Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Seasons in the Sun”

Lost Scene From The Fire Dancer

The things I find when I go through my notebooks!  This would’ve never fit into The Fire Dancer, but it was a fun little exploration piece when I was figuring out Holly’s relationship with Callie and Tristan.  Holly travels back to the Seasons in the Sun days for this one, so this was cool for me to see how these two characters, the first I ever came up with, have grown!
(please remember this is raw and unedited, straight from the scribbles in my notebook)

fire couple

Fourth of July weekend and the Vineyard was packed. I threaded through the crowds on the sidewalk, seeking refuge in a colorful coffee shop. It reminded me of my favorite café in Santa Fe, and I knew this kind of place would have some funky brew of iced tea. Never sure if it was a dream or if I was time traveling at first, I needed to find a place that would ground me.
Women swarmed around the barista station even after they’d picked up their iced lattes. Trevor George’s son, Tristan, was behind the counter. My heart pounded when I saw him, he was the one who brought me here. I went up on my tiptoes to get a better look at him. Looks and charm ran in the family. Waiting in line to place my order, I was captivated. His dark eyes glittered when he spoke, his lips curled up in a slow, easy smile. The things that mouth could probably do already.
“Can I help you?” A girl too young to be working asked with enough force to make me believe it wasn’t the first time she tried to get my attention. She rolled her eyes when I jumped, then shot a quick glare over to Tristan, knowing who’d stolen my attention away from her. Not in a jealous way, but a don’t even bother because he’s mine way. That wasn’t the only reason she caught me off guard. I didn’t expect to give Callie, the future mistress of the most powerful vampire clan in Las Vegas, my drink order.
No, she was the one who brought me here. She had no idea who I was, just another girl staring at her boyfriend. This was a hiccup for me, a trip of five years or so. I always had trouble in my time travels, not blurting something out that would scare the hell out of people. But this time, saying something would change everything. For me. And it was tempting.
“I’d like a large pomegranate orange iced tea, please.” If I didn’t get this tea I was going to explode. Traveling back to another time didn’t make my fire go away. Chaos would break out on the island if I dripped even a spark here.
Waiting for my drink, I had an excuse to watch him. He was just a boy. Jailbait. No matter how good looking he was, it was disgusting to watch women old enough to be his mother flirt shamelessly with him. He took it in stride, born to celebrity through and through, smiling at each one of them like he’d come to work just to make their latte.
Callie joined him to thin the crowd. He softened when she came over. The show didn’t stop, but it changed. Young as she was, she was awfully cute. Tawny skin, green eyes, honey colored hair escaping from a braid. She already had fire inside her, too. Good. She was going to needed it. I smiled as she whipped through the line.
She grabbed Tristan’s arm. “Why didn’t you tell me we were out of soy?” She pushed a honey curl back into her braid.
“Who drinks that shit, anyway?” The smile he gave her was like the sun breaking through the dark sky at dawn. Pure adoration, everyone disappearing around them. The other women waiting for their drinks might as well have had their picture taken with a cardboard cutout. How could they not notice that? I was actually envious of this little girl. She had everything I wanted.
“Half the island does!” Callie threw her arms up before stomping into a back room.
“Holly!” Tristan called out, still snickering from Callie’s outburst. “Pomegranate orange iced tea.”
Our fingers brushed as he handed me the drink. No sparks. Our eyes locked but the moment was cheapened because I knew I’d never believe his lie. He’d never be able to love anyone but her.
I wondered if I told him his future, if it would change a thing.
“Thanks.” I turned and pushed past the crowd. I needed air.
Even though in many respects Tristan was already a man, with Callie he could be a boy. Their fates were already hopelessly intertwined, floating together above the earth in a bubble. When it shattered, it would rain down on everyone. And no amount of fire would alter the outcome. I needed to fight my battles in the present, not the past.
Taking a cool, fruity sip of my drink, I was glad I kept my mouth shut. Even if it wasn’t what they expected, they both got what they wanted. Each other.

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Switching Gears Between Projects

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, my beloved

by Kristen

Couple of fun announcements first: Please check out my new author website and follow me on Tumblr! I WILL Tumbl for you. Please get the 80s music reference. Please.

It’s well documented that I’m a blonde. It’s more than just a hair color, sometimes, it’s a state of mind. When Kathie Lee and Hoda retire, I would hope someone will have the good sense to hire Julie and I to replace them. Who better to take over day drinking and inappropriate behavior on network TV than The Undead Duo? I dare you to find a better pair. And then please let us all go out drinking together. I’ve already got my role on this new TV show all set up: the bimbo sidekick. Sometimes I can be the funny one, sometimes the serious one, sometimes the smart one, but god damn, I make a great bimbo.

