Guest Post from Kristin George: Rejection is a Four-Letter Word

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Rejection. It’s a four-letter word in the writing industry. Yet every blossoming writer has to go through it. I remember the first rejection letter I received. It was for my novel that was published early last year. It went something along the lines of: “Your book was not suitable for our company because of its genre. If you ever write a romance, we’d be happy to take a look at it.”

Romance, I thought. Gag. I’m a murder mystery writer, not a romance writer. Crime thrillers are my choice of reading material, TV shows, and of course, what I love to write. You write what you know. And I do not know romance.

Yet I instinctually knew that the rejection letter was a polite way of saying, “Sorry, we’re not interested.” The company had already read my three-chapter proposal so they clearly knew the genre of my submission.

Many writers just want publishers to be honest with them, tell them what their piece was lacking. There’s nothing more frustrating than to be told, “It’s just not for us” without being told why! How can you improve if you’re never given that constructive criticism necessary to foster marketable and successful writing? What’s even worse is the publishers who don’t even give you the courtesy of properly notifying you of your rejection. Or what I love, publishers who reject you a year after you sent in a submission. I once had a publishing company who rejected me two and a half years later, nearly a year and a half after the book I proposed was published!

It’s funny how your first rejection letter frames your future submissions. Some writers give up. Some writers use rejection as a motivation and a driver. Some writers take the constructive criticism and use it to foster success. And some break down and become defensive or angry. Because after all, that is their work. The work they slaved over for weeks, months, even years!

I fell into the category of writers who gave up for about a year and then used it as fuel to come back even stronger, with even more force, determined to not let rejection stop me.

Truth be told, there are probably several would be authors that were never discovered because they couldn’t recover from their first, second, or even twentieth rejection letter.

Yet as a writer, I’ve learned to develop a reptilian-like skin that was unbreakable, to not let rejection break me down. Because if you let it, it will destroy you and grow in you like an invasive plant killing a farmer’s crops. Nobody likes to be told their writing isn’t good enough. Many feel like they are being told that they are not good enough. But that’s simply not the case. Your writing may not be right for that particular company, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good—great even. Honestly, it is that publishing company’s loss when they turn down a promising piece of writing that is bound to be picked up elsewhere. I’m sure those who rejected J.K. Rowling are regretting that decision to this day.

When you face rejection, the worst thing you can do is to quit, to give up without putting in a fair fight. Successful writers have one thing in common: they never gave up. They kept sending in their proposals. They kept hustling and selling books out of the trunk of their car (this is actually how John Grisham began selling his first book). They hound publishing company after publishing company until one finally says yes.

And from experience, that first yes is worth all of the exhausting nights spent writing until four am, all of the rejection letters, all of the tears, all of the frustration. It’s all worth it. Because when you get that yes, it means someone believes in you, someone is willing to give you a chance, someone thinks your writing could be successful. And if you continue to fight, you may just become the next J.K Rolling or the next John Grisham. Who knows what path you are giving up and missing out on if you let that rejection letter defeat you.

So the next time you receive a rejection letter, think of it as an opportunity to improve your writing, to improve your marketing skills, to polish your manuscript. Don’t think of it as rejection, but think of it as reinvigoration, renewed strength to keep going, this time even harder. Don’t ever stop trying. Because the second you give up, that rejection letter won. Don’t let that four-letter word define you. Let it renew that passion in you, that passion that pushed you to start writing in the first place, and allow that fervor to propel you into success.

Aboutthebook

 

Kristin George Cover

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A horrific murder in a picturesque suburban neighborhood forever alters the destiny of the Banks family. When Craig Banks is found with a bloody knife weeping over his sister’s lifeless body, the eyewitness account from his brother Chad makes for an open-and-shut case. Sitting on death row for first-degree murder, Craig loses everything he loves: his fiancée, his friends, his law career, and any chance at a future. Even if he did manage to be released, he would never be treated the same. Despite the overwhelmingly incriminating evidence against him, Craig’s mother never misses a Sunday visit, and her faith in him allows him to continue his life, even if it is a life behind bars. When new revelations about the murder of Lizzie Banks surface, can forgiveness and unconditional love overcome the ultimate betrayal?

 

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abouttheauthor

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Ever since Kristin George was young, she has harbored a passion and a love for reading and writing and that passion translated into her college studies and life pursuit. In just five short years, Kristin received both a BA and an MA in English with a concentration of Professional Writing and Rhetoric from George Mason University.

Since then, Kristin has had a murder mystery titled Bitter Disconnect published by eLectio Publishing, has published a children’s book entitled Ruger Tails, and has had nineteen articles published in various online magazines. She is currently a freelance writer and editor.

 

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Guest post: Series Playlist by Jus Acardo, author of ALPHA, Book 3 in The Infinity Division Series

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If there was a soundtrack for my life, it’d be diverse. Everything from Elvis – I can’t help falling in love with you to Five Finger Death Punch – Battle Born. Other than books—and food—music is my thing. Oh. And animals. And the outdoors…

I have a lot of things.

When I think about my husband, it’s Vain – Without You. He played it for me one of the first few times we hung out. When I hear Loudon Wainwright – Dead Skunk—yes, I have this on my phone—I think of the trip Hershey Park when I was a kid. There was a skunk, a Nun, and some candy bars. Don’t ask.

When I hear Muse – Supermassive Black Hole, I think about vampires. Playing baseball.

You know you do, too. No one’s judging.

But music is more than inspirational for me—it’s essential, an integral part of my writing process. Scenes play out in my head like a movie. And everyone knows all good movies need a killer soundtrack. The right song can help set the appropriate mood and put me in the headspace that I need for a particular scene. Anything from a high-octane chase scene or blood pumping epic battle, to those tragic backstory moments or heartwarming, awe inspiring declarations of love.

