Monday, March 24, 2014

CHECK IT OUT: Cover Reveal for INCANTATION PARADOX by Annamaria Bazzi


The day has finally arrived. I would like to present to all of annamaria's readers the wonderful cover for:

Book: Incantation Paradox
Author: annamaria bazzi
Cover Designer: Natasha Brown
Release Date: Undetermined

IncantationParadox-small

Blurb:
A car accident cuts Dolores Reynard’s life short, leaving her with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. When she awakens in a strange bed, inside a much younger body, and living with a new family—she can’t worry she might be going insane. How can she be a teenager again?

Jason Richmond understands the danger awaiting his new houseguest. Wanting to ease her concerns, he works to earn Dolores’ trust. But attraction flares in the most unexpected way, and he finds himself caught between setting the situation right and following his heart.

An enduring evil threatens not only the blossoming love but their lives as well. As Dolores and Jason struggle to unravel the truth behind her resurrection, they find themselves tangled in a web of murder, intrigue and magic. Only together can they hope to overcome the incantation paradox holding them captive.

Dolores: 
IncantationParadox-FacebookHello, my name is Dolores and I'm a forty-something mother of two high school girls, Ella and Chloe. On my way to their recital, I was in a car accident that changed my life forever. We all desire to be young again, but never in someone else's body.

If you think magic doesn't exist, think again. There truly are people in the world who can wield magic, and I'm not talking the illusion kind we see on stage, I'm talking real magic, the magic you read in books with wizards and sorceresses. You don't have to take my word, read my story and find out for yourself the ordeal I had to go through to find my way back home.

Author Bio:
annamaria bazzi, author
INCANTATION PARADOX

Although born in the United States, annamaria bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

You can visit annamaria at:

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Steven Whitacre, Author

 
Steven Whitacre, Author
MY FATHER'S PROSTITUTE
Steven Whitacre has dared to write the true story of how as a child he endured abuse from his father in MY FATHER’S PROSTITUTE: STORY OF A STOLEN CHILDHOOD. One reviewer said, “This book will make your blood boil and break your heart. Written with a flowing gait it captures you from page one and engages through to the end.” Although Mr. Whitacre found the writing of the book fairly easy, he did encounter difficulty with sharing it. But he realized that his story could help others who underwent the effects of childhood abuse which, he says, “literally causes the brain to wire itself differently.”

Today Mr. Whitacre lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, daughter, three cats, and two dogs. He is an IT consultant and small business owner. Since writing his book, he enjoys meeting people more and learning their stories. He has also renewed his interest in music and playing his bass.



Q: MY FATHER’S PROSTITUTE is a very personal story, which must have been difficult for you to write. What compelled you to write your story?

Steven Whitacre: People ask me that a lot – whether it was difficult to write – and it really wasn’t.  It just poured out onto the page as if it were writing itself.  The only reason it took so long to write (about 10 weeks) was that I would only work on it in the early mornings on weekends while the rest of the family was still asleep.  So maybe an hour or two at a time.

As for what compelled me to write it, there were many things behind it.  But I think the biggest one was to help others understand that childhood abuse literally causes the brain to wire itself differently.  The constant stress on the developing brain is chemically very different than what is considered “normal”.  I have been a long(ish) time participant in the forums at www.traumaheadquarters.com, which I joined while trying to find support for raising a daughter who had also suffered trauma (although different from mine) as a very young girl.  It was there that I came to realize that I was living on both sides of that fence – I was not only the parent of a child who had experienced trauma, but I was a child of trauma myself.  I felt I would be able to provide a unique perspective, especially since I had managed to find a path to healing – which is really all any of us want for our children.

Q: One reviewer said MY FATHER’S PROSTITUTE is “Honest and gritty. But best of all – hopeful,” while another reviewer praised your “courage.” Did you intend to deliver a message to readers who might be suffering abuse of any kind?