Bimbos get distracted easily. Never have I found this to be more true than when I try to juggle multiple projects. I’m starting to feel like one of those tired old mammas who yells at you for whatever sin you’ve committed but then calls you by the dog’s name.

Of course, you know NIGHT MOVES is out, so I’m doing promo for that. People are asking questions about Melanie, Ryder, and the rest of the characters and I have to think of them in ways I might have not considered before. It’s awesome to see my creations through other people’s eyes.

I just finished up a book that is vampire free. It’s in the hands of beta readers now, and I anxiously await their opinions. Notice I’m not telling you anything about this book? I feel like there’s just too much right now, and I’m even getting confused. I’m a big believer in keeping it simple. You’ll know everything about it all in due time.

Now that the book that shall not be named is done for now, I’m diving into final edits on WE OWN THE NIGHT. I’m psyched about this, because I miss Callie and Tristan. This book has been done since December, and this is the longest I’ve been away from these characters since I created them. Getting back into Callie’s head space is refreshing, a little shocking (if you’ve met Callie, you know how she rolls) and a little like welcoming home a long lost friend. She’s just met Melanie and Ryder at the point I’m working on now, it’s a Night Songs reunion.

Editing is stressful! When I draft, there’s no pressure to make things perfect because there’s always going to be another draft, revision, a chance to improve. But this is the round of work with the spit and the shine. This is the one you’re all going to see. It’s got to be 100%. I also have to consider the best interests of the book when making changes. Julie is my editor, which is a blessing because 1. she knows these characters inside and out 2. if this book sucks, she will pay for it dearly in buying me alcohol to mask the pain and 3. we get to discuss the edits as she applies them. That’s a luxury not many people get. Sometimes, Julie will be like WTF about a scene, and I can talk her through it. It doesn’t mean we leave it like that. If Julie didn’t understand it, neither will you, but we can make the absolute right edit that is true to what I’m thinking and what she understands. It makes me much more confident about making changes to the manuscript.

I had a hard time walking away from WE OWN THE NIGHT when I finished it, because it closed the door on this story. With SEASONS IN THE SUN, it’s technically the fourth book with these characters and this story line. Callie and Tristan didn’t want to say goodbye, either. I wonder how it will be to pass it in and really come to THE END. I didn’t close the door completely on these characters, so they might make another appearance sometime in some form. I haven’t decided yet.

I do want to continue The Night Songs Collection. My original idea was to have it as a universe instead of straight line story, with characters that might connect in different points in their lives. Kind of what Sherrilyn Kenyon does, but my way, because I don’t like to follow rules ever.

So there will be more books. Book 4, which will have new characters but is in The Night Songs world, will be coming to you this fall. This will be my first totally self published project, and holy shit, am I nervous. Julie is editing in now. I’ve got an amazing cover artist working on the art for it. I’ve got the formatter lined up. Everything is pretty much ready to go. Once I’m done with WE OWN THE NIGHT, I move straight into edits on this one.

See why I’m not throwing around titles? It gets confusing, fast. I took the “keep writing” thing to heart. Now I’m finishing up these projects, letting a few of them come down the pipeline so I can breathe and not work on four books at once.

Then….who knows?

What a Week

Today’s Brew: Blueberry coffee to go.
by Kristen

Seasons in the Sun Final

HOLY CRAP. I don’t know what it is about this week. If I did, I’d bottle it so I’d have it forever.

  • Seasons in the Sun is on a blog tour this week. The reviews are so awesome. I can’t stop smiling!  Check them out here.
  • Seasons in the Sun is FREE on Amazon! Not sure how much longer it will be, so if you haven’t grabbed it yet, go get her! Even better than that, ever since I mentioned it on Twitter, it’s been in the top 10 for its category!! Oh. My. God. That’s YOU GUYS who did that. Wednesday Night alone saw over 100 retweets, favorites, and shares about the book. You guys. *beats chest, fist pumps in your general direction*
  • I was featured in the local paper for the paperback release of Because the Night. If you’re visiting the blog for the first time because of that article, hi! Enjoy your stay! Check out what Julie has to say, too.
  • Because the Night is also enjoying a nice boost because of all of this attention.  I’m  doing a little giveaway on Goodreads, too.
  • If you guys can still stand me on Monday, we’re revealing the cover of Night Moves, book 2 in The Night Songs Collection. It comes out March 26, so you have a little bit of time to catch up on your reading!

