Tuesday, October 18, 2016

One Summer with Autumn, book blast for Julie Reece!

One Summer with Autumn
Julie Reece
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Autumn Teslow arrives at her father’s job fair knowing she’ll never measure up to the perfect image of daddy’s little girl—her twin sister.

Wearing anger management issues like a second skin won’t help Autumn win her dad’s approval for the big trip she’s been planning—or meet his condition that she successfully complete a summer internship for college.

Autumn’s cool unravels when her sister lectures against disappointing the family again. And when a young, bearded guy steps through the crowd to settle the growing argument between siblings, Autumn lashes out, dubbing him a “Duck Dynasty wannabe.”

At Nineteen, Caden Behr is clueless as to why his man parts are threatened by the fearsome girl before him. He’d only come to find an intern for his recreational equipment company, not break up a girl-fight between two sisters.

Unfortunately, the only candidate left is the girl who just told him off. Without her, he’ll never prove to his CEO mother that he’s ready for more responsibility.

Autumn and Caden agree that if they can keep from killing one another, they can use one another to get what they want and then never have to see each other again. Which is what they want.

Until it isn’t.

Because despite her best efforts to scare him off, and his fading desire to push her into the lake, they’re beginning to enjoy the time they spend together. But pride is a hard habit to break. And if neither will admit their changing feelings, they could lose a whole lot more than one summer.

Goodreads / Amazon


There’s a tap, tapping on my shoulder.

“Excuse me, Ms. Teslow?”

I whirl away from my sister and bump a broad, plaid covered chest. Annoyed, I step back and crane my neck up several inches. Whoever he is, he’s a good six feet against my five foot two—with heels. “Yeah?” I snap.

Feet apart, the guy has a confident, almost cocky stance. His face is mostly hidden between a full, copper beard and the cap pulled low over his eyes. The tanned skin of his arms shows where his sleeves are rolled back. The guy could pass for the centerfold in a lumberjack calendar, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which I’m not.

“What do you want?”

“Uh … ” He glances at Sydney and back to me. “I was told you like working outdoors and might be interested in a job?”

Wait, zoo guy?

My cheeks blaze as I realize what’s happening. Sydney said if I didn’t try, I’d regret it, though this set-up is elaborate, even for her. I don’t know where she found the lumber-clown standing in front of me, but with a few empty promises, my sister can make any boy her puppet. Well, she’s gone too far this time.

“Really?” I say. “And what job is that, exactly? Cage scrubber, chief dung shoveler? No, thank you.”

“What?” he asks, eyes widening. “I don’t think—”

“That’s obvious.” My finger pokes his very firm chest. “I’m sure you two think you’re clever, but if this is some sick way of sucking up to my sister, it’s pointless. Gorillas aren’t her type.”

“Hey! Now wait just a—”

“My sister swaps guys like other girls change their days-of-the-week panties. Now, if you want to keep your balls intact, I suggest you get out of my way. I don’t need your fake job, or to work for some hairy Duck Dynasty wannabe, too dumb to know when he’s being played.”

The idiot blinks once as I push past him. Through the silent crowd I walk, head held high, toward the gym’s double doors. And freedom.


Did she just call me a Duck Dynasty wannabe?

Okay. Now, I’m pissed. Unwilling to give this girl the last word, I pivot to face her and see nothing but a rigid back. “Hey! Wait a minute. You can’t just … Don’t hate on the beard!” No reaction from the angry creature storming away from me. Brilliant comeback, by the way, I tell myself.

Maybe she does have my balls.

Caught between insulted and twisted fascination, my mind tries to unravel the chain of events where I definitely missed something. Clearly, the girl thinks I’m her enemy, but I have no clue what I did.

Also, she’s insane.

The room’s gone quiet. As I glance around, I notice a fairly large crowd has gathered. Not surprising after that show, I guess, except they’re full-on staring at me. Some expressions are obviously amused, while others seem sympathetic. Most turn away, shaking their heads or looking embarrassed as I meet their gazes. My face is too warm and my heartbeats won’t slow. All of it makes me feel like a first class chump. Like I need pity for being bested by some shrieking, pygmy-girl. Pride tenses my shoulders, stiffens my neck. I glare at the closed double doors, tilting my head until my neck bones release a satisfying crack.

Oh, it’s on.

The girl is going down.

Author Bio:

As a child, Julie’s summers were about horseback riding and fishing, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all. She struggled with multiple learning disabilities, and spent much of her time gazing out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) she fought dyslexia for her right to read and won.