Steven Whitacre: While I was pondering the book, that was always in the back of my mind.  I wanted other victims of childhood abuse to be able to see themselves in me, and to tell them that healing is possible, that it doesn’t have to ruin your life.  Childhood abuse is a horrible thing that leaves lasting scars, but we CAN take our power back and live a life mostly free of what happened.  While many people have had it worse than me, I would like to think my story is worse than most (not because I want it to be, but because I don’t like the thought of others going through what I went through), and I want people to read it and realize that if I could find healing, then they certainly could as well.  Much like when I stood at the doorway to the rehab center telling myself “If Ozzy Osbourne can do this, so can I”. 

But if there is one thing I would want to tell other victims, it would be “stop internalizing it, let it out so you can heal”.  Unfortunately, we as a society are still at a place where abuse victims (especially males) feel like they are being victimized a second time if they come forward.  Even though that doesn’t make any sense – when we DO come forward, we receive nothing but support and healing.  Yet we feel stigmatized into keeping quiet about it and suffer in silence.  That has to change.  But it will only change when more people start coming forward and making it easier for those that follow.

Q: How important is honesty to telling your story?

Steven Whitacre: Honesty is everything. I think my story is compelling enough without having to embellish or change things around to make it more interesting. Of course, honesty comes with a price, too. There are parts of the book where I certainly don't come across as somebody you would look up to or want to be like. There are some things in there that I think most people rather not have the world to know about them. Even my wife asked me, "Are you sure you want to put that out there?" But that's what makes it so real. I didn't write it to make myself out to be some "hero" or whatever. I wrote it to tell the truth about how trauma affects us and the way we approach life. I couldn't do that if I wasn't going to be 100% honest.

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to write MY FATHER’S PROSTITUTE?

Steven Whitacre: I think I had been mulling over the prospect for about 4 years before I ever put pen to paper.  But I didn’t have an ending.  I was still trying to figure out how to heal and put it all behind me, not knowing if I ever would, and what good is a story without an end?  I have always felt my story was unique and different, which was why I thought people would be interested.  Sadly, I have since learned that what happened to me isn’t nearly as unusual as people want to think.  So as the years passed, the intent behind telling my story went from “Look what happened to me”, to “This is who we are, and we are among you."

Q: The reviews of MY FATHER’S PROSTITUTE on Amazon are quite insightful as well as praiseworthy.  One of them says, “Written with a flowing gait it captures you from page one and engages through to the end.” How do you “engage” your readers? What makes them want to turn the page?

Steven Whitacre: I read a lot of technical books, and each section is a piece in itself.  I don’t find that very exciting and it’s easy to set it aside for a while and forget about it.  I didn’t want that to be the case with my story – I wanted it to hit hard and fast to make people really think.  I feel that to really understand the true effect of childhood trauma, it needs to be right there in your face, and I didn’t see that happening if people were to read one chapter at a time, with a day or so in between.  So I tried to pull from my High School English class (in which I earned a big fat F) and used foreshadowing and cliffhangers at the end of each chapter.  I didn’t want people to put it down – I wanted them to think “oh wow…what next?”  

It seems to make a difference I’ve found.  From the emails I’ve received, the people that couldn’t put it down and read it all the way through seem to be the ones that were most impacted by it. 

Q: What did you find most challenging when writing MY FATHER’S PROSTITUTE?

Steven Whitacre: Again, the act of writing it came easy.  I just let it flow out.  Interestingly (well, to me anyway), although I had spent 4 years or so thinking about it, planning it, picturing it in my mind how it would be, it came out nothing like I had thought.  But it came out.  There were a couple of mornings when I didn’t feel like writing, so I didn’t, but most mornings I found myself getting up early and diving right in. 

More challenging than writing it though, was sharing it.  I created a Facebook page for it and started to invite a bunch of my friends to it.  Hitting that “send” button was FAR harder than any of the writing was.  It’s one thing to share my story with people I’ve never met, or who I don’t have a history with, but totally different to share it with people I have known since childhood. 

