Tag Archives: YA

The Truth Shall Set You Free ~ VERUM by Courtney Cole @Court_Writes #contest

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by Courtney Cole

Verum by Courtney ColeThe truth shall set you free.

My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

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Enjoy An ExcerptTogether, we float to the surface, still intertwined. We break through the top and I suck in a breath and Dare is staring into my eyes.

There’s tension here, but not the bad kind. It’s the kind that ignites you, the kind that intoxicates you, the kind that once you taste it, you’ll crave for the rest of your life.

I’ve forgotten that I was going to be careful, that I was going to reject him on every level.

All I can remember, all I can focus on, is how veryalive Dare DuBray is making me feel in this moment, how alive he always makes me feel.

For a girl who has been surrounded by death her entire life, this is a very big deal.

“I’m a little afraid of you,” I blurt honestly, and Dare still has his arms around me. Our treading water motions keep our legs rubbing together, the friction still there.




Dare smiles, but there is no humor in it.



My honesty makes me seem innocent, but I don’t know how to play games. I have no experience with the opposite sex at all.

“Because that makes you feel something.”

But he’s hesitant now and he looks away. There’s something he wants to say, it’s balanced on the tip of his tongue, but he swallows it.

“What is it?” I ask softly. “Just tell me.”

He wants to, I can tell. His secrets are killing him. He just wants to be normal, he’s just acting out a role.

I don’t know why I feel like I know this. It’s just there, suddenly resting on my heart.

“You don’t have to be someone you’re not,” I murmur quietly. His dark eyes snap up to mine and he pulls his hands away. There’s something in his eyes now, something guarded, and our easy afternoon has come to an end.

“What makes you think I am?” he snaps. “Pretending to be something I’m not, I mean.”

I’ve somehow annoyed him, and I don’t answer because I don’t know what to say.

“I’m not being someone I’m not, Calla,” he says coolly as he strides from the water. “I’m being who you need me to be.”

I’m utterly confused, and I’m dripping wet.

“We don’t have towels,” is all he says when I follow him. My clothing soaks up the water and it is a very cold ride back home.

Dare doesn’t say another word and I leave him in the garage.

I don’t see him at dinner, and I don’t see him the rest of the night.

But as I lay in bed around midnight, I see his car leave the garage.

I don’t see him come home, and I’m awake for half the night waiting.

I have no idea where he goes when he slips away.

Somehow, I think he wants it that way.

There’s a fork in the road and even though I see it, I can’t avoid it.

One road goes left, one goes right, and neither of them end well.

I feel it in my bones,

In my bones,

In my bones.

I sing a song of nonsense, and it sings back. The notes echo and twist in the air, and I swallow them whole.

“Come out,” I call behind me, because I know they’re there.

I can’t see them, but they’re always watching.

Eyes appear, blood red, and they blink once, twice, three times.

“I can see you,” I announce and there’s a growl and then I’m crushed beneath the dark, beneath the weight, beneath the oppression.

“You don’t scare me,” I lie.

There’s savagery here, there’s grace.

But above all, there’s oblivion and no matter what I do, I will be sucked into it.

I know it.

I feel it.

I’m crazy.

And it doesn’t matter.

I’m the rabbitrabbitrabbit and I’ll never be free.

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About the Author

Courtney ColeCourtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

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BEST FRIENDS ~ The 24 Hour Wooden Spoon Writing Challenge #YAlit #YoungAdult #FREEread

The 24hr Wooden Spoon Challenge

On Friday evening, I was challenged by an author I admire, D.L. Jackson, to participate in the 24 Hour Wooden Spoon Writing Challenge. She challenged me to write a 2,000 word Young Adult bi story with a sweet heat level. And Anastasia Vitsky, another wonderful author, added another challenge… No science fiction is allowed. Oh, and the story has to have a wooden spoon in it.

Well, I did it. I finished the story last night and sent it to those ladies to read. And now here’s the story for you to enjoy….


by Jessica E. Subject

© Jessica E. Subject, 2015

“Enough already.” I slammed the wooden spoon on the counter and stared across the island to Phaedra, pouting at the kitchen table. “Forget making cookies. We need to do something else to help you get over Coulson.”

