Teaser Tuesday: COLLIDE!

So, I had every intention of releasing Collide earlier this year. I even had a release date set, a cover created, and a countdown on my blog. Unfortunately, that ended up not happening, which was actually being a blessing in disguise, even if the delay did manage to piss off a few people. (I'm sorryyyy!) The book is a lotttt stronger now that I've pretty much rewritten the entire thing.

I'm preparing to submit Collide to Spencer Hill's contemporary line, as well as Entangled Publishing and Evernight Teen. I'm sticking to small publishers because I feel they are the right fit for this story. (This is why I've been quiet when it comes to Collide. I've been submitting it for the past couple of months. Here's to hoping the revisions pay off!)

What this means is that, while I'm awaiting decisions from these three publishers, there will be an even longer delay. I know this sucks, I do, but I need to try. This book is easily my best work to date. I'm incredibly proud of it, and I want it to reach as many readers as possible, and self-publishing it will not allow for that to happen. If I can't find a publisher, then yes, I'll go the self-publishing route. But I'm trying to avoid that because I'm not good at marketing. I have terrible social anxiety, which makes it hard to reach out to people. (If you've been curious as to why I rarely do promo, this is why.) 

So while I can't allow myself to hit publish on Collide just yet, I can give you the entire first chapter to read right now:

