All About It Blog Series, Week Six

Here we are in week six of the All About It series already! I’ve written a lot of books, and I plan to write a lot more! Even so, not all of my books require long series, and The Demolition Trilogy fits that bill. I had a few ideas but couldn’t cram them all into one book without making it way too long, so I planned out three.

It all started long ago on Wattpad with The Demolition Project. It started as a little 30K word novella that I expanded into close to 60K before publishing on Amazon. On Wattpad, the book garnered over 50K reads and grew a small cult following (by small, I mean one person who adores it and a few who still bug me about a sequel—I hear you, and it’s coming!)

By now, most of my readers are accustomed to my silver-lining style of writing where everyone ends up happy, the rainbows fill the sky, and the sun is always shining (unless you read Eiagan’s Winter, in which case… I don’t know what to say, LOL.) In The Demolition Trilogy, there are still silver linings, but they are hard-fought and well-earned by the protagonists. In these books, I explore the not-so-good parts of the foster care and adoption systems, the harsh realities for some of those children, and the darker sides of life.

While these books do cover darker concepts and may not be suitable for all ages or for those uncomfortable reading such things, I do try to offer hope and a way out of those dark situations for my characters. For example, attempted suicide, drug addiction, and abuse are all discussed in these books, but they are never shown in a positive light. They are adequately addressed and appropriately treated in the books as something requiring aid and treatment rather than glorified.

Adults and parents are not treated as clueless idiots who simply “misunderstand” the youth. They contribute to their recovery, offer assistance and discipline, and provide foundations for them. The adults in the series who are bad players are swiftly and well punished.

Here are some commonly asked questions about this series:

  1. What is the target age group?

Young adults to adults who prefer young adult fiction. There are “triggering” situations in the books, so I would recommend an adult read through before offering to a younger crowd or to those who might have experienced similar trauma.

2. What are the ages of the characters?

Protagonists and friends are 16-18, and adults play a critical role in many of their experiences

3. What is the content rating?

PG-13 for the situations, but the books are clean of cussing, sex, and sexual situations except for the first book, which mentions inappropriate interactions between an adult and teacher.

4. Why did you start this series?

I was annoyed by the way some young adult novels glorified suicide, abusive relationships, drug use, and inappropriate behavior between teenagers and adults. I also wanted to shine a light on the difficulties foster children encounter when aging out of the system. It is not easy for them, and the more we learn about it, the more we can do to help.

5. Should I read the series in order?

You don’t have to because each story has its own conclusion, but some characters from the first book appear in the second, and some from the second will appear in the third. I would recommend that you do, but it is not a must if you are not interested in reading all of them.

What is already available? The first book in the trilogy, The Demolition Project, is available at Amazon in print and e-book and is also available in Kindle Unlimited. Here is a quick look!

Knox Harris was perfect. He was the perfect student, ultimate best friend, a gifted athlete, and chillingly handsome with a sweetheart streak a mile long. There was absolutely nothing about the boy to hate. Everyone loved him, but Charlotte hated him.

Charlotte Woods was alone. She was nothing but trouble, a criminal, a waste of time. Not a single soul in the world cared about her. In fact, most people wished she would just disappear. She spent her days hiding in the shadows, just trying to survive.

The unfortunate product of a broken foster care system, Charlotte aged-out and hit the streets running on nothing but anger and a bad attitude. Barely able to keep herself alive, Charlotte’s anger grew. It threatened to eat her alive, but she refused to go down alone. Charlotte turned her focus to Knox, the one boy who seemed to care about everything and everyone but her. Knox didn’t appreciate the amazing life he had, but Charlotte vowed to make him see. She’d show him the hard way as she systematically destroyed everything he held dear.

But when a broken girl sets her sights on destroying an unbreakable boy, she had better be prepared to suffer the consequences. For Charlotte, the consequences just might kill her.

What’s next? The second book, The Demolition Daze, will be available soon! The rough draft is finished and is in an alpha review. It will need expansion and editing, but I hope to release it in a couple of months!

All About It Blog Series, Week Two

Welcome back to the All About It blog series that introduces readers to my book series!

This week I’m diving into a newer series… which isn’t really all that new. The first two books were written a long time ago, but they needed a lot of rewriting and editing. Once I had the inspiration to push them together into a series, it sort of took on a life of its own.