As captain of the girls’ basketball team, my best friend had believed she was a perfect match for the captain of the boys’ team. I admit, they would look good together, both tall and fit, and with plenty in common. But, Coulson hadn’t believed the same thing. While we were all friends, he’d told Phaedra he didn’t see her as any more than one of his teammates, a buddy and nothing more. And he crushed her heart.

A week later, and I was still trying to cheer her up. Her game had suffered and she didn’t seem to care.

She buried her head under her arms. “Don’t even mention his name.”

I joined her at the table, laying my head on my arms. “Whether you like it or not, you’re going to see him again on Monday. And he still wants to be your friend. Why are you letting this get you down?”

“Never mind.” She pulled the hood of her sweatshirt over her head. “You wouldn’t understand.”

Ugh, not this argument again. Just because I chose to focus on my studies and sports, keys to getting into a good university, my friends believed I wasn’t interested in a relationship. The truth was, I hadn’t found anyone worth getting all googly-eyed over. I went to dances and stuff with guys, but they were usually using me to make another girl jealous. I didn’t care, I still had fun. And I wasn’t about to let my friend stop having fun, either.

“Let’s do something.” Somehow, some way, I would get her out of her slump.

“I thought we were baking cookies.”

I flipped her hood off her head and brushed her away her dark hair so I could actually see her face. “We were, but you weren’t helping very much. If Coach Gayl was in town, I would say we could go to the gym and shoot some hoops, but not today.”

“Proof I’m not supposed to do anything for the entire weekend.”

“C’mon, Phae, why do you have to be so difficult? I hate seeing you so down in the dumps.” I wish I could rewind back to the moments before she asked out Coulson, advise her not to do it. I usually tried to remain positive, but it was difficult with Miss Moppey-pants. Never mind how out of character this behavior was for her.

She groaned and finally sat up. “If you got a C on a test or assignment, you’d be like this, too. I’m sorry that you have a problem with me being upset.”

I put my hand over hears, craving my friend back, wanting to take away all the pain she felt. “I know, and you would do everything you could to cheer me up, too. I just don’t want to see you hurting, okay?”

She glanced at me, finally making eye contact. But her expression was unreadable, unlike any emotion I’d ever seen her convey before. She smiled, but then it wavered and she shook her head. “Fine. What do you want to do?”

“Let’s go skating.” My father built a rink in our backyard every winter, like many parents on the block. Growing up in Canada where hockey is the sport to play, everyone either had a rink in their backyard, or knew someone who did. It was mostly for my younger brother to practice his stellar hockey moves—the great goalie that he wanted to become. But when he wasn’t home, I liked to just go out and skate around without anyone telling me I was stopping wrong, or that I needed to take bigger strides.

“You know that’s not my idea of fun. Besides, I don’t have my skates here. I’ve lost them.” She raised her brows, as if she’d won and would get out of skating.

“You didn’t lose them, you just left them here. They’re in my room. I’ll go get them.” Before she could object, I rushed upstairs to grab the skates. Maybe the blast of cold air would knock her out of her funk, or just watching me fall on my butt. I may have been graceful on the court, but not so much on the ice. Even the skating lessons hadn’t helped. I think my instructor had deemed me unteachable when it came to moving around the rink. Hence why I never went out on the rink with my family home.

After finding the skates tucked in my closet, I rushed back down the stairs. Phaedra was already waiting in the mud room, getting her coat and mittens on. The temperature was better today, closer to the freezing point than it had been all week. As long as we kept moving on the ice, we wouldn’t get too cold. And as long as I didn’t crash into the snow bank at the edge of the rink, but hey, I wanted to stay positive.

Once we were both dressed in our winter gear and had our skates tied up as tight as possible, we wobbled outside. I wasn’t much better walking through the snow with my skates on than I was actually on the ice, but I made it to the bench without falling. We sat down to take off our skate guards—I hadn’t learned to take them off on the fly like my brother who always went racing outside of the house with his skates on right after he came home from school. Thank goodness a hockey tournament kept him away for the day.

I turned to Phaedra. “You ready for some laughs?”

She smiled, the twinkle in her eyes finally returning. “Sure, but it may be you laughing at me today. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the ice.”

