Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wistful YA~RIVAL LOVE Series by Natalie Decker


I love how Writer's Alley has become a stage for fellow writers to share their good news. FYI: if you have good news, book cheer, or advice to share I'd love to host you here. Email me or click on one of my links in the Graffiti Promotions section below. 

Welcome to this week’s Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays featuring 
Rival Love and Rival Hearts by Natalie Decker ~ my long-time critique partner!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar's world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom's live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they're not that different after all--and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.
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Rival Love (Rival Love #1) by Natalie Decker
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N
Caleb is ticked off. Skylar hasn’t answered any of his calls, texts, or emails since her move to New York, virtually cutting him out of her life without warning. So Caleb decides to go after her—and convince her to come back home.

But even when Skylar realizes her heart does belong at home with Caleb, her uncertainty lingers. Is it safe? Have things changed?

After the mysterious vandalism to the pool at Delmont High, everyone is desperate for answers they believe Skylar can provide. At first, she’s determined not to run. But when Caleb’s ex-girlfriend unleashes a vengeful surprise, Sky's love for Caleb is threatened.

Are these two rival hearts ready to fight for their love, or will they have to throw in the towel?

RIVAL HEARTS is the sequel to the bestselling teen romance novel RIVAL LOVE by Natalie Decker.

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Rival Hearts (Rival Love #2) by Natalie Decker
Publication Date: December 23, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N
Natalie DeckerNatalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love series. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

A SPLAT from me: I've read both books while in their infancy. Love them! So if you're up for a great contemporary story with loads of snark, tension, and a tumultuous relationship between two fantastic characters, then this is a read for you. :)


Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG~Fleeting Time

The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage, posting on the first Wednesday of each month. You'll find writer doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Support and a common understanding spread throughout the group as many fellow writers can relate. Feel free to JOIN in anytime.

Amazing image, right? Check out the artist HERE.
Time is fleeting.

I'm on a constant crash course with time. When I chase it, it flees from me. When I give up, it dangles itself in my face, smirking and whispering, "Whatchya' gonna do with me?"  Bet you can picture what happens in those moments - I reach for it and it says, "Psyche!" 

Matters not whether I write up an elaborate digital schedule that chimes each time I'm needed, or whether I post sticky notes all over my house, office, and car. I never can accomplish all I set out to do and the culprit is time.

Bad time. Bad time.

But is it? Could it be that I really don't understand how to live successfully? Take time to focus on the little things in life and let those replenish me. Prioritizing has always been a big deal to me. I'm a list maker. Yeah, one of those people. But the older I get the less my lists help me. Frankly, they stress me out. 

Maybe the real lesson here is in recognizing new pathways to accomplish our goals whether how big or small they are and bask in the fact that we're still here to do so. 

What are your thoughts on time? Are you better then I am in managing it?
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

EBooks & Picture Books~Momma Don't You Worry

Picture books possess a light, energy, and hope for opening the doors of knowledge and life to young children. And their authors have a passion to share just that. 
Today's picture book author loves creating stories and writing, but not just books. He's also a lyricist, who's work appears in many areas of music from rock to country. So make sure you check out his bio at the end. 


by Louie Lawent

Publisher: Ladybee Publishing
Release Date: January 2015
Format: eBook
Words: 360

Description: This illustrated books tells a poetic story from a six year old's viewpoint. His mother worries too much in his opinion, until they go on a shopping trip and he gets a real appreciation for just how right his mom is.
Excerpt: She watches me with eagle eyes 
Like I’m a treasured jewel 
She cramps my style, oh man alive 

I'd like to thank the author for supplying me with an eCopy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

My Splats: This story is a sweet exchange between a boy and his mother. He's assuring her that he'll be okay and that he can handle what comes his way. The main character sounds confident and proud that he can tell his momma not to worry. It's quite cute. But when his world takes a turn and his momma's nowhere to be found, he must use a lesson his momma taught him to make things right. 
The tale is told in rhyme and is accompanied by nicely done illustrations that appropriately advance the tale.

Now, let's meet the author. 

Hi Louie! It's great to have you here. Let's begin with an intro to Louie the Younger. Were you a reader or creator as a young child?  
Yes, I read many picture books in my early elementary school years.  I recall that in  3rd grade I read  this book about this boy who designed Alaska's state flag. I think his name was Benny. I was so taken by that story that I hand-printed the entire book.

Do you think (the answer above) contributed to your desire to create stories as an adult and how?
In 3rd grade a friend and I would write humorous stories about classmates.  We wouldn't show them to anyone. In 4th grade we started writing stories about "Gerty the Pig." Our classmates loved them. As an adult, in the 1990s I wrote a more elaborate story and "Gerty the Pig" was published. It's in many schools across the country in the National Accelerated Readers Program. Unfortunately the book didn't have much of a retail presence. I have written 4 more.  I would love for a series to develop but that's a long shot. I don't know if reading led to me writing.  I would have to guess that it did. I think imagination and the need to be funny played a huge part.

What made you start writing picture books as opposed to older kidlit or adult lit?  
I think I'm best at short form.  I also write lyrics which is another short form of writing. It's possible I have one long form work in me and I do have the concept but not right now.

We all know about the eBook explosion that started a few years back. Now, MOMMA DON'T YOU WORRY has been released in ebook form. I'm really intrigued about how this differs from traditional picture book releases in paper form. Would you mind explaining the process such as submitting, editing with an ebook editor & illustrator, releasing, marketing, etc...? 
Well, I submit my works via email. Many publishers accept them this way. "Momma Don't You Worry" didn't require editing, although I made some last minute changes before release that I think made it even better.  Rick Radliff is the illustrator. I live in Wisconsin. He's a childhood friend who lives in Seattle. He illustrated Gerty too. So, I was happy that he did this one too!  As far as marketing, this is the tough part.

A very tough part. Many reviewers won't review ebooks. However, I am finding reviewers. I want to continue to find more. To me, unless you're an established author or a celebrity, you have a very slim chance of having a successful book unless it gets reviewed. The odds are not with an author that a reader will rummage through stacks of books in a book store and discover your book.  Or for that matter, scroll through books online and see it.  Of course, I have let my Facebook friends know about it, but of course that's limited. I just hope that people will spread the word. The responses I have received  reviewers have been extremely positive. They like the message of the book and the cute rhymes.

Lastly, what are your future writing plans? 
Well, I will continue to write lyrics. Some co-written children's songs will be released down the road. I also write rock, hip hop and folk lyrics. The latest was a folk rock song entitled "One More Father's Son" which is about a homeless veteran. I wrote it with DL Byron who sings it.  It's on his album "Satori." DL won a Grammy for Pat Benatar's hit "Shadows of the Night." I really enjoy writing. I constantly get stuck but unstick myself quickly.

Thanks you for joining us, Louie! Best of luck with future picture book writing as well as all that song writing. Very cool...

Louie Lawent is the author of the picture book "Gerty The Pig" which is in schools across the United States. The book is part of the National Accelerated Readers Program. He is also a lyricist with his works featured on rock, country and children's releases. His co-written song "One More Father's Son" is on Grammy award-winning D.L. Byron's latest CD "Satori." He co-wrote "Slippery Forces" with Boz Boorer which appears on Boz's CD "Some of the Parts." Louie co-wrote 10 children' songs with Steve Goodie which are featured on Steve's "Refrigerator Art" CD. Also, he co-wrote "Worms In The Can, Wieners On The Bun" on Canadian children's recording artist Erick Traplin's CD "A Little More." Louie is an avid Green Bay Packers fan and enjoys table tennis. You can find Louie on FACEBOOK.
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