Another challenge was leaving it there.  For the first couple of weeks after I published, I experienced waves of panic wondering what I had just done.  I had moments where I just wanted to delete the book, remove the Facebook page, and go back to how things were before I published.  But invariably, it wasn’t long before I would receive an email from somebody telling me how my story had inspired them.  Either to speak out about their own childhood trauma, or to seek healing.  It was those emails that reminded me that this is a story that needs to be told.  In one of my chapters I talk about how I worked with a group to track down online predators, and my driving force behind that was “If I can save just one child, this whole thing is worth it”.  This was pretty much the same.  If I can make a difference in just one person’s life, then that gives meaning to it all.

Q: Who do you think will most benefit from reading your story?

Steven Whitacre: I would like to think that the people who get the most out of it would be other victims of childhood trauma.  Not just victims of sexual abuse, but trauma in general.  The stories may be different, but the chemical changes in the brain are the same.  We all walk similar paths.  But the people who I think will really benefit from it are foster parents, people who adopt, therapists…basically anybody who cares for a child of trauma.  I like to think my story gives good insight into how that trauma affects our mindset, and it is important for people to understand that if they are going to help. I can’t think of a single foster or adoptive parent who cares for a child of trauma and doesn’t want to make that child’s life better. But I guess that does come full circle, and the victims themselves end up benefitting from their caregivers having a better understanding.  It’s a win-win.

I also have pledged to donate up to 25% of the proceeds to the Attachment and Trauma network to help spread the word about how childhood trauma really does affect everybody.  I believe in what they are doing and am proud to be able to help them help children.

Q:  Can you offer any tips to those suffering from abuse?

Steven Whitacre: This is almost a trick question.  One might think that the answer would be “tell somebody”.  But it isn’t nearly that simple.  They teach that in school – if somebody is hurting you, tell somebody.  I knew that.  I knew that if I were to do that, it would end the abuse.  But I also knew that it would drastically change my life, and oftentimes the known is preferable to the unknown – even when the “known” is no good.  Sadly, when abuse starts at such a young age, that just becomes how life is and we develop coping strategies to deal with it.  Those strategies are great at helping us cope, but they also stand in the way of making things different.  When people would say “tell somebody”, my reaction was along the lines of “yeah, that’s easy to say but you don’t know what it’s like.” It almost has the opposite effect of what people think – telling a child to “just tell somebody” feeds the “you don’t understand me, nobody understands me” mentality and they, well I did anyway, tend to withdraw even further.

So my advice would be to look inside yourself.  Find the good person that you are – he or she is in there - and remember that you aren’t bad, you aren’t weak, and you certainly aren’t to blame.  There is nothing “wrong” with you and you don’t have to suffer in silence.  You can take back your power, take back your life.  I won’t lie and say it’s easy, but it’s worth the work.  For me, what helped was to remember that the abuse caused physical changes in my brain.  Changes that made me look at the world differently, but also could be ‘retrained’.  The brain is an amazing thing that is never static – it’s always changing.  The challenge is to control those changes and take back what belongs to you.  The beauty of the world.

Q:  What’s next? Will you write another book? Have you considered writing fiction? Have you always wanted to write?

Steven Whitacre: I hadn’t considered writing anything more, but I have had people ask me about it.  They want to hear more about my time in the band (especially what it was like on tour), or think I should write about when I was involved with a group of hackers going after predators and how it impacted me knowing that we were helping those children.  There are certainly several things I could expand on that I think would make for interesting reading, but for now I just want to focus on this one book, this one message.  Sure, those other adventures may be more interesting and “fun”, but what I’m trying to do with this book is too important to me to let myself get distracted.

As for writing fiction, I think what might come out of my head would be too weird for people to really get into.  I did some fiction writing when I was a teenager about a gumdrop named Joey and his adventures sitting on the porch.  But it rained, he melted and the story ended.  Other than that, I don’t know.  Maybe? 

Q: Tell us about you. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies? Favorite movies? Books? Etc.

Steven Whitacre: To be honest, I’m not much of a reader.  I was when I was younger, but these days it’s rare to find me with a book in my hands.  I’m much more likely to be found wasting my time on Facebook.  I enjoy the social aspect of things much more than I used to.  Interestingly (well, to me anyway), I took the Myers-Briggs personality test both before and after writing my book (I didn’t plan on it, it just happened), and while I had spent all of my life scoring as a solid Introvert, once the book was done that score had moved over the line into the Extroversion region.  Not by a lot, but I really do enjoy being out and meeting new people these days.  I believe everybody has a story and I love to hear about them.

