Blog Tour: The Boyfriend Bracket

The Boyfriend Bracket
Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket!

Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

The Boyfriend Bracket puts a new spin on a classic genre in a fun, unforgettable way.

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Author Bio:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines. To learn more about Kate, please visit her website at http://www.kateevangelista.com or follow her on Twitter @KateEvangelista

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What inspired you to write The Boyfriend Bracket?

My editor and I were talking story ideas over the phone for my next book. When my editor suggested the brother’s best friend trope, it was like lightning hit me. The story formed in my head right away. That night I couldn’t wait to write the story that would eventually become The Boyfriend Bracket.

How do you decide on character names?

Early on in my writing career, character names needed to have meanings related to the character and the story. As I matured, I learned to wait until the character introduces himself or herself. Once I know their names, I usually start to know what their story is and how they fit into the world I’m building.

What are you planning on writing next?

I already have an idea for what the next book will be and am doing my research, but I’m keeping what it is to myself for now. I’ve also come to learn not to talk to much about what I’m working on next because the initial draft is never what the final story will be.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Learn to love editing more than the writing. Editing is the lifeblood of a novel. Just think about the book you are currently reading and how many drafts it took for the final product to reach your hands. The editing process is usually the longest part of the process, which is why learning how to love it will help keep up your motivation when you no longer what anything to do with the story.

What books/authors inspired you?

Lisa Kleypas. Reading her work always inspires me to write. That’s why every book has an element of romance. My characters are falling in love no matter what. I can’t help myself. I love love and Kleypas delivers lots of it. She’s also awesome at creating interesting characters.

Did you always want to be an author?

No. I never thought about writing as a career. I was supposed to be a doctor. Then I because a teacher. Then an essay consultant. Only when I realized that writing was always there despite whatever job I was in. I was always happiest when writing. It took me a few years, but when I finally committed, I never looked back.

What kind of music did you listen to while writing?

Interesting fact, for this one, I didn’t listen to anything. I actually wrote The Boyfriend Bracket at night, when all was quiet. I turned down the lights and in the cocoon of darkness and silence the words flowed.

Current favorite tv show?

RuPaul’s Drag Race. I don’t know why it took me so long to watch this awesome show? I’m currently binging season 7. The queens get prettier and cattier with each new season. I totally recommend this show. I’ll even confess that I have a crush on RuPaul when he’s in drag. So gorgeous.

What’s your hogwarts house?

Gryffindor. Is it wrong that I want to be in another house? Ravenclaws are so interesting. Hufflepuffs are fun to hang out with. And Slytherins are darkly funny. Gryffindors are great too, but my heart is in another house.   

Other YA books you love? Give us some recs!

I’m currently reading Let’s Talk About Love by my Swoon sister Clair Kann. It’s definitely a recommend for me. I want to be friends with Alice and Takumi. Hanging out with them for an afternoon would be so fun. I suggest picking up this book when you grab a copy of The Boyfriend Bracket.

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A Prom to Remember Blog Tour – Interview with Sandy Hall

A Prom to Remember
Sandy Hall
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Love it or hate it, you’ll never forget it. In this heart-warming novel, Swoon Reads star, Sandy Hall, explores a classic high school celebration, capturing every relatable and hilarious teen milestone along the way.

Cora: Dating Perfect Boyfriend Jamie. Has NO IDEA how to break up with him…

Paisley: Anti-prom. Somehow nominated her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king…

Henry: Hates social situations. Invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. SEND HELP!

Otis: Half of one of the cutest couples in his class. Not quite ready for a post-prom hotel room…

Lizzie: Shy. Excited to go to prom. With a boy. Whose name she doesn’t know.

Cameron: Loner. Over high school. Just wants to meet the mysterious girl who’s been leaving him notes…

Jacinta: Unnamed Nerd Girl #3. Determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom…

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, A Prom to Remember, from Sandy Hall (author of A Little Something Different), is a funny and cinematic look at the biggest dance of every high schooler’s life.

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Author Bio:

I’m a teen librarian from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I have a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When I’m not writing, or teen librarian-ing, I enjoy reading, slot machines, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT is my first novel.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Interview with Sandy Hall

What inspired you to write A Prom to Remember?

My editor actually gave me the idea to write a book that was like Love Actually plus the Prom. I thought it was a great idea, so I ran with it!