If you know me, you know I’m a quirky, clumsy person, and I love to portray some of my characters the same way. Well, the I’m Pretty Sure About That series is my quirky, weird character series! You’ll find everything from crummy break-ups to dealing with the death of a family member in this series, but you’ll also find what you’ve come to expect from me—love, friendship, hope, and… (hopefully) laughter.

The first book in the series is I’m Pretty Sure You’re Gonna Miss Me Ronin McKinsey and focuses on Hazel, a plucky, sweet, good-hearted person who can’t stop going over the top for the people she loves most—a character trait that pushes her boyfriend right over the edge. In a bid to get him back after a bad break-up, Hazel teams up with resident nobody, Daniel Starnes in what becomes a comedic tale of friendship, love, and weirdness you’ll love.

If you’re looking for short, easy reads… this is the series for you!

Here are those commonly asked questions again:

1. What is the target age group?

Young adult to younger new adult. The books are clean, free of cussing, and tackle real-life struggles in a positive way.

2. What are the ages of the characters?

High school to college-age, so roughly 16-22. In the epilogues, the characters are mid-twenties.

3. What is the content rating?

Even cleaner than the Secret Author Series, an easy PG.

4. Why did you start this series?

I really wanted a series that would make people laugh through their struggles. I also wanted to put my own personality out front and center, so when you read about those clumsy characters doing ridiculous things—yeah, that’s me.

5. Should I read the series in order?

Yes. Each book has its own arc that fully resolves at the end of the story, but you will see common characters pop up as you go. The series will also incorporate a second generation as it goes on, so it’s important you know who everyone is from the start!

So far, only one book has been published, but book two is in alpha review right now! I expect to release it within the next two to three months!

Here are all the details:

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I’m Pretty Sure You’re Gonna Miss Me Ronin McKinsey (available now at Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited):

Ronin McKinsey broke up with Hazel Simmons in the worst way—publicly and with a lot of fanfare—and now she’s on a mission to make sure he realizes what he lost.

Determined to make her ex jealous, Hazel enlists the help of Daniel, a quirky loner who agrees to kiss her right in front of Ronin. Little does Hazel know, Daniel has plans of his own and offers to help her stick it to her ex if she helps him find a date to prom. Hazel quickly learns there’s more to Daniel than meets the eye, and Daniel seems to be just what she needs to get even—or get over—Ronin McKinsey.

With hijinks, hilarious misunderstandings, and drama around every corner, Hazel and Daniel find more than a mutual understanding between them. They find friendship—the kind that lasts forever.

A young adult novel perfect for fans of fake boyfriends, quirky characters, swoonworthy sweetness, and clean romance.

Here’s what’s coming! The series will include ten books in total, but I’m only planned up through eight!

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All About It Blog Series, Week One

I’ve received loads of questions via social media, some through email, and in-person about my many series. In case you haven’t noticed, I do like to genre hop a little, but I do tend to stick with young adult and fantasy. In my upcoming blog series, I will explore each of my book series, so readers will know what they’re getting into when they pick up one of my books (don’t worry, that sounds worse than it is!)

Over the next few weeks, I will spotlight one series with my thoughts and a more in-depth look at why I started it, what readers will find in the story, and why the themes are universal.

Let’s just dive right into the first series, shall we?

This week’s series is THE SECRET AUTHOR SERIES.

My very first published book was The Yellow Note. Sometimes I still cringe when I reread it, but that’s true for any author. Show me one who doesn’t at least wince a little, and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t honed their craft. It’s a process like any other hobby or job, and it takes hours upon hours and thousands upon thousands of words to improve—which I still do every day.

The Yellow Note was supposed to be a stand-alone novel. I put it up on Wattpad just to see what people thought. I was surprised to find they liked it, and when Wattpad put it up as a featured read, it got over three million reads in just a few months. People asked for more, so another book was born—The Postcard. After that, it seemed simple to keep up the theme—a secret person using some sort of correspondence to communicate with the main character… and the rest is history (actually, the rest is The Secret Author Series.)

The Yellow Note Hardcover

Here are some commonly asked questions about this series:

What is the target age group?

That’s difficult to pin down. The themes are certainly universal to any age, but some of the stories are better suited for middle-grade to high-school age (about 13-18), where some are suited for a young adult to new adult age (about 15-25). I’ve had readers in their forties rave about the books, while some even as young as twelve enjoyed the more adult themes.

