Happy Friday

A few LIES & LETTERS teasers. Happy Friday!

THE TOWN

Craster, Northumberland. A haunting fishing town with a grey backdrop and castle ruins.

THE MAN

Please picture him (Colin O’ Donoghue, A.K.A. Captain Hook) when you read the book. You will thank me.

THE PIANOFORTE

Charlotte loves music. This photo reminded me of the imperfect, chipped pianoforte that she plays in the story.

And now. . . for your first excerpts. Yay! There will be more to come. 

***

Clara stopped trying to reach the book, but melted into tears. “Stop! Stop!” She wrapped her arms around herself and leaned over, hiding her face from me.

I pulled out and crumpled another fistful of the pages. “You will thank me,” I said. When I finished, I dropped the binding to the dirt and laughed.

“How can you be so awful?” She spit the words at me and tears fell slowly down her cheeks. “I hope you fall in love someday, Charlotte. And I hope he breaks your heart.”

I shook my head with my hands on my hips. “Impossible.”

She stooped over the bench, gathering up the remaining pages and organizing them in a neat stack. Amid her movements, she glanced up at me, eyes like stone. “You’re right. I don’t believe you even have a heart.”

I kicked the crumpled pages away from her reach before turning to leave. Before I moved, I said, in a voice just as hard, “That is because a woman is much better off without one.”

***

***

It began with a slight pout of my lips. Then I leaned in close. “Is there truly no other option? We are so very afraid and alone.” I batted my eyelashes and smiled through them.

Instead of acting flustered, bending to my requests, Mr. Wortham surprised me. He stepped even closer to me. His closeness afforded me with a new view of his eyes. They were not only blue—they were streaked with green and edged in grey. “Aye, miss, but I would very much like to see you sporting a pair of fish-strewn breeches.” A wink followed the words. Heavens, the man could flirt with the best of us.

I warned him with a look, accepting that my ploy was ineffective. I wanted to stomp my foot and demand my way, but I suspected this James Wortham would find amusement in such an act. “You will never have the privilege.”

***

Less than 3 months! I’m so excited.

Lies and Letters COVER REVEAL and Introduction

I learned something over the last few months–It’s really hard to keep my own secrets. With the anthology releasing last week, I didn’t want to bombard everyone with too much book news and make things confusing. But I’ve had the cover for my new book since November, people! And I finished writing it almost a year ago. I wanted to share the news so many times, but I managed to wait until now.

Finally!

Lies and Letters, releasing this July, is another regency romance following the story of an unlikely character from Mischief and Manors. Although it’s a spinoff, this story is meant to stand alone. There was a character in my first book that I felt needed an opportunity to grow, and this book did that for her. I’m so excited for you all to read it!

I learned so much from these characters and I hope you will too.

First, the gorgeous cover design by Priscilla Chaves:

 

Isn’t it so pretty? The color and little details are beautiful and very fitting to the mood and setting of the book. My favorite element has to be the fancy writing overlaying the whole thing.

And now…here’s a little more about this book.

This story is more than a romance (but still very romantic, don’t worry ;)) It’s heartbreaking at times, a story of a girl who faces trials, just like us all, but that end up working for her benefit. She is selfish and egotistical, outrageously flirtatious, and just rude.

In the beginning.

I thought I was crazy for committing to a character like that, but I think the thought and love that I put into this story could never have been so great if she had begun the way she ends. If she had already known the things she learns, or if she had already discovered how to be kind and to love. My heart went out to her once I realized that we are all a certain way for a reason. No one is terrible just for the sake of being terrible. Sometimes they just need someone to love them, and to open their eyes.

I’m sorry if you dislike her in the beginning. I’m sorry if you want to wring her neck. Just read. Embrace her story. See the world through her eyes. Celebrate her triumphs, despair over her heartache, and understand her mistakes. We all make them. If you’ll do this, I hope you’ll feel the things I felt when I wrote this story. I hope we can all judge a little less and be kind a little more. I hope you can close the book with a smile and a sigh, as you’ve come to love these characters as much (okay, maybe not quite as much) as I have.

***

Read the synopsis below!

