Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Sylvia Stein, Author

Sylvia Stein, Author
Sylvia Stein will soon release (Oct. 8) her young adult drama romance book, CHASING CLARITY, a story to guide healing for those who have lost a loved one. This is Stein’s second book, and she admits that she does want her books to “carry a message.” Although a romance, Stein adds that the subject of loss makes it more “dramatic” than “romantic.”

When she is not writing, Stein likes to spend time with her husband and three children. She plans to publish a prequel to her first book CLOSURE, and in her spare time she enjoys writing song lyrics. 

Q: Would you place your new Young Adult book, CHASING CLARITY, in the “romance” and “drama” genres?  Why? Do you consider it a “modern” romance? If so, how does it differ from traditional romances?

Sylvia Stein: I would say my YA CHASING CLARITY is a drama and romance. It has a  bit of both. The story is a drama because it deals with a young woman who is dealing with the loss of her love. Then later you see her trying to rebuild her life and try to move forward. I think this is modern romance because it deals with a young woman who has graduated high school, and it has been a year since she lost her beloved Leo who was everything to her. She is dealing with the loss and Mia is also a dancer who had to defer from entering into The New York Dance Academy and then decides to take a leap to start over. I believe it is not a traditional romance and is more dramatic because of the subject of loss.

Q: CHASING CLARITY is your second book that describes how to heal from “hurting.” Your first one, CLOSURE, deals with overcoming the results of abuse. Is “healing” a key theme that you like to discuss? Why?

Sylvia Stein: Yes, healing is a big theme for me in both books although different. I always want to tackle these subjects because I want to bring books that carry a message. 

Q: In CHASING CLARITY, your protagonist is a dancer. Do you have experience with dancing? Why did you choose this profession for your protagonist?

Sylvia Stein: Yes, Mia is a dancer.  No, I am not a professional dancer but I have always loved dancing, and one of my favorite things is to watch the ballet and contemporary dancing.  I also researched dancing when I worked on CHASING CLARITY  to make sure I brought the character of Mia and The New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts believable.

Q: Did you write CHASING CLARITY purely for entertainment, or did you hope to guide young adults or deliver some key messages?

Sylvia Stein: I wrote Chasing Clarity to deliver the message of hope and renewal when a loss comes. I wanted to show how Mia overcomes the tragedy of loss and how she moves forward. It is about moving forward and taking a leap on life.

Q: How do you engage readers to want to follow what happens to Mia, your protagonist? What do you consider to be key attributes of an engaging protagonist?

Sylvia Stein:  Well, this is my first YA, and I thought I would engage them by keeping the story in First person so they could connect her feelings and the journey she goes through.   I think the key attributes of an engaging protagonist is to be able to take the reader and have them follow the character’s journey. Then they can feel all the ups and downs as they are going through it. 

Q: What are the attributes of a “romantic” relationship? How do you develop the relevant relationship in CHASING CLARITY? 

Sylvia Stein: For me, the attributes of a “romantic relationship” are being great friends, being able to laugh with one another, and being able to show affection for the one you love. The way I show the relevant relationship in CHASING CLARITY is by having Mia share her love for Leo what happens when he is gone.  Then having her move to New York and meeting Henry Watson for the first time and being confused over her feelings for him.  

Q:  How helpful is humor in developing your characters or plot?

Sylvia Stein: Humor is important in my characters because I always add elements of people I know to make them real to all of my readers.

Q: Does the concept of “hero” versus “villain” apply to your CHASING CLARITY? If so, is Mia your heroine? And who is the villain? Or is the story less about heroes and villains and more about living life?

Sylvia Stein: CHASING CLARITY is less about heroes and villains.  It is the story of Mia Gerard and the journey of what she goes through when she loses the love of her life, and she has to learn to pick up the pieces. It is more about learning to live her life again.

Q: What’s next? 

Sylvia Stein: Well, right now it is all about CHASING CLARITY.  Then next month I begin to work on my prequel to CLOSURE entitled, “ The Diary of a Broken Father” which will be published in December.

