Now is the perfect time to grab your copy of my friend Jami Deise's chick/mom lit novel, KEEPING SCORE!
When her 9-year-old son wanted to play summer travel baseball, Shannon had no idea the toughest competition was off the field…. When her son Sam asks to try out for a travel baseball team, divorced mom Shannon Stevens thinks it’ll be a fun and active way to spend the summer. Boy, is she wrong! From the very first practice, Shannon and Sam get sucked into a mad world of rigged try-outs, professional coaches, and personal hitting instructors. But it’s the crazy, competitive parents who really make Shannon’s life miserable. Their sons are all the second coming of Babe Ruth, and Sam isn’t fit to fetch their foul balls. Even worse, Shannon’s best friend Jennifer catches the baseball fever. She schemes behind the scenes to get her son Matthew on the town’s best baseball team, the Saints. As for Sam? Sorry, there’s no room for him! Sam winds up on the worst team in town, and every week they find new and humiliating ways to lose to the Saints. And the action off the field is just as hot. Shannon finds herself falling for the Saints’ coach, Kevin. But how can she date a man who didn’t think her son was good enough for his team … especially when the whole baseball world is gossiping about them? Even Shannon’s ex-husband David gets pulled into the mess when a randy baseball mom goes after him. As Sam works to make friends, win games and become a better baseball player, Shannon struggles not to become one of those crazy baseball parents herself. In this world, it’s not about whether you win, lose, or how you play the game… it’s all about KEEPING SCORE.
Super-big thanks to bestselling author, Jan Moran, for interviewing me on her blog! It was a great interview with very interesting and thought-provoking questions. Go to Jan's blog and read it here.
Jan Moran is a bestselling author whose novel, Scent of Triumph, just got acquired by St. Martin's press. She's also a fragrance and beauty expert who created Scentsa, an interactive fragrance program used at Sephora stores.
IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH got a great review from InD'tale Magazine, a well-known e-magazine reviewing and discussing indie books! Read it here.
Congrats to Debi N. of Indiana, winner of the IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH QUIZ. There were several perfect scores, so we put the names in a hat and my husband drew out Debi's name. Thanks to everyone for playing, and Debi, you will receive your $10 Amazon Gift Card this week!
Today I welcome Courtney Giardina, author of TEAR STAINED BEACHES as a guest blogger! Courtney is in the middle of a blog tour to promote the launch of the print version of her debut novel, which you can buy here. And she's giving away a signed copy, so be sure to enter the contest at the end of this post! Take it away, Courtney!
Fall season has begun, but that doesn’t mean beach getaways have to be put on the backburner! In honor of the print release of Tear Stained Beaches and the fact that it takes place in a coastal Caroline town, I wanted to share a few of my key beach essentials for those lucky enough to be traveling to white sandy beaches for the holiday season!
My summer attire is filled with Victoria’s Secret bikinis. Right now, I’m loving the ruffled look. It’s a cute and sexy addition to any solid color bikini.
Covering those highlights and protecting your face from the sun is imperative while hanging out on the beach all day. A cute straw hat like this one from J. Crew is the perfect addition to any cute bikini.
Face it, even if you’re just relaxing under an umbrella for the day, you never leave the beach sand free. Facial wipes are a great way to get all that dirt and oil off of your face throughout the day to help protect breakouts and keep your skin feeling fresh. There are a few different options out there, but I like Burt’s Bees facial towelettes with white tea extract.
Our lips always seem to be neglected when we step out into the sun. After a long day they might feel chapped and dry even if you use spf protection. To add a bit of moisture back into them I recommend Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm.
A good book
Never leave home without a beach read! While you’re working on your tan you need something to help pass the time. Whether its flipping the pages or scrolling your ebook, this is certainly an essential on my beach list.
What are you favorite beach must-haves?
About Courtney Giardina
Courtney was born and raised just outside of Rochester,NY where she jumped and tumbled her way through school as a gymnast and cheerleader. She credits cheering under the lights on Friday nights as the reason for her love of football. Realizing that becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader was probably not a realistic ambition, Courtney decided to take her creative talents down a different route. In May 2012 she traded cold, snowy winters for extremely humid summers in Charlotte, North Carolina and worked early mornings and late nights on top of a full-time job to create Tear Stained Beaches. When she’s not in the midst of writing songs, poems or debut novels, Courtney enjoys being in front of the camera as an actress, running 5Ks and singing loudly to country music in her Jeep. In her world, everywhere is a stage.
