WORST CASE by @BeckAndersonID #YoungAdult #Romance #Sale

Worst Case
by Beck Anderson
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Cover Designer: Caroline Tse
Release Date: January 16, 2018

This is a lovely story. Here’s my 5 star review.

Worst CaseWorst Case by Beck Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Face the Worst Case

Anxiety is weird. When we feel anxious, we try to avoid the thing that’s jacking up our sympathetic nervous system. Too bad avoidance often increases anxiety. The best strategy for reducing anxiety is to approach it head-on–ask a honey out on a date, deliver public speeches, drive to a friend’s over snowy roads–but who has the gumption to do that?

Vivi Lewis just might be the one.

Vivi is a 17 year old whose mother’s nervous system is on overdrive. Convinced the world is dangerous, her mother keeps uprooting her from town to town, running from her fears. Her mother even has the gall to move her to Idaho in the midst of Vivi’s senior year.

What an interesting setting for the story: Coeur d’Alene. I lived in eastern Washington for a year and still remember the breathtaking views of the lake and resort when I visited this northern Idaho town. But Vivi’s mother hasn’t moved her here for the view. It’s another ploy by her mother to avoid her crippling anxiety.

Thankfully a neighbor boy, Win, makes Vivi feel right at home from the get-go. He’s got his own secret worst case that has made him wise beyond his years.

Vivi has inherited her mother’s anxious brain, which includes worry and panic attacks but also the gifts of anxiety: kindness, intelligence, and keen observational skills, like:

The space thing, I’ve always been fascinated by it. Grown-ups take up a lot of space, most of them. Men. They spread out on bus seats. They take their half of the hallway out of the middle.

Win does this, but not in a man-spread, irritating way. In a “clear the way, here he comes” kind of way. He is noticed, and people move for him.

A path clears for Win. And here I am, riding in his wake. What an intoxicating feeling.

*nods* I agree with Vivi. On airplanes, I seek a seat next to a woman, not a man, because of this space thing. I’m not a small person and the women next to me might not be small either, but they don’t tend to “spread out” like men do. (PS I love men but I don’t want to be cramped on a long flight!)

Sounds like Vivi has had some therapy–too bad her mother is reluctant to see a therapist–and I like this metaphor:

It sucks, anxiety. I had a psychologist once who told me it’s best to try to think of anxiety like it’s the flu. When you have the flu, you don’t get owned by it. It doesn’t dominate you, it doesn’t define you. It’s just something you have, and you deal with it.

I enjoyed Vivi’s quirky humor, like when she tries paddle boarding:

Win’s out in the water, up to the waist, and when I put a toe in, it’s really, really cold.

“It feels hypothermic. Like Jack-and-Rose cold.”

…or when an annoying but lovable girlfriend makes a big deal of her kissing Win:

Phoebe jumps up and down.

Win breaks the kiss and pulls me into a hug. “Don’t move. If we’re still, maybe she’ll move on.”

“She’s not a tyrannosaurus rex. She can still see us,” I murmur. But I’d be happy to just stand here in his arms.

Vivi and Win keep alluding to the big talk they need to have, revealing their inner demons, and I think it takes a bit too long for them to share their secrets. The build-up makes their secrets seem anticlimactic, when upon reflection, family problems like these would challenge any teen.

Beck Anderson’s straightforward writing style and unique observations of the world continue to impress me. I’ll read anything she writes!

So, back to facing anxiety. When I have “what-if” questions, like “What if I don’t get my to-do list done?”, instead of trying to banish those thoughts from my mind, cognitive-behavioral therapy has taught me to go deep into the worst-case scenario and imagine coping with it. I ask myself three questions: 1) What’s the worst case scenario? 2) What’s the likelihood of that event? and 3) Even if that unlikely worst case scenario happens, could I handle it? Asking these questions convinces me that I won’t *die* if I fail to finish my to-do list.

Luckily for Vivi and Win, they help each other face their own worst cases, and it’s a worthy journey.

View all my reviews

Will she risk the fall and take a leap of faith?

