Category Archives: Summer on Fire

Merry Christmas to Readers Past, Present, and, Future! A BOOK GIVEAWAY!

It’s been quite a year for me. I finally wrote another novel. I wasn’t sure if I had another FINISHED one in me. Sure, I am quite capable of writing anywhere from 65%-85% of a novel and walking away from it. But this year I did it! Pride Must Be a Place is a young adult title. Surprise, surprise. It is currently with my agent. You can read about it HERE. I wrote about half of Pride at the 72-hr 2015 Muskoka Novel Marathon. The other half? Well, I have someone else to thank for that. He knows who he is. I wrote the last half of the novel during the week of July 20th…which means cover to cover it was completed in a month. I guess that’s okay…especially for someone who thought he’d never complete another book!

Thank you, Michael!

I did more than finished a novel, though. This was also a year of travel. I know I said last year (2014) was going to be my travel year…but I guess it got extended a bit. Or perhaps it’s open-ended??? We discovered China, Hong Kong, and, Cuba this year. China definitely blew away all of my expectations. I had no idea I would fall so deeply in love with it. And I also had no idea I would finally ‘get’ the appeal of one-party politics. I mean, those people get shit done! No party bickering = Shit gets done. It was a beautiful country. I know it’s a vast place and I only saw a fraction of it…but what I saw (Shanghai, Beijing, Wuxi, Suzhou…) was breathtaking. I will never forget the canals and buildings of Suzhou (The Venice of the East). And the bustle of Beijing. And the Meglev of Shanghai.

As I wait for a publisher to pick up my latest offering (fingers crossed!) I attempt daily to put closure on my other not-quite-completed novels. I won’t say how many of them there are. Let’s just say I could probably wallpaper a HOUSE with their pages.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays to all! I thought I’d do a giveaway for my three novels that are YOUNG ADULT.

GOODREADS will be hosting the giveaway, and it opens to entries on DECEMBER 29th! Each contest has its own closing date. You can click on the images below to be taken to each contest…where you can simply click the ENTER GIVEAWAY button to enter! (Sorry, though…it doesn’t open until the 29th.)

BURN BABY BURN BABY

 

bbbbHALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN

hdafbSUMMER ON FIRE

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Feel free to share this contest with friends, family, and, enemies!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

You can read all about my novels on Goodreads…check out the reviews, etc. And they are all available at AMAZON.

 

Updates. Giveaways. Future Plans. And Stuff.

Okay, so Burn Baby Burn Baby has hit the streets. Have you picked up your copy yet? It’s getting amazing reviews, for which I am forever grateful. I thought I’d link directly to a couple of them here:

TMBA CORBETT WRITES

A CREATIVE MIND

LORI TWINING

JENNIFER GREENLEAF

SHELF LIFE

HER BOOK THOUGHTS!

Some amazing praise! Truly amazing…

There are currently TWO paperback giveaways happening for Burn Baby Burn Baby.

One of the giveaways is happening on Goodreads and you can go to the link by clicking on the image below. Then click the ENTER TO WIN button:

ggbbbbIf you’d like to enter the Twitter Burn Baby Burn Baby paperback giveaway, it’s a bit more complicated. (-: But your chances will be better.

Here’s a link to my tweet explaining it:

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Basically, you just have to tweet that you want to win a copy, but there are links/hashtags involved.

If you enter either contest, good luck!

You can purchase your copy of BURN BABY BURN BABY at AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CA, BARNES & NOBLE, or, KOBO.

You have probably also heard by now that the HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN cover has been revealed. You can pre-order this title from Amazon. Click on the cover below to visit the Amazon link and read more about the book!

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I linked to the Amazon.com page, but Half Dead & Fully Broken is also available at Amazon.ca for pre-order.

As for future plans? I am currently attempting to complete 3 novels. They are…

THAT’S ME IN THE CORNER – This is my 2011 Muskoka Novel Marathon BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD awarded novel. It’s about a wallflower, his girlfriend, and his gay best friend. They all travel to Kenya for the summer holidays, at first reluctantly but then with much excitement. I’m on the homestretch with this one. (-:

ALIVE & KICKING – This is BOOK #2 of the Carter Colby Series. Carter is the main character in HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. In Alive & Kicking, he’s at it again. He’s talking to the dead and attempting to stay out of trouble.