I have playlists for each book, many scenes, and most characters. Usually I start off with a few general songs. Ones that fit the overall mood of the book and the picture I have of it all in my head. From there, I add as I go along. As relationships develop, the list continues to grow.

Each of the three main couples in the Infinity Division series have their own song. Usually it takes me most of the first draft of a book to pick the perfect one, but when it came to this series, I had songs chosen for all three couples right after the first draft of the first book!

Infinity – Kori and Cade: Hozier – Take me To Church

Omega – Noah and Ash: Hailee Steinfeld Ft Zedd – Starving

Alpha – G and Sera: Stone Sour – Song #3

Each character had their own playlist, but also a key song. Something that, to me, embodied their personality, situation, and/or struggles. Since the books are all told from different points of view, these songs helped me get inside the head of each narrator.

Kori: Raise Hell – Dorothy

Cade: Dangerous – Shaman’s Harvest

Noah: Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys

Ash: Roots – In This Moment

G: Bury Me With My Guns – Bobaflex

Sera: Supposed to be – Icon For Hire

Dylan: Bad Man – Bobaflex

I can’t fathom living—or working—without music. I’d be utterly lost. What about you? Do you have a particular artist or song that’s your go-to? What’s your current fave?

**You can view the entire playlist for the Infinity Division series here!**

 

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Sera has no memory of her life before. Before captivity, before experiments, before the only lifeline she had was the voice of a boy in the cell next to hers. Before G.

G wishes he could forget everything before Sera brought him back to life. Forget his memories as a ruthless mercenary on an alternate version of Earth. Forget that he was part of an experiment simply known as Alpha.

Now on the run from their captors and in need of an antidote to save his life, G and Sera’s clock is ticking. And they’ll have to gamble everything on the bond they forged in captivity if they want to survive.

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abouttheauthor (1)
JusAccardo
Jus Accardo spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing, as well as the Darker Agency series, and the New Adult series, The Eternal Balance. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.
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Guest Post and Cover Reveal: HARMON GENERAL by Kimberly Fish

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HARMON GENERAL

Misfits and Millionaires #2 

by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies 

Expected Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Harmon General is book two in the WWII historical fiction series entitled Misfits and Millionaires—set in Longview, Texas. The novel picks up about two months after the story line in The Big Inch ended.

Familiar characters and locations get a shot of adrenaline from the biological hazard espionage going on at the U.S. Army’s new medical hospital treating diseased and wounded soldiers—a 156-acre pop campus created as part of a master plan to place U.S. Army hospitals around Texas specializing in long-term wound care for WWII soldiers. The Office of Strategic Services has one of its best agents in place as a nurse at Harmon General—Sgt. Emmie Tesco—and she’s soon up to her blood pressure cuff in intrigues at the hospital campus, particularly the mission to stop a culprit code-named “Dr. Death” who is accused of skewing the malaria test protocols being established at Harmon so that no one will notice him preparing to sell the malaria research to the enemies of the Allies. Heroes and villains circulate in Longview from the post at Harmon General, and Emmie ropes Lane Mercer into helping manage the overload of responsibilities. Readers of The Big Inch will better understand what drives Emmie Tesco and why poking at old wounds can be a messy affair. The backstory of Lane Mercer and her first husband gets a brutal airing too, and stakes grow dangerous for Lane and Zeke Hayes as the plans they’d wanted for their wedding are upended by well-meaning, Aunt Edith.

PRESENTING THE COVER 

OF HARMON GENERAL

 

 

PRAISE FOR HARMON GENERAL:

“The war that changed the world brought the world to East Texas through Harmon General, a significant US Army hospital that treated thousands of wounded soldiers in Longview.  In Harmon General, we meet again Lane Mercer, a World War II heroine, and we enjoy again how the drama of her secret service to the nation and her complicated personal relationships pull us into the vast impact of the world war.” — Dale Lunsford, Ph.D., President, LeTourneau University

GuestPost

What’s real in the WWII historical fiction novel, Harmon General?

GUEST POST BY KIMBERLY FISH

Much like in the novel, The Big Inch, I researched the very real history of the U.S. Army’s hospital built south of Longview, Texas known as Harmon General. Not only was I stunned by the level of medical procedures invented and established into modern medical practices by the research done at Harmon General (like malaria treatment, prosthetics, and physical therapy) but also by the astounding number of 25,000 patients treated during the short tenure of this hospital (1942-47.) I was particularly impressed by how well received this hospital and its incoming 5000-member personnel were treated by the local Longview community. The local volunteer wing, known as The Gray Ladies, was serious business in Longview. I spent many hours at the Longview Public Library, reading old issues of Longview News Journal, researching old files in San Antonio at the U.S. Army’s Medical Museum at Ft. Sam Houston, but also in going through the archives at Gregg County Historical Museum listening to old audio tapes of interviews with those who were stationed at Harmon. All the context of the novel is real, the speaking characters in the novel are imaginary—some are compilations of actual historical figures, but as with TBI, I changed the names to protect their privacy.

To be fair, I’m not aware of actual intellectual property theft at Harmon General, nor is there any official documentation that the OSS or the FBI were ever called in to resolve issues on the campus. But then, there never is—is there?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting.

She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in January 2017, released the first novel in the Misfits and Millionaires series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. Her second book, Comfort Plans, was published later that same year.

She lives with her family in East Texas.

 

HARMON GENERAL

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Guest Post: Top Ten by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of ZOMBIE ABBEY

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MY TOP 10…FAVORITE WORDS!

Being a former sort-of librarian myself, and being given the opportunity to post about something on The Librarian Talks, what else would I talk about? Words!


