Friday, April 18, 2014

New Release & Giveaway: BIG FAT DISASTER
Click tour graphic to go to tour page at Book Nerd Tours
Today is the official release of Big Fat Disaster, and I’m excited to share my fellow Merit Press author’s awesome book which earned her a starred review from Kirkus! Congrats, Beth!

"Colby's difficult enough, but it gets worse very quickly once she discovers a photo of her politician father kissing another woman. The fast pace, lively...dialogue, and timely topic make it a quick and enjoyable read." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

Scroll down and watch the book trailer and enter Beth’s giveaway!

Title:  Big Fat Disaster
Author:  Beth Fehlbaum
Genre:  YA Contemporary
Publisher:  Merit Press/F+W Media
Release Date:  April 18, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook

Buy Links:

Back Cover Blurb:

Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.

About the Author:

In addition to writing Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Beth Fehlbaum is an experienced English teacher who frequently draws on her experience as an educator to write her books. She has a B.A. in English, Minor in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Reading. She is currently a Library Science student at Sam Houston State University.

Beth is the author of Big Fat Disaster (Merit Press/F+W Media, March 2014); Courage in Patience (Kunati Books, 2008); and Hope in Patience(WestSide Books, 2010). Hope in Patience was named a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Truth in Patience, which rounds outThe Patience Trilogy, is as yet unpublished. The Patience Trilogy has been revised and is available for acquisition!

Beth has a following in the young adult literature world and also among survivors of sexual abuse because of her work with victims’ advocacy groups. She has been the keynote speaker at the National Crime Victims’ Week Commemoration Ceremony at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas and a presenter for Greater Texas Community Partners, where she addressed a group of social workers and foster children on the subject of “Hope.”

Beth is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, like Ashley in The Patience Trilogy, and the day-to-day manager of an eating disorder much like Colby’s in Big Fat Disaster. These life experiences give her a unique perspective, and she writes her characters’ stories in a way meant to inspire hope.

Beth lives with her family in the woods of East Texas.

You can find Beth online at:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Path to Publication - Vigilante Nights

For years, I’d heard that boy point of view (POV) books were a hard sell. Statistically proven, females are the majority readers and they read a lot of books from the female point of view. I’m not saying that females don’t read books written in a male POV or that they don’t sell. Look at John Green, Chris Crutcher, or Merit’s own Steven Parlato, among many other authors who write young adult novels in a male POV. They exist and they appeal to both male and female readers. I kept hearing that editors wanted “boy” books, yet there were so few slots for them on a publisher’s list. None of this stopped me from writing Vigilante Nights, because it needed to be written! I just figured I’d have a harder time landing a publisher.

I queried a lot of agents, and came close to an offer of representation a couple of times, but they already had a client with a boy book they were trying to sell. Just as I was ready to start querying publishers on my own, I read about F+W Media’s new imprint Merit Press and how they wanted to publish contemporary novels and no paranormal creatures or SF&F. My editor at another F+W Media imprint was able to get me an early copy of the submission guidelines. As soon as I read them, my stomach did somersaults, literally. I thought Vigilante Nights was perfect for Merit Press, and Merit seemed okay with books that had a light supernatural element. Even though it appeared Merit primarily wanted books written from a girl’s POV, they were open to books from a boy’s POV, too! My second thought was….I’m going to submit ASAP before there were no more slots for a “boy” book. Paranoid much? Yes!

Merit’s editor, Jackie Mitchard, fell in love with Vigilante Nights, and I had an offer in hand within three months.

I can’t help but think timing had a little to do with selling Vigilante Nights. :) But what really sold it was finding an editor and publishing house that loved it as much as I did. This is what Jackie had to say when she offered to publish Vigilante Nights: “Everyone is excited about VIGILANTE NIGHTS, and about the comparisons it offers with classics such as ‘The Outsiders.’ We love this book. It's just exactly the book that Merit Press was founded to publish -- with a great deal of heart, pure, strong characters, and even a hint of magical realism.”

People in the publishing business say it only takes one editor to love your book. I’m happy it was Jackie and Merit Press, and they took a chance on me and Vigilante Nights.

Read more about Merit Press books and authors at:
UncommonYA Website & Blog (unofficial author site)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Release: Intimate Strangers

Today’s release day for INTIMATE STRANGERS by Tara Mills! Congrats, Tara! You’ll love any contemporary romance story by Tara Mills! Without further ado, here’s a sneak peak at Tara’s exciting new release.

Title:  Intimate Strangers
Author:  Tara Mills
Genre:  Contemporary Romance (novella)
Publisher:  Crimson Frost Books
Release Date:  February 21, 2014
Format:  eBook 

Buy Links

Back Cover Blurb:

Can she ever forgive herself. Will she ever forget him?

