Beginning January 1, 2013

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012



Long and Short Reviews welcomes Piper Shelly, whose debut novel Her Game, His Rules was recently released by Black Opal Books. Piper will give away a personally dedicated copy to one commenter on this interview. The drawing will take place on Sunday, November 4.

She's a native Austrian and loves her country for the wide fields and the Alps. She also loves the traditional dress people were for special occasions.

"Especially in Oktober," she said. "It's called a tracht, a dirndl for women. I love those dresses."

Piper told me that she wasn't sure exactly what inspired her to start writing—that sometimes it feels like she was a writer in a former life and she's just continuing what she's always done. She's always loved to write: essays, emails, random rubbish; the strong wish to be an author, though, settled in when she had finished reading all the book available from Lisa Jane Smith. When Piper closed the cover on The Forbidden Game, she knew that she wanted to do what L.J. Smith was doing. Piper was nineteen when that happened, and she's been writing ever since.

She first considered herself a writer, though, when she was talking with a friend one day.

"I had almost finished my first book and went out one evening with my friend. She told me that she had a chat with her boss about, I don't know what, but she mentioned that her best friend (that would be me) was a writer," Piper said. "I was totally dumbstruck at that moment. But I loved it, and ever since I called myself a writer. After all that was what I really did...writing. It's just that after publishing my first novella I was brave enough to call myself an author."

Piper writes in her son's second room, that he rarely played in, so she thought she would use it for her office. There's a window facing east, and she loves the morning son coming in. The walls are painted turquoise and she has a huge fish tank along with her mahogany desk and two bookshelves which look like two halves of a boat and a comfortable chair in spicy lemon green.

She works five hours a day as an accountant not far from her home, but comes home around noon, boots up her laptop and writes until her head starts aching and she gets cross-eyed, which is mostly around ten in the evening—especially when the words are flowing. When the flow really sets in, she's like a drug addict—only her drug of choice is her WIP. She doesn't need food; she doesn't need sunlight; she doesn't like it when people talk to her or she has to do housework. After a few days to a week, the flow dries up and writer's block set s in.

"Writer's block has become my friend," she told me. "I call it 'writer's block.' My family calls it 'family time.'" She laughed. "From experience I can say that writer's block normally last about two or three weeks. I try to spend as much time with everyone in this time because we all know it soon will be over and I will return to the dungeons of my writing world with a lock to real life outside."

Most of the time, before Piper starts a new project, she'll get the picture of a hero in her mind.

"Can't say where or when, it just happens. Then I try to work this cute man into a nice situation with a girl. I start a new project and write down that scene. Most of the time, it's the opening chapter. When that is done, I lean back and try to come up with the cornerposts of a good story. I piece together a really simple and short synopsis, but as I continue writing the novel, the story changes a lot due to what my hero and heroine do in certain moments. I'm always surprised where they are going to lead me in the end. That's the funniest part of writing, really," she explained with a smile.

Piper has recently finished a YA novella called Play With Me, a high school romance/drama centered around soccer and first love. To read an excerpt visit see Piper's website.

She's also working on three other books: Gabriel, Dark Spirits, and Kiss Me, Vampire. Excerpts for these can also be found on her website.

. Piper has a handful of favorite authors—Kerrelyn Sparks and Sherilyn Kenyon are two of them. But her favorite author doesn't even have a book on the market yet. Georgia Lyn Hunter has been contracted by Black Opal Publishing and her debut novel is due out late this year or early next year.

"We started out as critique partners in a group. By now I'm proud to say she's a personal friend of mine," Shelly explained. "And boy, she can write. Her genre is 'really hot paranormal romance.' I learned a lot from her over the past two years as I critiqued several of her novels."

"What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?" I asked.

"For me, a humorous voice is really important, and a vivid imagination. Fast pace without endless descriptions. Cool, snappy dialogue. Something you wish you could come up with in everyday situations when you read it."

For fun, I asked, "If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?"

"An angel. Hm, I like the thought an angel just for myself," she said, winking. "But a dragon would be cool too. Oh no, wait, let me think again...a Jinn. A heck, there are so many. You shouldn't tease me with such questons. Now I want them all. And a pet-vampire too!"

The WIP mentioned earlier, Gabriel, is the first book in a series she's writing about the archangels. She told me that she has a strong relationship to her guardian angel.

