Review + GIVEAWAY with XO, Lauren & Jane

I am so over-the-top thrilled with the review written by the lovely Lauren of XO, Lauren and Jane today, and am pleased to announce that they’re sponsoring a GIVEAWAY!  This is your chance to win a FREE PRINT COPY of Curses Beneath Her Feet, so hurry over to their blog to find out more details. 🙂  While you’re there, browse around–these ladies have fabulous insight on so many topics, you’re sure to find more treasures and recommendations you’ll love while you’re there. Link to follow is below! Books We Love 'Curses Beneath Her Feet'


Excerpt from Curses Beneath Her Feet!

That moment, right before a kiss–you know what I’m talking about.  🙂

It took her a few moments to realize that she wanted to kiss Benjamin–she wanted it more than she had ever wanted anything.  But–Ben was her best friend, and they never thought of each other that way.  She knew he was handsome, sure, and had even thought it fitting when the other girls at school had taken to calling him “Hot Ben” to differentiate him from all the other Bens in their class.  But she had never seen him as more than a friend. Kissing him was dangerous.

But now, with him standing so close in the darkness as the rain drummed overhead–maybe it was worth the risk. 

He leaned a whisper closer, his lips a breath away from hers.  Her eyes fluttered closed once more and she sighed softly.  For a few, countless seconds she heard nothing but the beating of her own heart, and then–


The pounding on the door was barely audible over the newest rumble of thunder, and Coralee jumped nearly a foot in the air, so taken aback was she by the sudden interruption.  The electricity that had been flowing between them snapped with anger, making her heart pound in an odd, heavy cadence.

First Love

As a writer, fiction is my first love.  I remember clearly sitting at my father’s old, gargantuan computer monitor, watching as the black screen filled with those golden letters in one of the early versions of MS DOS.  I was a puzzling child; I excelled at running around outside, climbing tress and slithering through marsh mud, climbing to the top of the elementary school’s fire escape, or sometimes plunging into the ocean.  And yet I was equally as content sitting at the computer monitor, writing about adventures in faraway places I had completely imagined in my head.  There were shipwrecks and haunted houses, complexes of underground caves and mysterious spells.  But here’s the puzzling part: I didn’t particularly like to read.  It was painfully boring to me, but I did it because some of my friends did (see, peer pressure can be positive!).  I would much rather have been off having real adventures of my own, or dreaming exciting ones up in my head,than reading about other people’s adventures.  Boooring.

Obviously, that changed.  I think around the fourth or fifth grade I read a book about ancient Egypt, and I was intrigued.  Then, of course, came Sweet Valley Twins and R. L. Stine.  Maybe I had grown up enough to shed a level of juvenile selfishness, and was able to empathize with others.  Or maybe I had just found the right words.

Now, as an adult, however, I feel myself drawn ever more to non-fiction.  I love the power of prose when a person is writing about their own feelings, openly and bravely.  Currently, I’m reading a treasure called Bend, Not Break by Ping Fu, and I am completely absorbed.  There is so much to be gained from taking a moment to engage in someone else’s life.  Even more so, much is to be gained from taking a moment to reflect on instances in your own life.  And that is why the personal essay is my new love; it actually is easier for me than fiction.  Does that mean I simply have a reflective mind?  Or does it simply reveal the challenge it truly is to write a quality fictional novel?  I think maybe a little bit of both.  So, as tempting as it is to dwell on the skill that is both enjoyable and easy for me, I’ll press on with my fiction writing.

Because I haven’t forgotten my first love; no one ever can.

PS: If you do happen to write personal essay pieces and are looking for an outlet, check out this helpful link that I’ve found on Meghan Ward’s blog–20 places to publish essays.  Happy Friday!