When newly engaged couple Mac and Kate, take a celebratory fishing trip off the island of Pelican Cay, they never dream their romantic bliss is in jeopardy.

What happens will test Kate in ways she never saw coming, make her question what she understands about her own heart, and lead her into the arms of another man.

This exciting short story has it all; romance, terror, passion, betrayal, and a happy ending, of course, but perhaps not the one you'd expect.

Sneak Peek

There was a spring in Kate and Mac’s steps when they hustled down the dock, clasped hands swinging between them on this bright and early morning. In truth, it could have been simply the give of the walkway under their feet, but she chose to attribute it to their blissful mood. Her skin still tingled from making love with him back at the hotel. Both wore smiles that wouldn’t quit.
Kate turned her wrist, and his, to admire her beautiful new ring. The breathtaking diamond caught the light and shimmered back at her, utterly captivating her all over again.

Mac shot her a quick glance and chuckled as he gently tugged her along. “Come on. You’ll have all kinds of time to stare at that rock once we’re on the boat.”

“I can’t help it.” She laughed, still thrown by his unexpected proposal. “I love it!”

He turned her hand so he could admire the ring himself then winked at her. “It looks good on you.” Mac craned his neck and spotted their chartered boat. “I see ‘em.” He shared a nod with a man watching them from a fly bridge just ahead.

The man chuckled as he made his way down a chrome ladder to the deck to meet them. “You beat my other crewman.” Turning, he reached for Kate’s hand, hauling her into the boat as Mac boosted her by the hips from behind. Her fiancĂ© leaped gracefully onto the boat after her and they both faced the captain.

“Welcome aboard the Sea Sprite. I’m Brady Finn.” Still holding her hand, he gave it a hearty pump.

He didn’t look any older than they were, but his sharp features were weathered from the wind and sun. The lines framing his smile gave his tan even more warmth. Her eyes strayed to his sandy hair. Generally, she preferred men who were more clean-cut, like Mac, but the way Brady’s shaggy hair fluttered and feathered in the breeze, with the sun glinting off his natural bleached highlights, was undeniably appealing. As if saving the best for last, only now did she meet his unusual blue-green eyes. Set off by fine lines radiating out from the corner of each, they were beautiful, so striking she was thrown for moment.

No question—most women would find Brady Finn attractive. Trying very hard not to think about it, she blushed at her delayed response to his introduction. “Kate.”

As always, Mac saved the day. Offering his hand to their skipper next, he grinned. “And I’m Mac Schafer.” He looked around, taking it all in. “Wow, this is some boat.”

“Thank you.” The captain was noticeably pleased at the compliment. “Ah … here’s Rome. He’s going to help you haul in your monster fish today.”

“Rome?” Kate raised her eyebrows as she shook the Latino’s hand.

His lips tightened. “I prefer it to Romeo.”

Brady gave him a good-natured cuff on the arm and told the passengers, “He’s not as big a fan of Shakespeare as his mom.”

Chuckling, Mac clasped hands with him and brought back the man’s easy smile. “Good to meet you, Rome.”

A sigh of contentment escaped Kate as she gazed at her fiancĂ©. Mac had a way with people, a gift for diffusing tense situations. It’s what attracted her to him in the first place.

Stepping back she was startled to catch the captain watching her, studying her. She had an uneasy suspicion he was very aware of how carefully she’d examined him minutes ago. Looking evasively away, she reached for Mac. Pressed against his side while he chatted, Kate rubbed her hand up and down his spine, in dire need of a little of his calming mojo herself all of a sudden.

Oblivious to her tension, Mac smiled at Brady. “You said there’s a bathroom on board?”

The captain pointed to his left. “Through the salon and down the stairs.”

Mac gave Kate’s waist an affectionate squeeze. “See. Told you. You’ll be fine.”

“You can’t miss it.” Brady’s eyes landed on her again. To her relief, they didn’t linger this time. “We’ll head out as soon as Manuel gets here. Excuse me. I’ll see what’s keeping him.”

Rome waved the couple into the cockpit. “How about a quick tour?”

About the Author

I'm a lifelong wordaholic, contemporary romance writer, pampered wife, and proud mom.

Escape with me into books. If you like fun and flirty, saucy and sexy, exciting thrills and suspense, or simply a good chuckle, I've got a story for you.

Please visit my website, Tara Mills Romance, for more information on my titles, sneak peeks, and my quirky blog.

Author Links
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Google+

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: DRAGON DAWN

Title:  Dragon Dawn
Author:  Deborah O’Neill Cordes
Series:  Book One of the Dinosaurian Time Travel Series
Genre:  Science Fiction
Release Date:  January 15, 2014
Format:  eBook; print

Buy Links

**DRAGON DAWN is on sale at Amazon for $.99 thru 2/20/14 (Kindle version). Don’t miss out on this limited sale opportunity!”