Vivi Lewis just wants to stay in one place for more than a minute. It’s April of her senior year, for crying out loud, and here she is again, packed into a beat-up white Toyota with her anxiety-ridden single mom, fleeing the Washington coast. She hopes that this move—the one that’s taken them inland to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho—will finally be their true fresh start.

There’s little to indicate this time will be much different from all the others…until Vivi meets Win Kemper at the city bus stop before her first day of school. Win and Vivi are a perfect match—both self-defined weirdos. Vivi trusts Win, and their time together is a whirlwind of cliff-jumping and paddleboarding, a life immersed in nature that would have given her, and especially her mom, a panic attack in the past. Their instant spark becomes a rock-solid friendship, and might be even more, if Vivi can stick around long enough to experience it.

But having a reason to stay also raises the stakes. Running from their fears has never made Vivi and her mom safe enough before, and now everything she has to lose appears in sharp relief. Can she find the strength to separate herself from her mother? Will the burgeoning bond she and Win share be enough to get them beyond the last twenty-six days of senior year—even when the worst-case scenario comes to pass?

Beck Anderson believes in the power of perfectly imperfect women and in the healing power of love.

A two-time Rita© finalist, she’s the author of five novels including the Fix You series and The Jeweler. Her newest YA romance, Worst Case, releases 1/16/18.

Beck balances (clumsily at best) writing novels and screenplays, working full-time as an educator, mothering two boys, loving one husband, and making time to walk the foothills of Boise, Idaho, with Stefano DiMera Delfino Anderson, the suavest Chihuahua north of the border.

Email:  contact@authorbeck.com

Beside Your Heart by @WordyMary #Review #Interview #Giveaway


It’s time to celebrate The Heart Series by Mary Whitney! I loved book one (Beside Your Heart) as you can see in my review. Stick around for the interview and generous giveaway.

Beside Your Heart (Beside Your Heart, #1)Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Beginning of Across-the-Pond Romance

I’ve had my eye on this series for some time and I’m glad I finally read book one.

When political operative Nicki Johnson googles her high school love Adam Kincaid, she finds out he’s dating an English aristocrat named Muff.

I gaped at the photo. I’d never seen Adam dressed so well. He wore a dark gray morning coat with tails, a vest, tie, and striped trousers. Next to him, Mary or Muff or Twat — whatever her name was — wore a pale pink coat dress.

The discovery fuels a sense of longing as well as many memories of the past. Beside Your Heart explores how Nicki and Adam meet in high school. I seem to enjoy New Adult more than Young Adult these days, so I think I’ll enjoy the next two novels about their adult romance better.

Nicki’s younger sister died in a harrowing car accident, and she is mired in grief throughout the story. Coupled with what happens to the relationship between Nicki and Adam, a sad tone pervades the novel. But Adam is lovely in how he helps her through her grief.

Her grandmother explains grief well:

“At times, your grandfather’s passing is as hard for me today as it was the day he died, but the pain isn’t as constant anymore. I can go days and even weeks of going along in my life with nothing. The it can hit me out of the blue, and I feel the grief all over again. Other times, you know when a bad patch of pain is coming…birthdays, holidays.”

I loved all the Englishisms, like shagging, snogging, and spotted dick, hehe.

Overall this is a well-written story about first love.

View all my reviews

And now for the interview with Mary Whitney…


Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, Mary! As you can see, I truly enjoyed Beside Your Heart. What were some inspirations for this story?

Mary Whitney (MW): Well, thank you! You’re a doll.

It was triggered by an old memory. I’m old enough to remember when ecstasy was legal back in the 80s, and I remembered going to a party the night before it was made a controlled substance. The funny thing was that no one was on X. They were all drinking. I was telling the story to a friend one day which sort of mentally sent me back to high school. My mom had also recently died, so I’d been wanting to write something to explore grief. Beside Your Heart isn’t autobiographical at all, though. Sadly in my high school, the male exchange students from overseas were never good looking!