 

March Madness! Seasons in the Sun on Sale!

Today’s Brew: Hot Marshmallow Madness, or something like that? Basically peppermint hot cocoa with fluff. And probably diabetes.

by Kristen

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14 Click on the photo and make it yours!

Seasons in the Sun is on sale for less than one dollar for the month of March.

Ten Reasons for you to spend your hard earned dollar on my book:

  • It’s set in the summer. It’s been 20 degrees forever. Reading this book will make it warmer outside. I promise.
  • No one can actually afford to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, so you can pretend you’re vacationing with celebrities.
  • You get to see Callie in her awkward, home-schooled glory.
  • Human Tristan. Surfing.
  • Callie and Tristan work in a coffee shop. Tristan with a job. Somehow this will justify your coffee consumption.
  • Callie’s mother will make you feel like Mother Of The Year.
  • If you read Because the Night and didn’t quite understand what Callie saw in Tristan, you will get it now.
  • Night Moves comes out in three weeks, and Callie, Tristan, and Taryn all make appearances.  Oh, you don’t know who Taryn is? Read Seasons in the Sun and find out.
  • Callie follows her heart, meaning she does more dumb shit.
  • This is as close to a sweet romance as I’m ever going to write.

And the official blurbage:

Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie’s sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn’t show anyone else. She’s determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she’s the one who’s wrong about him. He’s beyond her help. But it’s too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

A dollar! It’s floating around in your purse. You’d give it to one those homeless guys with the cardboard. A whole evening’s worth of entertainment for a dollar. You can’t beat that.

 

Postcards From Self Publishing Island

Today’s Brew: So much coffee I’m going to be digging my car out of a foot of snow with my bare hands.

by Kristen

If you’ve been following along with the Undead Duo the last eighteen or so months, you’ll know that we don’t do anything the traditional way. We do it our way.

 Julie’s got a publishing deal with a small press, but I had to go straight into the unknown. I chose agent assisted self publishing. Before you get out your pitchforks, enough people are doing this that Amazon has dedicated a service to agent assisted published books.  They just aren’t talking about it. I am, because I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. It’s the best of both worlds. I have total control, I get professional guidance, and my agent still has interest in the book.  An agent’s job doesn’t end when the book sells, and that’s why I chose to include her in this journey. For my first series, I wanted my hand held as much as possible. It may not be the best decision for everyone, but for me, it’s working.

When you have a publisher, you have a team. People do stuff for you. I am the president and CEO of The Night Songs Collection. I write, I hire editors, I am actively involved in choosing the cover art, I do the publicity, run the contests, oh yeah, and write books.  There’s still publicity going on for Because the Night and Seasons in the Sun. Night Moves is getting its final touches put into place, and it’s coming out soon, so publicity needs to start for that. We Own the Night is in the first round of editing. And Silent Night is still being written. That’s five books. Going on at once.

My head is spinning. They’re all my children and they all deserve an equal amount of attention. But already, Seasons in the Sun got overshadowed by Because the Night.  Eventually, all the books will sell each other, providing people are interested in reading on, but for now, they all still need a push out into the world. No one knows about me or my books, and right now, I need to tell them why they care about my awesomeness.

Because I’m still freshly hatched into the published world, getting people to care was tougher than I thought. Even when I wanted to hire people, it wasn’t always a guarantee they wanted to work with me. I offered my book for review and was politely declined. Rejection doesn’t end when you publish your book, kids. My first instinct was the climb back inside myself and do everything myself.

It’s impossible. Remember I wanted my hand held? You need a team, even if you’re self publishing.

And even when people do agree to help, they aren’t always the best fit for your books. Julie and I have talked many times. You make your mistakes on the first book. It’s painful, because your first book is your first child. You want everything perfect, but perfect takes time. It’s like the editing process, it takes a couple of tries to get it right. And you don’t always know things aren’t right until you find the right fit.

Now my team is falling into place, and the weight has lifted off my shoulders. For the first time in a long time, all I have to really worry about is writing. 

It’s glorious.

Not only will I reap the rewards, but my readers will, too.

Please, God, let there be readers. 

 

 

 

Let’s Pretend It’s Summer

Today’s Brew: Gingerbread? Pumpkin Spice? Honestly I’m not sure.

by Kristen

Even though it’s so freakishly warm in Massachusetts today I walked around outside in just a light sweatshirt and capri pants, the rest of you are freezing your unmentionables off. So let’s tell the Polar Vortex what it can do with it’s frostbite and use the power of visualization to transport ourselves to a summer vacation on a warm island.

