Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday's Author Spotlight: Jessica L. Brooks

Today I’m excited to have author Jessica L. Brooks on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight. Jessica writes Young Adult novels and already has four books published. Read more about Jessica’s books here on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight.  

'Pity Isn't an Option' (Cozenage #1):
Seventeen year-old Jonas Norton is trying to come to terms with what his blood disorder has robbed from him, including his two most favorite things: basketball, and competing in Hatchet Racket, Wanless’ annual hatchet-throwing contest. The facts that his father works constantly to pay for his blood tests and Jonas can actually see the disappointment in his eyes for being such a failure only make matters worse. And even worse than all of that? Jonas' own twin brother, Micah, is perfectly healthy and becoming quite the basketball player. Also, Hattie, the girl Jonas has loved for forever? She has no idea how he feels.

Sixteen year-old Hattie Akerman lives down the hill from Jonas. Though her father, Heath, tries to hide his lack of mental clarity behind the bottle and she's pretty much given up on having any kind of relationship with him, she would still rather her younger sister, Lucy, not have to deal with the consequences of his behavior. Hattie helps her mother by baking food to sell at Market and looking out for Lucy. No matter what the rest of the town says about her crazy father, Jonas sticks up for them. He is, by far, her very best friend.

As if things aren’t complicated enough already, Heath and Micah are unexpectedly drafted into President Kendrick's army (an army from which no one ever returns) just days before Thanksgiving. When Heath disappears instead of arriving at the Meeting Place to check in, Hattie and Jonas decide they’ve had enough, and take matters into their own hands. And though nothing could have prepared them for what happens next, Hattie and Jonas learn that hope can be seen in every situation. You just have to know where to look.

This book is available through Audible, Amazon, iBooks, The Book Depository, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble

'If I Speak True' (Flora #1):

Dahlia Kennedy's sixteenth birthday marks a decade of mysterious dahlias arriving and strange, lonely dreams of being in a forest. The only difference this birthday, however, is that for the first time, someone is there with her. And he's practically from a whole other era.

The more often Dahlia visits Rowan in his land of Ambrosia, the stronger their connection grows. But... is Ambrosia real? Is he real? What is going on between the two of them, exactly, and why does he insist that she keep it to herself?
As secrets usually go, however, it's only a matter of time before everything comes out. And when Dahlia finds out the truth of who Rowan is, who she is, and how he really feels -- it’s beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

This book is available through Audible, Amazon, iBooks, The Book Depository, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

'By Sun & Candlelight' (Flora #1.5):
A threat, a missing book, a traitor, and an attack. Even when you choose the light, things aren't always so black and white when they involve matters of the heart.

Rowan has some decisions to make.
Told in Rowan’s point of view, 'By Sun & Candlelight' (Flora, 1.5) gives you a new view into the characters and daily happenings at Castle Lennox and bridges the gap between 'If I Speak True' (Flora, 1) and 'Open Thy Heart' (Flora, 2).

This book is available through Amazon, iBooks, The Book Depository, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.


'Open Thy Heart' (Flora #2):

The secrets just keep coming.

It’s summer in Shaver and, frankly, Dahlia Kennedy is bored. Even though she and Eva are throwing a party for David and she gets to visit Rowan in Ambrosia easier on account of summer hours, it seems like senior year is never going to come. Worse yet, it’s looking like the one thing she’s planned on doing for forever isn’t going to happen.

Cue Dahlia’s Embarrassing Incident: the tipping point that seems to shift everything into a new direction. David’s acting weird. Something happens to Rowan. Dahlia’s forced to ask the least likely person ever for help. A secret is blown wide open.

Conflict between the Lennox Rochforts and the Townsends grows more and more out of control until so much is going on in Ambrosia, Dahlia can barely keep up with life at home. Frustrated with trying to keep track of who knows what, Dahlia continues fighting to help the people she loves, and slowly, the truth is exposed.

Crazy thing is, she had no idea about any of it. And it changes everything she’s ever known.

This book is available through Amazon, iBooks, The Book Depository, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble

Guest Post: How Writing and Life Are a Lot Alike:

Ive been working on a couple of projects lately. As with all of my work, when I start writing, theres never a clear beginning, middle, or end. Specific scenes and dialogue come to me in random order, and I end up working things around them in order to incorporate everything into the overall story. This is a fun part of the process for me: learning where to put the bits and pieces and adding them to the structure that will be the final component.

Recently, my daughter wanted her measurements taken so she could order a dress online. After a bit of digging in my closet, I finally located my old sewing kit. Sadly, the measuring tape was nowhere to be found, but as I stared at the scraps of material filling more than half my container, it occurred to me that these scraps were a lot like the beginning stages of my books. All of them are important, and unique, and beautiful, and meant to be, but by themselves, they dont mean much. They dont look like much, either. Theyre strangely-shaped strips of cloth.

Sewn (or put) together, however, the strips come alive with their colors and patterns and textures, complimenting one another, making each other stand out by enhancing the positives of individual pieces and making them fit together as a whole. Thats how writing is for me. Putting words and phrases and sentences and scenarios together and making them fit in a way that readers will be entertained by a finished product.

Sometimes along the journey of bits-and-pieces of scrap-writing projects, its easy to get discouraged or frustrated when things arent looking immediately beautified and ready to go. I think a lot of things in life can be seen the same way. Whether its a blog post, current work or home project, parenting, or even relationships, its important to remember that, at times, things might feel a little tiresome or appear as if theyre never going to come together; but if we continue to connect the scraps, theyll ultimately become something far beyond their original content. So never write off your scrapsthey very well might end up being a masterpiece!

About the Author:

Jessica L. Brooks is a lover of books, coffee, and all things owl-dorable. She writes young adult books about near-future dystopia (‘Pity Isn’t an Option’, Cozenage #1) and magical realism (the Flora series: ‘If I Speak True’, ‘By Sun & Candlelight’, and ‘Open Thy Heart’) and loves to serve virtual cookies.

Connect with her on her blog, Let Me Tell You A Story, Tumblr, or on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

Books page with lots of fun info including covers, blurbs, writing playlists, book trailers, and Pinterest boards:



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