Chapter One
I ran my finger over the rim of my glass.
Sitting alone at a bar wasn’t exactly how I intended on spending my night. And I especially had not dreamt of being forced to watch as my best friend shoved his tongue down some random girl’s throat. If I’d had it my way, I would have been at home, in my bed, curled up with a swoon-worthy book.
Unfortunately for me, Ben wasn’t having that.
 “You need to be more social, Gems,” he’d told me. Next thing I knew, we were in his truck and on our way to the nearest hole-in-the-wall pub: Mickey’s Lounge.
It wouldn’t have been so bad, had the place not been filled to capacity. I wasn’t exactly a fan of being squished up against sweaty strangers that could hardly hold onto their alcohol. Thanks, but no thanks.
I knew that I should have jumped back in his truck the moment I stepped out.
When we’d first arrived, we spotted two girls sitting on the curb. One of which had been crying hysterically into the other girl’s arms, mumbling something about ‘Fucking Johnny’.
That should have been my first clue that the night was going to be a bust. I wasn’t the greatest in social situations as it was, and being around confrontation only made my anxiety even worse. But as much as I might have wanted to turn back around and run, I knew Ben had brought me there for a reason.
I did need to be more social, and I knew that, even if the thought alone was enough to terrify me.
We were just making our way up to the bouncer when a boy that’d I’d later learn to be Fucking Johnny himself, had exited the bar with another girl on his arm. I shot Ben a holy-crap-what-the-hell-is-going-on look as I watched the drama unfold.
“What the fuck, Johnny? Who the hell is she?” The short brunette rose to her feet, struggling to keep her balance at she charged at the girl. An action which I failed to understand. Why was it that they insisted upon fighting each other instead of ganging up on the guy that had clearly played the two of them?
When the girl on Fucking Johnny’s arm got into the drunk brunette’s face? I wanted nothing more than to run and hide. Seriously, cheating was an ass move as it was. But to do it in front of the girl? And at a public place where alcohol was served and emotions were sure to take over? It all added up to an volcano waiting to erupt, and I wasn’t eager to be there when the lava spilled over, so to speak.
That little incident should have been a good indicator of how my night was going to go. But I’d chosen to ignore the painfully obvious in favor of trying to have a fun night out. Trying having been the key word.
I really needed to stop letting him drag me out of the apartment. Or I really needed to remember to keep my e-reader in my purse. At least if I’d had my e-reader on me, I would have had something to keep my mind off of him and how much I wanted him to cross the line between friendship and lust.
When we’d first came in, we’d made a beeline for the tables near the back of the pub, and for a brief moment, I’d actually thought the night might go alright. But then the girls started to come by, throwing themselves at him right in front of me. And well, it hadn’t taken long for me to grow tired of having the front row seat to heartbreak.
I had tried to move away multiple times, but he continued to pull me back until a call from his sister interrupted him. He’d casually excused himself from Random Girl Number One as he hung up his phone.
Eager to drown out the longing feeling that had dug its way inside of my veins like a jackass, I decided that it would be in my best interest to get away from all things Ben for a bit. I took to my feet, excusing myself from the table as Ben glanced out over the crowd in search of Molly, only to find a rough hand wrapped arm my arm, stopping me in my tracks.
 “Don’t take too long now,” he said, pressing a kiss on my cheek. It took everything in me to not turn my head, allowing our lips to brush together.
“Yeah, yeah,” I groaned. “You suck, Ben.”
“Love you too, Gemma,” he teased before he slipped away into the crowd, and faded from my sight.
I probably should have gone outside, honestly, far away from alcohol. That would have been the smart thing to do, but what could I say? I was fabulous at making terrible decisions. So, I’d taken a seat at the bar. Alone and miserable.
“What will it be?” One of the bartenders asked.
“Cherry UV Vodka,” I answered. It was stupid really. Chances were that I wasn’t going to drink it, but it was my safe drink, something that Ben had gotten me hooked on during one of the many parties at his apartment.
Apparently mixing fruit punch Gatorade with Smirnoff vodka was highly frowned upon. “I bought this for you,” he’d said when he handed me the bottle.
I remembered staring at him as though he’d lost his mind. “Really? A bottle of vodka? Are you trying to get into my pants, Benjamin?”
He smiled and pulled me against him. “Always,” he joked. “Actually, I bought it because I thought you would like it. It tastes a hell of a lot better than your Gatorade and vodka concoction.”
That night, I’d discovered a new appreciation for vodka; too bad that it hadn’t seemed to have the same sort of fondness for me.
“Anything else, Miss?” The bartender asked, throwing a white towel over his shoulder. He slid the drink towards me and I handed him a ten dollar bill.
I shook my head no, and leaned on the bar counter. “Thanks, but I’m alright.”
I swirled the black stirrer around in the glass, mindlessly staring down at the red beverage that I had already been imagining that I was going to regret.
I had never been much of a drinker, mainly because I tended to do stupid things under the influence of alcohol. And by stupid things, I didn’t mean just calling every one of my exes at two o’clock in the morning. Nope.
No, by stupid things, I meant trying to get into my best friend’s pants. Repeatedly.
I’d nearly gotten close once, too. I had managed to get his pants unbuttoned, and I was just about to pull them down when he’d managed to grab a hold of my wrists with one hand, and pulled his pants back up with the other.