10. That – OK, maybe it’s cheating to put that here, but it must be my favorite since I overuse it in all of my first drafts and then wind up having to take a ton of them out during revisions. Other writers may be noted for their drinking problems. (I’m looking at you, Hemingway!) I have a that problem.

9. Criminy. This word from the late 1600s, used as a mild oath or to express surprise, wouldn’t even be on the list were it not for an exchange I had on Twitter the other day. All I’ll say is that the topic was politics and my use of that word, which I’d never used in my life before, was entirely warranted.

8. Ineluctable. A few decades ago, I noticed that Stephen King used this word all the time in his writing – so: overused. Why not just say inevitable, or unavoidable? Why must it be ineluctable…and so frequently? But it’s been a few decades since I’ve read a Stephen King novel, so I feel like this one can be safely pulled out of the word retirement village I’d banished it to.

7. Makebate. This is a simply marvelous word, the existence of which I’m only aware of because it appeared at the top of the page in the dictionary one day when I was searching for an entirely different word. (Yes, I use a real dictionary.) It’s an archaic word from the early 1500s and means “one that excites contention and quarrels.” I bet if I were a makebate I’d be more interesting but I suppose I might get invited less places too.

6. Dictionary. Because it’s this insanely wonderful thing, where you can be looking for one thing in it and come across a word you’ve never heard of in your very wordy life before and suddenly everything feels magical.

5. Chocolate. Should be self-explanatory.

4. Wine. Also self-explanatory.

3. Enisled. I first came across this word in Canadian author Wayne Johnston’s The Colony of Unrequited Dreams two decades ago and it still stuns me. Few words are so evocative in sound to me as what their meaning is. I would never want to be enisled…but there are a few people I wouldn’t mind seeing it happen to (one being the person I said “Criminy!” about).

2. Termagant. I actually have no idea what the source of me knowing this word is, but I do know that I’ve managed to use it in more than one of my novels; several, in fact. Sure, I could use shrew instead, but what can I say? My usage of termagant, particularly in any historical novel, feels ineluctable.

1. Jackie. I actually do know this isn’t technically a word. It’s my daughter’s name and it’s my single favorite arrangement of letters and sounds in the English language.

 

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Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 30 books for adults, teens and children, which have been published in 15 countries. Before becoming a writer, she was an independent bookseller (11 years), a Publishers Weekly reviewer (292 titles); a freelance editor, a sort-of librarian, and a window washer. She lives in CT with her husband, daughter and cat. Lauren prefers the nobility to zombies, as a rule, and so long as you’re not the latter, you’re welcome to visit her at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com.

 

Aboutthebook (1)

9781633759121

  1. ENGLAND

And the teenage Clarke sisters thought the entail was their biggest problem…

     Lady Kate, the entitled eldest.

     Lady Grace, lost in the middle and wishing she were braver.

     Lady Lizzy, so endlessly sunny, it’s easy to underestimate her.

Then there’s Will Harvey, the proud, to-die-for—and possibly die with!—stable boy; Daniel Murray, the resourceful second footman with a secret; Raymond Allen, the unfortunate-looking young duke; and Fanny Rogers, the unsinkable kitchen maid.

Upstairs! Downstairs! Toss in some farmers and villagers!

None of them ever expected to work together for any reason.

But none of them had ever seen anything like this.

 

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Guest Post: Patricia Hunt Holmes, author of SEARCHING FOR PILAR

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SEARCHING FOR PILAR

by

PATRICIA HUNT HOLMES

Genre: Contemporary Suspense / Thriller

Publisher: River Grove Books

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Number of Pages: 320 pages

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Pilar, an innocent young wife and mother, is abducted during a fake job interview in Mexico City and forced into sex slavery in Houston. Can she survive the horrors of a world—one which many good Americans don’t see or ignore—long enough for her brother Diego to find her?

Searching for Pilar breaks open the secretive and dangerous world of sex trafficking, while exploring human nature and our connections to each another. Diego’s guilt transforms him from a rudderless youth into a man of purpose, and courage. While he searches, Pilar finds a strength that could save herself and a young girl who needs her. The themes of family, love, faith and the law intertwine in this action-packed tale of the Bayou City.

PRAISE FOR SEARCHING FOR PILAR:

“Patricia Holmes fictionalizes the heartbreaking reality of cross-border sex trafficking in her novel, Searching for Pilar. This cautionary tale should be required reading for high school classes to foster awareness, understanding, and ultimately solutions to this horrific epidemic.”  —Joanne F. Phillips, author of Revenge of the Cube Dweller.

“In Searching for Pilar, Patricia Hunt Holmes makes us aware of the terrible nature of sex trafficking in the context of a fast-paced, exciting Houston story that moves from affluence and glitz to barrio cantinas and the federal courthouse. The charitable, can-do nature of Houston is reflected in the wide cast of residents who help a young man on an extremely dangerous mission to find his kidnapped sister.  This book will be an added weapon in our fight against sex trafficking.” –Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston

 

 

GuestPost

The Lingerie Party

Guest Post by Patricia Hunt Holmes

During the past few weeks, the cable news stations and newspapers are filled with stories of women coming forward with accusations of sexual harassment or even rape by prominent entertainers and politicians.  Most of these events took place ten, twenty or more years ago. Defenders of the accused argue that these women should have come forth earlier if they were telling the truth about what happened. “Why didn’t they?” critics ask.  “Obviously these women must be lying now.”

Other defenders of the accused put forth the defense that, “It was a different time.  It was just the way business was done back then. The past is the past, and we should not persecute the perpetrators for conduct that was normal and customary at the time.  Even if there is a shred of truth in what the women claim, he doesn’t do those things anymore.”

I have also heard people excuse bad behavior with the phrase, “Boys will be boys after all.” That comment is usually accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders or a laugh, indicating there’s nothing you can do about human nature.  