Which of your books was the hardest/easiest to write?

Everyone always says the second book is the hardest to write and they’re not wrong. Signs Point to Yes was SUCH a struggle. I just couldn’t get it right, no matter how many drafts we went through. My first book, A Little Something Different, was definitely the easiest since there were no expectations for it and back then I was just writing for myself. 

Which of your characters is most like you?

I like to think there’s a little bit of me, or at least my experiences, in every character, but sometimes bigger stuff trickles in. For example, in PROM, Henry and Paisley are best friends. As I was reading it over for the millionth time, I realized that I had based their banter on the relationship I have with my friend Ryan. While neither of us is like Paisley or Henry, there’s definitely a vibe to the way they talk to each other that I lifted directly from my real life friendship. 

How do you decide on character names?

I use nameberry.com pretty much exclusively. Rather than just alphabetical lists of names, it has a variety of lists of names grouped together like “Vintage names” or “Flower names” or “No nickname names.” It really helps when I know the vibe of the name I want but can’t come up with the right one. 

What are you planning on writing next?

I have a book in with my editor that I can’t say too much about yet, but hopefully, if all goes well, it will be announced soon.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Finish what you start! Don’t go back and edit until you get to the end. 

What books/authors inspired you?

Too many to count! The first book that really made me want to be a writer, and believe that I could be a writer, was Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Up until that point my book ideas hadn’t panned out, but that book really inspired me to try harder. Most recently it’s been The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I’ve read it at least a dozen times. There’s something about the enemies to lovers trope that just gets me every time. 

Did you always want to be an author?

Nope! As a kid I wanted to be everything from a teacher to an ophthalmologist to a pediatrician. In college, I wanted to be a speech therapist, but ended up getting a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, so I worked as a childrens and teen librarian for a long time. It was only a few years ago that I decided to give writing a try. 

What kind of music did you listen to while writing?

I can’t listen to anything with words while I’m writing, so usually it’s classical or even just white noise for me. Though lately, I’ve needed complete silence to get anything done. 

Current favorite tv show?

Brooklyn 99 or This Is Us. Depends on whether I want to laugh or cry. 

What’s your Hogwarts house?

Hufflepuff! 

Other YA books you love? Give us some recs!

Most recently I read Let’s Talk About Love by my fellow Swoon Reads author Claire Kann. It was fantastic! Adorable and a little bit heartbreaking, pretty much everything you want from YA romance. Other favorites are definitely Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett and The Only Thing Worst Than You is Me by Lily Anderson. Both of which feature my favorite enemies to lovers trope. 


April 23rd
The Genre Minx Book Reviews >> Excerpt
Belle’s Book Blog >> Review
Sunny Buzzy Books >> Review
Smooches and Seitn >> Review
Dani Reviews Things >> Interview

April 24th
The Candid Cover >> Guest post
books are love >> Review
My Lovely Secret >> Review

April 25th
The Book Dutchesses >> Review
Buried Under Books >> Review
Living a Hundred Lives >> Review
Reading With Wrin >> Review
The Book Maiden >> Review

April 26th
Actin’ Up with Books >> Review
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
Sincerely Karen Jo >> Review
The Avid Reader >> Guest post
Lisa Loves Literature >> Review

April 27th
Smada’s Book Smack >> Review
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Review
RiverMoose-Reads >> Interview
Books Direct >> Review
Elley the Book Otter >> Review

Author Interview: Jus Accardo

Jus Accardo’s most recent book, Omega, came out today!

The Infinity Division is a wonderful series, you should all check it out!

I was lucky enough that she agreed to an interview, keep reading to see her answers!


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The second book in the Infinity time travel series is full of action, romance, and an intricately designed roller coaster plot.

One mistake can change everything. Ashlyn Calvert finds that out the hard way when a bad decision leads to the death of her best friend, Noah Anderson.

Only Noah isn’t really gone. Thanks to his parents’ company, the Infinity Division, there is a version of him skipping from one dimension to another, set on revenge for the death of his sister, Kori. When a chance encounter brings him face-to-face with Ash, he’s determined to resist the magnetic pull he’s felt for her time and time again. Because falling for Ash puts his mission in danger.