"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.

"Nah, you're not seriously expecting me to tell you...? Ha ha. No way!"

"Well then, what about the most embarrassing thing your mother ever did to you?"

"It's not something she did to me, but something she heard. My boyfriend (who's my husband now) pinned me to the wall and told me he wanted to sleep with me. Now. (And he used slightly different words to say it) My mother chose that moment to walk into my room and heard that. Very. Very. Embarrassing."

Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Critique partners!! They are the most valuable thing to any writer. And don't take a tough critique or a rejection personal. Just that one person won't like your stuff, doesn't mean that there aren't ten thousand others who will love it!"

About the Author:
Wow, this is always the hardest part of an interview…don’t know why. You would think talking about my life should be easier. But then there’s nothing really special about it. I was born and live in Austria. Half my life I spent in Vienna, but I didn’t like it. I much prefer the beautiful side of the country, with the many meadows and the beautiful Alps. That’s why I moved to Upper Austria right after graduation. There are trees now in front of my window instead of just another ugly gray building. I love to be awakened by the chirrups of birds every morning.

At seventeen, I met the love of my life. Although we had a few little affairs, it took another four years until we finally decided to try the couple thing. ;-) It was the best decision in my life. I’m married to this amazing man now, and I praise myself lucky for someone like him. You know, it can be hard at times to live with someone like me, who’s moody like a loon and dreams away into a fantasy realm in every free minute. But he learned to accept that about me and he gives me all the time in the world I need to write. By now, I know I wouldn’t survive without that.

We have a ten-year-old son, and together we travel a lot…although I sometimes wish the trips were shorter because I can’t wait to get back to my laptop and WIP. Yeah, that’s just me. I built my world around my passion, and I like it that way. So, yeah, there’s not really a lot to say about me.

Find Piper online at:

She’s seventeen. She’s snarky. She’s trouble...

It wasn't nicking an expressive watch or diamond bracelet that landed Jona Montiniere in the clutches of the police. It was just a darn sweater. After her last spectacular misadventure, she is forced to return to a mother who spurned her. Jona is furious about the judge’s decision—until she meets her mother’s companion. Gorgeous, provocative, and mysterious, Julian is everything her lonely heart desires. But then he awakens her mother from the dead with a simple touch.

Hunting for the truth in a strange new home, Jona unearths broken promises and bitter secrets. Soon she realizes she’ll once again lose someone she loves…unless she gives him a reason to stay. But how the hell do you keep an angel earthbound?

Friday, October 26, 2012



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marion will be awarding a $20 New Adult Reading pack (i.e. selected NA titles on Amazon) to one commenter on the tour. Click on the banner for the other stops on the tour.

Hello, Thank you very much for having me on your blog. I really appreciate the opportunity.

I have written two novels so far, Oxford Whispers, and its sequel, Oxford Shadows, out in May 2013. Everything in what I write is influenced by my past. Now, not necessarily only my childhood or my teen years though, since Oxford Whispers isn’t a Young Adult novel. It rather belongs to the emerging genre called New Adult or Upper-YA.

Oxford Whispers is the story of Madison LeBon, an American student at Oxford University, with psychic powers she prefers to ignore. But when the tragic lovers in a painting begin to haunt her, she must learn to accept her gift. Otherwise, life will imitate art and Madison's own first love will be doomed.

As part of my business degree, I was selected to spend a year at the prestigious Oxford University. For me, it was a dream come true. During my time there, I explored every corner of the city. Some of its most famous landmarks have now a personal resonance: The Randolph, the Turf Tavern, the Queen’s Lane Coffee House… I even celebrated my birthday at Freud’s, just like my heroine Madison did. I stayed for a month in one of the colleges, Exeter College (where Pippa, Madison’s best friend, studies), and I use my room there to model Madison’s. The day I arrived in Oxford for the first time, I KNEW if I ever wrote a book, it would be set in Oxford. It’s truly one of the most romantic places I’ve been to.

The plot revolves also around a pre-Raphaelite painting titled "The Wounded Cavalier" by William Shakespeare Burton. It’s such a pity William Shakespeare Burton does not enjoy a wider appeal. I used to have a poster of the painting in my room as a teenager instead of Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt. Does that make me weird? I spent hours daydreaming about the characters in it, building countless scenarios: did they get married? Did they find happiness? Or did the Cavalier die before they could even start falling in love? Oxford Whispers develops one of my “theories.”