But I also love being alone (or with my family) out in the woods.  Especially after the rains.  There is something so peaceful and magical about being outside with nature.  I prefer the ocean to the mountains, but it’s kind of difficult to go on a long hike in the ocean. (Smile)  

Also, when I’m not working or doing any of the above, I have started to play music again.  I gave up on it many years ago when I just couldn’t find the room in my life for it after having kids, but my wife recently bought me an amp for my bass and has encouraged me to play, so I have picked it back up.  Even though I haven’t played in 20+ years, it’s like riding a bicycle.  A squeaky, rusted out bicycle for sure, but it’s still there inside me. 

About Steven Whitacre

Steven is an IT consultant and small business owner in the Pacific Northwest.  Although new to the publishing world, his other endeavors have landed him on stage, live radio, television, and the big screen.  Steven enjoys spending his spare time with his wife, daughter, 3 cats and 2 dogs, and can frequently be found somewhere out on any one of the hundreds of regional trails.  You can visit him at www.facebook.com/journeytobpd.



An honest, and sometimes brutal, true story of one man’s struggle growing up in the shadow of childhood sexual abuse. From his difficulties growing up, to his drug addiction, failed relationships, and struggles with parenthood, the author takes us through the ups and downs of a life spent in the shadows, trying to make sense of the events that formed the basis of his being. Sometimes tragic, sometimes hopeful, but never sugar coated, MY FATHER’S PROSTITUTE – STORY OF A STOLEN CHILDHOOD takes the reader on an emotional ride which reminds us that the human spirit is more powerful than the demons that haunt us

Links

Twitter – @SAWhitacre







Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Author, Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman

Tabitha "T.R." Freeman, Author
GHOST STORY trilogy
PRINCESS series
BROKEN GLASS
COYOTE CREEK
International best-selling author Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman writes about young adults to remind them they might have some tough experiences to encounter, but there’s hope to overcome them. Her reviewers tout the uniqueness of her stories--young adult novels such as the GHOST STORY trilogy and the more light-hearted PRINCESS series. But she also writes serious, contemporary fiction books, such as, suicide in BROKEN GLASS and hating life in COYOTE CREEK, where she explores the dark side of life. Although her books feature young adults, her readers span all age-groups.

Before Freeman became a full-time writer, she served as a manager for large-brand hotel chains. She characterizes herself as a “loud, dramatic Southerner who married a loud, dramatic Romanian railroader.” And when she’s not writing or reading she’s enjoying life in her “Big-Fat-Greek-Wedding-Meets-Moonshining-Smokey-and-the-Bandit-on-Red Bull reality.”

Don’t miss the excerpt from BROKEN GLASS following the interview.

Q: You have written and published the young adult (YA) GHOST STORY trilogy, PRINCESS series, and young adult contemporary fiction books. What makes your books more relevant to young adults? Why did you choose to write for young adults? Or would you say that your books are about young adults but applicable to readers of all ages?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: My books are picked up by readers of all ages, which I think has become a general norm for the YA genre today. I always knew the YA fiction genre was what I wanted to focus on because that’s when the true bibliophile blooms. At that teenage/young adult age, you’re shaping into who you’ll become and trying to figure out what that means—and it’s the time in our lives when we read books that one day will be something we look back on and remember…not only for the story itself, but those books also tie us to certain moments in that really important stage of our lives. There is no better memory trigger! The magic of it is infinite, especially because when we pick up the same book we loved when we were 15, we have a completely different experience reading it when we are 30 or 40 or 70.

As far as my books being more relevant for young adults, I try to take myself back to when I was reading at that age and what books shaped me. I try to cover subjects that are pretty standard of life (i.e. heartbreak, grief, prejudice, faith, etc.) but in a way that isn’t standard—a way that will reach out to a younger reader. A way that says “Hey, you might go through something like this—just like the character in the story—but it’ll all be okay in the end. Life moves on and you will, too.” Hope is the reoccurring theme in everything I write, which is something I believe we all need to see in any stage of life.