JL:
How does your law degree affect your writing?

MW: You can say people write about what we know. I’ve never wanted to write about laws, but I think people involved in law, law enforcement, and politics can be interesting – sometimes even in their boringness!

JL: I’m also drawn to writing about politics, especially romantic partners who spar over opposing beliefs. Tell us about your political romances and how politics might play out in books two and three of The Heart Series.

MW: I love a good debate, so romantic banter is just fun for me to read and write. With Nicki and Adam, their banter is driven by their differing cultures, though their political leanings are pretty similar. In my book, Compromising Positions, it’s a Republican and a Democrat, which makes for meaty, but playful conversation.

JL: I see in your bio you’ve lived all over the US! What’s been your favorite location?

MW: Honestly, I think there are great things and bad things about every place I’ve lived. Right now, I live in northern California which is pretty awesome, except for the drought and earthquakes.

JL: What are you working on now?

MW: I’m finishing up my next book, Attached. It’s true New Adult so it will be a departure for me. I’m also working on the audiobooks for No Ordinary Guy and Compromising Positions. David from Beside Your Heart is the main character in No Ordinary Guy. He’s Adam’s cheeky cousin, so the narrator is also a Brit. Compromising Positions is dual narration for both male and female POVs. Everything is out in June, so things are busy right now!

I can’t thank you enough for this interview. I’m always tickled when people want to chat! Thanks again!

JL: Thank you for stopping by, Mary, and good luck with your writing.


***GIVEAWAY***

Mary Whitney is giving away an ENTIRE EBOOK BOX SET of The Heart Series (Beside Your Heart, Disclosure of the Heart, and Forever Your Heart) to a lucky winner!

And another winner will receive an ebook of No Ordinary Guy

To win, comment on this post and leave your email address. If you don’t want to write your email address, contact me at jenniferlanebooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

Finally, I hope you had a Happy Easter for those who celebrate. I got my Pinterest on and made this Easter Bread Bunny–so fun!

Cover Reveal: Entwined by @CherieColyer


ENTWINED
 an Embrace Series Novel by Cherie Colyer


Synopsis:
Only a few months after embracing her magical powers, defeating a dark witch, and banishing a faerie prince back to his realm, sixteen-year-old Madison Riley is back in book three of the Embrace series—and doing the bidding of a demon. She has no choice but to do so if she wants him to honor the deal they made to save the life of someone she loves. Twenty years of service to a creature of hell is a big price, but one she’s willing to pay. And it sure beats the alternative: selling her soul.
But life gets complicated when you’re the beck-and-call witch of a crossroad demon. Caden, the demon she serves, wants to become master of Death Himself, and with Madison at his side he has the means to do it.
  
It’s up to Madison and her coven to foil his plans, but Caden’s intentions aren’t entirely evil—and the kisses he seals his deals with aren’t too bad either. As Caden’s motives test Madison’s trust, his shameful flirting tries her boyfriend Isaac’s patience. But being caught between two supernatural hotties is perhaps the least of her concerns when the coven’s interference in Caden’s plot might just cost Madison her life and unleash hell on earth.
Author: Cherie Colyer
Title: Entwined (Embrace #3)
Genre: Young Adult Supernatural Romance
ISBN: 9781623421977
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Available in Ebook and Paperback
Twitter: @CherieColyer

Cover Reveal: Defenseless by @ElisaDane (The Diamond Girls #3)

Defenseless (Diamond Girls #3)


Release Date: 01/17/15

Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

High school senior Claire Reilly’s world revolves around All-Star cheerleading. The Diamond Girls are gearing up for a major competition, which, if they win will allow them to compete at Worlds for the first time. But the unimaginable happens, and both Claire and her team are rocked by a devastating loss. Determined to get to Worlds any way she can, Claire finds help from the last person she imagined would give it—up and coming UFC fighter and notorious bad boy, Ryker Vaughn.