Last night I was having dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant with a neighbor couple in their forties.  The woman said she wouldn’t go to a different Ethiopian restaurant because they had women in lingerie entertaining late at night.  That reminded me of something that I had completely forgotten happened in the late 1980s. Suddenly recalling the event now, in the context of today’s political/social topic du jour, I felt like a thunderbolt had hit me.  

As an associate attorney at a large, prestigious Houston law firm, I was assigned to work on the recruiting team for the local law school with other partner and associate alums. Since there were many more men than women lawyers at the firm, there were only one or two women on the team. The Head of the team was a male partner who was a lot of fun but also known for being a man who used foul language and slept around with women not his wife.  These things, in themselves, were not anything that hurt his career at the firm.

The recruiting team’s role was to interview students on campus and then invite the ones to whom we thought we might make a summer internship offer to parties at which the students and the lawyers could size-up one another.  We also organized events for the students who did clerk with us to parties during the summer, all with the goal of recruiting them to come to work for the firm. Since my firm was the largest law firm in Texas and paid the highest salaries and benefits, the ultimate goal of virtually every student intern was to secure a permanent job offer.

I don’t remember if the lingerie parties were held before or after the students came to work, but most likely it was during the summer clerkship.  The Head of the UH Recruiting Committee (let’s call him “Jim”) decided that we would have a party at a new, Texas themed bar downtown. It was after work and all the students were urged to attend.  As a dutiful team member, I was there.

Everyone was drinking and talking and having a good time.  At about 6:00 p.m., three or four very lovely young, female “models” entered the bar.  They were dressed in sexy lingerie and high heels and mingled among our group. Jim had ordered them as the “entertainment.”  At least half of the students were women, and I doubt any of them could afford to buy the lingerie being modeled. The models chatted with the crowd, especially the males, leaving most of the female students to talk with one another and me.  So much for the female students’ opportunity to make a good impression on the lawyers.

You are thinking that I must have been shocked and embarrassed by Jim’s choice of entertainment for prospective law students, right?

Well, you are wrong.  I was in my late 30s or early 40s, having spent ten years in graduate school getting a Ph.D. I was 36 years old when I graduated from law school and began work at the firm.  I had two young daughters in elementary school at the time. I considered myself a liberated woman, doing a “man’s job” in a large law firm and fighting quietly for equal treatment in my legal career.  So why didn’t I jump up and scream at Jim and the other men in the bar (all of whom seemed to be having a really good time) that this was inappropriate behavior and insulting to the female law students they were trying to recruit?

That is the question I have been asking myself since last night when I recalled the incident.  Actually, it was incidents, (plural) since the men thought that the party had been such a success that we did it again the next year.

So why didn’t I protest the objectification of women at the time?  Why didn’t I stand up for those female students? Several reasons:  I was a woman who needed her job and the money it paid to support my family.  If I had complained to the men on the team or to the Management Committee of the firm, the male partners (they were almost all male partners) would have labelled me as a troublemaker.   Good legal work would have ceased to come in my door. Eventually, when my billable hours tanked, I would be asked to leave. I couldn’t afford that.

The students didn’t protest or not come to the parties because they needed the job offer. Some of them had student loans to pay or really wanted a career at what they thought was the best firm in Houston when they chose to clerk there. They had no choice but to put up with being ignored while the male students bonded with the male lawyers over the models.

If I am honest, however, I don’t think I was all that offended or outraged.  In hindsight, it was in poor taste, if not outrageous. But it was the way things were done in those days. When I decided to be a lawyer, I accepted that I was going to have to ignore sexism and sexual harassment if I wanted to succeed. So, the fact that I didn’t speak up and complain about the impropriety of the lingerie party, or any other abuse of or objectification of women that I witnessed, doesn’t mean these things never happened. It just means women couldn’t economically afford to bear the consequences of speaking out about what happened in those days.  It was just how things were done and everyone said, “It’s just Jim,” and shrugged.

I am somewhat ambivalent about whether men should be punished today for something they did when “everyone was doing it.” I think you have to draw a fine line.  The lingerie party was wrong, but it didn’t permanently damage anyone (I don’t know about the models.). I can see not punishing a man for things he did or attitudes he expressed that were insensitive and ignorant if “everyone was doing it” and he is behaving himself and treating women with the proper respect today.  I think conducting wholesale witch hunts for no purpose other than to be mean or gain political advantage is wrong and dangerous.

But past incidents of rape, coercion of subordinates to participate in sexual relationships, derailing of a woman’s career because she didn’t play along, humiliating women and similar bad acts should not be so easily forgiven.  Especially if the perpetrator continues to carry on like this to the present, he should be exposed, vilified and made to suffer the legal and economic consequences of his crimes.

The “boys will be boys argument” deserves to die a miserable death.  It is an excuse for laziness and maintaining the status quo. It implies people can never change their attitudes and behavior. I had a nun in Catholic School who used to tell us that “Can’t means won’t!” If social ideas didn’t evolve, women and black Americans would not have the right to vote. The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights would not have been conceived and written, and we would all still be smoking Camel cigarettes.  Progress is made in human society when society arrives at a consensus that a certain abusive way of behaving towards a group of people is wrong and should no longer be tolerated.

I am hopeful that the large number of women who are coming forward and openly acknowledging that they were sexually abused or harassed in the past means that American society is nearing a consensus that men should not objectify, use or abuse women just because they can.  The legal and economic consequences of criminally harassing or abusing women may be the motivation that is needed to effect real change and equality in America.

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Patricia Hunt Holmes spent 30 years as a public finance attorney with the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP.   She was consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America, Texas Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers in Houston, and awarded the highest degree by her peers in Martindale Hubbell. She was a frequent speaker at national public finance and healthcare conferences.  Patricia has also served on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Tennessee, and University of Texas Health Science Center Houston. She has written and published in the fields of intellectual history and law.