Q: Tell us something about Sylvia Stein. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

Sylvia Stein: When I am not writing I am a mom to three beautiful children and I like to spend time with them and my husband Jeremy.   My other passion is writing lyrics to songs that I create in my head.   I hope to be able to get them published one day. 

About Sylvia Stein

Author Sylvia Stein began her path to writing when she joined the Writer’s Group on Linked In 750 in 2012. She also started to connect with other authors through the World Literary CafĂ©. She continued her journey by creating short stories, which were published in the Giant Tales Anthology series. While obtaining her Masters degree at Southern New Hampshire University online author Stein built a solid foundation with her colleagues who encouraged her to continue writing. That’s when CLOSURE was born. With the help of her editor, CLOSURE grew from a short story to a full novella that Author Stein is excited to share as her first debut novel published in July 2014. She released her first YA novella, CHASING CLARITY, on September 30, 2015.


What happens when you lose the person most important to you and are left to pick up the pieces?

Mia Gerard had always wanted to be a trained dancer yet she has just lost the love of her life in a tragic accident. Leo Dancy was her best friend and soul mate. As she tries to deal with losing him, she finds his absence unbearable and she feels lost without him.

But then a great opportunity arises for Mia that she just can’t turn down. She is accepted into the New York Dance Academy of performing arts. At first she is overwhelmed but once she gets there she begins to allow herself to heal.

This is when she comes across Henry Watson, a painter with aspirations of acquiring his own exhibit one day. While she ponders her feelings for Henry, will she be too late? Or will she find the clarity she needs and chase after him?


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Eleanor Webster, Author

Eleanor Webster, Author
Eleanor Webster enjoys the Regency Period “because it depicts a society poised for change.” Her new Regency Harlequin historical book NO CONVENTIONAL MISS (Oct. 1 release) features a heroine who is an inventor and does not always follow the conventions of the time period. Webster lists humor, character relatability, historical accuracy, and happy endings on the list to creating an engaging Regency story.

When she’s not writing, Webster is busy finishing her doctorate in Psychology. She is also working on her second Harlequin, set in French Revolution times. She lives with her husband and two daughters in northern Canada, enjoys hiking, and is an avid runner.

Check out the excerpt following her interview to learn more about her book.

Q: Why set NO CONVENTIONAL MISS in Regency times? Does the time period offer you an advantage to tell your story?

Eleanor Webster: I have always loved the Regency Period because it depicts a society poised for change. The inventions of the Industrial Revolution are emerging, bringing with them the anticipation of societal transformation.

This serves a practical purpose in the plotline for my Harlequin Historical NO CONVENTIONAL MISS. The protagonist, Rilla, is an inventor. She has a keen interest in force, momentum and any number of ‘unladylike’ activities. She is working on an automated butter churn and has an eager enthusiasm for all things scientific.

It works to have her story set against the backdrop of a society with both a zest for innovation and strict rules for female behavior.

Q: When creating your protagonist, who I assume is NO CONVENTIONAL MISS, what traits did you assign to her to engage readers so that they care what happens to her? What do you consider the most important characteristics of a heroine?

Eleanor Webster: Rilla is complex and somewhat conflicted. She has always been plagued with moments of second sight, an aspect of herself she fears.  Indeed, a maternal aunt had been institutionalized for similar traits. I think this vulnerability helps the reader connect.

However, Rilla is no wimp. Rather she has a thirst for knowledge and innovation hoping that by developing the scientific she will subdue that mystic element within her nature.

For me, one needs to feel sufficiently close to a heroine to understand her motivations, fears and strengths.

Q: How relevant is the concept of “villain” to the development of conflict in your story? What makes an effective villain?

Eleanor Webster: There is a ‘villain’ who is manipulative and blackmails Rilla. However, he is minor. The greatest conflicts for both Rilla and Paul are internal. Indeed, the biggest struggles for any individual are those which come from within.

The ‘villain’ serves to bring this conflict to the surface, forcing Rilla and Paul to confront their vulnerabilities. This helps them to grow as people as they gain acceptance for both themselves and each other.

Q: What kind of research did you conduct to assure historical accuracy in NO CONVENTIONAL MISS? How important is time-period accuracy to your readers?