Fouled out of the octagon by a dirty opponent and a vicious kick to the head, Ryker loses control when he learns he may never fight again. Angry over the loss of his mother, an unsupportive family, and the world in general, he gives up, gives in, and unleashes his rage—destroying part of his cousin’s cheer gym in the process. Things go from bad to worse when Ryker is given an ultimatum: help the Diamond Girls compete for a bid to Worlds, or go to jail.

Overwhelmed with anger, sadness, and grief, the unlikely pair learn that what you see is not always what you get, and that the most difficult losses sometimes open the door to a frightening, yet amazing new future.


Companion books in this series:
(covers linked to Goodreads)



About the Author: Elisa Dane


I’m a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!

I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it’s my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.

Author Links:


Cover Reveal Organized by:

#Interview and #Giveaway of Shadow’s Dangers by Cindy Mezni

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming awesome reader friend Mitsy Princell to the blog, to interview creative storyteller Cindy Mezni about book one in her Last Hope series: Shadow’s Dangers.


Get it HERE for only $.99.

Appearances can be deceiving…

Losing a loved one is never easy. Although Deliah learned to live without her parents when fate took them from her as a young girl, history repeats itself and causes her to face even greater challenges when Tess, the woman who raised her and was like a second mother to her, passes away. But even worse than dealing with her loss is the coinciding arrival of inexplicable nightmares that haunt Deliah’s nights.

She becomes consumed with images she didn’t understand and a recurrent dream about her parents’ car accident. Oddly, this dream details different versions from what she had always been told about the accident.

But when a new family, The Wates, arrive in town and begin to pay close attention to her, even stranger events follow. Now, Deliah must not only face her nightmares, but the possibility that a world she never suspected exists. And this world may cost her everything.


~*~

I met Mitsy on Goodreads and she’s a wonderful supporter of authors. Mitsy is super excited about Cindy’s work, and wants to share her love of Shadow’s Dangers with YOU. And onto the interview–take it away, ladies!



Reader Mitsy Princell (MP): How long did it take you to write Shadow’s Dangers?

Author Cindy Mezni (CM): Writing the first draft took me between 3-4 months. It’s modifying and rewriting some scenes and even some chapters that took a lot more time.

MP: Where did you get the idea? It’s so completely different and imaginative.

CM: I’ve always been a fan of paranormal books and I really wanted to write my own but I didn’t want it to be another vampire or werewolf story. And then, one day, I heard about polymorphs and after that, it didn’t take long for me to develop the story of The Last Hope series.

MP: How many books are going to be in the series?

CM: There will be four books in The Last Hope series. Book 2 is written but I still have some changes to do on the story and book 3 is partly written.

MP: When is book two coming out?

CM: There’s no release date yet but as soon as I have one, I’ll post something about it to let everyone know.

MP: On Facebook, your profile is all in French so are you writing your books in both English and French? First author I’ve ever known that could write in both languages. Impressive. 🙂

CM: In fact, my profile is in French – and sometimes in English, even if I had another Facebook page for my English-speaking readers – and yes, I’m writing my books in both languages. Actually, I first write them in French and then, I translate them in English. And thank you for the compliment and for the interview 🙂



Giveaway! Cindy is offering an ebook of Shadow’s Dangers to an international winner. To enter, simply comment on the interview and please include your email address in the comment.

New Release BREAKING FREE by SM Koz: Review, Interview, FREE on Amazon


I had the pleasure of reading the ARC of Breaking Free, a YA/NA contemporary romance by SM KOZ.


It’s free on Amazon 8/1 and 8/2…get after it HERE.

First is my review, then an interview with the author.

Breaking FreeBreaking Free by S.M. Koz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love Blooms in Wilderness Program

This New Adult romance will be released 8-1-14, and the psychological aspects of the story enticed me to read an advanced copy.

Kelsie is a 17-year-old cheerleader who’s a hot mess. Her best friend died in a car accident, and Kelsie unfairly blames herself. To numb her emotional pain, she starts self-injuring. While cutting oneself is horrifying, I didn’t fully appreciate the horror until I was right there with Kelsie, feeling her pain and her disgust from taking it out on her body.

