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(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Sourcebooks Fire.)

Estelle Maskame was sixteen when she finished writing her Did I Mention I Love You trilogy, which went viral via Wattpad with over four million hits. Estelle lives and writes full-time from Scotland. Did I Mention I Love You is her first published novel, available now.


Eden Munro hasn’t heard from her father in years, not since he left her and her mother behind. Now he’s re-married, with a new family and a new life, and he wants her to spend the summer with him in Santa Monica. Even the prospect of the beach and three new stepbrothers can’t make Eden look forward to the visit.


Tyler Bruce is Eden’s oldest stepbrother, and her total opposite. Angry, egotistical, and with a troubled past and a drug problem, Tyler is bad news. But Eden soon finds herself hanging out with Tyler’s friends, going to parties and doing things she knows she shouldn’t be doing. Despite Tyler’s clingy, vindictive girlfriend and her own love interest, Eden finds herself drawn to Tyler. Can she find out what’s really behind Tyler’s façade and help him win his battle against himself?


Did I Mention I Love You is an edgy young adult romance with dark layers. The parties and drugs aren’t glorified, but presented in a realistic manner that makes them heartbreakingly real. Eden finds herself going along with things she never imagined, as she searches for a way to save Tyler from the depths of his anguish. Their relationship is tense, complicated, and ever evolving. Did I Mention I Love You is a fast-paced read that is not all sunshine and light, instead focusing on the darker moments that give life its depth.


(Galley provided by Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley.)

How is not writing inspiration to actually get words on the page? Well….

I set weekly writing goals, as a way to keep motivated. But, let’s be honest, work, school, and frequently sleep come before writing. This results in me feeling guilty and leads to resentment. Which makes me less likely to actually want to write, if things do not go according to plan or even remotely according to plan).

If I’m feeling guilty because I didn’t get my words in on Monday or Wednesday, then I feel like I have to make up those words today, and I just don’t have time for that many words. So I resent the prospect and end up not writing today, either.

However, if I give myself permission to not write whenever it’s necessary, without the idea of having to make those words up, then that instantly makes my brain less stressed. Which means I actually feel like writing.

Does this make sense, or am I just making excuses?

((Death Before Decaf cover 2.6M

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Random House Alibi.)

Caroline Fardig is the author of the Lizzie Hart Mystery series. Her new book, Death Before Decaf, is the first book in the Java Jive series

Juliet Langley had a fiancé she loved and a café she gave her heart to. Unfortunately, her fiancé ran off with a waitress and stole everything she owned, she lost the café, and had to move back to Nashville to take a job running a coffee shop for her best friend. Things couldn’t get much worse.

Until Juliet finds the dead body of the cook in the dumpster before the end of the first day. The other employees, in open revolt, are more than happy to point fingers at Juliet’s famed temper, and soon she finds herself a suspect in the murder. Juliet decides that she will find the killer, since no one else seems interested in the truth. Not even the handsome stranger hanging around the coffee shop asking questions. This may be too much for even caffeine to handle.

Death Before Decaf is a fun mystery reminiscent of the Stephanie Plum series. Juliet is a great character, full of spunk and attitude, determined to do the right thing. She won’t give up, no matter what other people think, and no matter the danger she puts herself in. Death Before Decaf will have the reader laughing at Juliet’s antics as the pages fly by.

(Galley provided by Random House Alibi via NetGalley.)

Last week wasn’t the best week–writing or otherwise–that I’ve had lately. I ended up working five days. My mom moved back to New Orleans. There was a lot going on. I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped/planned.

I think I got one writing session in. And approximately zero sessions in on my other projects. Only five blogs written as well, and the ones I did write were short at best. But that’s okay. Tomorrow is another day.

This week, I’m planning on three writing sessions, three brainstorming sessions, six blog posts (plus an extra book review), work on two essays plus a project, a midterm exam, cleaning my computer room again (why does everything migrate there?), and work on a couple of projects. Oh, and (hopefully) five or six workouts. Plus working four days.

Hmm.  When I list it like that it seems like a lot.

Here’s hoping.

(This image does not belong to me. Image belongs to Text Publishing Company.)

(This image does not belong to me. Image belongs to Text Publishing Company.)

Leanne Hall is a Melbourne author who has written two books, This is Shyness and Queen of the Night. Queen of the Night is out today.

Six months ago, Nia met Wolfboy, the mysterious boy from Shyness who promised to call. He didn’t, and Nia has revamped her life: new school, new friends, new job. She has forgotten about Wolfboy, or at least she’s tried to.

Wolfboy hasn’t forgotten about Nia. He’s different now: he spends time with his niece and her mother, he goes by Jethro now, and he wonders what might have been with Nia. But things are changing in Shyness, the town where darkness reigns. His friend Paul has fallen in with a dangerous crowd, and Wolfboy wants to save him, even when strange things start happening. Will Nia help him save his friend?

Queen of the Night has the feel of Alice in Wonderland for readers who have not read This is Shyness. The ever-present dark, the strange characters, the forest of cut-out trees, all combine to create a strange, eerie world. Nia and Jethro are both intriguing characters, strong yet flawed, and the moments between them are vibrant and evocative. Queen of the Night is well worth the read.