Eleanor Webster: Time-period accuracy is important, in fact, it is absolutely vital. Inaccuracies irritate the reader and undermine an author’s credibility.  Having said that, I also recognize that I am not infallible and that there are readers having far greater knowledge than my own. If you find a mistake, please let me know!

 I live in Canada so my research is from secondary sources.  These are absolutely wonderful but not comparable to original, primary source research.  I have a B.A. in history and spent considerable time in British Columbia’s archives.  Original newspapers, documents, letters and buildings all serve to deepen one’s knowledge and give one a true, multi-dimensional sense of history.  I love European history but have not yet had the opportunity to gain that depth of knowledge. I hope to do so if my writing becomes profitable. Meanwhile, if anyone spots an error – please- let me know at

Q: Do you consider NO CONVENTIONAL MISS a “modern” regency romance? If so, how does it differ from traditional regency romances or what makes it “traditional”?

Eleanor Webster: NO CONVENTIONAL MISS is a departure from the traditional Harlequin historical because it involves a paranormal element.   In this sense, it has a ‘modern’ flavor. However, the voice is somewhat traditional in that I use witty dialogue which is a hallmark of the typical regency.  My hope is to capture gothic drama mixed with that wonderful sense of ‘ton’ made so famous by Georgette Heyer.

Q: Did you write NO CONVENTIONAL MISS to entertain only? Or did you also want to deliver a message or educate your readers?

Eleanor Webster: NO CONVENTIONAL MISS is primarily aimed to entertain.  I mean it is a Harlequin Romance! I work in a field of psychology which can result in heart-breaking situations and I write to create a place of romance and ‘happy endings’ which are not always duplicated in real life.

I do not aim to educate (that sounds too much like school) but I do hope to send a positive, feel-good message and to stimulate thought. In NO CONVENTIONAL MISS Rilla cannot accept her psychic abilities and therefore rejects a part of herself.  I believe that each of us has some characteristic, be it internal or external, which we do not embrace. I hope that Rilla’s self-discovery and eventual self-acceptance will encourage readers to share a similar journey.

As well, Rilla is, as the title suggests, unconventional.  Indeed, she lives in a society which is incredibly rigid in its expectations of its female members. Modern society is considerably less ‘restrictive’ but many of us are still hemmed in by those perennial ‘shoulds’.  (I abhor ‘shoulds’ by the way.)  I love to draw female characters from any time period who are true to their authentic nature – even if that is building butter churns.

Q: How helpful is the use of humor to develop your characters or tell your story?

Eleanor Webster: I love humor. I love creating a quirky characters who see the world through a different lens. I challenge myself to create wry humor through witty dialogue and I truly, truly hope that this is demonstrated in my writing.

The quirky character in NO CONVENTIONAL MISS is, without doubt, Paul’s stepmother, Lady Wyburn. She is kind and lovely and slightly ditzy in a very smart way. For me, Lady Wyburn is that impish inner voice which notes the inanities of everyday life and enables one to cope with humor to life’s vicissitudes.

Q: What do you consider to be the key components in developing a romantic relationship?

Eleanor Webster: Now that is the question… There needs to be chemistry, an attraction which is definitely physical but is also on an intellectual and emotional level. As well, there must be a problem or challenge which must be overcome. This serves to heighten the tension but it cannot be too contrived. I loathe plots where everyone is being foolish and you just want to bang everyone’s head together and tell them to work things out.

And then there is the growth which occurs by overcoming the challenge, allowing the individuals to move towards that ‘happily every after’

Q: What’s next?

I have a two book contract with Harlequin so a second book will be released at some point... This is set slightly earlier with the backdrop of the French Revolution.

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

Eleanor Webster: I work in a field of psychology and am currently pursuing my doctorate – okay – I’m actually on a leave of absence. I have completed the course work but need to get going on my thesis. I am skilled at procrastination and once even cleaned my oven rather than write an essay. Sadly, this was not a particularly effective procrastination strategy as I didn’t cook at the time.