To try to curb her harmful behavior, Kelsie’s father sends her to a wilderness therapy program. She is ill-prepared and ticked off, with her huge suitcase and even bigger attitude. But the counselor Chris knows just how to handle her, and Kelsie settles down enough to get through the first day, eventually growing closer to the other teens in the program.

JC is the young man who captures her attention the most. He’s athletic, light-hearted, and also blames himself for a loved one dying.

Keslie tells her story to the woman hired to keep her safe—Marta—after she finishes the program. Therefore, the novel consists of flashbacks, which might not have been the best choice for the pacing of the plot. I thought the story took a while to get going. Also, the nicknames Kelsie bestows on each program participant seemed to interfere with clarity and my connection to the characters.

But once the plot kicks into gear, I was riveted. Another boy in the program has it out for JC, and a brewing storm threatens the safety of the group. That’s when Kelsie is forced to grow up fast, discovering that people may not be what they seem.

I dislike when parents are portrayed as incompetent twits in YA and NA stories. Though Kelsie’s stepmother is a shrew, I’m glad her father works hard at redeeming himself.

Kelsie’s interactions with JC provide much-needed lightness given the darkness they’ve experienced. The characters seem to be their age, which I appreciate.

I grab a handful of shirts and organize them by type, short-sleeved or long-sleeved, and color. After a few minutes, JC stands behind me and places his hand around my waist. “You really are OCD.”
“Is that a problem for you?”
“Yes, that is the final straw. I can handle everything else, but putting my shirts in rainbow order is too much.”


I loved the ending, which left me with a relieved, buoyant feeling. This is a wonderful debut novel!

View all my reviews


And now an interview with SM Koz:

Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, SM! How did you get started as an author?


SM Koz (SK)Thanks for inviting me! Technically, I first started writing about nine years ago. The story was a murder mystery that took place on a cruise ship and one of the main characters had an English bulldog named Penelope. I wrote two pages, realized it was too hard, and then never looked at it again for five years. After my husband and I moved to a sleepy little village, I found myself with a lot of free time. One day while I was cleaning up computer files, I ran across my story with Penelope and was somewhat impressed by what I read. Having lots of time on my hands, I decided to write a full-length YA novel. That one was about a girl who moves to the beach to live with her older sister for the summer and falls in love with a boy as they help a stranded dolphin, named Maurice, recover from a mysterious illness. That one will never be published, but it’s fun to go back and see what my first attempt at a novel was like. Since then, I’ve been writing about one book a year, some fanfiction and some original. Breaking Free is the only one I feel compelled to publish at this time, though.

JL: Blogger Christina Rodriguez recommended I read Breaking Free for the psychological elements, and I’m grateful she did! What inspired the therapy aspect of this story?


SK: I love Christina’s blog! Not many people are aware of this, but she helped me with my translations. As you know, I have a couple Hispanic characters, so I wanted to make sure my rudimentary Spanish made for realistic dialogue. She was a huge help!

As far as the inspiration for the story, I have a friend and a family member who have both cut in the past. When I first learned about self-injury, I didn’t understand why people would purposely hurt themselves and, therefore, I thought it was to attract attention. I ended up spending quite a bit of time researching the topic, which opened my eyes. Most people who cut don’t do it for attention. In fact, like Kelsie in the book, they try to hide what they’re doing. They’re ashamed, but it’s beyond their control as it has become an addictive coping mechanism to try and deal with their overwhelming emotions, whether it’s depression, anxiety, whatever.

After learning so much about self-injury, I wanted to help others who were in my position—wishing to help their friends, but not understanding how to or even why their friends did what they did. That’s when I decided to turn it into a story. Because I typically write adventure-filled books, I knew immediately that the main characters would be in the wilderness for their therapy and run into some unexpected hurdles along the way. I think it ended up being a nice mix of emotion, suspense, and romance with a couple plot twists to keep things interesting.

JL: You’re getting some lovely reviews. What has been your favorite comment about your debut novel?