Afterward, she invented stories where powerful heroines kicked bad-guy butt to win the hearts charismatic heroes. And then she wrote one down…

Writing ever since, Julie weaves southern gothic, contemporary, fantasy, and young adult romances. She enjoys sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. Her writing is proof a dream and some hard work can overcome any obstacle.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

It's the YA Scavenger Hunt!

It’s Fall and it’s time again for the YA Scavenger hunt!  I'm Lisa Amowitz, author of BREAKING GLASS, VISION and UNTIL BETH.

This time I am on TEAM GREEN  I'm also running a giveaway of my own (see below for details).

This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck 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 YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM--but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole
different set of books!

Here's all our pretty books!

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 YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GREEN TEAM, 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 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today, I am hosting the exciting Dawn Ius on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! 

Dawn Ius is the author of three contemporary young adult novels published by Simon & Schuster—Anne & Henry, Overdrive, and the forthcoming Lizzie. When she's not slaying fictional monsters or swooning over book boyfriends, she can be found geeking out over things like fairy tales, true love, Jack Bauer, Halloween, muscle cars, and all things that go bump in the night. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, Jeff, two large breed dogs, and three bearded dragons—yes, she will respond to Khaleesi. 


OVERDRIVE (Gone in Sixty Seconds meets Heist Society) is an edgy novel about a crack team of teenage criminals on a mission to learn to trust, build a life, and steal a wish list of exotic cars.

Jules Parish has screwed up.

After three years of boosting cars, she got caught. She’s too good to get caught, but she let her (ex)-boyfriend talk her into a questionable job. And now she and her little sister, Emma, will be kicked out of their foster home, left to survive on the unforgiving streets of Las Vegas alone.


Eccentric, wealthy Roger Montgomery wants to open up his mansion to Jules and Emma. The only catch? Jules must steal seven of the rarest, most valuable muscle cars in the world…in seven weeks. Even worse, she’s forced to put her trust in three complete strangers to help her do it.

First there’s Chelsea, the gorgeous redhead with a sharp tongue and love for picking locks. Then there’s Mat, who hasn’t met a system he couldn’t hack. And finally there’s the impossibly sexy car thief Nick, whose bad attitude and mysterious past drive Jules crazy.

With nothing in common and everything to lose, can Jules and her amateur crew pull off what could be the biggest car heist in history? Or will things spin out of control faster than a Nevada dust devil?

You can visit and find out more about Dawn right here!

Twitter: @dawnmius

You can buy her books here!

And here is the BONUS CONTENT from Dawn Ius...

While writing OVERDRIVE, I cranked up a long list of fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping tunes, many of which are likely familiar as they’ve been featured on the kinds of movies that inspired the book—Gone in 60 Seconds, Fast & The Furious, Oceans 11, etc., plus there are some throwbacks to a few of my favorite movies, like Lost Boys and The Terminator. (Kyle Reece is still one of my favorite movie boyfriends…)

Here are my Top 10 songs from that list!

Testarossa Autodrive

The energy of this beat really got my adrenaline pumping for writing the chase scenes. And I guess there are a few of those scenes…;-)

Pedal to the Metal - Kazzer 

Another heist scene favorite, and the first song that made my own driving playlist when I bought my 2009 RX-8 after selling my debut, Anne & Henry.

Drive It Like You Stole It - Glitch Mob

This song was on repeat for the opening scene, which was probably one of the most fun scenes I have ever written.

Nightcall - Kavinsky 

The perfect tune to play during one of the night heists—there’s something so hypnotizing about the beat and Kavinsky’s voice. Plus, I love the movie in which it’s featured—Drive. (Ryan Gosling!)

Alive - SIA

I can’t even narrow down when this track was played—perhaps in almost every scene. Sia has such a powerful voice, and this song is so emotional it forced me to go deeper into my characters’ emotions.

Boost Me - Gone in 60 Seconds Soundtrack

Self-explanatory? So many songs from the Gone in 60 Seconds soundtrack could have made the cut. I love this one a lot.

Terminator (Theme Song)

Such a great mood setting song—and from the soundtrack of a classic movie. I love the way it builds suspense, and I listened to it on repeat while writing some of the more tense scenes.

Pistols at Dawn - Senabo Sey 

Slowing it down for a particular scene, of which cannot be named because…spoiler ;-) 

Cry Little Sister - G Tom Mac 

This song has always been so haunting to me, and I played it often while writing some of the more ominous scenes.

On the Other Side - Jessica Bell

Written and performed by my dear friend, Jessica Bell, this song wound its way into several scenes—her voice is so beautiful and moving. And this video! Wow! 

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Dawn Ius, and more! To enter, you need to know that I am 27 years old--(give or take a decade or three). Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the green team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


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

Please remember to !

