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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

NOT GUILTY!


I’m delighted today to welcome author C. Lee McKenzie to my site to talk about her latest release, NOT GUILTY, as part of her MC Book Tour Blog adventure.

After you find out more about this tantalizing new story, be sure to enter Lee’s giveaway featured below.

* Not Guilty
* by C. Lee McKenzie
* Publication Date: October 25, 2019
* Genre: Young Adult

          A blood-smeared knife. One young man’s word against another. A lifetime dream crushed.
          The evidence points to Devon Carlyle. He was there when it happened. Everyone knows he had it in for Renzo Costa. And Costa says Devon was the one. In the judge’s rap of a gavel, Devon’s found guilty of assault. The star of the Oceanside High’s basketball team loses his shot at the one thing he’s worked so hard for—the championship game where college scouts could see how good he is.
          Now he makes his great shots in Juvenile Hall with kids far different from those that have always been in his life.
          Angry? Hell, yes.
          He’s bent on finding who did the crime. He’s bent on making them pay because he’s Not Guilty.
          But can he prove it?

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. She has published five young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, and Sudden Secrets. Not Guilty is her most recent one.

          Sometimes she likes to jump into the world of the fantastic and when she does, she writes for the middle-grade reader. Some Very Messy Medieval Magick is the third book in the time-travel adventures of Pete and Weasel, with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster being the first two. Sign of the Green Dragon, a stand-alone, takes the reader into ancient Chinese dragon myths and a quest for treasure.

          When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot of questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and at her Website

NOT GUILTY can be found Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.


The author’s other young adult books include: Sliding on the Edge, Princess of Las PulgasDouble NegativeSudden Secrets


GIVEAWAY

With Halloween celebrated this week, Lee’s giving away five digital copies of NOT GUILTY and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. This tour-wide giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 5th.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by today during Lee’s visit. Do you enjoy stories where the underdog becomes the champion? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.


Chapter One Excerpt

This was going to be his winning year—the championship, the scholarship, and the right girl. Devon already had one win chalked up—Kristen Wright. In a few weeks, he’d nail that championship. Then he’d reel in the basketball scholarship. School of his choice.

“Yo, Champ!” Colin’s shout came from down the hall. 

Devon shut his locker and raised his arm in a salute. “Not yet.” But oh so close. He could feel it. He tipped his head toward the cafeteria. “Come on. I’m low on fuel.”

On the way down the hall, he barely felt the floor underfoot. He didn’t try to cover the grin. He’d hovered over earth ever since last Saturday’s awesome game. No, last Saturday’s more than super-awesome game. The Tsunanis had controlled the ball almost the whole time, and he’d never missed a basket. They were on their way to the varsity state basketball championships, and Oceanside High all but held that trophy by its silver-plated handles. Devon’s palms tingled, already feeling the excitement. The high point of his junior year was only a little more than four weeks ahead. 

Devon pushed through the cafeteria door and stopped short when cheers downed out the buzz of the lunch crowd. 

“Go Carlyle!”

“Go Tsunamis!”

Colin stood alongside him and pumped his arms. 

“Knock it off, grandstander.” He soft-jabbed his friend, and to damp down the excitement inside, Devon took a plate and started with a generous plop of mashed potatoes. He’d carb out today. With trays loaded, the two of them made for their usual table.

They passed Simon, who scowled at them then turned his back. He’d been off his jump shots during most of the game. The more mistakes Simon made, the worse he played. Devon would have felt sorry for the guy if he wasn’t always such a jerk, on and off the court.

Once Coach took Simon out, the Tsunamis won in a walk.
Pinky McCloud gave them the thumbs up on their way past his table, but Devon acted as if he hadn’t seen it. Pinky was nothing but trouble. 

Colin patted Devon on the back. “You couldn’t miss a shot out there last night, man.”

Nothing made Devon feel better than kudos from his best friend. But he already knew he’d been at the top of his game, exactly where he meant to stay. 

“We’ve got it made this year,” Colin said, pulling out a chair and straddling it with his long legs.

Devon set down his tray. “We’ve worked our butts off for this. Here’s to the Tsunamis! Numero Uno!”

Silently, he saluted himself. College scouts would be at those playoffs, including one for every school he planned to apply to. All he had to do was play like he had Saturday night, and he’d have a scholarship in the bag. By the time he graduated next year, he’d have everything he’d always wanted: a great college, basketball, and money to help out with his room and board.

Leaning across to Devon, Colin whispered, “Susan at eleven o’clock.”

Devon choked and swiped at his mouth. There was no place to hide, and he couldn’t duck out the door because Susan stood in the way. She still stalked him even though he’d broken up with her months ago. He shielded his eyes with one hand. “Please tell me she’s not coming our way.”

“No can do.”

Devon got to his feet, but Susan blocked him. 

