Strawberry Wine is on Sale Now!

Need an escape from the winter blahs? How about snuggling up with a sweet, summer romance? The eBook of STRAWBERRY WINE is on sale now for only $0.99—and just in time for Valentine’s Day! Get your copy now before the sale ends. Click HERE to purchase (and please consider leaving an Amazon review, they’re super important)!

small-official-strawberry-wine-coverHow do you know if a first love is made to last?

Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.

Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?

Read Month on Swoon Reads

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What is Swoon Reads?

Swoon Reads, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing under Feiwel & Friends, has created a website and app where serious writers can submit their completed and unpublished young adult and new adult manuscripts and readers (like you and me!) can read for free and then rank and comment on our favorite stories! You can even leave feedback for authors that will be extremely helpful for when they go back to make edits.

How is this site different than other reading/writing websites? 

When readers rank and comment on their favorite Swoon Reads stories, it can attract the attention of the editors who will then look at those manuscripts more closely and choose which titles they’re interested in publishing! In fact, right now is Read Month, and your reads, ranks, and comments are so very important to help decide what gets published next!

Is it true that titles published by Swoon Reads are turning into TV shows and movies?

Yes! Swoon Reads has recently partnered with A+E Studios to develop their titles for TV and film! You can read more about their partnership HERE!

Is there a deadline?

You can submit to Swoon Reads anytime, but each year is divided into three seasons that end in approximately January, April, and August (times are subject to change). That means, there’s no rush! Submit whenever you and your manuscript are ready!

Is there a cost?

Swoon Reads is absolutely free for both readers and writers! All you have to do is create an account and you’re ready to go!

Will my work be protected?

Swoon Reads takes theft and plagiarism very seriously and they do their best to make sure each work is protected. Cutting, copying, and pasting are not permitted, neither is printing or downloading. And all members of the Swoon Reads community must agree to the terms and conditions provided by the site.

Where can I learn more?

Just click HERE for more information!

Darly, do you have a manuscript posted on Swoon Reads?

LOL, I’m so glad you asked, and I do! It’s called My First Kiss (and Other Summer Disasters) and it’s available to read for free! And if you’ve read it, don’t forget to rank and comment—I’d love to know what you think! The deadline for this season’s voting ends 11:59 p.m. EST on February 28th, 2019. Happy reading!

 

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My First Kiss (and Other Summer Disasters)

Fifteen-year-old dyslexic Gwen Lincoln has three goals before sophomore year begins: experience her first kiss; find a way to get rid of her chipmunk cheeks once and for all; and her most important mission, escape the separation of her parents, something she has yet to mention to her free-spirited, yet slightly unstable, best friend Hartley MacKenna, whose house she’s visiting in New Orleans over summer break.

With Hartley taking charge of her ambitious to-do list, Gwen’s summer of change begins, but nothing prepares her for meeting Sullivan “Sully” Reed, the impossibly cute soccer player next door, who to her utter disbelief, asks her on a date.

Caught between living her life and trying to run away from it, Gwen tentatively conforms to Hartley’s adventure-seeking world. From lip-syncing on stage at a transvestite club, having their tarot cards read by a blind Haitian psychic, ghost-hunting at an abandoned plantation or spending the day volunteering at a shelter for homeless teens, Gwen’s longing to embrace the sun-kissed wetlands of Louisiana and broaden her previously limited horizons is coming true. But when she discovers the devastating secret her friends have been hiding-a secret that could mean the difference between life and death-she must learn to face her own demons (with a little guidance from the big-hearted Creole drag queen down the street) or surrender herself to a tragic reality.

*All information obtained for this post was found on the Swoon Reads website and in blogs. 🙂

A Quiet Place

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Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Wattpad and Paramount Pictures on a campaign loosely inspired by the movie A Quiet Place (you can view the trailer HERE), in theaters April 6th, 2018.

The horror film follows a young family who must fight for survival — in complete and utter silence — after a seemingly horrific event involving unknown creatures who hunt by sound. Early reviews are calling the thriller “eerily silent”, “sinister”, and “tense”. It was co-written and directed by John Krasinski, who also stars in the movie alongside real-life wife, Emily Blunt.

With the prompt I was given, I created a 500-word story with a paranormal twist called The Hunted. You can read the project HERE. The five stories involved in the campaign can be read in the Stay Silent: A Horror Anthology, available on Wattpad’s Fright profile.

“If they hear you, they hunt you.”
A Quiet Place
In theaters April 6th, 2018.