And, here's my giveaway, just for YASH! I happen to have a lovely extra hardcover copy of Leigh Bardugo's CROOKED KINGDOM and happy to give away. It's not signed--because--I'm not that special. BUT I can promise you a signed copy of my book UNTIL BETH. That is for US only--for you international folks I will give you an ebook of both my books UNTIL BETH and BREAKING GLASS and even send you some swag if you want. :)

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Cover Reveal: Pintip Dunn; BEFORE TOMORROW

Title: Before Tomorrow
Publisher: Entangled TEEN
Release Date: Oct. 31, 2016

And now for the reveal...get ready--it's a beaut!! and NO I did not design this--I just love Pintip and her writing so here goes...

In a world where all seventeen-year-olds receive a memory from their future selves, Logan Russell's vision is exactly as he expects—and exactly not. He sees himself achieving his greatest wish of becoming a gold-star swimmer, but strangely enough, the vision also shows him locking eyes with a girl from his past, Callie Stone, and experiencing an overwhelming sense of love and belonging.
Logan’s not sure what the memory means, but soon enough, he learns that his old friend Callie is in trouble. She’s received an atypical memory, one where she commits a crime in the future. According to the law, she must be imprisoned, even though she's done nothing wrong. Now, Logan must decide if he'll give up his future as a gold-star swimmer and rescue the literal girl of his dreams. All he'll have to do is defy Fate.
Add BEFORE TOMORROW on Goodreads!
But what if you don't want to wait until Oct. 31?
No problem. Pre-order REMEMBER YESTERDAY, book 2 in the FORGET TOMORROW series, and register your receipt here, and you'll receive a copy of BEFORE TOMORROW to read before anyone else! Plus, U.S. residents will also get a bookplate and bookmark!

Want to learn more about FORGET TOMORROW and REMEMBER YESTERDAY? Click here.


Author bio: Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE and the forthcoming REMEMBER YESTERDAY.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#Pitch Wars: The Window Closes PSA #1 All my dirty secrets revealed...

REMINDER: To repeat an old cliche that has been repeated to me more times than I can count:

Your writing career is a MARATHON and not a sprint.


But let's unpack that. What do I mean by endurance? 
Just pushing and pushing the same manuscript ad nauseum for years and years? Fixing and editing and revising the same old tired thing? How long should you keep revamping the same book? I think that it is sometimes advisable to shelve a manuscript and apply everything you've learned to something new.

Which doesn't mean you can't GO BACK and rewrite that shelved lovely with fresh eyes months or even years later.

Let me share my own sordid adventures in writing--all 13 years of them.

You may have deduced that I am a late starter. As in, I had an entire career as a graphic designer, professor, fine artist, and illustrator (not to mention mother of two) behind me. I had even already earned an MFA in painting. I'm not bragging--I'm just trying to explain the ridiculous and improbable nature of my quest...very much like Don Quixote's ambitions. I wasn't exactly looking for a new obsession. It just kind of found me. 

In 2003, I'd wanted to illustrate a children's book--because--well--I am an illustrator/designer. That is what I was trained to do. It's how I saw myself. I'd always "dabbled" in writing and brushed it off as something that came "easily." I'd never struggled with writing in school, but had also never taken it too seriously. It was just a way to get a good grade and sometimes amuse myself with half-baked stories I'd never intended to finish.

That was until 2003. What was supposed to be a short little picture book, somehow morphed into five notebooks worth of scribbling. At first I thought I had a middle-grade book, until I realized it was really YA. That was after I learned what YA was!

Translation: I had NO CLUE what I was writing. 

I did not understand genres, let alone the marketplace. All I knew was that this character (His name was Will, for the record, and I still have the drawings of his never to be published exploits) walked into my brain and stayed there. 


Yes--three years. Two of which (2003, 2004) I did not admit to ANYONE, except a trusted friend and a family member. You'd think I was a spy or had an addiction. (wait--I did have an addiction).
However, what I DID have was INTENSE passion--but not much else! 

I had no one to share my words with, no one to advise me on craft. Honestly, I had no idea there even was such a thing. (Shameful for a person with a graduate degree--but heck--I was an art major).
All I had a wild meandering plot, and a character I loved. Oh, what a glorious mess!
Finally, after two years of writing in secret, I managed to type the monstrosity into a word doc. At a friend's urging, I sent it to her acquaintance, a big shot at one of the BIG 5 (there were 6 then).
Do you want to know what said person had to say about my "masterpiece?" 
That I should strongly consider taking a class, or maybe even quitting. 