But there’s more going on in Ash’s alternate universe than either of them knows: a mysterious project called Omega. A conspiracy spanning multiple Earths and revolving around none other than Ash. Its creators would do anything to keep Omega secret…


About The Author:

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food.

Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing, as well as the Darker Agency series, and the New Adult series, The Eternal Balance. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.


Interview:

When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Since I was a kid, I really only wanted to be either an author of a chef. I had actually just applied and been accepted at the C.I.A when I changed my mind to pursue writing full time.

You write sci-fi, what inspired that love of sci-fi or made you want to write that kind of story?
I loved the show Sliders when it was on television. The infinite number if possibilities was a real draw. The fact that I could send my characters to a world where ANYTHING was possible, to places where the rules we live by don’t have to apply, was too appealing to pass up. This series was some of the most fun I’ve had while writing!
How do you come up with your titles?
There’s no real method. Usually, they come to me before I start a book. If I haven’t figured out a title first, it trips me up. With this series, the publisher actually changed the titles during edits. Book 3 never had an official title other than the one we gave it, but book one was originally The Infinity Division, and book 2 was The Resurrection Institution (changed to Infinity and Omega).
 
What books and authors serve as your inspiration / influence?
S.E. Hinton and L.J Smith were huge influences on me. I could reread their books a million times and never get tired of them.
 
Top three pieces of advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Every word you get out brings you closer to where you want to be. Also, don’t feed the trolls. There’s enough negativity on the internet. When someone comes at you (and they will) with a “why the hell did you do this/that” do not get into an argument over it. Not everyone is going to get your story. Not everyone is going to like it. That’s okay. If everyone loved all the same things, the world would be a real drag.
Dreamcast your protagonist(s)!
Oh… I have way too much fun with this 🙂

Cade is easily Dylan O’Brien
Noah is and always will be Miles McMillan in my mind.
Kori is Lily Collins
Ash is Marie Avgeropoulos
Dylan would be Dylan Sprayberry
Ava has always struck me as a dark haired Dove Cameron
 
Do you listen to music while writing? What was on your playlist while writing Omega?
Music is a huge part of my writing process. I can’t work without it. Each book, most characters, and some scenes, all have their own playlist. Some of the tunes from Omega are, Little Monster – Royal Blood, Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys, and Sick Like Me – In This Moment.
What book are you currently reading / show are you currently watching?
Right now I’m reading the 3rd book in the Splintered series by A.G. Howard and I just finished binging Heart of Dixie!

Book Blitz: Lady of Sherwood

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Lady of Sherwood
by Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Synopsis:

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.

After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.

As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.

Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.


 

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Purchase: 

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AUTHOR BIO:

Molly_
Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend…and any five minutes she can find). When she’s not writing or working, she’s scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.

Lady of Sherwood Teaser 1

GIVEAWAY

  • Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes)

Lady of Sherwood Teaser 3

Bonus Scene

Robin stood in front of Much, Jemma’s staff in her hands and raised as though she were going to swing for Much’s head. Much, with a look of intense concentration on her round face, gripped a stick and let Jemma reposition her feet and hands as necessary.

“Steady your weight,” Jemma said quietly. “You want to have a strong base, but you need to be able to move quickly.”

“If I bring this down, you almost want to rise to meet it instead of letting it push you back,” Robin added.

“Stay ahead of it, then.” Much braced, and Robin brought the staff down slowly enough for Much to anticipate the movement and react accordingly.

“Balance.” Jemma adjusted her elbow. “The last thing you want is to be knocked on your arse because then you’ve got to dodge the attack and get back on your feet, which is tricky.”

Much smiled wryly. “Is that why Robin shoots them from a distance?”

She giggled. “Probably, but have you seen her when she’s got to use her bow like a staff?”

“It’s a good, solid yew bow.” Robin put a little more pressure against Much’s stick to see what would happen, and grinned brightly when the younger girl stayed strong and balanced. She even pushed back a bit, and Robin’s grin sharpened.

Robin leaned away, slid the staff down her palms to a different grip, and drew back in preparation to jab for somewhere in Much’s midriff.

“Now, if you’re very quick and confident, then you can swing down and knock it aside.” Jemma guided Much’s hands and arms into the movement, and used the stick to deflect Robin’s attack. It happened slowly, so Much could ease into it.