Holding her hand, I shuffled toward the rink. Actually getting on was the hardest for me, the moment I fell most often. If I got on without landing on my butt, or taking Phaedra down with me, I’d won. And I did. No need to have to give up already from a bruised tailbone.

“Good work, Buzz. Now let’s see how long you can stay on your feet.”

I couldn’t help but smile, even if she was poking fun at me. Having her make jokes meant I had my best friend back again. She’d finally stopped dwelling on Coulson. And she was back to using my nickname. My name is Beth, Bethany to be exact, but all my friends called me B. I guess just to shorten it down. Somehow, when I reached high school and started playing basketball, my nickname changed to Buzz. I guess because of the insect, but I didn’t object. Though it really messed with our opponents when my teammates started buzzing around the court.

Phaedra skated around the rink ahead of me. Once, she’d been behind and had her own accident as a result of my fall. We’d both ended up limping off the ice and needed an cold pack for our injuries. With the championship games coming up, we couldn’t afford to get seriously hurt.

“So, is there someone else you have your eye one? Someone to take Coulson’s place?” Sure, she wasn’t totally over his rejection yet, but I wanted to put the idea in her head. If she focused her attention on someone else, maybe seeing him in the halls wouldn’t be so hard for her.

Phaedra spun around and grabbed my hands. A completely unexpected move. I lost my balance. My feet slid out from under me and I hit the surface of the ice, hard, taking my best friend down with me. The wind had been knocked out of me from the impact. I struggled to catch my breath.

Phaedra laughed beside me, obviously not as stunned as me. “You should have seen your face. Your mouth was a perfect o before you went down.”

I rolled onto my side and pushed myself up. “Yeah, funny. I think I’m going to sit for a minute.” Though my ego was more hurt than anything. Phaedra, who hadn’t donned a pair of skates all season, managed to learn to skate backward. Me, I couldn’t even go forward without falling.

Plopping onto the wooden bench that acted like a hockey bench when my brother’s friends came over, I wiped off the ice flakes and snow from my coat and pants. “I don’t get it. How am I the worst skater in the world?”

“And yet so graceful on the court?” Phaedra sat down beside her. “I’m not sure, but I’m glad you’re on my team.”

I let the warm fuzzies fill me for a moment, but I was more happy my best friend seemed to be feeling better. “And I’m glad your mood has improved.”

“Well, you got me thinking.” She put her hands behind her and leaned back on them, sticking her feet out in front of her. “There is someone else that I do like. Someone I’ve liked for a long time, but have been too afraid to tell them.”

“Who?” My best friend has a secret crush I didn’t know about? How was that even possible?

“I’m not sure I want to say. It’s not like with Coulson where I can go back to being friends with this person. I mean, if I tell them, it will change everything.”

I leaned forward, still in shock. “I don’t think it would be any different than Coulson. And I can’t believe you haven’t told me. I still am your best friend, right?”

“Yes.” She sighed and glanced down at her lap, brushing away snow that had just fallen on her pants. “That’s the problem, because it’s you I like.”

“Yeah, we’re best friends. I get that.” Why was she beating around the bush?

“No, I mean it’s you I have a crush on.”

“What?” I cocked my head to the side. “You have a crush on me?”

Phaedra put her head in her hands. “I never should have said anything. I’m so dumb.”

“No, you’re not.” A warmth I had never experienced before filled me, like coming inside on a cold day, yet different. There was a fluttering in my stomach I couldn’t explain. “It’s just, I thought you liked guys.”

“I do. I just like girls, too.” She glanced up, a tear streaming down her cheek.

I wiped it away. “Why are you crying?”

“Because I never should have said anything. I don’t want to lose my best friend.”

“I’m still here. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Really? You’re okay with it?”

“Yes.” Though maybe a bit surprised anyone would have a crush on me. “I just don’t understand why you didn’t tell me sooner.”

“I was afraid. I didn’t think you’d be so calm about it. Not with your family.”

“Hey, my uncle is gay, and my cousin is bisexual. And there are some members of my family I’m not too sure about.”