THE BOOK OF YOUR DREAMS – This is my 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. My first attempt at Horror. Of course, it’s YA horror. (-: It’s getting there. It’s extremely fun to write. It takes place in a bookstore that’s not really there, run by a man who was killed 100 years earlier by a mod of villagers after it was discovered that he was collecting bodies in the cellar of his knick-knack emporium. Oh, the fun! (-:

My ‘STUFF’ for this post? I’m infatuated with a purchase I made over the weekend. I recently wrote a post about my switch from laptop to tablet for my writing. Well, yesterday I grabbed up this baby:

10370818_10152473344962021_3916931170477534674_nIt’s a Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet writing. This means the part of the screen that was eaten up with the onscreen keyboard is now gone. And, it’s an actual KEYS keyboard. I think I have found my perfect writing set-up!

Let’s see…I did Updates, Giveaways, Future Plans and…stuff. Covered it! (-=

Thanks to ALL the bloggers who took (and are taking) part in my Blog Tour! You’re doing (have done) an incredible job! Love and Light to each and every one of you!

I’ll leave you with this amazing pic created on an app by my friend and fellow writer Mel E. Cober!

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Now, back to writing…

 

Goodreads Giveaway – Summer on Fire – YA Lit

With the release of my fourth novel on the horizon, I thought I would give a short refresher of the three published novels I already have out there in the universe. What better time for a Goodreads Giveaway! (-:

BURN BABY hits bookstore shelves December 11th. Stay tuned for book cover reveal and blog tour, etc. As my publisher is arranging all of that, I do not yet have the details.

I can tell you a bit about the Burn Baby story. Here’s the cover blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

How did BURN BABY come to be? Of course it was a Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. I wrote it over the course of 72-hours during the 2012 Muskoka Novel Marathon. Then I edited it for about six months, prior to giving it to my agent Stacey Donaghy. Stacey found a home for it almost immediately at Curiosity Quills, who also took my 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel, Half Dead & Fully Broken (which will release in January, 2015). Voila!

Now, on to my three published novels. (-:

SUMMER ON FIRE was released in 2011. It’s young adult. It has received some phenomenal reviews which completely blew me away. I thought it was time for Goodreads to give away another copy. So, you can head over to Goodreads right now and enter. It’s easy-peasy. CLICK on the cover below and you will be taken to the contest at Goodreads:

Summer_on_Fire_S_4fd4854720447

Simply click on the ENTER TO WIN button and follow the instructions. This contest is open to USA and CANADIAN residents.

Here’s the cover blurb for SUMMER ON FIRE:

Zach Carson is a loyal friend. But is loyalty enough to keep best friends together when one of them sets fire to the rural barn they use as the local hangout? Zach, Jeff Barsell and Arnie Wilson struggle to pick up the pieces when news spreads that a body was discovered in the burnt out shell of the neighbouring home. When the word murder is used by the local police, the stakes grow even higher. When the police start searching for their most likely suspect-none other than Jeff’s older brother, and nemesis, Marty Barsell-the boys decide to join forces and come up with a way to prove his innocence. But just how innocent is Marty Barsell? When Marty admits to being at the scene of the crime, the three friends enlist the help of Zach’s annoying sister, Sherry, as well as the sympathetic town eccentric, Ms. Halverton. But can they keep it together long enough to save Marty, and themselves, from imminent catastrophe? Summer on Fire is the story of friendships, and the lines we are asked to cross in order to keep them.

Several of the reviews have likened SUMMER ON FIRE to the movie STAND BY ME, which I take as the ultimate compliment…as it is one of my favourite coming-of-age movies.

Why I have your attention, here’s the cover blurbs for the other two novels currently available:

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Sebastian Nelson is a boy in search of a family. Abandoned by his mother, Sebastian is left with a broken father who doesn’t even seem present when he does show up. Forced to be the main caregiver of his younger brother, Renee, and lost in a sea of indifference, Sebastian only wants to experience the love a real, stable family could afford him.

