Monday, August 22, 2016

Keeping Her Secret is out Today!

It's the Book Birthday to Keeping Her Secret!!!! I love this book and hope y'all will check it out!

All’s fair in love and summertime prank wars

The last person Riya Johnson expected to run into at her new summer camp is Courtney Chastain—her childhood best friend and the girl who broke her heart after a secret, mind-blowing, life-altering kiss. She definitely didn’t expect to be sharing a bunk bed with her for four long weeks.

Courtney has what every girl wants—she’s beautiful, rich, and the object of every boy’s desire at Camp Pine Ridge. Too bad none of them make her feel an iota of what Riya’s kiss did all those years ago. But Courtney needs to uphold appearances at all costs—even if it means instigating an all-out prank war with Riya as her main target.

Neither girl can stop thinking about the other…but that doesn’t mean they can give up past hurts and take a chance on a future together.

Read the first chapter at the Entangled Teen website!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

What readers are saying

★★★★★"This book deserves all the praise and then some, one of my favorite reads of this year, and maybe even my life. So many parts inspired me, moved me and just made me want more." –Olivia Channel,

★★★★★"Keeping Her Secret is one of those magical books that keeps you turning pages long after you should have gone to bed. I recommend the book completely, and if I were a teacher I would place it on my required summer reading list." –Bonajean McAneney, Goodreads Reviewer

★★★★★"I really loved this book. It was such an honest look at young women learning to accept their sexuality and being comfortable enough to express it." –Bette Hansen, Goodreads Reviewer

About the Author

Sarah Nicolas is a recovering mechanical engineer, library event planner, and author. She lives in Orlando with a 60-lb mutt who thinks he’s a chihuahua. Sarah writes YA novels as Sarah Nicolas and romance under the name Aria Kane. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing volleyball or drinking wine. She is a contributor for Book Riot and at YAtopia.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Actual Beach Reads: Daytona Beach & more at Book Riot

Since there was so much talk about what makes a "beach read" and what kinds of books qualify, I went to the World's Most Famous Beach to find out what people were actually reading on the beach.

What's the most popular genre? The most popular book? Find out in my Book Riot article here.

Since my last update, I've also contributed to the following Book Riot group posts:

Happy reading!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sarah Nicolas at Book Riot

As you may or may not have seen on my various social media accounts, I'm now a contributor at Book Riot!

I've had four posts published so far and more on the way!

"They pay me real, actual money to talk to authors in a four-story building full of books. It’s basically heaven for a bookish extrovert.

But before I started this job… let’s just say it was a dark time."

Why I Sacrificed 45% of My Salary to Work in a Library, May 3, 2016

"But most surprising: it was smart. Clever. Sex-positive. Touching, but not corny. It was everything I never knew I needed. Everything I’d been told romance wasn’t.

I had been lied to."

Why I'm a Romance Evangelist, May 11, 2016

"It’s been over a month since my city, formerly a synonym for family vacations, became a synonym for tragedy. Few people outside of our town realize that Orlando is also home to a thriving and growing literary community."

#Litlando Meets #OrlandoStrong: The Orlando Bookish Community's Response to the Pulse Shooting, July 18, 2016

"I have a lot of books. The pile of boxes of books is literally bigger than the pile of all my other belongings combined."

The Stages of Moving When You Own a Lot of Books, July 27, 2016

I also contribute to regular posts about what all the contributors are reading and what are favorite books of a certain time period. Here are those:

The Best Books of 2016, So Far June 27, 2016
The Best Books We Read in June June 29, 2016
Peek Over Our Shoulders July 11, 2016
Peek Over Our Shoulders July 21, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sarah Nicolas & Leigh Mar #PitchWars Bios and Wishlist

Welcome to our corner of the Pitch Wars blog hop! Lost? Here’s more info on #PitchWars, a mentoring/pitch contest combo for MG, YA, NA, and Adult fiction authors looking for a literary agent.

This is Sarah’s fifth year mentoring Pitch Wars and Leigh’s first after being one of Sarah’s mentees last year. We are excited to be teaming up and fully intend to WIN!

In past years, Sarah has coached mentees who have “won” the YA category – i.e., gotten the most requests from agents. Almost all of her past mentees have gotten an agent or a book deal following Pitch Wars – including Leigh, who signed with Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency with her Pitch Wars MS.

#TeamSarah (Or #TeamCoffeeDragon) Alumnae:


*Chelsea and Shannon did not get offers immediately from Pitch Wars, but since I have great taste in writers ;-) they did eventually get agents/book deals.