“That’s going to hurt if you get hit with it,” Robin said, snapping her arms back as though she were going to try stabbing forward again. “It’s going to crack or break your ribs if it connects, and there’s no shame in jumping out of the way.”

Jemma put her hands on Much’s waist and helped her swerve her hips to the side and out of the line of fire from the staff in Robin’s hands. “Swerve first, and then try to knock it out of the way. If you can somehow knock it out of her hands, that’s great, but usually you won’t get someone to part with their weapon.”

“Especially men,” Robin added. “That’s who you’ll be against, most likely.”

Much froze.

Robin lowered her staff and rested one end of it on the toe of her boot like she frequently did with her bow. She rubbed the side of her nose and softly said, “It’s…it’s ugly. There’s nothing dignified about it because someone is actively trying to hurt you and your focus is on making sure they can’t.”

She lowered the stick. “And you want to hurt them back.”

“Only to give yourself enough time and space to get away,” Jemma added gently. “If it comes down to it, whether it’s them or you, we’d always rather have you.”

“It’s a difficult choice to make, Much.” Robin reached out and wrapped her fingers around Much’s wrist. “We’d rather none of you lot – you, Kitty, and Maggie – have to make it.”

The implication sunk in a bit, and Much took a deep breath only to blow it out again. “Right.” She readjusted her grip on the stick and raised it once more. “Again?”

“Absolutely,” Jemma said. “Remember what I told you about your elbows.”

Robin smiled sharply and tightened her fingers around the staff.


Lady of Sherwood Teaser 2


Excerpts:

(471 words, from Chapter 4, Consequences)

Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.

“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.

“We are the only ones.”

Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”

“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”

“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.

“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”

“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”

“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.

“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”

“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”

“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.

“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.

“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.

It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.

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(313 Words, from Chapter Five: Much, the Miller’s Daughter)

“That still makes it murder. It doesn’t change that. Nothing changes that.”

“You’re an outlaw, then.” Maggie shrugged. “You’re the Lady of Lockesly. You’re a warrior woman from the old tales. None of those things mean we don’t want you to stay with us.”

“You came back to the manor,” Kitty added. “You came back for us. To find Gisborne and protect us. You could have abandoned us.”

Robin’s expression morphed into something stricken, and her eyes widened. “Why would I have done that? You’re—you’re family. You’ve always been as much family as my mother.” True, Jemma was the sister she’d never been gifted with, but the others had a spot in her heart all the same. One that was rapidly growing by the second.

“Then come with us.” Maggie’s tone said she wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Be an outlaw, but come with us. Even outlaws need friends.”

“I’m an outlaw, same as you,” Jemma murmured when Robin looked meaningfully at her. “I went with you to kill him, and I attacked his men.”

Robin locked eyes with each girl in front of her and she found nothing but tempered steel staring back at her. All of them might have been younger than her and Jemma in physical years, yet they showed a resilience and a courage born from the night’s events.

Robin knew she’d been right earlier to call them smart. Nottingham was large enough for them to all blend into new crowds, and if they kept their wits about them, no one would ever have to know the last survivors of Lockesly Manor were harboring two outlaws.

“All right,” she said. “We stay together and head for Nottingham tomorrow at dark. We don’t want to be seen,” she added. “Not if any of Gisborne’s men are still in the village.” And looking for revenge if he was dead.

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(488 words, from Chapter Ten, Robbery the First)

Once the guards had disappeared, both of them riding ahead of the team pulling the carriage, Jemma tried to get situated with a wince.

“Are you uncomfortable?” he asked.

“A bit. Just—if you could—” She gave him a small smile as he obligingly slid along the seat to help her arrange herself. He touched her leg. Her head dropped back against the wall of the carriage with a thud and a noise she couldn’t quite keep contained in the back of her throat.

“Better?” he asked, easing back onto his own seat once she’d let her expression loosen.

“Much.” She drew herself up straight and proper. The carriage lurched forward into motion again, a steady clip along the road to Nottingham. “Don’t make a sound, and we won’t have to hurt you.”

“Hurt me?”

“Can’t fully draw from this angle, but it’s still sharp, and it’ll still hurt,” Robin growled, deepening her voice in an effort to disguise it. With her face concealed in the depths of her hood, and the arrowhead pressed into the man’s cheek, Jemma had to bite the inside of her mouth to keep from giggling at the sight.