What are the ages of the characters?

It depends on the book, but most are between the ages of 15 and 25, with a few outliers for supporting characters such as parents, older or younger siblings, mentors, etc.

What is the content rating?

To me, it’s solid PG. There is no sex or heavy petting (there are kissing scenes, but nothing overly heated), no cussing (perhaps the occasional Hell referencing the actual place), no graphic violence. However, in some installments, I do discuss trauma and other intense situations. For example, in The Letter, I discuss PTSD both from combat and from child abuse. In The Text Message, we tackle grief and depression after the death of a sibling. But no matter what the content is, you can rest assured it is managed with care, and to show hope and love.

Why did you start this series?

Amidst all the oversexed, overly vulgar young adult novels out there, I wanted to offer readers something with emotion and feeling, but without all the bad influence and trauma portrayed as a positive thing. I’m not a huge fan of novels that depict abusive relationships as a good thing, or that those people can be changed with just the right amount of love from just the right person. I believe in redemption, but when I write about it, it is hard-earned and deserved. Basically, I wanted to show people that hope can be found in almost any situation.

Should I read the series in order?

No, not at all, unless you want to. I wrote each one to stand on its own, but if you do read them in order, you’ll find a little surprise. Each book is linked to a previous book in at least one way. For example, Conor Hudson is the main character in The Yellow Note. You might catch in book one that her mother’s maiden name was Garrison. In the Postcard, Mark and Hope Garrison are Conor’s first cousins! It’s not directly mentioned, but if you’re careful, you can pick up little gems like that one and many more!

How far have I written in The Secret Author Series?

Well, that’s a loaded question. I initially (after writing The Postcard) decided on a ten-book series, primarily because I couldn’t think of any other forms of communication that would work in a full-length novel. But, as fate would have it, people were intrigued by side characters and stories, and they wanted to know more about them. I found I did too! So, I have also written some spin-off novellas and will continue to do so as long as my alpha and beta readers keep saying things like, “Hey, this would be a cool short story!” or “I’d really like to know more about this character’s life!”

Here’s what we have so far:

The Yellow Note, Book One – follows Conor Hudson as she unravels the mystery of her secret note writer. Along the way, she discovers family secrets, the value of friendship, and a love that lasts forever.

The Postcard, Book Two – follows Aria Scott as she seeks X, the mysterious person sending her postcards with challenges that push the introverted girl way out of her comfort zone.

The Letter, Book Three – follows Penelope Scottsdale as she navigates life with an abusive mother, a tyrannical sister, and a past she’s eager to forget, all while communicating with a deployed soldier—who thinks she’s her sister.

The Text Message, Book Four – Emily Waters navigates a text messaging situation gone wrong, which places her in a tight spot when her deceased brother’s best friend shows interest in her.

SA BOOKS 1-4

Starting Over – A spin-off novella born from a deleted chapter in The Yellow Note. Atticus Stillwell was a bully, but someone took pity on him and saw the truth. Now he pays it forward.

Biology 101 – A spin-off novella from The Yellow Note, this is the history of Jacob and Delilah, two of the book’s most beloved characters.

Falling For Elizabeth – a second-generation novella, this one follows the next generation of The Yellow Note

The Forget Me Not Pact – a surprise prequel novella that dives deep into the lives of a beloved character’s parents (I can’t tell who! I’d rather you be surprised.)

War Changes Everything – a prequel novella that gaps The Postcard and The Letter and follows Walter, the loveable war vet from The Postcard.

SPIN OFFS

New installment coming soon:

The Telegram, Book Five – Easton Long finds a box of telegrams in her deceased great-grandmother’s attic. She never expected they would take her on a cross-country road trip to uncover family secrets and lost love.

TELEGRAM

Future books include the following in the primary series and planned spin-off prequels, sequels, and novellas!

SA BOOKS 6-10

spin offs 2

spin offs 3

I hope you have enjoyed our walk through The Secret Author Series! If you read one of the books and have an idea for future installments, including novella side stories, prequels, or sequels, feel free to send me a message! I’m always open to developing new books with reader input!

Next week we’ll dive into one of my new series, the I’m Pretty Sure About That Series!