SK: Thanks. It’s hard to pick just one, but there have been a couple people who have commented on the realistic nature of the story. Furthermore, some of these individuals have indicated they themselves have experience with cutting. Although I did an incredible amount of research for this book, it’s always challenging to write about something that you have no firsthand experience with. So, receiving this type of feedback provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. If people who share similar backgrounds are able to relate and connect to Kelsie, then I hope they’ll find strength in her story and learn better coping methods for their own self-injury behaviors. With Breaking Free, if I prevent or help stop one person from cutting, then I’ll feel like it was a success.

JL: I see on Goodreads that you’re planning a Young Adult novel next. What draws you to YA?


SK: Initially, I thought it would be easier. My story with Penelope was meant for adults, but I felt like my plot wasn’t complex enough for that audience. So, I switched to YA for my next one, but after writing the entire thing, I determined that plot was way too simplistic even for teen readers. That’s when I realized YA isn’t differentiated from adult fiction by complexity or writing quality, it’s about the type of story, the characters, and unique conflicts.

I enjoy slipping into the complex minds of teenage characters. They don’t always do what you’d expect or behave the way you’d like them to, but that’s okay. It’s all about their underlying nature. Everyone makes mistakes as they grow into the person they want to be. I enjoy playing with that because I think it allows for more interesting characterization and a lot of internal conflict as well as external.

Breaking Free is my first book that really focuses on the emotional complexities of the main character as the major plot line, though. I thought I might have a difficult time writing this type of story, but the words flowed relatively easily. In fact, I wrote this three time faster than anything else I’ve written. I’m not sure, but think I might have found my niche 🙂

JL: Thanks for visiting the blog, SM, and best of luck on your writing career!

SKThanks so much for having me!

Review and Interview: Ex Factor by Elisa Dane

Today I welcome awesome author Elisa Dane to the blog! First I’ll review her Young Adult romance Ex Factor, then I’ll interview her. Stick around for the giveaway at the end.

Ex-Factor (Diamond Girls, #1)Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Truth and Consequences

Teenager Nev is a former gymnast whose life has undergone startling transitions. She gets uprooted to live with her aunt and cousin in northern California when her father dies and her mother succumbs to a debilitating illness. Not only is she disoriented in this new place, but she’s also overwhelmed by guilt. Just what secrets hide behind that guilt?

Nev’s cousin Livvie is on a competitive cheer team, X Factor, and Nev’s tumbling expertise makes her a shoo-in for the team. At first Nev balks at joining the Diamond Girls squad because tumbling in a gym sparks painful memories of her mother. But by flying through the air again, she slowly finds her footing, and her recovery is a beautiful thing.

It’s cool to catch a glimpse into the world of competitive cheer — a world the author clearly knows. The cheer coaches are so demanding and vulgar that I thought they were football coaches:

“Flyers! Pretend you’ve got a dollar bill stuck between your butt cheeks, and squeeze it ’til it screams!”

“I don’t care if you rip your pee pees, I want those toe touches up past your ears!”

Ew. LOL. Luckily the coaches have a soft side, and Nev forms some close friendships with her teammates.

Nev’s first encounter with a boy is charming playah Eli. Although Eli is supposedly dating Nev’s new friend Erin, Eli hits on Nev non-stop. Nev doesn’t want to hurt Erin’s feelings by telling her, but is also uncomfortable keeping his skeezeball behavior quiet.

Another boy, Bodie, is cold and rude to her. Too bad she tingles with good feels every time he’s around. But Bodie also has a checkered past, and maybe he is more attracted to her than he seems. I love how they share pieces of themselves, gradually unfurling their truths as they both face the consequences of their actions. They both feel damaged beyond repair.

For a minute, I was just a regular girl, he was just a regular boy, and we were both enjoying the moment.

Nev has a biting sense of humor:

I was pretty darn sure he had a thing for my hair, and there was a good part of me that wanted to pull a Marcia Brady and never wash the stuff again because he’d touched it.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Nev’s attempt to heal, supported by Bodie, also packs an emotional punch, and I found myself tearing up in parts.