Yeah, needless to say, I’d since made it a point to watch my alcohol intake around Ben. Unfortunately for me, my mind couldn’t separate my fantasies from reality when I’d been drinking.
That was the downside to having an incredibly attractive best friend. It was hard enough to keep my hormones in check when I was sober, but when I was drinking? All logic went out the door. Every. Single. Bit.
“Are you sure about that?” Nate took a seat beside me, a shit-eating grin wide on his face. “I think the drunken Gemma show is exactly what I need to fix this boring night.”
I turned to glare at him, choosing to ignore the bartender’s smirk.
Another stupid thing I’d done under the influence of alcohol? Made out with Nate, who just so happened to be Ben’s cousin.
Yeah, that was definitely not my greatest moment. Although, truth-be-told, I wasn’t entirely ashamed of my Nate mishap. After all, the boy was gorgeous at six-foot-three with the body of an MMA fighter. His spiked blond locks highlighted his stunning blue eyes. Yeah, definitely attractive, I thought, but not nearly as attractive as Ben.
Ben stood a whole foot taller than my five-foot-one frame, with warm browns eyes, tousled brown locks, and lips that pleaded to be kissed. And while I wasn’t a fan of facial hair, mainly because it was itchy as hell, it looked good on him.
And then there was his body, and his abs that would give even Chris Evans a run for his money. Seriously, his abs alone belonged in a museum. They were that beautiful.
Nate caught me staring at him, lost in my magical fantasy land, and a playful smile suddenly tugged at his lips. I knew what he was thinking, and I would let him think it. After all, it was Nate and his ridiculous ego. It was better than letting him know I’d been thinking about his cousin’s body. That was a bridge of awkwardness that I just wasn’t ready to cross.
“You know…” He moved in closer so that his lips were inches from my ear. “My place is only about five minutes away-“
Before he could finish what he was saying, I threw my elbow out, hitting him in the abdomen. “As I’ve said before, Nate, that night was merely a lapse in judgment on my behalf. I can assure you that it will never happen again.”
And it wouldn’t, of that much I was sure.
“You say that now,” he teased.
“Oh shush, will you?” I pressed my hand to my forehead and slumped back over the bar, my right hand still twirling the black stir around in my drink.
Nate ordered two Rum and Coke’s from the bartender before turning his attention back to me. “Are you planning on drinking that anytime soon, Gembug?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll see to it that I’m far away from you when I do,” I answered, smiling as I made my way away from the bar in search of Ben and Molly.
I could hear Nate trailing behind me, but I ignored him. I’d learned early on that it was best to ignore Nate. If you gave him attention it only fed his ego, and well, he managed to do a pretty damn good job of that himself.
I found Ben and Molly sitting at a wooden table near the back of the pub, laughing as they were joined in conversation by a petite redhead and a tattooed guy.
“I really hope that girl isn’t expecting to go home with Ben tonight,” Nate said.
I hadn’t realized he was standing so close to me, and I’d nearly dropped my glass as his warm breath fell upon my neck, making my body well aware of his close proximity. “Personal space, Nate. You suck at it.”
“In my defense, you did kind of stop suddenly and the pub is rather crowded.” I was just about to apologize to him when he followed up his prior statement with a typical Nate response. “By the way, you look fucking fantastic tonight, Gems. Are you sure you don’t want to get out of here?”
“Nate Phillips, don’t make me smack you.”
“Hey, I had to try.” He moved in front of me, holding the glasses over his head as he maneuvered his way through the crowd through the crowd. “I may not be Ben, but I’m really not that bad, Gemma,” he called out, an apologetic smile spread upon his lips before he turned his attention ahead.
I tried to ignore the Ben comment as I followed behind Nate, doing my best to stay close to him. Crowds were not my thing. Hell, pubs were not my thing. If Ben hadn’t dragged me out of my apartment, I would have still been curled up in my bed reading, and that would’ve been perfectly fine with me.
But nope. Instead, there I was, taking a seat at a table with a full on view of some girl playing tonsil hockey with my best friend. My best friend that I’d been in love with for years now. Yeah. I would’ve much rather preferred to have been at home.
The truth of the matter was that I didn’t exactly have a right to be upset by Ben’s actions. He was single. He was more than welcome to do as he pleased, with whomever he pleased.
But that didn’t mean that his actions wouldn’t bother me.
Seeing her with him? A girl that I didn’t know – one that I had no right to hate but still found myself envious of? It bothered me because I wanted that girl to be me. I wanted him to want me like he wanted her. I wanted to be more than his best friend that he occasionally joked with, even though I knew that would never happen.
I’d been forever friend-zoned, and I just had to learn to deal with it.
I reached for my drink, downing it in one gulp, nearly choking in the process. “Whoa, that burned more than I’d anticipated.”
Nate chuckled beside me. “I thought you were avoiding drinking near me?”
“That was the original plan.” That was before I’d been forced to come to terms with my emotions. “Things change.”
“Oh really?” He cocked a brow at me. “Well, I’ll have you know that my offer still stands. We could get out of here now, all you have to do is say the word.”
“Not going to happen, Nate,” I groaned. “You can stop trying now.”
He threw his arm over my shoulder. “I know. I just like getting a rise out of you.”