Can you tell I’ve been doing yoga?

Seasons in the Sun, a summer romance, released on December 4. Let me tell you, December is a weird time to promote a book. Everyone’s all wrapped up in Nano in November, then Christmas. No one wants to think about summer yet. Winter is still fun until you have to dig out from eighteen inches of snow like we did this weekend. One snowstorm is all it takes. Now when I say SUMMER, heads turn.

Six months til Bkini Weather!

Six months til Bikini Weather!

Summer, to me, has always been one of those magical times where anything can happen. I love the warm weather, and I love being outside in it. There’s nothing I like better than sitting by the water, devouring a good book. When we were kids, summers were awesome.  Julie and I, if you didn’t already know this, grew up in the apartment complex that I live in now. It wasn’t always Whiskey Tango Boulevard, it used to be quite nice. We had an awesome pool, and there were tons of kids our age around to hang out with, play Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows. We tortured the life guards by either hating them or loving them. At night, we’d play four square or have games of hide and seek so big the entire street was in play.

As we got older, we’d all sit outside and talk. I love being outside on summer nights as much as during the day. Of course, we started to venture off Whiskey Tango. Sometimes we told the truth about where we were going, sometimes not so much. Summer meant relaxed responsibilities. I had a job since I was fifteen, but I usually worked at night, so I didn’t have to be up early. Staying out all night was a right of passage.

If you’ve read Because the Night, you know that Callie came to find Tristan after meeting him a few years back. Seasons in the Sun chronicles the summer they met. I used a lot of my experiences as influence for the story. The beach side setting, the sneaking out, even the concert, because what’s better than a summer concert?

So if you need a way to escape the cold, or if you want to live vicariously through my crazy past life, Seasons in the Sun might be the fix you need.

Seasons is in the Sun is available on Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Barnes and Noble, but you can get the correct format through Smashwords.

Closing the Door: Finishing a Series

Today’s Brew: Pumpkin Spice. The girl at Bed Bath and Beyond told me peppermint K cups were coming and she lied to me. You can’t lie to me about peppermint anything, people.

by Kristen

***IMPORTANT UPDATE!*** I just got a call from the Friends of Plymouth Council on Aging buying presents for seniors who don’t have any family, like I had mentioned in my last post, and Radius Nursing Home, 123 South St, Plymouth, MA has a tree that you can take tags off of to buy gifts for seniors just like you would for needy kids. Even better, my phone call brought this tree to the attention of the FPCA so now they can help make sure everyone has something to open on Christmas.

***

I didn’t actually type the words “The End,” but on Tuesday night I finished writing We Own the Night, which is the last book in The Night Songs Collection.

Holy crap.

I just stared at the computer screen in shock. My writing journey began with Callie and Tristan, even before I started writing these books. I’ve had these characters with me for close to fifteen years. Some of you may know, I used versions of this story to make my mind stop racing about all the crap I had to do during the day so I could fall asleep.

It’s the strangest feeling to put these “people” away in a box under the bed and move on without them. We had all of our firsts together.

  • This was the story that I was compelled to write, and on the third try, I actually completed a manuscript.
  • I told other people I wrote a book and share these characters with people, even people I didn’t know.
  • We got representation!
  • We got rejected! I revised the story until it became the version that is available now.
  • We published together!

It’s been an incredible ride, and these characters have become a part of who I am. My life has changed in ways I never could have imagined since Julie and I  started working together towards this goal. When I read Because the Night, I can see exactly where I was when I wrote it. I was having a hard time making decisions, because I wanted something that no longer existed. As I move on the series, I see major themes that like looking in a mirror. Writing We Own the Night put me through the ringer, and I have to wonder if it was because I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any hot vampire rock stars in my bed. I wish that part of the story would come true.

Of course, there’s still plenty of editing to do. I’m still doing promo on Seasons in the Sun and Because the Night. Night Moves, which will be available in March, is back from the editor. So I still have plenty of work to do with Callie, Tristan, and Blade.

I’m not going to lie. I left the door open a crack. The story is all wrapped up, but there are possibilities.  I also have a couple of stand alone books that fit in this word that star different main characters.

Even more remarkable–I managed a happy ending. If Callie can do it, we all can. 🙂

Happy Book Birthday, SEASONS IN THE SUN!