 

Patricia has been a member and board member of social service organizations in Houston that focus on helping women, including the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast Women’s Initiative, Dress for Success Houston, and the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red.  She was a founding member and first board chair of Houston Justice for Our Neighbors, which provides free and low cost legal services to immigrants.  For the past five years, she has been taking writing workshops with Inprint, associated with the outstanding University of Houston Creative Writing Program.  She began to write Searching for Pilar in a workshop after learning that Houston is one of the biggest hubs for sex trafficking in the country.

 

Website  ║  Facebook ║ Twitter Goodreads ║ LinkedIn 

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1st & 2nd Prizes: Signed Copy of Searching for Pilar + Mexican Necklace

3rd Prize: Signed Copy of Searching for Pilar + $20 Amazon Gift Card

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/25/18

Excerpt

4/26/18

Review

4/27/18

Author Interview

4/28/18

Review

4/29/18

Guest Post

4/30/18

Scrapbook Page

5/1/18

Review

5/2/18

Excerpt

5/3/18

Guest Post

5/4/18

Review

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Guest Post: Anna Lores, author of steamy erotic romance

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Writers Need to have A Short Memory: Dealing with Rejection.

Stand around a group of writers and, at some point, a conversation about dealing with rejection will pop up. It doesn’t matter how “thick” your skin is, rejection hurts. And some hurt worse than others. Whether it’s a review, critique, answers to query letter, or in the editing process, someone along the journey isn’t going to like something, and they’re sure to tell you all about it.

One of my more notable experiences with rejection came straight from a writing contest I had entered. I was over the moon when I found out my story had made it into the top three, and had been sent to an acquiring editor. The sweet news soon soured when I opened the final critique I had looked forward to reading. As part of that critique, the editor chose to express her opinion that I should “never put pen to paper ever again.” That comment, and the rest of the comments that particular professional editor sent, wasn’t helpful in my pursuit to become a better writer. They weren’t constructive. They were meant to hurt, and at that moment, that editor definitely succeeded in crushing my spirit.

I’ll be brutally honest. I cried. I considered starting a bonfire in my backyard and burning every note, article, drawing I’d ever put on paper, even the love poems I’d written to my husband. I almost deleted every document on my computer that I’d ever written. If I’d taken that person’s advice, my writing life, something that had been an escape, a love, a sacred place, would have ended that day.

Instead of letting those scathing words defeat me, I took a sports analogy to heart and left the past in the past. It is often said that defensive backs in football have to have a short memory and be able to focus on the future. They get burned for a touchdown on one play, but have to be able to shut down the next pass that comes their way.  Authors have to be the same way. Take criticism one day. Begin a best seller the next.

My writing juices got ignited. I didn’t care how long it took, or how many heart-stopping rejections I got along the way, I was determined to make the next play.

I worked on the craft of writing, enlisted some trusted professionals who wanted to see me succeed, and didn’t let any rejections that came my way break me.

Defensive backs work hard, learn from every play, and have a short memory. I choose that approach in my writing career and in life. Join me and forget about those rejections, work hard every day, and never, never, never give up.

 

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Title: Ella’s Triple Pleasure

Author: Anna Lores

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

This work contains mature content, including graphic sexual descriptions and scenes, and is provided for adults only. 


It takes three men to satisfy one woman’s needs…

Single mom and massage therapist Ella Winthrop isn’t looking for a relationship. She has enough problems without risking a business that barely meets her needs. Then her world is turned upside down by three men, each offering something she isn’t prepared for—love so deep it hurts, sex so hot she’s afraid she’ll melt from the pleasure, and a future beyond her wildest dreams.

Steamy businessman Cade Jackson has it all—money, looks, a giving heart, and a dominant nature—but Ella refuses to date a client even if she’s lusted after him for a year. After his brother’s death, Garrett Winthrop moves back to town opening old wounds and even darker fantasies. Dr. Derek McGregor gives her balance and understanding that speaks to her soul. All three men force Ella to question the limits of a traditional relationship.

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Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2G82I3N

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2DMG1wN

Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/y8sjdgcn

iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/EllaiB

The Wild Rose Press: http://tinyurl.com/LoresTWRP

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anna lores

Anna Lores started writing romance as a by-product of insomnia. After a year of late-night reading, she borrowed her son’s laptop after he went to bed and set about breathing life to her very own characters. After a month, she was surprised with a new laptop to pursue her dreams.

With a B.A. in English Literature and a desire to fill her world with wonderful stories she and her close friends could not just talk about but gush over, Anna shed the job as mom of three in the late night hours and assumed her alter ego of Dirty Girl.

Now, Anna is a multi-published author of contemporary and paranormal erotic romance.

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Guest Post: Mia Hopkins, author of THIRSTY

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Writing from the Hero’s Point of View

One day passes, then two, then three. I work myself hard at both my jobs. I exercise until my body has no energy left to feed my anxiety. In the mirror at the gym, the man staring back at me with the furious eyes is bigger and leaner than anyone who’s ever mad-dogged me before. Sweat drips off my skin. My lungs burn. I let the pain wash over me. “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” as the saying goes. My physical body is strong.

But my heart? My mind?

How do I strengthen those two things?

I don’t know.

—Salvador Rosas, Thirsty

 

Sal is the narrator of my newest sexy contemporary romance Thirsty. He’s a former gangster who’s spent the last five years in prison for car jacking and grand theft auto. Even though Sal’s physical appearance is intimidating, his time in prison has left him introverted and prone to anxiety attacks in crowds.