 I also live in a very beautiful area of Canada so I enjoy hiking and I am an avid runner. I recently travelled in Europe – check out my website at for the exploits of the ‘paddington hat’

About Eleanor Webster

Eleanor Webster loves high-heels and sun, which is ironic as she lives in northern Canada, the land of snowhills and unflattering footwear. Various crafting experiences, including a nasty glue-gun episode,
have proven that her creative soul is best expressed through the written word.

Eleanor lives with her husband and has two daughters. She is a lifelong learner and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology. Eleanor has a masters degree in educational psychology and an undergraduate degree in history and creative writing. She loves to use her writing to explore her fascination with the past.

She's always been different… 

Amaryllis Gibson is an unlikely debutante. She favors fact over fashion, cares not for "proper" conversation and is haunted by ghostly visions which could land her in the madhouse! Marriage is definitely the last thing on Rilla's mind… 

But when she's caught in a compromising position with Viscount Wyburn, suddenly she finds herself betrothed! And worse, his powerful presence only increases her visions. By shedding light on the viscount's past, can Rilla gain his trust and win him round to her more…unconventional traits?


     She smelled of soap and lemons, he thought, as he led her to the dance floor. He liked the smell, tangy and fresh, so different from the perfumed scents of other women.
     ‘My lord?’
     ‘I beg your pardon?’ He jerked his attention back to the conversation.
     ‘Do other women look spellbound as if you’ve said something witty?’
     He took her gloved hand and felt it tremble within his palm. The dance started and they broke apart in time to the music.
     ‘Even when you haven’t said anything either inspiring or witty?’ she asked as they came together again.
     ‘Especially then.’
     ‘How tiresome for you.’
     ‘Why so?’
     ‘Well, it must make you feel as though you’re not a real person, but just a viscount.’
     He laughed. ‘That’s the first time I’ve been called “just a viscount”.’
     ‘I meant no offence.’
     ‘I know.’ And it was true, he thought, surprised by her perception. Few people saw him as a person and women never did. He was a good catch, with a title, estate and ample income.
     ‘Now you’re much too serious,’ she said. ‘Aren’t you supposed to look as though I’ve also said something remarkably entertaining?’ She stepped under his raised arm. ‘Or does it not work both ways?’
     ‘It does and can be tedious, I assure you.’
     ‘Indeed, I find discussions about the weather highly overrated.’
     ‘Try looking fascinated by a spaniel’s earwax,’ he said, remembering a conversation with a certain Miss Twinning.
     Miss Gibson laughed, a rich spontaneous sound. No, she was no statue. She was too vibrant—more like a flame caught in human form.
     ‘I take it you do not discuss earwax?’ he asked.
     ‘I steer clear of that subject. In fact, I say remarkably little and endeavour to stick to Imogene’s list of suitable topics.’ She spoke with mock solemnity, the amusement in her eyes belying her tone. She had remarkable eyes.
     ‘Which include?’
     ‘Fashion and the weather.’
     ‘Really.’ They were dancing side by side. He caught another whiff of lemon. ‘And what,’ he murmured, bending so close that her hair tickled his cheek, ‘would you discuss if left to your own devices?’
     ‘My waterwheel and butter churn.’
     ‘Your what?’ His fashionable ennui deserted him and he almost missed a step, narrowly avoiding the Earl of Pembroke’s solid form.
     ‘My butter churn,’ she said more slowly.
     ‘And what makes this churn so worthy of conversation?’
     ‘Nothing really. I should not have mentioned it.’ She looked regretful, glancing downward so that her lashes cast lacy shadows against her cheeks.
     ‘Oh, but you should. I’m fascinated.’ This was, surprisingly, true. He wanted to lean into her and catch again that delightful whiff of lemon. He wanted to see the intelligence sparkle in her eyes and feel her hand tremble belying her external calm.
     ‘The churn is automated by a waterwheel, you see, and I believe it would save our dairy maid so much hard labour.’ She spoke quickly, her cheeks delightfully flushed with either enthusiasm or embarrassment.
     ‘And have you had the opportunity to test its efficiency?’
     ‘Once,’ she said.
     ‘Successfully, I trust.’
     Her lips twitched and she looked up, merriment twinkling. ‘The water succeeded in flooding the dairy. After that my device was banished.’
     'However, I have constructed a small model so that I can perfect the design during my baths.’
     ‘Your baths?’ He choked on the word.
     His mind conjured a vision of long, wet hair, full breasts and alabaster limbs. He caught his breath.
     Her cheeks reddened. ‘One of those forbidden subjects like undergarments. I mean—I only mentioned baths because my churn is run by a waterwheel. Hence I need a source of water to move the wheel.’
     He laughed. He could not help himself. Her conversational style might be unusual, but it was certainly more edifying than the weather.
     Or earwax, for that matter.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Sarah Elle Emm, Author