Seconds passed. And then minutes. Phaedra didn’t utter another word, and I didn’t know what to say. I’d never thought about dating anyone before, let alone a female, but now I couldn’t stop thinking about a dream I’d had about my best friend, where we’d kissed, and more. I’d brushed it aside, thinking it nothing more than stress about an upcoming game, but perhaps it meant something else.

I reached over and clasped Phaedra’s hand. “So, what do you want to do about your crush?”

UF6She gasped, looking at me with wide eyes. “You’re bisexual, too? Or a lesbian?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know what I am, but I wouldn’t object to being your best friend and your girlfriend.”

Phaedra squealed and wrapped her arms around me. “I can’t believe this. I must be dreaming.”

“No, not dreaming.” Not with the sudden tingling in my fingers and toes, the butterflies in my stomach now on overdrive.

She leaned back, clearing her throat. “Can I…. Can I kiss you?”

I nodded, my heart threatening to pound its way out of my chest.

Placing her hand on the back of my head, Phaedra leaned toward me until our lips met. It was a little awkward at first, but I closed my eyes and matched her gentle sweeps, my body humming with contentment and desire. In all my life, I didn’t think I needed a boyfriend or girlfriend. Not until this moment.


You can read other stories from the Wooden Spoon Writing Challenge…

Anastasia Vitsky – the original challenger

Stephanie Beck

Olivia Starke

Dominique Eastwick

Kate Richards

D.L. Jackson – the person who challenged me

Ella Grey – the person I challenged


Spotlight: The Demon Side & The Human Side by Heaven Leigh Eldeen

The Demon Side Series - Banner


The Demon Side Series


Heaven Leigh Eldeen


The Demon Side by HLEThe Demon Side
(The Demon Side Series, #1)

Blurb:  Every kid has problems. Every kid has even more problems when they move to a new home. But when a kid with problems moves to a new home that has a Demon living inside it—look out!

Etta’s world is about to spin out of control when she encounters her new roommate—and Rahovart, that ancient trickster, is in for a few surprises too. So don’t mind all the crashing and rumbling; that’s just the normal noise Angels and Demons make when they’re fighting an epic war in the attic.

One thing’s for sure: Etta and Rahovart will have to go through Hell to Heaven and back again before that old Victorian home in Quantico Town finally quiets down…

Excerpt – The Demon Side:

Etta plopped back onto her bed and stared at the ceiling for a few moments. I wished I could hear her thoughts. Her father had just admitted to being a murderer for all practical purposes, though that was not how I viewed him. I truly believed John only tried to save the village, but his fervor and some help from a desperate Alastor, turned what should have been a heroic act into a bloodbath. Many men have unknowingly fallen from grace in the name of the greater good. Now, hopefully Etta would see that her father was just the victim of blurred lines between good and evil.

“What are you thinking?” I asked as I lay down next to her on the bed.

“Can a person still go to Heaven even if they’ve killed someone?”

“Well, I’m not in the business of getting people to Heaven, Etta. That’s the last place I want them to go,” I reluctantly replied.

“Even if it were me?” Etta stared hard at me with watery eyes, looking right into my blackened soul. I never gave much thought to where her soul would go, except to stop her from mistakenly giving it to me.

“That is a choice for you to make. I can’t force you to choose a side. I can only put the temptations in front of you.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“What do you want me to say? I want to see you burn in the depths of Hell? You’ll never hear that from me. Only you and your actions can decide where you go when you leave this world.”

“I would go if it meant I could be with you, you know.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” As much as I would have loved for that to be the case, her comment angered me. I couldn’t imagine a person like her becoming something like me.

“I know that when you’re around I feel safe nothing could ever hurt me. I get butterflies in my stomach when you touch me. I know your soul, Ra. I don’t know how, but I know. I knew it the second I saw you. You weren’t meant for this existence. You fought for good once, and I’m certain you will again.” Etta was strong in words. She spoke with solid confidence. She described what I felt.

The Human Side by HLEThe Human Side
(The Demon Side Series, #2)

Blurb:  From above, Etta’s life seems to be calming down in the town of Quantico, Virginia, but with every passing moment away from his love, Rahovart finds the emptiness unbearable.

After redeeming himself once again as an Arch, Rahovart is still unable to let his past go. Needing to be near Etta, he strikes a deal with Father—except it turns into a mission with great consequences.