Thirsty is the first book I’ve written entirely from the hero’s point of view (using first-person POV, in which the narrator is I and me). Spending so much time with Sal was both a challenge and a delight. Here are some of the things I observed during the process of writing Thirsty.

 

  1. Sharper voice. Writing from the hero’s point of view forced me to drop all the “writerly” tricks I’ve come to rely upon as a romance author. While I delight in lots of metaphors and descriptive words, Sal tells stories with very little embellishment. Sal has an education, but he doesn’t spend all day obsessing over words the way I do. The result? A sharper, more muscular voice better suited to telling this particular story.
  2. Surprises. Writing from Sal’s point of view revealed surprises about his personality that I hadn’t anticipated, as if listening more carefully to his voice created new opportunities for character development. For example, in trying to come up with ways for Sal to deal with his anxiety, I realized early on that he cleans whenever he is nervous or wants to show control over his environment. Subsequent research about formerly incarcerated individuals revealed that many inmates pass the time by obsessively cleaning their cells. This extreme cleanliness eventually became a feature of Sal’s character.
  3. Free traits. In my studies of character development, I happened upon the work of personality psychologist Brian Little. Little explores familiar traits like extroversion and introversion, but he also delves deeper into “free traits,” the temporary traits we adopt when we step out of character to face particular challenges. For example, an introverted person might behave like an extrovert in order to get better service for their loved one in a hospital emergency room. In Thirsty, Sal often has to adopt “free traits.” I explored Sal’s fears as he put aside his quiet nature and stood up in a spectacular way to defend his loved ones. I had the pleasure of capturing his turmoil when he put aside his desire for privacy to display affection in public towards his crush.

 

Romance authors regularly fall in love with their heroes. I am no exception. Sal is vulnerable and strong at the same time, a scarred survivor of his circumstances who finds a way out. I learned a lot from living inside his head, and I’m excited to share his voice with you.

 

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About Thirsty

A gangster hiding from his past. A single mom fighting for her future. Can she show this bad boy the man he’s meant to be?
 
“Mia Hopkins is an imaginative author who doesn’t take the easy road to a formulaic book.”—USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog

My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.

Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.

I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.


Praise for Thirsty
 
Thirsty is a sizzling, emotionally intense story that is both gritty and heartwarming, an addictive page-turner that will stay with me for a long time to come.”New York Times bestselling author Cathryn Fox

Thirsty is sexy and soul-wrenching, with Sal’s irresistible voice luring you through a living, breathing Los Angeles. Vanessa and Sal’s chemistry sizzles right off the page. Five smoldering, tattooed stars!”USA Today bestselling author Sierra Simone

Thirsty is an amazing read! I stayed up way too late to finish and haven’t stopped thinking about the characters. Highly recommended!”USA Today bestselling author Molly O’Keefe

 

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Award-winning author Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and waggish dog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Newsletter

 

 

Guest Post: Dirk Weisiger, author of LEAVE TOMORROW {giveaway}

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LEAVE TOMORROW:
My Ride to the 
Bottom of the World
by
Dirk Weisiger
  
Genre: Memoir / Travel / Inspiration
Date of Publication: October 27, 2017
Number of Pages: 232

Scroll down for the giveaway!

After building a successful business, Dirk Weisiger was ready for something new. But he wasn’t sure what. Maybe a motorcycle adventure, I’ve never done that! 
What followed was a fourteen-month, solo motorcycle journey from Austin, Texas to Ushuaia, Argentina, filled with unexpected adventures, surprises, and lessons about life and travel.  

In this book, you’ll not only enjoy Dirk’s adventure and insights, but find inspiration for your own journey.
(A portion of proceeds from this book help sponsor children at the Colegio Bautista El Calvario private school in Managua, Nicaragua.) 

PRAISE FOR LEAVE TOMORROW:
I may not ride a motorcycle to the bottom of the world, but my soul comes alive when I hear about people smashing fear and following their dreams. This book will truly inspire you.
–Abigail Irene Fisher, traveler and speaker

Leave Tomorrow is a fun, engaging, and thought-provoking read. If you are looking for a blend of humanity, culture, scary moments with a medicine man, military police, attempts at extortion, and unexpected challenges–along with insightful observations and humor, this book will definitely spark your imagination to “live your own movie.”  
–Steve Scott, business coach and author of Wings to Fly

This inspiring and entertaining book is just the tonic needed to get you up out of your chair and ready to “Leave Tomorrow.”
–Julie Mundy, Guidebook Author and Travel Blogger, Australia

For everyone thinking of a new adventure, a new life, or even a new venture: DO IT.
–Jim Rogers, bestselling author of Investment Biker and Street Smarts 
This is not the first book I’ve read on riding to Ushuaia, but it is probably the most enjoyable. Dirk writes about his experiences in an upbeat manner, taking each experience and each day in perspective.
–Muriel Farrington, Ambassador, BMW Motorcycles of America


>>CLICK TO PURCHASE<<
A portion of proceeds from this book help sponsor children at the Colegio Bautista El Calvario private school in Managua, Nicaragua.) 
———————————–
GuestPost

Into Bolivia as a Citizen of Texas, Colombia

Guest Post by Dirk Weisiger

I’d heard horror stories of US citizens having a hard time traveling through Bolivia.

My new British friend, Ian and I decided to ride through Bolivia together. He was riding a Yamaha, but he knew more about my BMW than I did since he’d owned one before.

As we reached the border of Peru and queued up in the line, a man stepped out from the crowd and asked us to pay five dollars to cross the bridge to the immigration station. We paid, but it seemed odd.

Odd was about to get even odder.

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As we waited in line to have our passports stamped, Ian received his as they waved him through. I, on the other hand, was ushered to another room because I didn’t have a visa.

They wanted to deport me back to Peru to get a visa. An Argentine rider persuaded the policeman to let me apply for the visa there at the border. Twenty dollars to help “the children” persuaded the official to let me stay.