About us

Sarah writes YA as Sarah Nicolas (Dragons are People, Too and the forthcoming YA f/f romancKeeping Her Secret) and adult romance as Aria Kane. She’s represented by Rebecca Podos at the Rees Literary Agency and has worked as a Publicity Director for Entangled Publishing and in the editorial department of two small publishers. Sarah used to read slush for Liz Pelletier and Prophecy Girl was the first book she ever "pulled out of the slush" and championed.

Sarah’s a whedonite, a whovian, and still convinced she’s going to marry Leonardo (the Ninja Turtle). She plays a lot of wallyball and her day job is planning events for a public library.

Get to know Sarah on: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram She also writes for Book Riot and blogs for YAtopia

Leigh Mar writes YA that feels contemporary, but usually has a speculative twist tossed in there somewhere. She interns for a literary agent, reading a MS a week and making recommendations and revision plans. The MS that most excited her this year wound up with six offers of representation, so, she has pretty excellent taste!

Leigh is a wanna-be private eye who spends more time daydreaming than solving crimes. She is a professional marketer by day, writer and reader by night (often, far too late into the night…).

Get to know Leigh on: Twitter, Tumblr. She also blogs for To The Shelves and answers questions at Ask Authors


We are seeking ALL THE YA*

We love all genres. Sarah’s tastes tend to fall towards spec-fic of any kind, but she also enjoys contemporary or historical with a strong hook. Leigh loves plots with twists you don’t see coming and characters you can’t help but root for and follow anywhere (likable or not). We don’t need a love story in our YA, but we do appreciate a good one (main plot, sub plot, unrequited, what have you).

Other interests include: Diverse cultures and settings, breaking of cultural norms (especially gender norms), villains you can love, broken souls realizing they are stronger than they thought, strong and complicated family relationships (especially sisters!), underdogs who take you by surprise, times of change (summers before college, moves to new places, etc.), mysteries, strong voices with smart and witty writing. If you have a genre-bender like Sarah’s 2013 mentee’s Amped, bring it!

We absolutely love and want your LGBTQ+ stories!

*Excluding: hardcore horror, on-screen rape (no exceptions), books centered around sexual assault, dream stories

Edit: This previously said no ghost stories, but we've removed that from our exception list. As long as the ghosts don't have anything to do with dreams, count us in!

What to expect working with us

Be prepared to WORK! We want a mentee with a positive attitude who’s not afraid of hard work, who’s open to constructive criticism and can take feedback and run with it. Last year, Leigh deleted the first 60-some pages off her MS. Poof, gone. She wrote about 20k new words and re-structured the telling of her story while adding a new character and subplot (and it was SO much better!). If you're looking for someone to challenge you to make your book better in every way and to help you write the best damn pitch/query letter your book has ever hoped for, you’ve found the right team.

So if you have an awesome YA, submit to us on August 3rd! In the meantime, read some of Sarah’s query secrets and follow us on Twitter for more #PitchWars prep tips.

(And if you missed the letter for the scavenger hunt, take a muccloser look at my entire post.)

Check out the other YA mentors's wishlists (then come back and join our team, because we're the best!)

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Monday, March 28, 2016


Happy book birthday to Amy Reece!

No amount of counseling can bring Josh Harris back to his old self.

After a tragedy that changed his life forever, eighteen-year-old Josh has lived in a year-long fog of medication and confusion. It’s all he can do to not think about his dad—a culinary genius who raised him in the kitchen. Thankfully, Josh inherited his golden palate and sixth sense for cooking, which is the only thing that makes sense anymore.

For a seventeen-year-old girl, life can’t get much worse…

Bernie Abeyta is a senior in high school and lives with her drug-addicted mother, but has managed to keep her grades up so she can get into college. With her father in prison and her mom’s sleazy boyfriend getting too close for comfort, Bernie turns to her best friend Gabby Rodriguez for help, but discovers Gabby has gone missing. Distressed over her friend’s sudden disappearance, Bernie resorts to living out of her car while she looks for answers and tries to avoid foster care.

Part love, part mystery, part cookbook—and all heart.

During economics class, Josh finds himself captivated by his new project partner, Bernie. As they grow closer, he insists Bernie move in with him and his mother. Furthermore, he offers to help look for Gabby.

Bernie refuses to believe Gabby ran away, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mystery—no matter how great the danger to herself.

Will Bernie’s gritty life be too much for Josh to handle? Or will he fight for The Way to Her Heart?