I was born in West Africa. When I had to leave, aged four, I left a piece of my heart behind. Elizabeth was the name of my nanny. She looked after me as if I were her own, carried me on her back in the traditional African way, and sung for me while I fell asleep. She gave me one of my most precious possessions: a Voodoo gris-gris. It was a leather pouch with a small shell on top of it. She had hung it on a rough thread so that I could carry it around my neck. It was meant to protect me from evil spirits and bring me luck. I took that gris-gris everywhere with me.

So Oxford Whispers is fed by my dreams, experiences, heartbreaks from my birth to my early-twenties.

About the Author:
I am a true citizen of the world. I was born in West Africa, grew up in the South of France, and studied in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Cape Town, and Oxford before finally settling down in London. This wide variety of cities has provided lots of inspiration for my writing. Talk about culture exposure!

In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course. My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.

My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster. Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.

Find Marion online at

Two star-crossed lovers in the English Civil War
A painting with haunting powers
A murderous ghost back for revenge

Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.

But her resolution shatters when the ill-fated lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.

In misty present-day Oxford, Madison embarks on a quest to unravel the secrets of the past and understand her personal bond with the painting. To protect herself, she must learn to accept her gift before life imitates art, in all its tragedy.

College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting.

With the spirit of a murderer in hot pursuit, Madison comes to realize that her own first love may be doomed…

Based on a real Pre-Raphaelite painting, Oxford Whispers is full of romance, drama and suspense.

Fall in love for the first time… Again

Wednesday, October 17, 2012



Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lea Nolan whose debut novel Conjure was released yesterday. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this novel. You can see the other stops on the tour by clicking on the tour banner.

Lea is currently working on Allure, the sequel to Conjure.

"The plot takes some dark, delicious turns that are as exciting as they are creepy," she told me. "How great is that?"

I asked Lea to share something about Conjure that's not in the blurb.

"My heroine, Emma Guthrie, develops a close relationship with Miss Delia Whittaker, an elderly Gullah root worker. Miss Delia takes Emma on as an apprentice and 'passes the mantel' to her, teaching her the hoodoo magic she’ll need to undo the curse that threatens her brother’s life. Miss Delia is based on two dearly departed friends who meant the world to me. When I was writing her, I consciously thought of one of these women, a ninety-seven year old lady I used to help care for, but I didn’t realize I’d also included my other dear friend until my husband read the first draft and pointed out they have the same 'voice.' Now as I read the book, it’s so obvious I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before, but it’s wonderful to still have her around me, if only on the page."

In her writing, Lea has learned she has a wicked imagination.

"Even though I wrote it, some of Conjure’s twists and turns still take me by surprise. I’ve learned to trust myself and let the story go where it wants, never second-guessing it because I know my subconscious will tie up all the loose ends," she said.

Like many YA writers today, Lean caught the bug after reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

"She captured the essence of first love so perfectly, the longing and deep need to be with your soul mate, and the lengths you’ll go to stay with him forever. It evoked many powerful memories for me," Lea explained. After I’d finished the series, I was hooked on YA. So thanks, Stephenie Meyer. I swear I won’t fan-girl all over you if we ever meet. Okay, maybe I will. Just a little. But it won’t totally be my fault."

Lea's been writing for four years—it took her two years to write and revise her first book until it was good enough to hook an agent. Unfortunately, she passed on that project but loved Lea's voice enough to ask her what else she had available. Luckily, Lea had a good fifty-page partial to send her way. The agent signed her and Lea spent the rest of the year drafting, revising, and submitting what would become Conjure. The contract was signed just after Lea's third writing anniversary and she spent the remainder of the year getting the manuscript ready for publication.

I asked Lea what drove her to write books for teens.