With Arch Angel Gabriel in tow, Rahovart sets out to prove himself worthy of Etta’s love, only to face discouragement from Etta’s father, John, and her new boyfriend, Tristan—on top of the threats made to Etta. Would he be able to protect her if she no longer remembered him or shared the love the once held so dearly?

One thing’s for sure: The past, with all of its secrets and lies will come back to haunt them all.

Excerpt – The Human Side:

“I have two solutions, but the choice of which to accept is up to you. There is plenty of time to think about these choices, but remember, whatever you choose, you will be bound to it.”

“What are the choices Father?”

“Your first choice is an exchange. Swear never to interfere with Etta’s life again, and all you have lost will be restored, including rank and principalities. If and when she returns to Heaven, her memories will be restored. Break the promise at any time for any reason, your soul shall be sent to Purgatory and Etta’s Guardians will be removed from her detail. As for the second choice, go to Earth in human form with no wings, no abilities. Show Etta the same cruelty and disdain as when the Demon Rahovart met her. Etta fell in love with a Demon once. It should be quite interesting to see if she can do it again. She must profess her love without coaxing or prompting. There can be no mention of our deal or what lies beyond the veil, including who you truly are, where you come from. Fail to abide by the rules or rekindle her affections, your days shall be spent on Earth with no recollection of life beyond the veil. But, succeed, and you can return home with the added benefit of continuing your relationship with her. Visit her anytime as long as it does not interfere with work.”

I listened intently as Father explained my options. Both carried heavy consequences if I failed to abide by their guidelines. He’d given me a life or death decision to make, but I didn’t need time to think. Without thought or question, I gave Father my answer.

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About the Author:

Heaven EldeenHeaven Liegh Eldeen started her writing career three years ago after being challenged by a relative. With her ‘Oh, Yes I can!’ attitude, determination and support from her family, she completed her first novel The Demon Side, which released in October 2011 and has been a finalist for Best Paranormal Romance in Romcom Inc.’s 2011 Reader Crown Awards as well as Oklahoma Romance Writers of America 2012 International Digital Awards. On November 28th, 2012 she celebrated the release of The Human Side; book two of The Demon Side series, which won Turning the Pages YA Paranormal Romance of the Year.

When she’s not kissing owies, climbing Mount Dishmore, or obsessing over her Facebook book page, you can find her at the computer revising or editing one of her five works in progress or Saturday evenings as a co-host to KMYC’s 1410AM The Dirt’s with Lori Schulz.  Having lived in many states, she has now settled down in California with her husband, her son, and a beta fish named Barry and guinea pig Skunkers.

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Interview with @Alicia_Dean_, Author of Liberty Awakened #paranormal #vampire #giveaway

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Alicia Dean. She is a super busy woman and a wonderful author who I have gotten to know over the past few months. Welcome, Alicia! Tell us about your new release.

AD: My latest release is a YA Vampire Novella, (Liberty Awakened Isle of Fangs Book 1)

Liberty Awakened by Alicia DeanBLURB:

Evil lurks beneath the surface in the beauty of the tropics…

After graduation from her small, Oklahoma high school, Liberty Delacort is looking forward to a fun-filled summer before college. But when the people she trusts the most betray her, and a letter arrives claiming the father she thought was dead is still alive, she jumps at the chance to travel to an exotic island to meet him.

But her excitement is short-lived. Her father is dying, and he doesn’t want her around. In spite of its outward tranquility, the island is filled with danger and ominous secrets. Before long, the secrets begin to unravel. She learns she is a descendant of Van Helsing, the vampire hunter, and she must fulfill her destiny in order to save humans from a faction of vicious vampires. The only man who can help her learn the skills she needs is a volatile, hostile, vampire who wants her off the island.

Will her inexperience lead to her death—and the death of others—or will she rise to the challenge and realize her full potential as a Hunter?

Describe the heroine in three words.

AD: Courageous, Hemophobic, Lost

What traits does the hero posses that makes the heroine swoon?

AD: I have a love triangle brewing, and there is some, but not a lot of swooning yet. However, the traits that draw her to both men are Ryan’s kindness/protectiveness and Eli’s danger/passion

What was your inspiration for this story?