Q: Reviewers praise your character development across all your books. How do you create engaging and memorable characters?  

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman:  I write what I know—or who I know, rather. The human character is so fascinating and complex, and as a writer, that provides an infinite canvas for stories. I try to include several pieces of relatable personalities in my characters—traits and situations that make readers go, “Ah hah! That’s what I would do!” And I also try to create characters that teach readers a little something about themselves in an almost inner-combative kind of way…a character that initially pisses the reader off with a decision that doesn’t seem right, only to have the reader change his/her mind and say, “Wait, this mistake is relevant. I might have reacted this way, too.”

Q:  What makes COYOTE CREEK “not your usual love story” and “a fresh new love story?” (If this involves spoiling the plot, please don’t divulge! Just tell us how you search for and create unique plots.)

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: COYOTE CREEK is centered on two people who are in seemingly inescapable, heartbreaking situations that make them hate life. You would think that misery loves company, right? Not in this case. This love story is unique in that it uses the raw definition of real love. Real love brings out the best in two people. The love story in COYOTE CREEK evolves because these two people both look for sunshine in the dark together. That’s not a tale we see very often.

Q: Why did you decide to use “interview format” for BECOMING A PRINCESS?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: I released BECOMING A PRINCESS after GHOST STORY and BROKEN GLASS, which are really heavy reads. I wanted to give my readers something easier and a little more light-hearted and fun. I chose the “interview format” for BECOMING A PRINCESS for a couple of reasons. The first was to draw in more self-proclaimed “non-readers” and I truly believe the easier readability of the format really achieved that. The fan base for the PRINCESS series is completely different from the fan base for my other novels and I find that incredibly neat.

The second reason I chose the unique format was because I wanted to write a story that developed characters, setting, and theme all within just a dialogue. This was a challenge for me as a writer and I had so much fun doing it, and I think—and hope—that this resonates with the reader.

Q: The Ghost Story trilogy books are set in Scotland. Does this setting enhance the Ghost Story plots? How do you use setting to tell your stories?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: Setting is everything! Scotland—the Orkney Islands, specifically—was a character in itself for the GHOST STORY trilogy. Scotland is not only beautiful and full of rich history and culture, but it’s also a place of mystery and enchantment. This was a setting that allowed me to help the reader smell the sea and taste this new air as the main character, Eleanor, is catapulted blindly into an unknown world. This is what setting should always be—one of the main characters.

Q:  You explore the darker side of life in BROKEN GLASS, a book many reviewers site as “well worth the read.” What inspired you to write about an attempted suicide and experience in an institution?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: Life is “normal” until it’s not. That’s the reality for all of us. That is Ava Darton’s story in BROKEN GLASS. Her life is much like most of our lives and in a second, she is absolutely shattered beyond recognition. How or where can you find hope in a hopeless situation like Ava’s?

Inspiration for the suicide attempts in Ava’s story and her new life in an institution came from the fear I think we all have inside of us—the fear in knowing that Ava’s reality can happen to any of us. That fear that there is no end to the depths we can fall.

It’s a dark subject and it’s a tough emotional experience to read, but I believe it offers something to readers of all ages. And I truly believe the YA age group can handle this darker kind of subject matter, and in some cases, are much less fragile than much older readers who have experienced more of life. I couldn’t be prouder of BROKEN GLASS, and its continuous success and growing fan base never ceases to shock and humble me. I can’t even put into words how incredibly grateful I am that this story reaches out in such a positive way to so many readers of all ages.

Q: You have written your books from multiple points of view. Do you have a favorite? Why?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: I prefer to write in first person because that’s when the most intimate story comes out. I appreciate writing from a third person POV because it allows me to write from all angles and the reader gets to see everything going on, opposed to just one view. However, with that said, first person, to me, is not only more intimate, but it is also more relatable to the reader. The reader gets to plop his/herself into the story directly and immediately become “I, me, myself”. The reader becomes the character and is finding things out as they go along, much like with real life. This also allows me as the writer to surprise even myself with where the story goes sometimes.