Sarah Elle Emm, Author
Harmony Run Series
With her most recent release of NACREOUS, Sarah Elle Emm completes her young adult dystopian Harmony Run Series. Emm considers the dystopian genre ideal for teenagers, given their turbulent time of life combined with making them think “what if?” She is a world-builder first, although her characters follow soon after. Although she definitely writes for entertainment, her books also parallel the real world and call for “harmony” given that we are all valuable human beings.

When she’s not writing, Emm likes spending time with her daughters and talking to her dog, who she says is a good listener. She is currently plotting her next young adult dystopian series in between spending more time with her family.   

Don't miss the giveaway opportunity and excerpt following the interview.

Q: The Harmony Run Series, and its newest release NACREOUS, is dystopian, written for young adults. Why choose this genre for these readers? What do you consider dystopian, that is, what are your readers looking for in this genre?

Sarah Elle Emm: I think a dystopian is sort of an upside down world. It is a story where there have been drastic changes to a “normal” societal structure. Think 1984, Hunger Games, Brave New World, The Giver, or the Divergent Series. Basically, the rules have changed, and typically the characters are dealing with an oppressive sort of situation in a dystopian. The question becomes, will they overcome these dire circumstances?

I think teenagers are going through so much between their hormones and their thoughts about life goals and their feelings that the dystopian genre is perfect for them. Plus, the dystopian genre really makes you ask yourself, “What if?”  What if the government collapsed? What if we were forced to live in segregated cities? What if we couldn’t go to school? I think teens can handle that sort of thinking and are into it. I was personally a rather rebellious teen, and I was always questioning authority and trying to express the pent up emotions I felt at the time. I can only imagine how a dystopian novel might have turned out had I tried to write one back then.

Q: How do you do your world building? Do you create characters first and then the world around them?

Sarah Elle Emm: Honestly, I think the world comes first, well at least a general idea about what is wrong with the society I am writing about. I had a dream about the Harmony Run Series and started taking notes immediately, outlining the story, but I think the idea had been brewing in me for years.

After my first trip to Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany back in the early nineties, I felt this immense pull to learning more about the victims of the Holocaust. It never really left me, and I think my desire to write about a future society, where people were treated so horrifically as those in concentration camps, old and present ones, sort of stayed with me.

I wanted to build my fictional world with some parallels to the real world. On the one hand, as sort of a statement…This has happened before, people. And people still discriminate based on our outward and cultural differences today, so I wanted to write a story where the theme was that we are all valuable human beings, regardless of differences.

So the world came to me first, at least in this case. Of course, in that dream I mentioned, I met my main character, Rain Hawkins. So I guess she sort of arrived with the world.

Q: In a dystopian world, how or what do you do to assure credibility? Does credibility matter?

Sarah Elle Emm: I tried to provide background information in snippets throughout the story, so you can see how the events unfolded that led to this unbearable dystopian society. I think providing some history helped for sure. I also tried to make you care about the characters so much, you weren’t really concerned about much else. Still, the fun thing about dystopian is that you can create a new government, a new system, if you will, where the rules have changed. It gives you more freedom as a writer.

Q:  How do you create engaging characters? Why do readers care about them?

Sarah Elle Emm: I wanted the reader to be able to relate to the characters. Basically, they were just your average teenagers until their lives were uprooted. Rain was a soccer player. They had normal lives in suburbia. In the series, you see glimpses of who they were before and how they use their past to get through their present. They joke around, fall in love, and challenge their parents’ decisions like other teens. And I think you can’t help but care for them once you get to know them and see what they are going through. You cheer for them. You have to believe they’ll make it through their situation.