“Now,” Robin said, balanced against the sway of the carriage. “Where’s your purse?”

He made a sharp movement. Jemma tensed, heart beating faster even as Robin pushed the arrowhead so far into his cheek it looked like he ought to be bleeding.

“Motion. She’ll get it.”

She leaned forward, and then ran her fingers along his waist until she found the purse string. Sitting back, she opened it, whistling under her breath at the amount of coin piled in it. Jemma met Robin’s eyes, nodded, and hid the purse away somewhere on her person.

“Not a word until you get to the gates of Nottingham.” Jemma could hear the smirk in Robin’s voice when she added, “Distance isn’t a problem—if you stop the carriage, someone’s going to have an extra feather in his cap.”

“I will report you to the Sheriff,” he hissed.

“Please do.”

Cheeky, Robin. So cheeky. Jemma opened the carriage door as quietly as possible. The landscape went past at a decent clip. She vaguely remembered something about tucking and rolling from Robin’s early riding lessons on what to do in case she fell off the horse. She swallowed a snort.

“The people of Nottingham thank you for your kindness,” Robin said. “Do come again.”

Jemma took that as her cue, throwing herself from the moving carriage. Arms wrapped around her head, she rolled a few times, scrambled to her feet, and then darted for the cover of the trees further from the road. A muffled curse behind her informed her Robin had made her own exit—and then an arrow skimmed off the tree to Jemma’s right.

She glared over her shoulder.

Robin, her hood off, shrugged. “Accident,” she mouthed as she motioned for her to keep running.


Interview with Author Blog Post

1) Tell me about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’ve always had a fondness for books and a love of reading. I think I was seven, and I was in a Barnes & Noble, and thought it would be really cool to one day be able to see my own name on one of the books on the shelf. That’s always been sitting in the back of my mind, the overall goal of one day getting published, and I started shifting it from dream to reality when I was in high school.

Once I really started writing, I never quite stopped.

2) What’s your writing process like?

I’m typically not a planner. I don’t really outline other than major plot points – if I know them, because sometimes I don’t – and I usually let the flow of the story just take me along. I’ve gotten better about planning it out further than I used to, but I still more or less just sit down and start writing.

3) Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. There are some scenes – the more emotional ones for my characters – that make me feel drained afterward, and then there are some where their adrenaline is up so my adrenaline is up. Those are the writing sessions where I feel like I can just go for hours at a time with only a few breaks for more tea and some cookies and afterwards I feel like I could run around the block a few times without breaking a sweat.

4) Where did you get the idea for LADY OF SHERWOOD?

The legend of Robin Hood has been one of my ultimate favorites since I was a kid, and there’s been several different versions and retellings, but none that kind of flipped the original script in such a way. I wanted to write the book I would have loved to read when I was 13 or 14.

I wanted to keep the foundation of the legend, so most of the well known Robin Hood characters are there. Robin Hood, Little John, Maid Marian, Much the Miller’s Son, Will Scarlet, Will Stutely, and of course Friar Tuck are in the story, only with different faces, personalities, and backgrounds. I wanted to stay true to the roots of the Robin Hood legend while giving it a fresh take.

5) Who’s your favorite character?

That’s a really tough question. Robin and Much are my favorites. Robin because she’s got such a courageous, adventurous spirit (Jemma has to reign her in sometimes), and such a dry sense of humor. Much is so calm in the face of danger and adversity. It takes a lot to ruffle Much’s feathers, and I love that she’s always so collected.

6) How has the publishing journey been so far?

It’s been a learning experience, and it’s been fun. I knew there were a lot of steps from beginning to end, but I didn’t know there were that many, and it’s been really fascinating to be inside the process as it’s happening. I feel like everything’s building up to release day, and I’m really excited for it.


Interview with Characters

Today is going to be really fun because some of the Lockesly girls – Robin, Jemma, and Much – are here. Much is going to try her hand at being an interviewer, and I’m here to keep everyone on track as much as I’m able to.

Jemma: muttering It takes a village.

Robin: That’s why there’s most of Nottingham.

Much: Most of Nottingham likes us, now.

Me: This is true. It’s a good thing, too.

Much: Do I get to start the questions now?

Me: Whenever you’re ready.

Much: Right. deep breath How long have you two been best friends?