Molly, Ben’s twin sister, leaned over her new acquaintance’s shoulder and shot Nate a stern glance. “Leave her alone, would you, Nate?”
“Hey now, I’m behaving tonight.” He squeezed my shoulder. “Right, Gems?”
I rolled my eyes at him and reached for one of his Rum and Cokes. “So far.”
I glanced over at Ben, hoping he would at least take notice of my presence. No such luck. Annoyed, I threw my head back and downed the drink, ignoring the burning sensation that had erupted in my throat.
Oh man, I really hated the taste of alcohol.
I handed the glass to Nate. “Are you going to drink that?” I asked, pointing to the other glass.
Nate leaned in, sliding the glass across the table, far out of my reach. “Is there something you want to tell me? Because you’re slamming down drink after drink, and that isn’t like you, Sweetheart.”
 I glanced over at Ben, silently admitting what had been bothering me. Nate followed my gaze and wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “Ah, I probably should’ve figured as much.”
“You act as though it’s obvious,” I said, shooting him a look.
Nate moved in closer, his mouth mere inches from my ear. “Believe me when I say the only person oblivious to how you feel is my idiot cousin.”
I’d thought my emotions were all over the place before. Yeah. Clearly I hadn’t realized just how bad the night was going to get.
I thought that I’d done a fairly good job at keeping my emotions in check over the years. Apparently Ben hadn’t been the only clueless one.
“How long have you known?” I slid down in my chair, leaning my head back to look up at the ceiling, trying to immerse myself in the loud music blaring throughout the pub.
Nate didn’t say a word. He reached for the glass he’d shoved away and tried to hide the grin tugging at the corner of his lips. Downing the glass, he looked over at Ben before turning to face me. “Come on.”
He reached for my hand, pulling me to my feet and away from the table. “And where are we going exactly?”
Nate pulled me along behind him through the crowd, stopping only once we’d reached the jukebox near the back. “We’re dancing.” I rolled my eyes as he pulled me closer to him. “Relax, I’m going to behave. I promise.”
“Are you feeling okay, Nate? I’m not used to you being this nice.”
He wrapped his arms loosely around my waist, the lights from overhead cascade down upon him, highlighting his stunning eyes.
“Like I said, Gems, I may not be Ben, but I’m really not that bad of a guy.”
I didn’t doubt that. Even with his humongous ego, I knew that underneath the cockiness, there was a sweet guy eager for something more. I just wasn’t used to being on the receiving end of that Nate.
Usually I found myself trying to run from him, but in that moment? With the way that his arms wrapped around me? I actually felt comfortable, although that could’ve been a result of the numerous drinks I’d downed in the span of a half-hour.
It was ridiculous to be this upset. Ben and I were best friends, and sure, he joked with me sometimes, but that was it. We were platonic friends. I couldn’t get mad at him for a random bar hook-up just because he was the star of my x-rated fantasies.
Nate pressed a light kiss to my forehead. “Are you alright?”
I let out a soft sigh, resting my head on his chest. “I’m just peachy. Incredibly warm, and a bit unstable, but perfectly peachy.”
He chuckled in my ear. “Can I ask you something?”
“I suppose.”
I wrapped my arms around his neck and glanced up at him, trying to ignore the look of sympathy in his eyes as he stared down at me. “Why haven’t you told him?”
I rolled my eyes. “You wouldn’t understand.”
And that was the truth. No one ever seemed to understand.
There was only so much heartbreak a person could take, and I was rather close to reaching my limit. But heartbreak was far more bearable than losing him.
Ben had become an integral part of my life throughout the years; my sanity when I’d found myself on the verge of a breakdown. He was the one stability I’d had in my life, and I wasn’t willing to throw that away.
When my brother passed away from a drug overdose a year ago, he was the one that helped to piece me back together again. I had collapsed within myself, allowing my pain to drown out all reason to want to live, and Ben had found a way to pull me out.
He had saved me from myself. And over time, I’d convinced myself that, if I told him how I felt, I would only end up chasing him away, and I couldn’t stand the thought of losing him as a friend.
“Try me, Sweetheart.”
“Call me Sweetheart again and I swear I’ll punch you,” I teased.
Nate broke out into a fit of laughter. “You’re an amazing girl, Gemma, but I don’t think you realize it.”
“If you’re trying to charm my pants off of me, it isn’t going to work, Nate.”
At least, that was what I kept telling myself.
After all, I was single and I did have needs. And the fact that he was gorgeous certainly wasn’t helping to keep my mind from considering his earlier proposal.
And this is why you don’t drink around Nate, I told myself.
“Get your mind out of the gutter, Gems, geez,” he joked. I dropped my hands from his neck and shoved him gently in his chest before he grabbed my wrists, pulling me back towards him. “I’m serious. You’ve convinced yourself that my idiot cousin can do better than you; that you can’t compete with the other girls, but it is bullshit.”
“It’s not bullshit, it’s called accepting the reality of the situation,” I said matter-of-factly.
“You’re so much more than those other girls, Gemma. I only wish that you could see that,” he said. A sincere smile spread upon his lips and he released his hold on my wrists. “Don’t let your fear keep you from trying. Sometimes the things that scare us the most are exactly what we need.”
One last note: If I do end up going the self-publishing route after all, expect Collide to get a makeover. That would call for a new cover, as well as possibly a new title. Collide is going to be my first New Adult romance title, so I want to do whatever I can to launch it correctly.