Charlotte Lyons has ambitions, and she won’t let anything or anyone come in her way. When her first Season in London failed to make her a suitable match, and she failed to win the heir to Willowbourne the following summer, she is desperate to find a titled and wealthy husband, if only to appease her mother. But when her family is struck with financial ruin, the stakes are raised even higher.

Sent to the cold, wintery northern tip of the English coast with her sister, Clara, Charlotte faces an uncertain future. Although she is expected to pursue the wealthy Earl of the town, Charlotte finds her heart and attention captured elsewhere–by a kind, mysterious man below her station. Between hardship and sorrow, she finds more than she bargained for, forced to choose between the life she once wanted and a new love she never imagined.

Coming July 2017! Available for pre-order.

 

The Importance of Creative Writing: Teen Author Boot Camp

There’s this amazing event held each year at the Utah Valley Convention Center called Teen Author Boot Camp. It has played such an important role in my progression in writing. I attended in 2015 and 2016. For me, it gave confidence. I wasn’t weird because I loved to write; there are actually a lot of teens that love to write. I won a contest. What?! I didn’t even know I was any good at writing. Maybe my book is good enough to be published, even if I was only fifteen when I wrote it. Maybe it’s good enough to be read by more than just myself.

I recently had the opportunity to appear on the morning show, Good Things Utah, with two of the amazing ladies, Jennifer Jenkins and Jo Schaffer, that put on this non-profit writing camp each year. You can watch our segment HERE.

They called themselves crazy for putting on the camp, saying that basically the only thing they receive from their hours and hours of work is the satisfaction of seeing young writers learn, grow, and have a fun time at their event. But still they love it. Non-profit really means non-profit. I’m amazed and grateful that there are advocates like this for writing. Donating so. much. time. It was great getting to know them better and I look forward to participating in TABC this year as a presenting author. It will be different and intimidating, but probably really fun. :]

Besides putting on this camp each year, these ladies have started a petition to protect creative writing in schools. You can sign it here.

From the ladies of Teen Author Boot Camp:

“Creative Writing in Utah is slowly being phased out in high schools across the state. This is a deeply concerning issue that sadly begins in elementary schools. Because narrative writing isn’t measured in state testing, many teachers feel pressure to put creative writing on the “back burner” to devote time to the more technical types of writing included in standardized tests. As a result, advocacy for Creative Writing is dwindling, and experts agree that students are not being offered the tools to develop their creative voice.”

Creativity is such a big part of me, and I find it in art, baking, music, and most of all writing. Where do you find your creativity? What does it mean to you? Sign the petition to support those that find it in writing.

On top of all this, these ladies are authors! Show them some love and check out their books! I will definitely be reading them soon. Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins, and Against Her Will by Jo Schaffer.

 

Unexpected Love Blog Tour

About the authors:

Heather Chapman: Being the youngest of four sisters (and one very tolerant older brother), Heather grew up on a steady diet of chocolate, Jane Austen, Anne of Green Gables, Audrey Hepburn, and the other staples of female literature and moviedom. These stories inspired Heather, and she began writing at a young age. After meeting and marrying her husband Mark, Heather graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and settled down in a small farming community with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Heather enjoys volleyball, piano, the outdoors, and just about anything creative.

Mandi Ellsworth: Mandi is an avid reader, a slow jogger, and disinterested in board games of any kind. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children and no pets.

Paula Kremser: Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for a few years after graduating from Brigham Young University. Several years later when she moved with her young family to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel, “Sophia,” and second, “To Suit a Suitor.”

Ashtyn Newbold: Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family and is the author of “Mischief and Manors.”

“Unexpected Love” blog tour schedule:
March 14: Literary Timeout
March 15: Live to Read
March 16: Seeker of Happiness
March 17: Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 18: Inklings and Notions
March 19: Kindle and Me
March 20: Hardcover Feedback
March 21: Writing Worm
March 22: Geo Librarian || Heidi Reads
March 23: Getting Your Read On || Bookworm Lisa || Mel’s Shelves || Singing Librarian Books
March 24: Bookworm2Bookworm || Making Life a Bliss Complete
March 25: Kaki Recommends
March 26: The Things I Love Most
March 27: My Book a Day
March 28: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
March 29: Blooming With Books
March 30: Jorie Loves a Story || Wishful Endings
March 31: The Dragon’s Nook