Q: Do you write purely to entertain your readers, or do you also strive to educate or deliver a message?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: It’s a mixture of both. I always have a bigger message to deliver—but I’m going to entertain the heck out of you while doing it!

Q: What’s next?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: I’m currently doing a lot more blogging, and this is so my readers can get to know me on a more personal level. We live in an age when authors and writers are no longer mysterious because readers desire to know who’s behind the typewriter now. So I’m trying to give in a little to that. I’m also working on three projects: the third installment in the PRINCESS series, a Kieran Bruce Highlander spin-off of the GHOST STORY trilogy, and a darker, post-apocalyptic novel geared towards the older YA crowd of readers.

Q: Tell us about Tabitha Freeman. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman: I’m a loud, dramatic Southerner who married a loud, dramatic Romanian railroader. So, when I’m not writing or reading, I’m soaking up all the hilarious real-life shenanigans going on around me in my Big-Fat-Greek-Wedding-Meets-Moonshining-Smokey-and-the-Bandit-on-Red Bull reality. It’s tons of fun and provides never ending writing material.

About Tabitha “T.R.” Freeman

Tabitha "T.R." FREEMAN is the international bestselling and award-winning YA fiction author of the GHOST STORY series and PRINCESS series, and the explosive, social contemporary novels BROKEN GLASS and COYOTE CREEK. When she's not writing, she's causing a ruckus with family and chasing around her Romanian sweetheart.

Previously a manager for large-brand hotel chains (and a lifetime, secret closet bibliophile/writer), Tabitha happily traded in her 9-to-5 gig for a rewarding career as a YA author. The best part: working from her home office, she gets to spend more time with fictional characters, fellow booklovers, writers, and most importantly, her muse---otherwise known as the love of her life/husband, Laurentiu.

About The Books



Molly McGraw was enjoying her life in Savannah, Georgia as a nurse and longtime girlfriend to her college sweetheart—until that normality is unpleasantly interrupted by the death of a grandmother she barely knew. Now, Molly must pack up everything and head out west to pick up where her grandmother left off—in cleaning up the mess that is her older sister, Rainie.

Chayton Lacroix was tolerating his life in Coyote Creek, Idaho as a hospital janitor and lifetime caretaker to his chronically sick mother—until everything is interrupted by the arrival of a new neighbor across the street. Southern, sassy, and full of questions that no one ever dare ask, Molly McGraw turns Chayton’s world—and heart—upside down.

Together, Chayton and Molly will both learn the value of family, the darkness of prejudice, and that no matter what their circumstances were before, they are meant to make the ultimate stand in this quiet little town that has been asleep for far too long.



Ava Darton had it all: she was a beautiful, spunky blonde with a great group of friends, an amazing fiancé, and a perfect career waiting for her as she was about to graduate college at the top of her class. All this, and she was just twenty-two years old.

And in a matter of moments, it was all gone.

In an instant, Ava’s perfect life turns into her perfect nightmare, and unable to handle what her life has become, she attempts to end it. Failing miserably, she lands herself in Craneville, a hospital for the mentally ill.

From a tough psychiatrist to a locked-down cell to fellow patients talking in riddles, Ava falls into a dark place, unsure of how to pull herself from this personal entrapment. Stripped down to her rawest bits, Ava will discover if her life was really ever perfect, or if she has just begun to figure out who Ava Darton is.



GHOST STORY TRILOGY




**GHOST STORY (Book I)

**THE UNORDINARY (Book II)

**RISE OF THE BENEDICTS (Book III)



At the end of the day, not a lot separates life from death.

Eleanor Benedict was a quiet, kind-hearted, rich kid who could prepare for a biology exam in an hour, but in no way could prepare for her parents to die in a sudden plane crash, leaving her to inherit a century-old manor in Scotland. An ordinary, and otherwise uneventful life twists into anything but for Eleanor and her younger brother as they are thrown into an utterly Unordinary existence, full of ghosts, monsters, magic, and a true test as to how thick blood really runs. 