"Simply, I write the kinds of books I would have wanted to read as a teenager. Without dating myself back to the stone ages, and not to come off as too whiney, but when I was a teenager back in the 80s, there wasn’t much in the way of YA literature. Basically we had lots of books for middle grade and junior high students, but once you’d read Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, you were pretty much left with…nothing. I blew through the Nancy Drew books in the fifth grade, traversed through Narnia in the sixth, and trekked through Middle Earth in seventh. Back then there was no Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Princess Diaries or Twilight. The only place a geeky bookworm like myself could turn was to VC Andrews and her creepy and not YA Flowers in the Attic; Anne Rice’s sexy and again, decidedly not YA vampires, or Stephen King’s horror stories that freaked me out. Don’t get me wrong; these books were my constant companions and I gobbled them up like Ms. Pac Man, but they weren’t directed at me, a teenager who was struggling to come of age in the midst of family chaos dominated by chronic illness. That’s why I love today’s YA literature. No matter the genre or subject matter, it’s written for tweens and teens and speaks to them on a personal, age and developmentally-appropriate level."

Lea generally works around her kids' school schedules so she tries to start working around 8:30 or 9 AM and work straight through until 3:15 PM when she has to start afternoon pick-ups. She primarily works at a Panera Bread Café with her best friend and fellow writer, Laura Kaye.

"The food is great, the staff are friendly, and the wi-fi is free," she explained. "And better still, there’s no laundry staring at me, begging to be washed, and no dust bunnies taunting me to pick up a broom or run the vacuum. "

"What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?" I asked.

"Read, read, read and when you think you’re ready, read some more. There’s no better instructor than an edited book written by a great writer. Once I decided to write, I began to read differently, noting sentence and story structure, character development, how setting and imagery was used to convey character feeling, etc. Also, I highly recommend joining writing groups like the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and it’s affiliated Young Adult Chapter (RWA). They provide opportunities to learn craft and the business of writing, find critique partners, and discussion groups where you’ll find fellow supportive writers."

I asked Lea to share with us the best and worse pieces of advice she herself received.

"First the worst: In a college creative writing course, one rather nasty, sophomoric piece of work told me my writing was 'trite' and basically advised me to quit. He of course claimed to be writing an 'important' novel based on the Bible. Well, I’d be willing to bet he never finished that tome yet I’m a published author. Booyah! Now the best: Finish the book. Rebecca Johns, author of The Countess and Icebergs, told me this after she read the first forty pages of what eventually became Conjure in her Advanced Novel Writing course at the University of Iowa’s Summer Writing Festival. She told me the story was there, full of potential. I just had to write it and it would be great. She was right. But I never would have found that out if I hadn’t finished the book. I realize it sounds pretty obvious, but this advice is really more complex than it seems. For me, it’s about learning not to worry about every tiny detail in the first draft. Just write and get it all out, allowing the story to evolve on the page. You can worry about making it perfect later in your revisions. "

"Have you ever eaten a crayon?" I wondered.

"I’m proud to say I haven’t. I did however, have a sister who stuck them up her nose as a child. Once my parents had to take her to the emergency room to have it removed. Now that would make a great scene in a book!"

Finally, I asked, "What challenges do you think teens face today that you did not?"

"Two words: Social media. I know this is going to make me sound ancient, but life was simpler back in the day when we only had a telephone that was attached to a cord, and you got a busy signal because there was no such thing as call waiting. Back then, it took time and considerable effort to spread rumors about a frenemy. And if you wanted to pass around compromising pictures of someone, you had to first take those pics with a camera, drop them off at a photo booth for developing, wait a few days, pick them up and then show them to your friends. Things happen so much faster today, and word spreads like wildfire, surging out of control in just a few minutes. I know several teens who’ve had cyber wars fought against them by literally a hundred of kids and it was all based on lies and innuendo. And sadly, I also know some girls who make the mistake of taking pictures of their parts and texting them to the wrong person. Make no mistake, today’s technological advances and enhanced capabilities are amazing, but sometimes I think they’ve outpaced our ability to navigate them. This is especially true of teens who may not be able to anticipate the consequences of their impulsive actions."

"Thanks for stopping by, Lea."

"Thanks so much for having me; this was great!"

About the Author:
Lea Nolan writes the kinds of stories she sought as a teen—smart paranormals with bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She holds degrees in history and women’s studies concentrating in public policy and spent fifteen years as a health policy analyst and researcher. She lives in Maryland with her heroically supportive husband and three clever children. Her debut YA novel, CONJURE, book one in The Hoodoo Apprentice Series releases on October 16, 2012 from Entangled Publishing under the Entangled Teen imprint. You can learn more about Lea on her website, on Facebook, Twitter and on Goodreads. CONJURE is available at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Be careful what you search for...