AD: I am enthralled with Vampires, and I always wanted to write a Vampire story. This one came to me and seemed a little unique, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Who is your favorite character from this book? Can you include an excerpt involving this character?

AD: That’s tough. I think I like Eli the most at the moment. Here is a snippet:

At the Van Helsing house, Eli climbed out and opened the passenger door. Sliding one arm beneath Liberty’s knees and one behind her back, he gently lifted her from the car. Her head lolled against his shoulder. His chest tightened at the soft feel of her against him. He tilted his head, the urge to rub his cheek along the silky hair more powerful than any craving for blood he’d ever had. He gritted his teeth and forced the thought away. Get a grip, man. She’s not for you. Not in a million years.

Favreau opened the door as soon as Eli stepped onto the porch. He moved back and gestured for Eli to enter, then followed him up the stairs.

Antoine turned the knob to her bedroom, and Eli went inside and lowered her onto the mattress. She didn’t move. Her thick lashes cast a shadow against her pale cheeks. Her breasts rose and fell with her steady breathing. That same tightening came back to his chest, moving up to his throat.

“I can take it from here,” Antoine said. “How did she do?”

Eli curled his lip. “She’s getting better,” he whispered. “But she’s not a warrior.”

“She must learn to be.” Antoine put a hand on Eli’s arm, and he turned to face the older man. “She cannot be your Grande Amour.”

“I know that,” he snapped, still whispering.

“Does she?”

“She is with Ryan.”

“A woman, especially a young woman her age, can have many loves. Does she know why she can never be yours?”

A whoosh of air escaped Eli’s lungs. He didn’t want to discuss this with Antoine—or anyone else for that matter. He knew Liberty had to mate with a human. She had to continue the Van Helsing line…have babies with another man. He couldn’t give her that. Not ever. He damn sure didn’t need Antoine reminding him.

He shook his head, then spun and stalked from the room.

How long have you been writing with the hopes of publication?

AD: Since September, 2001. (I ‘hoped’ my entire life to be published, but started actively pursuing it a little over 11 years ago)

How did you get started?

AD: I took a class with author Mel Odom. He is an amazing instructor. Very encouraging and supportive. One particular exchange with him gave me the confidence and incentive to keep writing. I told him I was overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire book. He said, “Then write one scene at a time.” That has stuck with me all these years and has been invaluable to me.

What genres do you write in, and what appeals to you about those genres?

AD: Suspense and Paranormal mostly. I love heart pounding action and tension. Not knowing what will happen next. I love being scared. I love magic and paranormal worlds. I love the way you can stretch believability and create anything your imagination can conjure.

What other titles do you have published?

AD: Cupid’s Beau Valentine’s Day Romance – What happens when a Cupid falls in love with her target?

Hearts, Hearths, and HolidaysA Christmas Romance Anthology with 6 other authors – Blue Christmas by Alicia Dean: When heartbreak derails a bride-to-be’s holiday cheer, will a sexy, self-proclaimed Grinch restore her Christmas spirit…and her faith in love?

Lady in the Mist  (w/a Winter Frost) – Gothic Mystery Romance – When a young woman takes a job in a remote coastal town, she soon becomes embroiled in a mystery, and in the lives of two enigmatic brothers.

Thicker than Water (Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll) – Romantic Suspense – Shortly after a woman returns to her home town—and the man who broke her heart—for a high school friend’s funeral, another member of their group is murdered. Are the deaths related to an ancient, cursed doll, or is someone out for revenge?

Soul SeducerParanormal Romance – A nurse’s near death experience connects her to the world of Grim Reapers, endangering her loved ones and shaking up everything she’s ever believed about love.

Death Notice (The Northland Crime Chronicles, Book 1) – Suspense with Romantic Elements – A newspaper columnist discovers a typo in an obituary that turns out to be killer’s demented idea of a game, where the players end up dead.

Death Offerings (The Northland Crime Chronicles, Book 2) – Suspense with Romantic Elements – A crime reporter searching for the truth about the long ago murder of her childhood friend catches the attention of a psychopathic killer.

A Knight Before Christmas (The Three Kings, Book 2) Contemporary Romance with Suspense Elements – A prodigal son’s trip home for Christmas leads to the discovery of startling family secrets, someone in need of his protection, and the realization that he never stopped loving his best friend’s widow.