PRINCESS SERIES


**CATCHING A PRINCESS (Book II)

She is the most famous woman in the world—a former actress, songstress, ex-girlfriend of the biggest rock star on the planet, and magnetically privy to scandal. She is twenty-eight years old, but doesn’t look a day over twenty with her petite, 5’2” frame and her dark hair teased in a short pixie cut. Her beauty is that of premium natural selection—full pink lips, high cheek bones, big blue eyes framed by impossibly thick eyelashes, a button nose, and deep dimples set into a face of light freckles. This woman is not of high birth, has no college degree, and has graced the covers of every tabloid in the world for years.

And this woman has just married the prince of the devastated country of Kenth. This woman has just joined the royal family of Aravica, a monarchy ridden with their own share of unbelievable scandal and tragedy.

I invite you to embark on the most important interview ever done—and one of the most significant conversations of our time.

Meet Bets Anthony. This is her story of becoming a princess.




Excerpt from BROKEN GLASS

The world was black for a long time. It wasn’t a peaceful darkness, though. It was silent, but not quiet. No serenity, no ease of knowing I was finally free.
My eyes opened slowly to a dim, yellow room. My eyelids were so heavy, that I couldn’t focus sight on anything. Everything was fuzzy. I heard someone talking.

“Is that Sylvia?”
“Yeah. Only, her name’s Ava.”
“Oh, I know. There just calling her Sylvia around here…has she woken up yet?”
“Oh, no. She’s been out for a few days now.”
“Ever since her mother found her?”
“Yeah. She’s been heavily sedated.”
“Is her story true? Her boyfriend dies, so she goes crazy?”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much it. She says his name a lot. Ty-something or other.”
“Sad story. Her mom’s really upset…hasn’t slept in days.”
“Yeah, the girl’s mental. If my kid was that crazy, I’d have her locked up, too.”
“How many sleeping pills was it?”
“Twenty-eight. It’s a wonder she’s still alive. She’d be gone if her mom hadn’t come home from work early and found her.”

I closed my eyes again.

I slept. Heavy sleep lacking the usual nightmares. I awoke, my eyes opening fully to a brighter room. Things were fuzzy at first, but they gradually came into focus. I immediately felt a presence next to me. I turned my head slightly and saw Dr. Julianne Walker sitting in a chair next to my hospital bed.
“Hi,” she said, giving me a grim smile. “It’s about time you decided to join us again.”
“How long have I been out?” I asked, hoarsely.
“A week,” she told me.
“Your vacation,” I said suddenly. “You’re back already?”
“I came back early,” she said, quietly. “When I found out about you.” I tried to remember. Ah, yes. The sleeping pills.
“I ran out of chocolate milk,” I said lightly, but she didn’t laugh…or even crack a smile.
“Three strikes and you’re out,” she said, sighing. “Now, they won’t let you go home.”
“Who won’t?” I demanded. “Nobody can tell me what to do—”
“Oh, yes they can,” she interrupted severely. “Now that you’ve tried to kill yourself three times, the state of Virginia doesn’t think you’re capable of being on your own—and frankly, I don’t either. It’s a wonder you weren’t in here after the first time.”
“What!” I exclaimed. “You can’t keep me here against my will! I’m over eighteen! I’m—”
“I guess you’ve never heard of involuntary commitment, have you, Ava?” Julianne cut me off.
“You have to go through a trial to do that!” I spat, not fully knowledgeable, really, of how involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital worked.
“Oh no, I don’t,” she replied, in a very matter-of-fact tone. “Normally someone, say, your mother, would have to petition to the court for you to be admitted involuntarily. But you’re an emergency case, Ava. You are in such critical danger to yourself that we had twenty-four hours to evaluate you and decide if we could release you, even to court.”
“So it was your decision to imprison me in this place?” I moaned.
“You’re here for sixty days, minimum,” she went on, ignoring me. “And that’s only if you improve. If you don’t pass your evaluation after sixty days, you’re looking at anywhere from ninety days to a year in Craneville Institution.”

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COYOTE CREEK
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BROKEN GLASS
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GHOST STORY (Book I)
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