After seven—yes, seven—hours obtaining bank documents and proving I’d be staying in La Paz, and then verifying I was gainfully employed, the officials gave me a visa. “Gave” might not be the right word since it cost three hundred dollars.

On the positive side, I’m now the proud owner of a ten-year visa to the country of Bolivia.

Fair enough, it’s their country. It seems the officials of Bolivia simply make Americans do what we make foreign visitors to our country do. As I headed for the Iron Horse, I noticed my backpack had been stolen. My laptop was inside… with all my travel writings.

I was totally deflated. This was the low point of my trip, and I was ready to head back to Texas.

“Cheer up, mate,” Ian chirped, snapping me out of my gloom. We had a three-hour ride before nightfall. Never underestimate the power of a good riding buddy. So, onward to La Paz.

All through Bolivia, I followed Ian through the gas stations. If you’re a foreigner, you pay double for fuel, as it’s subsidized for citizens by the government. If your home country wasn’t on the computer list, you couldn’t buy gasoline.

GP 3 Image 2 for BoliviaEngland was on the list. I never saw the USA. They never scrolled down that far.

As we were about to leave the country, the gas station attendant asked for my passport. I quickly showed her my Texas driver’s license—well, we were a Republic once. She didn’t see Texas on her list.

“Where is that?” she asked.

I pointed to the first country I saw, Colombia. “Texas is a little province in the north, near the Amazon. Delighted, she wrote down Texas, Colombia.

I don’t know if US citizens can buy gas in Bolivia, but a Texan can!

 

Dirk Weisiger is a travel trekker, trick roper, and storyteller. He’s the author of the new book, Leave Tomorrow: My Ride to the Bottom of the World. Dirk has always enjoyed speaking to groups, spinning tales, ropes, and offering lessons he’s learned in adventures of life and business. He’s traveled to five continents and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Most of all Dirk loves people and believes that making new friends is the best part of travel.
 ║ Website║ Facebook 
Twitter   LinkedIn
Instagram 
║ Amazon Author Page 

 


GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
Three Readers Each Win a Signed Copy + $5 Cash!
FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 2, 2018
(U.S. Only)


 

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

2/21/18
Author Video
2/22/18
Guest Post 1
2/23/18
Review
2/24/18
Guest Post 2
2/25/18
Trip Pic
2/26/18
Review
2/27/18
Trip Pic
2/28/18
Guest Post 3
3/1/18
Review
3/2/18
Review
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Special Feature: Top Ten by Tawny Stokes, author of LIONS AND TIGERS AND BOYS

My Top 10 Female Characters in Pop Culture of Last Year

By Tawny Stokes

A big part of writing Lions and Tigers and Boys involved creating the character of Dani Gale, who I hope readers will love as much as I do. With that thought in mind, I thought I’d share with The Librarian Talks’ readers my top 10 female characters in pop culture from last year while I was writing and editing my latest YA paranormal romance. Now, in no particular order, check out my top choices:

June/Offred – The Handmaid’s Tale (actually the entire female cast)

The Handmaid’s Tale is by far my most favorite TV show right now.  And that has everything to do with the strong female characters portrayed.  The lead June/Offred played by the remarkable Elizabeth Moss is the toughest woman on TV.  She suffers constantly, but remains hopeful, remains fierce in order to fight for her daughter and for herself.  Every female character is outstanding on that show, including Moira, June’s BFF, poor tortured Offglen, the ferocious Aunt Lydia, and the misguided Serena Joy.

Diana Prince – Wonder Woman

I can’t remember the last time a movie made me so ridiculously happy. The moment Diana Prince walked onto the screen, I was hooked.  I loved that she was fierce and strong, and skilled in combat, but also feminine, and funny and charming and so delicately innocent.  

Elisa – The Shape of Water

If you haven’t seen this movie, I urge to go see it immediately.  It’s one of those movies that totally take you by surprise.  The big part of the film’s charm comes from the lead character Elisa.  She’s mute, lives in an old rundown building, takes care of her older neighbor, and works as a cleaning woman in this secret government installation.  Without a word spoken, this woman is fierce and doesn’t let anyone bully her.  She’s kind and loving, and takes the biggest risk of her life for love.

Zelda – The Shape of Water

Elisa’s friend and co-worker Zelda is a strong, no-nonsense kind of woman.  She’s Elisa’s protector and holds one of the biggest hearts in the movie.  I loved that she was so loyal to her friend, and believed in her and what she wanted to do.  Every second of her on the screen was perfection.

Joyce – Stranger Things

Stranger Things is one of my most fave TV shows ever.  Now, I love me some Eleven. She’s parts adorable and fierce.  But it’s Joyce that is the heart and soul of the show.  For someone so little, she packs the strongest punch.  She shows that a mother’s love is the boldest, strongest type of love ever to exist.  It is unshakable and unconditional.  Joyce is that unmovable rock who will always be there to support you no matter what.

Lorraine – Atomic Blonde

This was definitely in my top movies of 2017.  The movie is an action packed spy thriller set in the months right before the Berlin wall came down.  The main protagonist Lorraine is the coolest, sexiest bad-ass to have ever worked for British intelligence.  She makes James Bond look like a Girl Scout.  I loved everything about her character.  Her kick-ass skills, her wardrobe, the way she spoke, and the vulnerability she tries to hide.

Queen Elizabeth – The Crown

Not sure why, but I love shows and movies about royalty especially historical ones, but when I first started The Crown, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to like it.  The Queen is still alive, you can see her on TV, and read about her.  But within minutes of Claire Foy’s portrayal of Elizabeth I knew I’d be hooked.  And I can’t get enough of Queen Elizabeth.  To see all that she went through to be regent, all that she had to give up and deal with. She was and is a pretty interesting woman.