Today’s brew: I will blow bubbles in my coffee and pretend it’s champagne.

by Kristen

Today SEASONS IN THE SUN comes out into the world. It seemed like just a month ago I was releasing my first book, Because the Night

Seasons in the Sun available 12.4.13

Seasons in the Sun available 12.4.13

Seasons in the Sun is the prequel to Because the Night.  It wasn’t part of the original plan. Hell, who am I kidding, there was no original plan. I just wanted to complete a book. I never thought it would snag me an agent, or become a thing. Seasons in the Sun came to life when I asked my friend Liz to read Because the Night. It was the first draft, and of course it was absolutely perfect and nothing like the version available to you today.  Liz was a tough critic.  She liked it, but she saw holes. It was the first real criticism I ever got and it was a reality check.

Her biggest beef? She just didn’t buy that Callie would be so hung up on Tristan that she’d go searching for him years later.

Oh yeah, Liz?  Instead of weaving some details into Because the Night, I wrote a prequel based on Callie and Tristan’s summer together.

Now she buys it.

So if you run into Liz Washer, makeup artist extraordinaire, somewhere in the wild, you can thank her for inspiring me to write Seasons in the Sun.

A little Night Songs Collection inside info for you.

All the titles are song titles. Seasons in the Sun  doesn’t have “night” in the name because there are no vampires.

BUY ON SMASHWORDS!  OR BUY Seasons in the Sun ON AMAZON! DON’T LET ME TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.

And here’s a little hot first chapter action:

My bike skidded into the alley beside the café.  I knew I was late.  I leaned it up against the building, pulled my damp braid away from my neck, and fanned out my shirt.

“Where have you been, Callie?  Your shift starts at nine.  No excuses.  I’m not going to treat you differently than anyone else on the staff.  It sets a bad example.” My mom was rolling out dough on the table. There was flour on her apron and in her hair. It had obviously been a busy morning. She barely looked up from her work as she acknowledged me.

I looked at the clock on the wall.  9:15. “Sorry.”  I mumbled as I grabbed my apron.  “Where do you want me today?”

Mom sighed, pausing for a minute to think strategy.  “Barista station.”

Not so bad. I figured she’d give me something I hated to punish me for being late. My mom ran a tight ship. The Magnolia Café was her dream in action and she wasn’t about to let anyone, including me, screw it up. But I loved making the coffee. It was what we were known for. I liked helping the island wake up.  The regular faces became more recognizable each day.

This was my first summer as an official employee.  I’d worked behind the scenes for years.  I was thrilled to be old enough to be a real part of the team. Even if it I was working for my mom, I wanted to make a good impression.

“Guess what?  I met the twins.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Caroline’s niece and nephew.  Taryn and Tristan.”  We rented the guest house on Caroline’s sprawling property.  I’d been hearing stories about Caroline’s family my whole life.  Her sister was a model, married to a movie star.  Did it get any more glamorous than that?

“Oh.”  Recall was written all over her face.  My mother found Caroline’s family less impressive than I did.  We didn’t even have a TV in the house, that’s how much she cared about Hollywood. “Were their parents there as well?”

“I don’t know.  I just saw the twins.”

“Did Caroline say anything about the party?”

“What party?”  I had no idea what my mother was talking about.

“Never mind.  She wouldn’t say anything to you, anyway.” I felt like a little kid for the second time this morning.

I headed out front to relieve Olga, the early morning barista.  Keisha, my cousin, was tidying up behind the counter and restocking the muffins and bagels. She came every summer from Jamaica to work with us at the Magnolia.

“What’s going on, girl?  You’re late.”  She hip checked me playfully as I walked passed her to the coffee station.

“So I hear.  Good morning to you, too.”

“Ha!  You were fired, you know.”

“Yeah I’m sure.”  Where else was my mother going to find such willing, well trained, underpaid labor?

“You missed the hot Australian dude.  That man can eat his croissant in my bed any day….”

I giggled and swatted at Keisha. “Oh!  That reminds me.  I met the twins.”

“What twins?”

Apparently I was the only person who was excited about this.  I was starting to feel a little foolish telling everyone so enthusiastically about my meeting.  “Caroline’s niece and nephew.  Tristan and Taryn.  From California.”

“Oooooh, the movie star kids.”  Now I had Keisha’s attention.

“Yes.”

“Tell me all about them.”

“I don’t know, it was quick.  We didn’t say much.  But Tristan is really good looking.”

“Oh yeah?  How old are they?”

“Gosh, I don’t know…Caroline said they weren’t much older than me, but they looked like they were about twenty five.”