Robin: Since we were small children. I’ve known Jemma so long that I can’t imagine life without her.

Jemma: beaming You’re so sweet!

Robin: It’s true!

Much: I always forgot how red you get when you’re embarrassed because you’re so pale.

Robin: Not helpful!

Jemma: Best ask your next question, Much.

Much: Er…what’s the hardest thing about being an outlaw?

Jemma: The worry. I do a lot of worrying about the lot of you and what could go wrong at any given time during any given robbery. I’m amazed I have any hair left, and that I haven’t pulled it all out yet.

Robin: The price on my head feels like an archery target on my back, and I never used to look over my shoulder as much as I do now. I’m much more aware of who’s around me and where I am than I used to be living in Lockesly.

Me: Much? Do you want to answer?

Much: considering. No. Not right now. Can I ask the next question?

Robin: smirking You’re going to ask about the other side of the coin.

Much: Yes. What’s the best part about being an outlaw?

Jemma: There’s a sense of adventure and danger. When I’m not worrying that we’re all going to be arrested and die horrible deaths, it’s really kind of fun.

Robin: It’s like being like Boadicea, almost.

Jemma: nodding It’s also about doing what’s right.

Robin: I like the sense of helping people, that we’re doing good for others. That gives me such a warm feeling in the middle of my chest.

Much: In addition to the danger and the adventure?

Robin: Of course.

Jemma: There’s so much we can do for people when we can make our own rules doing it, and it lets us really make an impact for others.

Much: You two have always done that. Even in Lockesly.

Robin: I’ve never understood that if there’s something you can do, why you wouldn’t do it. Especially if it can help someone.

Me: Which just sort of led you to outlawing.

Jemma: It was a natural progression.

Much: nodding Being an outlaw means running and jumping and hiding. Out of all of us, who’s best at hiding?

Robin: From the Sheriff and his men?

Jemma: If it’s from the Sheriff and his men then it’s you. If it’s hide and seek, then Ginny. She’s tiny and she’s quieter than a church mouse.

Robin: I was going to say you. You’re really good at vanishing into the forest, Jem.

Much: And when the Sheriff isn’t involved?

Robin: Ginny and Kitty. Except if they hide together then one of them starts giggling and it’s downhill from there.

Various chuckles.

Me: Thanks for stopping by today.

Jemma: It was quite fun.

Robin: Baker, outlaw, and interviewer. Well done, Much.

You can read about the adventures of Robin, Jemma, Much, and the rest of the outlaws in LADY OF SHERWOOD, available on April 24, 2017.


Author Interview II

1) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Sometime in middle school, I think. I’ve always loved books, but it was right around eighth grade when I wanted to give novel writing a serious attempt. That story was the most progress I’d made on one that I’d started, and it topped out at fifty pages. I did much better at the beginning of high school – that had a much better plot, better characters, and it was the first time I really thought I can do this.

2) Where did you get the idea for LADY OF SHERWOOD?

Robin Hood is one of my all-time favorite legends, and I wanted to do a different retelling. I wanted something fun and adventurous, and I wanted to make Robin Hood a leading lady. I think having Robin and most of the outlaws be woman makes for a very different dynamic, and I’m excited to see what people think of it.

3) How long did it take you to write the book?

It took almost a year in total, but if you take out the three or four months that are my busy season at work where I get very little writing done, then it’s only like six or eight months. I was working nights when I wrote it, and I was able to get some writing in between running tests and waiting for samples in the wee hours of the morning.

4) How many hours a day do you write?

It depends on the day. There are days when I don’t get any writing done at all, and there are days when I crank out 5,000+ words. I aim to write a little bit every day, at least, but it sometimes doesn’t always work out that way, unfortunately.

5) LADY OF SHERWOOD is a retelling – how did you pick names for your characters?

For many of them, I had an idea from the original legends. For example, Robin stayed Robin, and Little John became Jemma. There are a few others that have name twists like that, and some completely new characters that were named based on lists of popular names from the 14th century. And, for me, the name has to fit the character and the character’s personality, and I hope that comes through.

6) What was the hardest scene to write?

There were a couple that were really difficult to write, and I don’t want to say which ones because I don’t want to spoil anybody who hasn’t read it yet. I hope readers enjoy this new take on an old story.