The story has a solid message about the dangers of drunk driving. My one complaint was Bodie’s term of endearment for Nev: Doll Face. It got a little repetitive for me.

Ex-Factor is book one in the Diamond Girl series, and thankfully book two: Unbreakable is also available. Roundoff-back handspring-double full!

View all my reviews
 

Jennifer Lane (JL): Ms. Lane welcomes Ms. Dane to the blog! I loved Ex Factor and look forward to Unbreakable. What inspired the series?

Elisa Dane (ED): Thanks for having me! I’m so glad you enjoyed Nev and Bodie’s story. I’ve wanted to write a contemporary YA involving cheerleaders for quite some time. All three of my girls have grown up in their cheer gym, and their dedication and passion for their sport inspires me daily. After attending the Every 15 Minutes mock crash and assembly during my oldest daughter’s senior year, I knew I had a story to tell and the series took off from there.

JL: What made you take Ex Factor in an emotional, dramatic direction?

ED: I was moved to tears by what I witnessed during the Every 15 Minutes assembly at my daughter’s school. The program that year was especially moving as the class lost one of their own to drinking and driving. Listening to a big, tough man weep over the senseless loss of his son marked me, and I knew if I felt as deeply about the subject, others would too. Drinking and driving is a HUGE problem, as is the invincibility complex most teens seem to struggle with. It’s always been my hope that Nev and Bodie’s story would make an impact on the reader and maybe keep them from making a fatal mistake.

JL: What are the biggest misunderstandings about competitive cheer?

ED: Oh, Lordy! There are quite a few. I think the biggest burn comes from those who say that All Star cheer isn’t a sport. I mean…c’mon! The  International Olympic Committee recognizes the game of chess as a sport. Chess! Competitive cheer involves two and a half minute routine filled with running tumbling, standing tumbling, jumping, dance, and a mixture of daredevil stunts. The athletes train for countless hours conditioning and perfecting each of the required skills. My middle daughter made an all-girl level-5 team this season. That’s the highest level you can compete at before moving into the college cheer category. She trains five to six days a week for a minimum of four hours. Some days she’s at the gym in the morning, and then goes back for another practice in the afternoon. Competitive cheerleaders are athletic BEASTS and should be recognized as such. Well, in my opinion, anyway!

JL: How did your daughters get involved in cheerleading?

ED: This is our tenth year with our gym. Honestly, we’ve been there for so long, I’m not sure how we started! I’m pretty sure a mom from one of my daughter’s play groups told me about the gym, and things rolled from there. Our cheer gym has become a permanent part of our lives 🙂

JL: I’m one of three daughters. (Youngest children RULE!) What have been the joys and challenges of parenting three girls?

ED: Ha! My youngest daughter would agree with you! Raising three girls can be a challenge for sure. Especially when two of them cycle together. Eeeep! Despite the squabbling that sometimes occurs over misplaced articles of clothing and the like, I find raising three girls to be extremely rewarding. I love watching them mature and make good decisions. I love watching them succeed and school and at cheer. My girls are my biggest accomplishment.

JL: You are quite tech-savvy (thanks for your help with Instagram!) What helps you stay current with technology?

ED: Thank you! I’m always happy to help! Oh goodness… Desperation, maybe? Just kidding! I’m always on the hunt for ways to connect with my readers. I’m on pretty much every social media platform out there, however some I enjoy more than others. I LOVE Instagram and Youtube. The reach is huge and I feel like I  really connect with people on those venues.

JL: Thank you for visiting the blog, Elisa! What’s next for you?

ED: Thanks for having me! Book #3 in the Diamond Girls series is currently with my editor at Swoon Romance. I can’t wait for you all to meet the hero, Ryker Vaughn! He’s a broken
fighter, and the perfect match for sassy Claire. Readers will need a box of tissues for this story as well 🙂

READERS: Enter the giveaway for an ebook of Ex Factor by leaving a comment with your email address.