But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

Sounds amazing, right? What are you waiting for? Go enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here!

Writers, Have You Rocked The Vault?

As we write, we can become consumed by the plot, by the story events that sizzle with conflict, tension, and intrigue. But what often holds readers in thrall are our characters and how they grow and change. Who they evolve into, what fears they push past, how they take on pain to reach fulfillment regardless of the challenges—all of these steps in the character’s journey, combined with the plot, can create a fascinating trek through the pages of a novel.

And yet there’s another element that’s needed to meld the story and character arc together: the setting. Choosing the right one for each scene is critical to give deeper meaning to the character’s inner and outer journeys. The right setting can symbolize our protagonists’ goals, remind them of their past, steer their choices through emotional triggers, and lend them the strength to soldier on, no matter what opposition stands in their way. But what if “the right setting choice” is one we haven’t experienced ourselves first hand? How do we describe it?

The Setting Thesaurus DuoWell, there’s some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds that a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry, HOUSE PARTY, a location from the Rural Setting Thesaurus volume.

And there’s one more thing you might want to know more about….

Rock_The_Vault_WHW1Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT. At the heart of Writers Helping Writers is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking…if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!

Signed ARC Giveaway of THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU

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My fellow fangirl, Lily Anderson, has written a delightful YA novel inspired by Much Ado About Nothing. The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is full of loveable nerdy references and adorable moments between Trixie and Ben, as well as a fun cast of characters that made me want to go binge-watch Firefly for the umpteenth time then follow it up with 10 Things I Hate About You for good measure.

The book released earlier in May and I highly encourage you to go buy it now! But since I now have my very own hardcover copy to fangirl over, I’m giving away the signed ARC that Lily was gracious enough to send me. So go enter my Rafflecopter giveaway!

Goodreads ARC Giveaway

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There’s a Goodreads giveaway for ARCs of my magical realism novel THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES! (Pippin not inlcuded.) Go enter for a chance to win:

How She Lived (a magical story of life…and death)

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I just spent the most amazing week with some of my best friends at a reunion retreat at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California. It was a week of writing and laughter and being inspired and sharing stories over glasses of wine. On the first night, sparked by one of the writers being instructed not to get murdered while away, we decided to write a short anthology in which we all die while on the retreat. A little twisted, I know. But trust me, it was one of the best decisions we made all week.

The order in which we died was randomly selected. I died first. (That’s a heck of a lot of pressure, by the way.) I spent days trying to figure how I would die. And then halfway through the week, I got inspired by Djerassi itself–the art, the mist, the magical feeling of just being there–and I really kinda love what I wrote. So I thought I’d share it. Don’t worry, it’s short.

The girl had been waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting so long she thought her chance to be real, to be flesh and blood and laughter and thought, might never come. Big green eyes. Pert red lips. Bare feet perfect for sneaking around unheard. She’d tied her hair back to keep it out of her eyes, but wisps of it pulled free anyway to tickle her cheeks while she kept watch in the dark.

With the way the human girl liked to dream up fantastical—unbelievable—things, she worried she’d somehow be found out. That she wasn’t just ink and near-perfect lines tattooed onto skin. That she stole pieces of the human girl’s soul, siphoning a little bit more every day, making her stronger and the human girl less and less herself.

The other humans here knew her well enough to notice something wasn’t quite right.

“Susan looks tired,” they had said.

“Maybe she’s had too much wine.”

“Maybe the mist is messing with her head. It can do that you know. Make you go a little crazy.”

“The mist. That’s how we all die,” Susan had said.

Then they laughed and laughed. And they forgot they were ever even worried.

But they were right to suspect the mist. To fear it. The chilly shroud of dancing water droplets and slowly swirling air held a secret of the mountain. Creative souls could be taken here, and given to art to grant it life.

The girl held her hands behind her back, the look of innocence frozen on her face. The human girl never even questioned what she was hiding. Her fingers caressed the warm ball of energy nestled in her palms. It pulsed like a heart, and the girl could feel her own growing, growing, growing. Coming to life as she teased the last blue-white tendrils of soul from flesh. She peeled away from the human girl’s arm tangled in the bed sheets. She became whole and vibrant and alive—just as she was always meant to be—and the human girl’s breaths slowed, slowed, then ceased altogether.

No one would know until morning. By then the girl would be deep in the redwoods, discovering what other secrets the mountain had to offer.

Looking down at the human girl’s lifeless body, all she could do was laugh.

And it was the most exquisite sound she’d ever heard.