Book Review: The V-Spot by Wendy S. Marcus!

The V-SpotThe V-Spot by Wendy S. Marcus
Expected Publication: October 8th 2014 by Harlequin - Cosmo Red Hot Read 
Pre-Order: Amazon
Review Copy: Provided via NetGalley
Description from Goodreads:
How hot is your night going to get? Take the quiz and find out!

1. You're a curvy, cute and practical nurse, ready to unleash your inner naughty nymphette for your 25th birthday. You start with...
a. Chocolate cake.
b. Champagne. Lots of it.
c. A blind date set up by your daring best friend.

2. Your guy turns out to be popular (and insanely hot) wrestler Brody "The Bull" Bullock. You...
a. Run for the door.
b. Admire his hotness, then run for the door.
c. Imagine him naked.

3. You're meeting Brody at The V-Spot, a "Voyeur Motel." What are you wearing?
a. A cute sundress with wedge sandals
b. You're not going anywhere without Spanx
c. Doesn't matter. Brody is sexy enough that it's all coming off!

If you selected all of the above, you're in for the night of your life...

My Review:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

THE V-SPOT is a quick read that most romance fans will thoroughly enjoy. It isn’t a story that I loved, or one that I’d probably re-read, but it’s still enjoyable.

I loved Emma and Brody. They were relatable characters; they were flawed, but both of them had redeemable qualities. The only downside to Emma? She was supposed to be twenty-five, but as someone in their late twenties, I couldn’t help but to feel that she acted far older than that. I also loved Sadie – well, what little we got to see of her. But that’s about all that I can honestly say that I loved, because for me, the rest of the story was far too predictable.

Again, as I’ve already said, The V-Spot is enjoyable and fun read, but it isn’t what I had hoped for. I’ve read multiple Cosmo Read Hot Reads over the past couple of months, and I’ve enjoyed nearly all of them. Even though they all essentially followed the same outline, and the drama that played out near the end in each title was relatively the same, they all managed to be unique. This was something that was missing with The V-Spot. Yes, the setting is definitely unique. And it was nice to see Emma’s interactions with her patients, but nothing else really stood out, which is why I can’t rate this one over three stars.

To sum it up: If you’re in need of a quick romance read, then yes, check out The V-Spot. It’s worth a shot.

One final note: I’m normally not one to complain about covers, but I absolutely hate this one. I don’t hate it because it’s a terrible cover. It’s your standard romance over, it’s eye-catching and pretty. But it doesn’t reflect the story. At all. Emma, who is the main character in The V-Spot, is described as a size fourteen and chubby by multiple characters in the story, so I’m not entirely sure why they thought this cover worked for this story.

View all my reviews


Book Review: Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley!

Seconds: A Graphic NovelSeconds: A Graphic Novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published: July 15th 2014 by Ballantine Books
Purchase: Amazon 
Description from Goodreads:
The highly anticipated new standalone full-color graphic novel from Bryan Lee O’Malley, author and artist of the hugely bestselling Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series

Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review:
I've had Seconds sitting on my shelf since it was released. I did try picking it up once before, and for some reason, I originally had trouble getting into it. But I decided to pick it up again last night, and I'm so glad that I did.
Seconds is a story about second chances, growing up, and mistakes.
If you're looking for a book that perfectly captures what it feels like to be a twenty-something year old in the world, Seconds is the perfect book. Yes, there are magic mushrooms in the story, but it is actually grounded in reality and is quite dark at times.
I've only read O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series before reading Seconds, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect going into this one. While the Scott Pilgrim series is wonderful, Seconds is nothing like it and that happens to be a good thing - a very good thing.
Even if you don't enjoy graphic novels, I would highly, highly, highly suggest picking up Seconds. It's a fantastic story that is definitely worth your time.
View all my reviews


Happy Release Day, ARABELLA!

Today, you can officially read Arabella!
This both excites me and terrifies me to no end. I adore these characters, and I loved writing this story, so of course, I've already convinced myself

Purchase Links:

After twenty-something years living as a weapon for Bilson Corporations, I decided that I wanted something else for my life – something more.
I wanted more. But at what cost?
I wanted to belong to the world that I had been sworn to protect, to be more than a shadow amongst the night.
But my life was not my own to control.
I have made plenty of terrible mistakes in my life, but with each mistake comes a chance to start over, to make things right. And I will see to it that I do just that.
My name is Arabella, and I am more than a weapon.
ARABELLA is a standalone New Adult novella. It is complete at approximately 17,000 words. 

As of right now, Arabella is currently a digital exclusive. Depending on how sales go and if I see a lot of interest, I may consider doing a paperback edition.