Q: Tell us about your villains and heroes. Is conflict between them relevant to your story?

Sarah Elle Emm: My villain in the Harmony Run Series is a female, Elizabeth Nicks, and she was modeled after a few dictators throughout history. Slowly over the series, you learn a little bit more about Elizabeth, which gives readers a chance to decide for themselves if they want to understand how she became who she is today. I don’t make readers accept her or her past. I just wanted them to have the chance to make up their own minds about her.

The Freedom Front is a small group of teenagers, who are the heroes of the story. Elizabeth has a couple of things in common with the heroes, but I don’t want to give that away. As the series unfolds, the conflict between them becomes more and more relevant, but again, I don’t want to give too much away...

Q: How helpful is humor to telling your story or developing your characters?

Sarah Elle Emm: I think humor adds to every story, and I especially wanted to use it in the Harmony Run Series because it is a darker story. I knew the humor would lighten the intensity the reader was feeling. Whenever Rain and her friends are interacting, it isn’t uncommon to see joking around and light-heartedness between them. It’s how they get through the terrible things they are dealing with. I think it makes the characters seem more real. They joke around and tease each other just like other teenagers.

Q: Do you write your novels for entertainment alone or do you hope to deliver a message or two?

Sarah Elle Emm: I write for entertainment and to also deliver a message or at least leave the reader thinking about a few things. My first novel, Marrying Missy, was a women’s fiction, and though it had plenty of light-heartedness woven into the story, some of the issues pertaining to the story were loyalty when it comes to friendships, self-image, prejudice, and even abusive relationships. I guess it sounds sort of heavy if you think about it, but I think that most readers enjoyed it. A few readers said it had a Lifetime Movie sort of feel, which I would agree with.

In the Harmony Run Series, I tried to leave readers on the edge of their seats, desperate to know what would happen to Rain and her friends, but also rooting for Rain and Jabari as they fall in love for the first time. So yes, entertainment was very important in this case as well. Yet, there were many messages in this series also. The two most important ideas I wanted readers to take away was the idea of having hope, even in dark times, and that regardless of our outward differences or the spot on the globe we hail from, we are all human beings, and we should endeavor to live in harmony.

Q: Can you explain the significance of the title NACREOUS and Harmony Run without giving away your plots?

Sarah Elle Emm: Nacreous means exhibiting lustrous or rainbow-like colors, and it is a synonym to the other titles in the Harmony Run Series. Prismatic means brilliantly colored or iridescent. I chose the titles because I wanted them to represent how these teenagers are and how they work together. They come from various ethnic or cultural backgrounds, and they work together, sort of like a rainbow, if you will, to overcome evil with their good. Together, they shine throughout the series. I chose Harmony Run as the series title because 1) they are figuratively running towards harmony, and 2) Rain is a runner as you see in each book, and 3) Rain’s old voice-activated room back in Zionsville was called Harmony, and in a sense, Rain is fighting throughout this series to get home or to a place with freedom.

Q: What’s next?

Sarah Elle Emm: Well, my daughters put a big guilt trip on me this school year. They say I didn’t spend enough time like the other moms volunteering in their classrooms last year. I did, in my defense help out with every field trip and class party for both of them. Anyhow, I am volunteering in their classrooms twice a week in addition to those other things this year…So in between motherhood and their school, I am plotting a new YA dystopian series. I am also working on a suspense novel.

Q: Tell us about Sarah Elle Emm. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Sarah Elle Emm: Well, I spend a lot of time with my daughters. I do the household chores, help with homework, drive them to various activities, (piano, martial arts, speech), and I talk to my dog. (She’s a great listener). I go to church and do my bible study everyday. I experiment with my patio garden. I have loads of cucumbers right now, which I’ll eat and also juice. I spend lots of time prepping my healthy meal plans, which is key to dealing with my health issues. (I have SLE Lupus). I have stacks of books I try to make my way through. I love to read. And when my brain is too tired to write late at night or I feel like totally zoning out, I watch Netflix. I just finished half a season of Hart of Dixie. It is such a feel good show. (I also watch the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones).