Heart of the Witch – Paranormal Romance – A beautiful young witch with a secret escapes the clutches of a serial killer who fears her, yet is determined to silence her forever.

Truly MadlyRomantic Suspense – Haunted by her family’s tragic legacy, an artist moves back to her home town to settle her parents’ estate, only to learn that someone is out to frame her for murder.

Poetic InjusticeRomantic Suspense – An ambitious detective investigating the murder of a high profile celebrity judge is distracted by the sexy, bad boy ME, who is exactly the kind of man she’s sworn to avoid like the plague.

Tears of the WoundedRomantic Suspense – A madman bent on revenge puts a diabolical plan in motion where a man’s races against the clock to save his daughter could mean death for the woman he loves.

Nothing to FearRomantic Suspense –  A frightened wife flees her psychotic husband and enters the witness protection program, but when an undercover cop out to avenge his partner’s murder tracks her down, she discovers her new location—even with her new identity—isn’t the safe haven she’d hoped for.

What are you working on now?

AD: A sequel to Liberty Awakened

Can you describe your daily writing routine?

AD: It’s not ‘daily.’ It’s more ‘as I can.’ I don’t really have a routine, other than trying to grab as many hours of quiet time as I can.

I can relate to that. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

AD: Plotter for sure. Not a graph/chart/extensive outline plotter, but I need a synopsis and scene notes before I can really dig into a story.

What genres do you enjoy reading?

AD: Many genres, nearly all, but mostly Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

What author(s) have influenced your writing style?

AD: I don’t think any have influenced my ‘style,’ that’s pretty much just me. Although I wish I could emulate some of my favorites…Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Sharon Sala, Lisa Gardner, Stephen King, Heather Graham.

Where do your best ideas come from?

AD: They just…appear. I usually think of a particular type of book I’d like to write and just relax and let scenarios run through my mind. Most of the time, the ideas start with me asking, What if… (As in, what if a Grim Reaper was a romance hero? Or, what if a Cupid fell in love. Or, what if a descendant of Van Helsing discovered she was a vampire hunter on a tropical island?)

What is your favorite book that you’ve read?

AD: I can’t say that there is a definite favorite. Gone with the Wind is up there. Sweet Savage Love. A Drink Before the War. The Concrete Blonde.

Who is your favorite character from any of the books you’ve read?

AD: Scarlett O’Hara (If I HAVE to choose)

What writing/writer’s organizations are you involved with? Can you explain how they help your writing and/or your writing career?

AD: RWA and OKRWA and HERA. They offer support and encouragement and give guidance and answer questions and help brainstorm. Also, helping other writers helps me grow as a writer, and these groups have given me the opportunity to do that.

Do you belong to a critique group or have critique partners? If so, what have you learned from them? How has it affected your writing?

AD: I belong to an amazing critique group, Okie Penpals. It has affected my writing in SO many ways. My group is wonderful about catching my errors and inconsistencies, and telling me when my stuff sucks. I have made some fairly significant changes in my stories based on suggestions from my critique group. They are also fabulous at brainstorming. I could not have written the stories I’ve written without their help.  Another great thing is that we meet every two weeks, and that’s somewhat of a ‘deadline’ for me. I am determined to have something to submit before each meeting, so they help me reach my goals.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

AD: Keep writing. Don’t give up. If you’re a writer, you write. Period. It’s in your blood. Even if you get negative feedback, hang in there and continue to hone your skills and practice. Don’t believe everything people tell you about your writing, but be open to constructive criticism and at least consider suggestions to see if they work for you. (Okay, more than ‘one’ piece of advice, but it’s all good stuff, I promise, LOL)

Where can my readers find you?

AD: Website | Twitter: @Alicia_Dean_

Liberty Awakened by Alicia DeanWhere can my readers find your books?

AD: Liberty Awakened is out on the Kindle and the Nook. Links to my other titles can be found here: http://aliciadean.com/books/


Alicia Dean is generously donated TWO ebook copies (for the Kindle or Nook) of Liberty Awakened. For your chance to WIN a copy, leave a question or comment for Alicia.