Madeline, Celeste, Jane and Renata – Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies is one of those shows that is packed with incredible talent playing very strong and interesting personalities.  Every one of these women characters stood out.  Each with their strength and their flaws and vulnerabilities.

Annie – Bellevue

Now Bellevue is one of those hardly seen Canadian TV shows, that I believe is getting a US debut soon.  This show is exactly the type of dark crime drama that I adore.  And at its center is the main protagonist Annie. She is a very flawed woman, who drinks too much, makes bad decisions, but at her core she is a loving mother who is just trying to do the best she can while doing what she does best, and that’s solve crime.  Anna Paquin delivers the performance with a ferocious vulnerability, that I think only she can portray.

Starr Carter – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:

I didn’t read a lot of current books this past year, but this one I did read and I’m sure glad I did.  It is equally a heartbreaking and engagingly well written novel with a likable protagonist in Starr. She is strong, and brave as she navigated the two worlds she is a part of. This is a book I wish every young adult and adult of all color and creed would read.  It’s an important book and a fabulous read.

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About Lions and Tigers and Boys:

The last thing a girl as awkward as Dani Gale should be doing is trying to learn the high wire. Yet that’s exactly where Dani ends up—at OZ, the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts. Trying to overcome her shyness is near impossible when her new partner—the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, and whose touch seems to give her poise she thought impossible—also seems to be sabotaging her progress. 

The last thing Cai Coppersmith needs is a distraction, especially in the form of the new, cute shy girl. He needs to focus on trying not to shape-shift into a tiger on school grounds, and completing his mission to keep Dani from winning the school’s high-wire competition. In fact, the entire safety of OZ is relying on Dani not succeeding. But there’s something about the girl that draws him in. She has magic, he can feel it. So he’ll do what he can to protect her, even if it means pushing her away. 

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Tawny Stokes

About Tawny Stokes:

Tawny Stokes has always been a writer. From an early age, she’d spin tales of serial killers in love, vampires taking over the world, and sometimes about fluffy bunnies turned bunnicidal maniacs. An honour student in high school, with a penchant for math and English, you’d never know it by the foot high blue Mohawk and Doc Martens, which often got her into trouble. No longer a Mohawk wearer, Tawny still enjoys old school punk rock, trance, zombie movies, teen horror films, and fluffy bunnies. She lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens.

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Author Website: www.tawnystokesbooks.com

Author Twitter:  @Vivi_Tawny

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tawny-Stokes-Vivi-Anna-Author-202358929804134/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vivi_tawny/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/866822.Tawny_Stokes

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Guest Post: Molly E. Lee, author of LOVE BETWEEN ENEMIES

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Writing for the Young Adult Audience

Thanks so much for having me to talk about audience!

This is always a fun topic to discuss because I’m lucky enough to write in both genres of Young Adult and Adult.

It’s always crucial to have your audience in mind when sitting down to write a new novel, but young adult is extremely important. Yes, the market trends for all genres are always changing, but the young adult audience in particular is on a constant evolution. The young readers who pick the books off the shelves are sharp, selective, and expect quality and authenticity from the author.

There is a balance the author has to possess when writing young adult novels. Teenagers are constantly revolutionizing the way they speak and interact with their peers as well as their preferred forms of entertainment. It’s the author’s responsibility to stay plugged in to these changes and be sure to incorporate them into the pages. The books teens loved even two years ago won’t be the same as the ones they’re craving today. But, on the same note, the current trends can’t be overdone, either. Young readers can spot falsehoods or ‘talking down’ to them in an instant. And they aren’t afraid to call you out on it either. That is the beauty of the young adult audience—they won’t give an inch and they shouldn’t have to. That’s why it’s such an honor and great responsibility to write for them.

It’s up to us to simply give them the best story possible; one they can get lost in without being kicked out of the story because they realize an adult is entering a world that the young reader owns. We must become invisible. We have to take the privilege of creating worlds they want to fall into and shape it with their gaze in mind. We can’t have scenes where characters react like adults would—they have to react the way the young reader would. And yes, that is true in all writing, but I find that teen readers are rapidly changing their tastes in a way that demands we as young adult authors keep up. I love the challenge the fast-pace market presents, and I appreciate the work that goes into creating the most authentic world possible. Research and balance is paramount in young adult writing, and I love being a part of it. Plus, there is something magical about writing for readers who are still shaping who they want to be as adults. Books helped make me who I am today, so it is amazing to be even a tiny part of that experience.

Thank you for having me at The Librarian Talks! It was so much fun chatting with you!

 

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About Love Between Enemies:

Zoey Handler is ready to put an end to her decade-long rivalry with Gordon Meyers. They’ve traded top spot between valedictorian and salutatorian for years, but all that’s over now. Right? But after a crazy graduation speech prank gets out of hand, suddenly their rivalry turns into all-out war. Time to make peace with a little friendly payback.

Step one? Make him believe they’re now friends.

Step two? Show him the time of his life at an epic graduation party.

Step three? Don’t fall for his tricks.

Step four? Absolutely, positively, do not kiss him again.

So what if he’s cute? (Okay, hot.) So what if he’s charming? (Heaven help her, tempting.) So what if he apologizes? (That has to be fake.) She knows the real Gordon. And no matter how much her heart begs her to stop, there’s no turning back.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two rivals who discover maybe they could be something much more…if only they’d stop fighting long enough to notice it.

Buy link: https://entangledpublishing.com/love-between-enemies.html

 

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About Molly E. Lee:

Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her debut novel EDGE OF CHAOS, and as a mentor at Pitch Wars – a program which connects promising writers to established authors in the community. Molly writes New Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

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Author Website: mollyelee.com

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