There are a few quick things that I wanted to touch on concerning Arabella:
1. The format in which it is told was inspired by my love of comics. For those that read comics, you've probably noticed that a lot of them use flashbacks to tell the story. I decided to go this route with Arabella to tell a complete story within sixty-six pages.
2. It is priced at $1.99, which may seem a bit high for a novella, but there's a good reason for this. With each purchase, I earn $0.70. That may seem like a lot when it comes to author earnings, but once you factor in the costs of cover design and editing? I'll be lucky to break-even. (It's also worth noting that novellas generally do not sell well, which I've experienced already with No Place Like Home. So, I have to price it accordingly.
3. It is a one shot. I have no plans for a sequel, at all. Of course, if people respond well to it, that could always change down the line.
4. I should point out that, while this is a New Adult novella, don't expect sexy times. This is a story about a twenty-something figuring our who she is and her place in the world. (This doesn't mean she isn't in some sort of a relationship, I just wanted to focus on Arabella's character.)
5. There are a few Easter eggs in the novella. If you've read the Emile Reed Chronicles and Rare Talents, there will be two worth your time. ;)

I also wanted to take a moment to address all of the delays that have happened this year:
I know I had to postpone a few releases this year, and most of you probably hate me for doing so, but things have been pretty crazy since July. My grandfather still isn't home, so if you're wondering why I'm not posting reviews, it's because as soon as I leave work, I head to the rehab place, and after that? I usually come home and pass out. So yeah, I haven't been reading much at all... except for comics, and that's only because those are no longer than 30 pages long. If you message me and it takes some time to here back, please do not assume I'm ignoring you. I'm not. I'm just not spending as much time online as I used to.

Updating this post because I wrote it a week ago, and things have (thankfully!) changed: My grandfather is now home and doing a lot better than he was. I will still be visiting him as much as possible after work, so my schedule will probably be a bit all over the place until he's settled in, but for now, he's home and doing well. =)

<3 Nicole


Cover Reveal: One Wish Away by Kelley Lynn!

One Wish Away
Release Date: 11/11/14
Bloomsbury Spark

Book Summary:
Be careful what you wish for…

Lyra has always been ahead of the curve. Top of her class in school, a budding astronomer, and with a best friend like Darren she barely has time to miss the mother who abandoned her family years ago. She's too busy planning to follow in her father's footsteps, and to become the youngest astronomer at Space Exploration and Discovery.

When a star goes missing Lyra is determined to get to the bottom of it only to discover her braniac dad is the mastermind of a top-secret government experiment. They promise to build a perfect world, one galaxy at a time, but with every tweak of the present, a bit more of the future starts to crumble.

Lyra has to go undercover to reveal the truth and let humanity decide if the consequences are worth more than wishing on a star.

About the Author
Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands. Music plays a large role in her writing process as well as the characters and plot lines within her stories.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by:

Teaser Tuesday: STOUTHEARTED!

I know that this year I've been forced to delay a lot of projects, and this has more than likely frustrated a lot of you... and I get that, I do. But sometimes life is a jackass, and you just have to go with the flow. Which is exactly what I'd been forced to do. On the plus side? Stouthearted, to me, is a very strong book. I actually like it more than Submerged. I worked my butt off on the fight scenes. There's a ton of character development (especially with Taylen). And there's a lot more romance. So I hope that, once it releases next month, you all find it to be worth the wait. *Fingers crossed!*

Anyway, here is a teaser from Stouthearted:

 I could hear Hack’s footsteps as he made his way over towards me; his calloused fingers wrapped around my arm as he shoved me back against what I presumed to be the wall of a Hovercopter. “You were once my main target, yes, but after that stunt you pulled back in Florida? You’re far from my only target, girlie. Soon enough you’ll be with all of the others.”

    It wasn’t hard to decipher who he’d been referring to. It wasn’t just me that Hack’s men had taken. He’d taken the people that I’d tried like hell to protect, knowing that their safety meant more to me than my own. “If you so much as lay a hand on them, I swear...”

    “You swear what?” he teased. “You can’t stop me from doing anything, Taylen. In case you’ve forgotten, I’m not the one with my hands cuffed behind my back. Nor am I the fool with a bag over my head. Not to mention the fact that I have more than enough guards willing to obey my every command.”

    “You mean your weak followers?” Vile coated each and every one of my words as I spoke. “Takeaway their fear, and what reason do they have left to follow you? What reason do they have to fight for you, Hack?”

    “Desperation, the need to survive, the need to protect those that they care about,” he said, a slight wistfulness to his voice. “Not everything is about fear, Taylen. A life built upon fear is a life unlived. I don’t force them to do anything. I simply give them a nudge in the right direction.”

    “Because that’s oh so much better,” sarcasm laced my words as I narrowed my eyes in his direction - not that mattered much with a bag over my head - trying to understand how one man could be so far removed from reality.

     “We need sacrifice. We need discipline, and we need to be reminded that we’re not invincible. That is what I provide them with – a sense of purpose, of life in a world that fell to ignorance. I have no reason to make them fear me, because, unlike you, these folks know what is best for ‘em.”