About Sarah Elle Emm

Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the Harmony Run Series, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

About NACREOUS—Harmony Run Series Book 4

After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition.

While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted.

As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.

Excerpt from NACREOUS, Harmony Run Series, Book four…

For the rest of the walk I tried not to let fear creep over me, but the more I thought about Nata coming, the harder it was. Still, Takara had said we’d be okay. Help was on the way. I just had to believe.
We were led down a series of hallways and through somewhat familiar doors until finally we were pushed into a fairly large interrogation room. I recognized the set-up from my last trip here. But this room was larger. There were chairs lined up in a long row, twice as many chairs as there were people and a bright solar light illuminated the chairs in an otherwise dark, concrete room. My eyes instinctively searched the ground, checking for holes or iron bars like the last room I’d been questioned in. Either there weren’t any holes to lock people in here or I couldn’t find them. Part of me knew they’d be located in the dark corners, away from the light and though it should have made me more afraid, the hole was beginning to concern me less as I thought about the impending arrival of Nata.
Hands pushed me forward, and I was shoved into a metal chair. Glancing in either direction, I noticed that Marcello was right next to me on one side, and the crazy man was right beside him on the other side. But there were still six more empty chairs to my right.
Before I could wonder about the empty chairs any longer, the door opened and tension filled me anew. Was it Nata? She was here?
Surprise and relief replaced my tension as a tall man with light brown hair, Officer Eric Collins, our secret ally from the Elizabeth Guard, spared me a quick glance as he entered the room. Maybe Takara had sent him here. I closed my eyes. “Marcello, maybe Eric is our help. He’ll help us get out of here,” I said excitedly.
I’m not sure about that,” Marcello replied.
I opened my eyes and glanced towards Marcello, noting his alarmed expression. I snapped my head back to the door, expecting to see Nata. Why else would Marcello’s eyes have seemed so fearful?
But as my eyes settled on the doorway it wasn’t our evil dictator who was entering the room. It was a group of more prisoners, six to be exact, staggering into the room with another Droid Dog behind them. Their mouths weren’t covered with tape like our own, but their hands were cuffed.
The second prisoner in line stopped dead in her tracks as our eyes met. A drumming sound filled my ears. No. This couldn’t be happening. It wasn’t Nata, but it was worse.
The Authority had arrested my mom.

About CHANTOYAT—Harmony Run Series Book 3

In the wake of an interrogation led by the UZTA's dictator, President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends must deal with the consequences of their defiance as the countdown continues towards the execution of the mixed-zone citizens across the United Zones of The Authority. The Freedom Front faces new challenges as Rain's cousin, Calista, prepares for her impending relocation to the pure zone, and Rain sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her mother's torment while being followed by an officer of the Elizabeth Guard. As she uses her abilities to dodge The Authority and follows the strange clues from her dreams, Rain is determined to persevere, to secure the future she and Jabari have been fighting for, and to earn The Freedom Front's ultimate goal of liberation.

About OPALESCENT—Harmony Run Series Book 2

Still enslaved in a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of
the Authority, Rain Hawkins is part of a secret resistance preparing to take on the tyrannical President Nicks before plans to kill the mixed zones across UZTA are executed. When unsettling dreams and a mysterious voice begin to haunt the dark nights, Rain fears someone more powerful than she has discovered the resistance and their secret abilities. With a known Authority spy on her heels, and her boyfriend, Jabari, suddenly acting strange, Rain doesn't know who to trust and if the voices calling to her are friend or foe. As conditions across all of the zones get worse and the stakes rise, Rain embarks on a quest for answers that will put the people she cares about most in more danger or take them one step closer to the truth and their eventual freedom.

About PRISMATIC—Harmony Run Series Book 1

Rare glimpses of birds are the only reminder of the freedoms Rain Hawkins once had. Now segregated into a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, under tyrannical rule of President Nicks, Rain is forced to endure the bleak conditions set
upon her. The possibility of a way out arises when Rain discovers an organized resistance called The Freedom Front, and learns that she, along with many other multi-racial people, has special abilities. Determined to overcome her situation, Rain sets out on a mission with the resistance that will fill her life with wonder, romance, and the undying hope for a better world.

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