“Hi, Dev.” She stood there with that look of How can you possibly not want me anymore? Her blouse gaped, showing off some sexy lace, and her jeans snugged against her thighs. Skin couldn’t be any closer on a body. Before he could duck, she stroked his chin. “You can’t stay mad at me forever.” 

He took her wrist and was pushing her hand away when he looked up into Kristen’s dark eyes. She hurled sparks across the cafeteria. Before he could stop her, she stomped out of the room. 

“Damn it, Susan. Thanks a lot.”

***
Order this book on AMAZON &  SMASHWORDS
NOT GUILTY on Goodreads

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Author Interview with Julia Tannenbaum


We were lucky to interview Julia Tannenbaum after recently sharing about her debut book Changing Ways. How exciting to read a YA book that is actually written by someone in high school! We hope you enjoy learning more about the story behind the story. 



What inspired you to write Changing Ways?

Changing Ways was inspired by my struggles with mental illness. In eighth grade, I was battling an
eating disorder and depression. I was unable to talk about what I was going through and suffered in silence until I discovered writing. Writing became my voice and my escape. Without writing, I honestly don’t know if I would have found the strength to commit to recovery. Five years later, I decided I wanted to use my passion to help other people in the way that it helped me. I wanted to create a realistic, authentic story to spread awareness and understanding of mental illness. So that’s what I did.

How long did it take you to write Changing Ways?
           
It look me a little over a year to write Changing Ways. I started writing it over the summer of 2017, when my family was visiting a friend in California. I finished six months later, and then spent six more months editing until it was ready for publication.

What is your writing process like? Do you listen to music? Write in a special place? Edit as you go or write and then edit?

I’m a disorganized writer. I rarely write in chronological order; instead, I jump around a lot and cut and paste as I go. I usually wait until I’ve finished the entire manuscript to begin editing, although I do reread scenes and chapters along the way to make sure they flow. I love listening to music, as it helps me get in the right mindset. When I’m writing, I need quiet, and therefore do most of my work in my office.

What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?

I’ve always been an avid reader. I used to go through at least two books a week. My favorite author is J.K. Rowling. She’s such an inspiration to me with her writing, success, and ability to overcome adversity.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

California. I was born there, so I’d love to move back when I’m older. I’m not a fan of winter and tend to hole up in my house when it’s cold outside—my moms can attest to that.

If you could befriend a character from your book, who would you befriend? Why?

I’d befriend Grace’s best friend, Lou, in a heartbeat. While a lot of Changing Ways is based on my own experiences, unfortunately, she isn’t. I’d love to have a friend like her; someone who accepts me for who I am, supports me in tough times, and just makes me smile.

Is there anything you’ve learned along your path to publication that you would like to share with new writers?

I’d encourage new writers to not be afraid to reach out for help. I’m self-taught, so initially, I was reluctant to let other people in. I was convinced that I could write and publish Changing Ways on my own, but over time, I realized that to make my book as best as possible, I needed to swallow my pride and get help. Looking back now, if it weren’t for my amazing team of editors, mentors, and marketers, Changing Ways certainly wouldn’t be in the place it is today.


Where can we purchase your book?

My book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Changing Ways~ A YA Book By Julia Tannenbaum

CHANGING WAYS- A BOOK ABOUT GROWING UP, WRITTEN BY A TEEN!

Growing up sucks. Struggling to cope with the constant stress of school, her mother, and her confusing social life, sixteen-year-old Grace Edwards finds sanity in the most destructive of ways: dieting and self-harming. But just when Grace thinks she has everything under control, a classmate catches her cutting in the girls’ locker room, and Grace’s entire life is flipped upside down. Now she’s faced with the unthinkable – a stint in a psych ward with kids who seem so much worse than she is. After all, she’s not sick. She’s totally okay. She’ll never do it again. But the longer Grace stays, the more she realizes that the kids in the ward aren’t that different from her. Slowly Grace comes to terms with her mental illness, but as her discharge date crawls closer, she knows that the outside world is an unpredictable place . . . and one which whispers temptations about hidden food, dangerous objects, and failure to stay in recovery. ~Amazon



MEET THE AUTHORJulia Tannenbaum discovered her love for writing when she was thirteen, and since then has been featured in the anthologies Dear Mr. President, Girls Write the World, and Inside My World. Drawing from personal experiences, she often incorporates her struggles with mental illness into her fictional work. She is a currently a high school senior and lives in West Hartford, Connecticut with her family and four cats. Changing Ways is her debut novel.

We are so excited to feature Julia Tannenbaum on our blog and were lucky enough to interview her. We'll be sharing our interview with readers soon!

Has anyone else read Changing Ways by Julia Tannenbaum? Or have you read another A book written by a teen?  We'd love to hear your thoughts!