One morning he discovers the famous folksinger, Teal Landen, asleep on the sofa. Teal’s nurturing nature brings an immediate sense of security into Sebastian’s tumultuous life. But a dark secret looms between Teal and Sebastian’s father of a hidden past. Sebastian is driven to discover their secret, but also he’s aware of how tenuous their hold on Teal really is. He doesn’t want to lose the feeling of home Teal’s presence has brought him.

If Sebastian pushes too hard, he could lose Teal forever. He could be destined to raise his younger brother alone, while witnessing the total decline of his emotionally devastated father. If Sebastian is abandoned by the only healthy influence in his otherwise shaky existence, he will also be forever in the dark about the secret that will reveal so much about his fractured family.

thereasons-300dpi

In the midst of absence, death, and insanity, Tobias longs to make his family whole again.

With a mostly absent father, a deceased older sister, a younger sister on the verge of invisibility, and a certifiably insane mother, Tobias Reason is forced to grow up quickly. Though he tries to be a surrogate parent to his sister, their broken mother, Maggie, takes up a lot of his time. Annabel falls to the wayside and becomes a ghost in their chaotic existence.

When Maggie flippantly hands her mother’s house over to Tobias, he sees an opportunity to learn how and why his family became so shattered. Be careful what you wish for. When his world begins to collapse from the weight of unburied secrets, he focuses on a stranger from his parents’ past. Only by eliminating the past, he believes, can he make his family whole again.

If you made it this far, leave a comment and you will be entered to win an ebook of your choosing from the three novels currently available. In the comment, mention which title you’d like to win. You will be entered. Another easy contest. (-:

Thanks for stopping by!

GOODREADS CONTEST CLOSES AUGUST 15, 2014–Enter today!

Birthdays and Balloons!

Today is my good friend’s birthday! Okay, so he’s more an acquaintance than a friend, really. Okay, so he’s more a mentor than a friend, really. Okay, so I never actually met him…but I feel as though I know him intimately.

Happy 450th Birthday, Sir William Shakespeare!

I love Shakespeare. I finally dipped into this love for one of my forthcoming YA novels. My main character, Francis Fripp, loves Shakespeare and can quote anything from the bard’s work because he spent the lion’s share of his childhood in the hospital recovering from burns he received to almost half of his body. While it was his father who set him on fire for playing with matches, his father’s kind sister gave him The Complete Works of Shakespeare to read during his recovery. So, I really got to give the old Shaky Pear the nod in Burn Baby. (-: Shaky Pear. That’s what we called him in high school.

Did you know that many of the phrases we use every single day come from the man? It’s true.

How many times do you say the following phrases? If you invoke them, you are invoking Shakespeare!

  • A wild goose chase
  • Give the devil his due
  • Wear your heart on your sleeve
  • Vanish into thin air
  • What the dickens
  • Knock knock! Who’s there?
  • For goodness sake

These are just a few of the good man’s many everyday phrases. He certainly has achieved world domination in the English language phrasebook.

Raise a glass for old William today. He has brought us much joy.

shakespeare1

Speaking of birthdays, don’t you just LOVE balloons! Wouldn’t you love for your job to be to sell cartoon balloons in town?! Couldn’t you just imagine yourself sitting on a porch swing somewhere blowing up balloons all day. Just letting them go and watching them fly!

After listening to Levon recently, I turned to my friend and said, “Wouldn’t that be the most awesome job in the world?! Selling balloons for a living.”

He said, “Der. That’s what you do. You play with words. You sell word balloons. You HAVE the awesome job. Dude, you’re living it.”

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am. I get to do this thing I love to do. I play with words. I sit on the porch swing and watch them fly. I take a balloon and I go sailing.

Find your thing. Find your balloon. And when you do, enjoy the flight. You only live once.

 

Don’t forget to check out my novels on Amazon. BURN BABY and HALF DEAD AND FULLY BROKEN will release in the Fall of this year, but there’s always SUMMER ON FIRE, THE REASONS and SEBASTIAN’S POET…if you want to check out something now.

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