3 Books Sooo AWESOME You Won’t Believe It!!!

Two years ago in May, I entered a contest on a blog that changed my life forever. The blog was Sharon Bayliss, and the result was a publishing contract for my trilogy! On Sharon’s blog, I read about another success story from her contest. Her name was Jessa Russo, and I remember falling in love with her voice on her celebration post and wishing she lived in Florida instead of California because I knew we’d be great friends if she did. Who knew that a year later, she would be my new editor for the second and third installments of my trilogy! And by publishing my books, who knew I’d help inspire a dear friend named Tiffany Pastor who I met in college a long time ago in a galaxy far away (okay, not that far away, but the year 2000 does seem like forever ago) to write and publish her own book!

I owe these three ladies sooo much, so I wanted to highlight their new releases on my blog today!

First up is Sharon’s book, Destruction.

Destruction-Sharon Bayliss

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.

Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 
 
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

She had me at wizard!

Next up is the wonderfully talented Jessa with DIVIDE!

Divide cover

From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.

After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.

As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson. 


Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish. 

Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her. 

Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.
Who doesn’t love a YA Fantasy/Fairytale Redux?!?

DIVIDE: Goodreads | Amazon 

And last but not least is Tiffany Pastor, who really is a pastor! She married one of my good buddies in college & nobody wears that last name better (my daughter was even a flower girl in their wedding . . . didn’t use all her petals by the time she reached the alter, so she dumped her basket right there, lol). Her book, CHILDREN of the CITY, is a novel about child trafficking in America.

COTC cover
COTC tells the story of suffering through fictional characters and introduces the reality of darkness that so many people face every day. Research and statistics of atrocity are now given a face, given a name.BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT than the nuts and bolts of the plot is the “WHY” behind the story. This is MORE than just book sales and bestselling lists! This is an opportunity for people to UNITE and make a difference since 40% of her proceeds go back to freedom fighting organizations!COTC empowers people like you and me to rise up and partner with freedom fighters all over the world.

DON’T THESE BOOKS LOOK AWESOME!!! I hope you’ll check them out, and I hope you’ll forgive me for neglecting to visit your blogs the past month while I finished 18 Thoughts. Good news is I sent it to my CP’s last night! It is finished . . . until they rip the manuscript to pieces. A little warning: the series didn’t end the way I planned. My characters changed their minds with 3 chapters left. Don’t you just love it when they do that?!?

 

The 12 Books of Christmas! Holiday Buyers Guide for YA Book Lovers!

 

holiday pic

My two favorite young people

Sometime during the Christmas season, you’ll probably be shopping for a young adult in your life (or if you’re like my husband, shopping for your wife who still acts like a young adult). You might be scratching your head at what to get someone between the ages of 13-19, but have no fear, Jamie is here! I scanned my Goodreads log and picked out 12 YA books I read across the genres this year, ones that I would for sure recommend to anyone age 13 and up!

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . A Fractured Fairy Tale.

Alice in Zombieland and Through the Zombie Glass

This is a great modern-day twist on a beloved story! You can’t buy one without buying the other because you’ll want to read the sequel right away!

On the 11th, 10th, and 9th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Historical Fiction.

A few picks on this one:

The Book Thief (World War II-era story . . . yeah, you’ve heard the story, but not from Death’s POV)

The Red Umbrella (Cuban politics and history . . . I know it sounds boring, but it’s totally not! EVERYONE should read this!)

The Infernal Devices (England during the Victorian era–this is an admixture of the real history and the unreal since it features paranormal elements. This trilogy is a prequel to The Mortal Instruments books, which if you didn’t read, you might’ve seen the movie this year!)

On the 8th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Paranormal Romance.

Ever and Evade are another two-for-one deal in the same series. Get your pot of coffee ready when reading this one because you’ll want to pull an all nighter, but so much more fun than studying for exams!

On the 7th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Inspirational Romance.

KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh. This book was put out by my publisher this year, and it was one of my favorite reads. It could also fall under historical fiction. What a fun way to learn! Book #2, KIYA: Mother of a King is sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read over my Christmas vacation!

On the 6th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Mythological Fiction.

Tangled Tides. Love the tag line: Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters–until she becomes one. This book is so good, seriously one of my 13yo favs!

On the 5th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Magical Realism/Adventure Fiction.

Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game. Of course, if you’re feeling like winning the title, “Aunt of the Year” then go ahead and buy all 5 books in the series for your tween/teen, but all of the stories can also stand alone. Who doesn’t love the idea of Disney characters coming to life, no matter what age you are!

One the 4th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Fantasy Fiction.

Core. This is the debut novel by a talented writer and friend who attends the same church as me. I have one word for ya: Dragons. Really, what more do you need?

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . . Sci-Fi/Dystopian Fiction.

Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night. Yep, another two-for-one deal here. Can’t recommend these books enough. Out of 5 stars, I’d give them 10! If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, this is a must read! And since it’s told through dual narrative, the hero and heroine’s POV, it offers broad appeal.

On the 2nd and 1st Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Contemporary Coming of Age Fiction.

The Moon and More. I’m in love with Sarah Dessen. She is my literary girl crush. I could read nothing but her books for the rest of my life, and I’d be in heaven!

18 Things.  I may be biased here, but this is one heck of a book! Hahaha . . . could also fit under Inspirational and Paranormal Romance, but the overall arc of the series is definitely first and foremost a coming of age tale.

I could go on and on . . . why did the song have to be the 12 Days of Christmas?! So many books, so little time. Some other honorable mentions are the 4 novels I’m reading with my Language Arts classes right now: The Girl Who Threw Butterflies, Legend, Janitors, and Cinder.

*What about you? What books would you recommend buying as gifts for the holiday season, YA or otherwise? Read any of these books? Yay or Nay to my picks?