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry—hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

But when a strange girl appears bent on revenge, demon dogs become a threat, and Jack turns into a walking skeleton, Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends—are lost forever.

Friday, October 12, 2012



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. PJ will be awarding an eBook copy of "Thin Ice" to one commenter at each stop and a $25 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To see the other stops on the tour, click on the tour banner above.

5-10 musts every story/romance should have

I LOVE this topic. Thanks for having me here today.

Every story/romance should have the following:

1) Romance! I know; I’m cheating. But one of the most compelling parts of any story is the relationships the main character has with others. How our heroine deals with family, friends, co-workers, and even pets shows us so much about their personality and can make us love or hate them, root for them, or toss the book aside. For me, the most revealing traits come out when you drop a character into the middle of a potential love relationship. All of their hopes, dreams, fears, and flaws rise to the surface, forcing them to face who they are down deep. When I read a good romance, I fall in love right along with the characters, and I get to relive all those firsts that made my heart go pitter-patter.

2) Conflict! Without conflict—that thing both internally and externally that keeps your character from getting what they want—there is no story. We turn the page to see how our hero/heroine will fight through whatever road blocks they encounter on their way to reaching their goal of a happily ever after end. Conflict is king!

3) Drama! I don’t know about you, but I love watching a good drama unfold—as long as it’s in someone else’s life, LOL. Stories that evoke emotion are fraught with ups and downs that draw a reader into the story as if they are on the same roller coaster ride of angst our hero/heroine is dealing with. In order to care about her/his plight, we need to be sucked into the story and invested in seeing them come through it.

4) Action! There’s nothing that keeps me reading like a good fight scene, explosion, or life and death situation. I love it when words on a page make my heart race and have me sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see how our hero/heroine will make it out of whatever danger they are in. I’ll note here that action scenes are as fun to write as they are to read.

5) Tension! You might think this is the same as conflict or action, but I’m talking about the tension that develops between characters who are conflicted emotionally about opening their heart to someone. Falling in love is a dangerous business. It’s great to watch the slow build of a relationship, with steamy scenes that escalate in intensity, heartbreaking disappointments when the relationship is thrown a curve, and the resolution that inevitably happens that allows the hero and heroine to find each other in the end. I might add that sexual tension doesn’t always have to lead to sex to be satisfying. I write YA, so there is lots of sexual tension between my characters, but I don’t have them consummate the relationship unless it’s integral to the story.

6) Villain! There has to be something or someone standing in the way of our hero/heroine’s happiness, and it can’t just be about their fear of commitment. Villains are like the spice you add to the recipe to make the flavor pop. A good villain gives our hero/heroine common ground. They have to team up to overcome some great evil, which just makes our characters that much more noble and appealing. It also adds an element of danger and a chance for our main characters to come to each other’s rescue, showing them and us how much they really mean to each other. Villains need to be formidable adversaries, though, or they are just a foil on the page.

7) Redemption! As part of our character arc, we want to see growth from the beginning to the end of a story. Our characters start with some fatal flaw that holds them back and will inevitably lead them to a dark moment when they have to face their failure and own up to mistakes. I think this is one of the most integral parts to creating believable characters. If they are perfect, it’s impossible to identify with them or care about their struggles. But once they’ve overcome that flaw, we can stand beside them with a sense of pride and satisfaction, knowing that there is also hope and a chance for our own redemption.

8) Humor! I love it when an author interjects some humor into a story just at the perfect moment. It gives the reader a break from those intense moments that evoke fear, longing, sadness, or even tears. To have a fully satisfying platter of emotion, you can’t forget about dessert, which for me includes a good laugh.

9) Lesson! This is especially true in YA literature, but even in adult fiction, I expect to come out learning something valuable from the story. If my character has not gained some wisdom or knowledge, I feel a bit cheated. Growth is about learning from life and putting that experience to good use in becoming a better human being. Characters who don’t grow are uninteresting for me, and I find it harder to care about their story.

10) HEA! Every story, in my opinion, needs a happily (or at least a hopefully) ever after ending. I mean seriously—without that, what’s the point?