“All those famous people have botox and nose jobs and boob jobs…did the girl have a boob job?”

“I didn’t know I was supposed to check out her chest for you.”

“God, I’d love a boob job.  Instead I got a big ass.  So how good looking are you talking?”

I blushed a little bit as I started making a nonfat caramel latte for Janis, one of the regulars.  “Really good looking.  Like I didn’t know it was possible to be that good looking.”

I could still feel where Tristan squeezed my hand while he looked me right in the eyes, making my knees knock.  I could still smell the spiciness of his cologne.

“He must be gay then.”  I was a little mortified by that.  I shot a quick look at Janis, who was smirking at our conversation.  I added her extra whipped cream before she even asked.

“What?”

“Anyone from California who’s that good looking has got to be gay, girl.  Get used to it.”

“How many people have you met from California?”

“None.  But I know.  I read Perez Hilton.”

Who? “Is he on NPR? Because that’s all I ever get to listen to and you know it.” My mom ran a tight ship at home too. We didn’t have cable and I got homeschooled. My pop culture knowledge was embarrassingly nonexistent.

“Oh yeah, I forgot I was back in the stone ages for a minute.” Keisha rolled her eyes. “I’m just saying, that’s how it is.”

It was just easier to agree with her. “Whatever. He didn’t seem gay.  Not like I’d know if he was anyway.  But I don’t think so.”

“I guess between the two of us, we’ll find out, right?”

I Said The Wrong Thing (and a giveaway!)

Today’s brew: Lime seltzer. I’m going to Las Vegas in 18 days. I need to lay off the bread and the beer if I expect to look cute in my party clothes.

by Kristen

Write what you know. It’s the most common advice people give writers.  It’s a security blanket for new writers. While we’re working on our pacing, plot, and conflict, we don’t have to worry about researching details about character traits.  It’s why Julie’s Nicholas practices Karate, and her book is set in New Hampshire.  It’s why I wrote about rock stars and reality shows, and set my books in Las Vegas in Massachusetts.  We know these things inside and out. We can incorporate insider details to make the characters and setting feel authentic.

But what happens when things you know are considered opinions by other people?

Because the Night had many beta readers, rounds of edits, and early readers.  As it was in production to go live, a reviewer pointed out that the way I referred to Callie’s hair and skin color might be considered offensive to some readers.

Oh. My. God.

In cosmetology school, we were taught to use food references when talking about hair color. How many times have you gone to get your hair done and not get what you ask for? Well, everyone knows food. It’s an easy way to communicate what you want. Butter and caramel are two totally different colors, and shades of highlight. Callie is biracial, and she has unusual coloring. It seemed natural to refer to these in my go to food terms, so everyone would know exactly what I pictured her to look like.  Apparently, that’s not politically correct.

*please pause while Kristen dies a little inside*

So one faux pas. We’re all allowed that, right? Well, I did it again.  In Seasons in the Sun, a huge gala that takes place. The book is set on Martha’s Vineyard, in super liberal Massachusetts. To me, it seemed natural to make it a fundraiser for President Obama, since his family vacations on the island every year. It wasn’t meant to be a political statement at all.  For the ending to make sense, I needed an over the top event. Unless aliens landed on the island, the President was as big as I could get.

Well, I underestimated people’s strong feelings about Mr. President.  Some people thought it was a political statement.

*Kristen dies a little more*

I know the place for my opinions is not in my books. Even though the main characters could care less about the political implications, the secondary characters do. This isn’t a post about not having opinions. We should all have strong opinions, and we should be able to respect each other’s differences. I just never thought I’d ruffle feathers that way in my romance novels.

I’m giving away my politically incorrect novels! And lip gloss. Because if you’re going to put your foot in your mouth, you should be properly glossed.  Click below and win stuff!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SEASONS IN THE SUN Cover Reveal!

Today’s Brew: Back to Pumpkin Spice

by Kristen

I’ve been a busy little bee!  SEASONS IN THE SUN, the prequel to BECAUSE THE NIGHT, will be released on December 4!  It’s a YA contemporary novella chronicling the summer that Callie met Tristan.  So if you wondered why she’s so hung up on him, this might answer some of your questions.

Without further ado….here’s some cover art for your soul:

Seasons in the Sun available 12.4.13

And here’s the blurb:

Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie’s sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn’t show anyone else. She’s determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she’s the one who’s wrong about him. He’s beyond her help. But it’s too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

And SEASONS IN THE SUN on Goodreads!!

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