(Galley provided by Text Publishing Company via NetGalley.)

So, I was supposed to be off all last week, and I had big goals:  “writing two essays, starting another, and beginning work on a leadership project, in addition to a plethora of textbook-reading), but I’m also going to get in six solid writing sessions. At least that’s the plan. And six brainstorming sessions as well.” How’d that turn out?  I’m glad you asked. (I’m pretty sure you asked, didn’t you?)

I actually ended up working Monday evening  and Thursday morning for a few hours, so the week wasn’t quite as free as I planned. But…I got those two essays written, and 1/5 of the third one done as well. Made a start on the leadership project. Did all the homework/quizzes/reading for this week. I think I only got in four writing sessions, but that’s twice as many as a normal week, so I’m calling it a win. I also edited TWELVE FREAKING CHAPTERS in Witches (I totally didn’t realize it was that many. Wow.) I also moved all my drafts to Google Docs, which took a ridiculous amount o f time, considering there were 10 manuscripts. I worked on brainstorming/outlining for my three current WIPs. Wrote a total of six blog posts. And read six books.

Dang. I was way more productive than I thought. Even snuck in a couple of naps, too.

That was my week, for the win!

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Barbour Books.)

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Barbour Books.)

The Heirloom Brides Collection is four Christian novellas with the theme of “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” This collection of sweet historical stories hit shelves on November 1st.

When Betsy’s grandfather loses the farm and is gravely injured, Betsy must find a job to take care of them both. Stuart and his mother, who own the store, go out of their way to help Betsy, and she’s grateful, but what happened to her old family heirloom?

Wren loved Tate for years, but he left without a word. Now, four years later, he’s back, determined to show her how much he loves her. Will this new start be what they both need?

Clara and her father have just moved to the farm when her father is injured and unable to work. When Clara asks the neighbor to hire one of her sons to work until her father is well, the neighbor refuses…but will let Clara borrow her older son, Titus.

Darla returns to her childhood home in the hopes of finding her mother’s missing blue cameo…and also hopes no one remembers the girl she was before. Now a nurse, she finds herself caring for injured Nicholas and falling for his three daughters, until her past comes back to haunt her.

The stories in The Heirloom Brides Collection are just the right length to curl up with on a chilly fall day. Heartwarming, inspiring, with bits of humor sprinkled throughout, these stories are sure to leave the reader feeling warm and fuzzy.

(Galley provided by Barbour Books via NetGalley.)

Anyone out there doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, awesome!  Congratulations, have fun, and good luck! I participated in–and won–NaNo about five times, I think. Tried another time, but got sidetracked with depression. Working on that story, Siren Song, now, three years later.

The goal of NaNo is to write a complete novel of at least 50,000 words during the month of November. That’s 1,667 words a day, a respectable chunk of words. Twice, I wrote 100,000 words for NaNo. Please don’t ask me how, as writing 500 words at a time now seems almost overwhelming, sigh.

But having a word count goal keeps me motivated to get those words in. If I were just to sit down and write without a goal, it wouldn’t happen. Everything would distract me. Every single thought. Every noise. Every movement. Having a word count goal gives me the push I need to just do it.

Does anyone else write with a word count goal?

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Bethany House.)

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Bethany House.)

Patrick W. Carr is the award-winning author of The Staff and the Sword trilogy. He’s also a high school math teacher by day, though he’d really like to be a jazz pianist. His new book, The Shock of Night, is the first book in The Darkwater Saga, and it hits shelves today.

Willet Dura is the king’s reeve, a private investigator who reports directly to the monarch. His elevation to the lowest-ranking noble in a world ruled by the gifted, along with his dedication to his job, have given him enemies, but Willet’s only concern is finding criminals and bringing them to justice. When a guard is killed, and his priestly charge is mortally wounded, Willet goes to question the dying man. But the man’s only answer is to touch Willet and scream in a strange language before dying.

Willet soon finds he has more questions than answers, as his senses are skewed in a dizzying manner and he can sense the thoughts of those he touches. Soon he learns he’s been given a gift that isn’t even supposed to exist, and with it, an enemy that wants to destroy him, his city, and the world he knows in a bloodthirsty quest for dominance where the enemies are hidden in plain sight, trapped by a past they do not even remember.

The Shock of Night is an intricate tale of intrigue and darkness, with Willet’s dedication to the truth leading him onto twisted paths he never imagined. His courage, his beliefs, and even his soul are tested in the fight to find the truth and save his city and the lives of those he loves.

(Galley provided by Bethany House via NetGalley.)

So, this week, I’m pretty much off (Work. I’m off work.), and I have ambitious plans (Don’t I always?). Yes, I’m going to take advantage of the time to get ahead on school assignments (I’m writing two essays, starting another, and beginning work on a leadership project, in addition to a plethora of textbook-reading), but I’m also going to get in six solid writing sessions. At least that’s the plan. And six brainstorming sessions as well. My own personal NaNo, if you will.

I’ve tried to be realistic about my goals for the week and not overload myself, and I think I’ve succeeded. I don’t think it’s too ambitious. Just…bigger in comparison to my “normal” weeks. But I’ve got the time off, and I intend to use it to advantage.

So. Big goals this week. I’ll check in next Sunday with the results.


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