Tap by Wattpad: A New Way to Share and Create Stories

Wattpad’s at it again, revolutionizing the way we read stories! Introducing Tap by Wattpad.

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Tap is a stepping away from the traditional storytelling-style format to experiment with chat story-style writing. The short tales are meant to feel as if you’re peeking in on someone else’s text messages, which seems to be the current trend in digital publishing today.

Tap is free to download on both iTunes and Google Play, but if you like what you see you’ll have to subscribe for full access to the site: $2.99/week, $7.99/month or $39.99/year. This is comparable to the prices of similar apps offering the same type of service.

When Tap first launched in February, only hand-selected authors were inviting to provide content, but the new Create feature now allows anyone to create interactive stories using a combination of text, images, and emojis.

If you’re familiar with Tap, or other apps like it, I’d love to know what you think! Will readers pay for access to this unique, new way to tell stories? And if you’re currently enjoying the app, don’t forget to leave a review!

The text message story I wrote is currently being featured. It’s a Young Adult Suspense called Bad Behavior. You can start reading it HERE.

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It’s My Book Birthday!!!

I can’t believe it’s finally here! As of today, I am officially a published author. EEP!!!

But I had lots of help getting here. First, I’d like to thank Kensington Publishing and Wattpad for providing this amazing opportunity. Without them, I can honestly say publishing would have never happened. I’d also like to thank the countless authors I’ve met and wonderful friends I’ve made along the way. Their consistent kindness and support encouraged me to pursue my dream. And finally, my deepest gratitude, respect and love goes out to every person who has read my book, including my oldest and dearest friends and family. If it weren’t for you, Strawberry Wine would still be a story stuck in my head. THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart!

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How do you know if a first love is made to last?

Addison Monroe was eighteen when she fell for Jake Grady, a college student working on her family’s farm for the summer. With his sapphire eyes and killer smile, Jake could have had any girl in Lakeside, Georgia. But he wanted Addy, and for those brief, wonderful months—before circumstances drove them irrevocably apart—they belonged to each other.

Ten years later, Addy is engaged to a doctor and working in Atlanta as a physician’s assistant. Life feels full and satisfying. Yet memories of that long-ago summer and wine-flavored kisses are hard to shake. On a return visit to Lakeside, Addy crosses paths with Jake again, and soon finds herself at an unexpected crossroads. So much has changed, and Addy has chosen another route. And the magic of first love can never be rekindled…can it?

Available now and please feel free to share with your romance-loving friends! 🙂

Kensington   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-A-Million   iTunes   Google Play   Kobo

What Do You Mean I Have To Revise?!

writing-the-revision-processRevise. It feels like a four letter word. Especially when you’re riding the high of finishing a first draft. Now I know some authors love to revise, and some even look forward to it. Only for me it can be extremely difficult. I understand it’s all part of the writing process, and I adore how revisions can transform a story, but ugh. In order to fix a manuscript you have to break it first. That stings. A lot.

So how do you destroy your baby and the characters you’ve most likely fallen in love with? Where in the world do you start?

First, you need a plan. But not every plan works for every author, therefore I’ll share what works best for me.

  • After completing a first draft, I like to take a step back. Some authors only need a day, but I need much longer. Weeks, if not a couple of months of separation. It’s good to have that time away so I can come back with fresh eyes.
  • Next I do a read through. As I’m doing this, I’m taking notes on any discrepancies I find, scenes I’d like to change, pacing problems and details I plan to add. I’m also paying attention to the Three Act structure. Do events fall near where they should? Do I even want them to? I’ve been told it’s a good thing to learn the writing “rules” but it’s also okay to break them.
  • I’m on alert for info dumping. Am I including too much back story? Is it possible to weave it in any better? And most importantly – do I even need it at all? Do the details I’ve included pertain to the present story I’m telling? Remember: readers want a book to move forward, not backward. It’s best to cut when you can.
  • Are all of my subplots resolved? Does everything tie together the way it should? Are there holes that need filled? Often times, beta readers can help point out these issues. Authors, I think, tend to be too close to their stories to see things as clearly as someone who is reading it for the first time.
  • If I didn’t make an outline in the beginning now is a good time to create one. Just so I have a quick overview of the entire tale. It’s hard to keep 80,000 words straight in my head. Most days I feel lucky I can remember my own name!
  • Finally, it’s time to dive in chapter by chapter. Using my notes and outline, I fix what needs to be fixed. I work on sentence structure and replace boring words and generic descriptions to give them more oomph.

Revision can be a long and sometimes challenging road, but in the end, I’m always happy I did it. So this is my process, but what works best for you?