In a word--I SUCKED. I mean-- really, really sucked. And here I was thinking-- Damn! I labored two years over this thing--isn't that worth something?

It was worth something. 

Yes. I learned loads.

But it wasn't worth a cent to a busy editor whose business it was to publish good books that people will want to buy and read.

So, there you have it. 

2005--Year of reckoning, Pt. 1. 

Quit? Or figure out what to do next.

I knew I wasn't quitting. Instead, I found an online critique group. And after about a year of ripping, tearing, learning about "show vs. tell", tension, dialogue tags, voice (all things I had NO IDEA existed despite getting a grade of 100 on my HS English exit exams, and "5" on my AP English exam and getting waived from Freshman English). 

Well color me shocked. 
I had NO IDEA there was so much to know about writing fiction. About genre!

The good news is that after seven months of getting my writing chewed and spit back out at me, I made major strides in my craft. So, by the end of 2006, I was ready to query the monster I had been nursing for over three years. (Okay--I will tell you the name--because this thing is dead and it is going to STAY DEAD. It was called TRUE VOICE).

Yeah--so what happened? Did I get an agent? Did I get a multi-zillion dollar book contract?

Did I expect that I would?
Um--yes--actually--I thought I had created a work of rare genius and that the whole world should be as thrilled about it as I was.

What really happened was this. I queried my favorite agent (after tons of flailing over query letters, etc.) and actually GOT MY FIRST PARTIAL REQUEST. I was over the moon!!
Fast I did not get an agent. And after I revised this monster umpteen times, and got about 60 rejections, I decided to put it to bed. 

So in 2006, I wrote another ms. This time the voice was SPOT ON. It grabbed people. This was IT, everyone said. I finished this book within the year and was querying by the end of the year. And there we go again--LOADS of requests--including one from a HUGE agent. This agent said she LOVED my voice, but didn't think this premise would work--but please do send her my next ms.
Now, it's 2008. Book TWO (Freaks of Nature, may it rest in peace) is murdered and buried next to Book ONE. I finish my THIRD book (Afterside--may it also rest in peace) in maybe, eight months and send the ms to the BIG AGENT. BIG AGENT signs me in September 2008.
Sounds great, right? 
In only five years, I have a BIG AGENT and I am on my way.

NOPE. But one thing I did learn was genre and voice. I learned enough about how to hook a reader. But guess what? I still could not plot my way out of a paper bag (sometimes I think I still can't!)
Fast forward to 2009. BIG AGENT never subs the book. Drops me after the financial freak out and market crash of 2008. Everyone panics and I believe I am finished. Washed up.

Yes--2009, year of reckoning Pt. 2. 

The year I finally decided that I needed to write for my love of it--and nothing more. 
So I worked and wrote and by the end of 2009, had completed Book 4. (I also attended loads of conferences and did whatever I possibly could to improve my craft. In other words I switched gears from getting PUBLISHED to being a BETTER WRITER.

Now it's 2010. I place runner-up for a WRITER'S DIGEST contest. Which wins me a partial request from another BIG AGENT (no disclosure, but this agent--who did not become my agent, has become a friend.). That agen (who is a terrific agent should you be so lucky to have her), helped me with some big plot problems I had. I queried BOOK 4--got about a 30% request rate and FINALLY in the summer of 2010, landed my second agent--a new agent who has since gone on to greatness (and though I still respect her deeply is not longer my agent--but that's about the biz and not writing. I have a lovely agent now, Shannon Hassan--who is NEVER EVER going to see books 1,2,and 3.)
So guess what? Agent #2 did not sell my Book 4. Instead, I wrote BOOK NUMBER FIVE.

See if you can guess the title of BOOK NUMBER FIVE?

That book is BREAKING GLASS, the fifth book I wrote and my first book to get published. 
In 2013. That is a full ten years from the minute I started filling those notebooks.

I will stop here--though my journey is far from over. Getting published is just another step on the ladder. There is no arrival, only the voyage.
But here's a good one to leave you chuckling. Remember BOOK FOUR? The book that joined my other three in a shallow grave?
In 2013, a lightbulb went off, and suddenly I knew how to "fix" BOOK FOUR. Want to know the name of BOOK FOUR?

That book is UNTIL BETH--the fourth book I ever wrote and my third to be published.
Moral of the story? Never give up. But that doesn't mean keep on working and re-working the same manuscript. Put that one aside and write a new one. 
Learn from your mistakes. Listen to your feedback. Apply what you know until something finally sticks!!

Has this been helpful? I really don't want any of you with a story in your hearts to let those stories go dim. Just know that in the arts, it takes time and effort to perfect your craft.
Please let me know your own stories and thoughts in the comments below.