Tear Stained Beaches
Haylie Julian wants nothing more than to put her crumbling marriage back together. Chase used to be a fun-loving, light hearted husband who had lately become an overworked attorney obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder. It isn’t long before Haylie starts waking up next to a man she barely knows. His secretive phone calls and late nights at the office leave her feeling alone and afraid of what he might be hiding. Ignoring his continuous pleas to just leave well enough alone, she continues to dig for answers and discovers a heartbreaking truth.
Struggling with what she has just learned, Haylie sets off to a quaint little North Carolina beach town to decide if her marriage can survive. It isn’t long after she arrives that her world is once again turned upside down as Chase’s secret stares her right in the face.
Tear Stained Beaches explores what happens when a marriage isn’t the happily-ever-after you thought it was. Can trust be rebuilt? Can a wife forgive the ultimate betrayal?
Courtney believes that giving back should be an important part of our every day lives. Helping those who need it and supporting those around us make for a better tomorrow. As part of her mission to give back, Courtney has chosen to donate 10% of all purchases of Tear Stained Beaches that come from her website by October 23 to the organization Jodi’s Voice. Jodi’s Voice is a newly created organization working to raise awareness for a great cause of helping create stricter stalking laws.
Enter for your chance to win a signed copy of Tear Stained Beaches!
Today, I welcome back my friend, Deborah Nam-Krane, a FANTASTIC author, whose new book, THE FAMILY YOU CHOOSE, debuts TODAY! Deb is here to talk about “How to Write about Taboos”, which she does a masterful job of in her new novel. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy, and it blew me away!
In The Smartest Girl in the Room, one of the main characters commits a crime to, well, get some justice for another crime. I had some reasons for that development, but I wanted the reader to walk away with two feelings: sympathy and disapproval. Hopefully my readers understood what my character did, but at the end of the day, I wasn't making a lifestyle recommendation.
In the sequel The Family You Choose, no one breaks a law, but someone breaks a rule; we are definitely into taboo territory. I'm very aware—and have been for years—that this story might horrify some. I'm equally aware that it might titillate. While I'll accept both reactions (I don't really have a choice), I'm not courting either. So how can I make sure I minimize those possibilities?
First and foremost, I go back to rooting the story in the characters. By the time people finish the novel, I think they will understand why the story plays out the way it did. It isn't about speaking to an issue or manipulating my readers to get a reaction; it's about what happens when someone thinks she or he can get away with anything. (Who that someone is will not be expected.) The taboo isn't the story—the characters who set it in motion and the ones who got caught up in it are.
Another important consideration when writing about something "forbidden": ask why it is so. It's not enough to write to a word; you have to address the considerations surrounding it. Why is it offensive? Is it inherently dangerous? Is there an uneven power dynamic? What's the root of the concern…and is there anything that can be done to flip it, and would doing so help or compromise the characters?
It's rewarding to follow your character on their journey, but it can also be exhausting to do so when they insist you ask all of the questions that surround uncomfortable choices they've made. When we have characters that find themselves in such a situation, our job is to humanize them by making the reader understand, even if they don't approve—and sometimes even if we don't approve. One of the harder parts of writing, but also one of the more rewarding.
About the Author
Deborah Nam-Krane has been writing in one way or another since she was eight years old (and telling stories well before that). Her series, The New Pioneer debuted in March with The Smartest Girl in the Room. The sequel The Family You Choose is available today. And until October 5th, you can download the book for free from Smashwords. Use code TQ97C. Don't feel bad about getting it free—but please leave a review!
Please join Deborah's mail list to find out first about new releases and connect with her on any of the following sites:
Don't forget about Carolyn Ridder Aspenson's giveaway
of her book, UNFINISHED BUSINESS. Enter here!
I'm giving away a signed copy of
IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH on Goodreads!
Sign up here for a chance to win!
I thought we'd have a little fun today, so I put together my first-ever QUIZ about my book, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH!
The person with the most correct answers will win a $10 Amazon.com gift card! (In the event of a tie, we will put the names of those with the highest scores in a hat and draw for the winner.)
I will run the quiz for one week. The winner will be announced on Saturday, September 28th!