Book Description

Time snakes between alternate universes.  Ever watchful, an alien intelligence survives on Mars, waiting to be found by spacefarers from Earth.  The alien’s ultimate goal is to send human astronauts back in time, where they will alter the past and thwart the extinction of the dinosaurs.  A race of intelligent dinosaurs, resembling the alien’s extinct species, subsequently evolves to rule the world.  But a human female astronaut, through a strange twist of fate, survives the change in the space-time continuum.  After finding herself in a dinosaurian body, she must race against time – and the formidable alien – to restore the universe to its rightful course.

Being a fan of time-travel and light science fiction, I was instantly drawn into the exciting and imaginative worlds Deborah O’Neill Cordes created in DRAGON DAWN. From Moozrab (Mars) to a slice of modern Arizona to the Cretaceous period of Earth, the author enthralls the reader.

Interweaved in the unfolding story between pre-historic Earth and Moozrab are two impeccably drawn species: humans and dinosaurians. My favorite character was Dawann-dracon. I loved her fierce innocence and curiosity as she discovers surprising and mysterious things about herself and her world…thoughts and emotions that belong to someone else. Underlying the time-traveling mystery is an enticing and malevolent being called The Keeper, who moves the beings around these worlds and time periods like pawns on a chessboard.

DRAGON DAWN is a multifaceted and fascinating mix of science fiction, history, and fantasy. It was obvious that Ms. Cordes spent a great deal of time researching planet Earth and its various time periods, pre-historic dinosaurs, the solar system, Mars, even DNA! Her expert research, awe-inspiring details, and lush descriptions (whether real or fictional) brought the story to vivid life from manufactured life on Mars, to the dinosaurs and verdant Cretacean period and even on a dig site in present-day Arizona. I can’t wait to read what happens next with Dawann-dracon, Dawn, Gus and the crew of the Destiny. First-rate plotting, research, characterization, and writing will make DRAGON DAWN a story for your keeper shelf!

Enter the Goodreads giveaway for your chance to win an autographed copy of DRAGON DAWN. Click to enter.

Please visit Deborah O’Neill Cordes at:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All Loved Up + Awesome Giveaway

We all love a good book. Read on to see which ones the Uncommon YA authors love!
(Rafflecopter giveaway below)

One of my favorite books is Perfect Chemistry by Simon Elkeles. I love the way she hits real topics head on with characters that are strong and tenacious. As a bonus: this author can write a seriously hot hook up scene *fans face* ;) Julie Anne Lindsey 

I love The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons and have my fingers crossed the movie producers accept the script she is working on to turn it into a movie. I also love Where is the green sheep by Mem Fox because my kids and I have read it a billion times together and we know it off by heart.
Melissa Wray 

One of my favorite stories is Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter. First published in 1939, the short novel portrays a young couple falling in love during the end of World War I and the onset of the Spanish Influenza. The main character falls ill with the deadly flu, and her new boyfriend, a recently enlisted soldier, finds her medical help right before he must leave for training. It's a beautifully written snapshot of life during those uncertain times. Yvonne Ventresca
My favorite, most life-impacting book with respect to becoming an author is Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher. I was in the early days of recovery from childhood sexual abuse, and I was looking for something to read while working out on the treadmill. I went into my daughter's room and found Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes on her bookshelf. I had no idea what it was about or who Chris Crutcher was-- but as I walked on the treadmill, it was as if walls inside of me fell away and I realized that I had stories inside of me that might touch others as this book was impacting me. I was thrilled last year to get to meet Chris and talk with him. Beth Fehlbaum 

I book I really love right now is Jeff Vandermeer's Wonderbook. It's given me some really great insights on revision--and it's pretty to look at too :) Natalie Zaman  

Here's a book I love: Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson for it's themes of friendship and dreaming big. It's a lovely, simple little book that says powerful things. Lisa Cresswell 

Divergent by Veronica Roth: Beautiful writing made for a fast-paced read in a fascinating dystopian setting with a strong female lead. It’s one of those rare books for me where I loved the story as much as the writing and it stayed with me long after I read the last word. Erin Richards

 For a short time Uncommon YA is offering YOU the chance to choose your prize. Click on the titles below to learn more about each one.
You can add it to your Goodreads shelf while you're there!
WARNING. It will be a tough choice choosing just one to win!

Sliding on the Edge  A Closer Look  Twigs The Pitcher The NamesakeDestiny Road Hush Puppy Drummer Girl Dare Me  Escape from Eden Vigilante Nights The Princess of Las Pulgas


5 people will win their choice of selected titles. Book to be determined on win.