She cut her hair. Josh realized he was staring at the girl in the next row and pulled his gaze back to his notebook as the teacher droned on about supply and demand curves. I don’t care for short hair on girls. Yet he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. He didn’t even know her name. On Friday her hair had been long, the silky black tresses reaching below her shoulder blades. Today, he could see the back of her neck. He could see how long and slender it was and watched as she reached around to feel it, seeming surprised, perhaps still unused to the short cut. She pushed the long front layer behind her ear. The purple streak is kind of cute, though. He once again forced his gaze back to his notes, reminding himself that he had a girlfriend; a beautiful girlfriend with long blonde hair. Focus, Harris. Get your mind off the pretty girl with the short hair. She was pretty. He’d always thought so, even though he didn’t know her name. He’d heard it; wasn’t it something weird? Enough! Supply, demand. That’s all you need to think about.

“So, for the next few weeks you will be paired up with one of your classmates as we launch a new project designed to help you experience some of what it takes to create and stick to a household budget.” Mr. Griego picked up a stack of index cards from his desk. “I have created a scenario with careers and incomes for each couple. Some of you have children, and some don’t. Every few days you will get a new financial situation you have to deal with. Each week of this project will be the equivalent of one month for your budget. You will turn in a complete six month budget, along with a written report at the end of the project. Each couple will also give a five-minute oral presentation.” He started calling names and handing out index cards. There were groans and titters of laughter as the names were called because some of the couples were same-sex. “Josh Harris and Bernie Abeyta.” No one in the class said anything or laughed at the pairing. Josh wasn’t surprised; he had pretty much fallen off the radar over a year ago. He stood and walked to the front of the room to retrieve the index card.

“Who’s Bernie Abeyta?” he asked quietly. Great. I’m paired with a guy. Just what I needed.

The girl with the short, purple hair raised her hand. “Me.” She sounded bored.

“Okay. I’m, uh, I’m Josh.” He stood in front of her desk, awkwardly shifting from side to side.

“Yeah. I’m Bernie.” She glanced up quickly, meeting his gaze, then looked away.

“You have the last fifteen minutes of class to exchange contact information, phone numbers, email addresses, whatever you need to get in touch with your partner. Most of the project work will need to be on your own time as you will need to visit grocery stores and do some online research,” Mr. Griego said.

Josh sat down in the newly vacated desk in front of Bernie. “So.” He waved the index card. “One of us is a teacher and the other is an attorney. Which do you want to be?”

Bernie shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter to me. You choose.”

He looked at her, a half-smile on his face. Close-up he noticed that she had beautiful, smooth, light-brown skin and her eyes were so dark they looked black. She didn’t wear much makeup; she didn’t need to. “Fine. I’ll be the teacher. You can be the attorney.” She looked up quickly. “Is that okay?”

She shrugged again. “Sure. It doesn’t matter. Do we have kids?”

“Yeah, we have two: an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. So, I guess we should exchange phone numbers and email.” He scrawled his information on a page of his notebook and tore it out, handing it to her.

She took the page, staring at it blankly for a moment before tearing a piece of paper out of her own notebook. “Here’s my email.”

He looked at it. “What’s your cell number?”
“I don’t have one. Just the email.”

“Oh. Okay.” Josh had never heard of anyone his age who didn’t have a cell phone. “So, do you want to get together tonight to get started on this? We could meet at my house. Or yours. Whatever you want.”

“Yours. Here.” She pushed the paper back at him. “Write your address. I have to work until seven. I can be there around seven-thirty. Is that okay?” She didn’t meet his eyes.

“Uh, sure. That’s fine. Here.” He handed the paper back. “Do you need a ride or anything?”


“Oh. Great. So, I’ll, uh, see you tonight. I guess.” He had never been so tongue-tied around a girl.

“Yeah.” She turned her attention back to her notebook, clearly dismissing him.

Josh returned to his seat, chagrined. I seem to have lost my touch. Then again, he hadn’t really been trying very hard for a long time. He used to be much better at this whole thing: friends, girls, talking. Now he simply didn’t have the energy anymore. It was October of his senior year and he was biding his time until he could graduate and move on with his life. She’s really pretty, though. He groaned inwardly as he packed his notebook and shouldered his backpack. He knew he had no business noticing how pretty his new partner was; he should be thinking about how gorgeous his girlfriend had looked in her cheerleading uniform that morning during the pep rally. She was beautiful, sweet, and had stuck by him through a seriously dark time in his life. He had really been phoning it in lately with Kayleigh. Jeez, he could do better. He merged with the flow of humanity in the hallway, determined to do right by her, starting tomorrow at lunch.

About the Author

Amy Reece lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and family. She loves to read and travel and has an unhealthy addiction to dogs. She believes red wine and coffee are the elixirs of life and lead to great inspiration. She is the author of The Seeker Series (YA paranormal) and The Way to Her Heart (YA romantic suspense).

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