About the Author:
I knew I would be a writer someday when I was a little girl sitting on my grandpa’s knee and telling him stories that he would help me put on paper. By the time I entered kindergarten I could already read and write, and I couldn’t wait to look up new words every morning in the ginormous Webster’s Dictionary that sat in the book case at the bottom of our stairs. I would get on the bus and ask my friends, “Do you know what pulchritudinous means?” Between that and challenging the boys to push-up contests at the bus stop, I mostly sat alone on those bus rides to school. But that just meant I had more time to make up stories.

I went on to many other endeavors in life, including the world of figure skating, and later, earning a black belt in martial arts. Though I was a mom at seventeen, I did manage to finish school and somehow made it through college, earning a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant. After nineteen years, two sons, a divorce, and some fairly lean years, I found that it’s true what they say about life beginning at forty. It was about that time when I reunited with the love of my life and worked my way to owning my own business as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor—all of my favorite things. To make my bliss complete, I moved out to the Berkshires and found my muse waiting for me there amongst the lilacs and humming birds.

I now write Extraordinary Stories of an Average Teenage Life in order to share hope with others, especially teens, that no matter how tough life gets, there is always a bright spot waiting just around the corner. My published books include the award winning YA Novels, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, available through Amazon and B&N Booksellers.

Find PJ online at

Amazon Author Central

In the year 2057, in a post-apocalyptic world where a global shift threatens the remainder of the population with extinction, sixteen-year-old genetically enhanced Lily Charmichael has more immediate problems. Her uncle is dying of cancer and her healing abilities are ineffective against the blood ties that bind them. In order to find a cure, Lily must leave the protection of her quiet town and journey into the trading city of Albany, all while avoiding the Industry, an agency that would like nothing better than to study and exploit her abilities.

Seventeen-year-old Will Callahan has been searching for his father since severe storms blasted through the Midwest, killing his mother and sister. When he learns that his father may be in the city, he catches a ride with Lily, a girl who has come to his rescue more than once. As the two embark on a dangerous journey, the attraction between them grows. But the secrets Will’s keeping could put her in far more danger than traveling to the city with him, and if he was any kind of man, he would have told her to run the minute she found him.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Eva Marquez


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eva will award a Kindle touch to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a swag pack of goodies to one commenter at each stop. Click on the tour banner above to see the other stops on the tour--remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win a Kindle!

A lesson I learned from my protagonist
Eva Márquez

Isabel, a strong yet conflicted teenager, taught me a great deal about love and life. Most importantly, the lesson I learned from Isabel is that there are many shades of gray in life and that decisions, which need to be made, are not always necessarily black and white. Hence, life’s decisions are not always easy to make. For instance, cheating and lying are clearly not admirable habits. However, through Isabel, I learned how difficult life can be when deciding where one draws the line in terms of one’s personal beliefs and social mores when true love is at stake. Another important lesson I took away from Isabel is that it’s okay to be true to one’s self, it’s okay to love, to take risks, and to taste what life has to offer in spite of society’s pre-conceived notions. At the same time, I realize Isabel was young, and as she developed into a young woman, she wasn’t equipped to handle the ramifications of many of her disastrous decisions. As I developed the story, I often wondered how I would heave behave if I were placed in such a predicament. I came to understand that I would be as fiercely loyal to the one I loved as I am in real life, but yet at that age, I would question my loyalties to a married man, and how those loyalties would affect me as a teenager who was just starting to experience newfound freedoms.

Friendship is a treasured thing. Isabel taught me something about life, and that is to truly value friendships. It is those friends, the ones that can be trusted with one’s innermost thoughts and feelings that allow one to grow and develop an appreciation for human nature. Isabel taught me that true friends really do exist and that they will be there when one really needs them, in spite of what may be very difficult circumstances. Loyal friends keep their promises, they don’t backstab as many of Isabel’s so-called friends did. Isabel certainly taught me that good friends care about one’s happiness and wellbeing as much as they care about their own, even if they may or may not agree with you. Liz, for example, never wavered. She remained true and loyal to Isabel, her only real friend, in spite of the allegations, the criminal investigation, the gossip, and the heartache. Liz was by Isabel’s side to talk her through what was going on, to convince her to return to school and graduate with her friends, and to serve as a shoulder to cry on. Although true friends can come and go, they are never replaced, nor forgotten.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.

Find Eva online at
@EvaAuthor (Twitter)

Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart. This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.