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Lillie is on Tour!

The Evolution of Lillie Gable is on a blog tour the next two weeks, so book bloggers will be reviewing and writing about the book and a little about me. Stop by each site and check them out. 

May 3 - Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours - Kick Off

May 3 - Penny For My Thoughts with Interview

May 4 - Texas Book Nook

May 5 - Andi's YA Books 

May 6 - A Life Through Books

May 7 - Head in the Clouds with Interview

May 8 - Young Adult Book Madness

May 10 - What U Talkin 'Bout Willis

May 11 - The Things We Read

May 12 - Coffee Book Mom

May 15 - Dreams Come True Through Reading

May 16 - Books Direct

May 17 - Simpson's Paradox

May 17 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up

Plus, to celebrate the blog tour, The Evolution of Lillie Gable is on sale for $0.99 in the Amazon Kindle Store. If you haven't picked up a copy, now is your chance to get it on discount. Here's the link to buy your copy. Thanks & Happy Reading!

Release Day for The Evolution of Lillie Gable: Read the First Chapter for Free!

I am super excited that today is release day for The Evolution of Lillie Gable. I am really proud of this book, and I can't wait for you to read it. So I'm going to cut to the chase. Go buy the book in the Amazon store. It's only $2.99 on Kindle or $11.99 for a paperback. If you need a little teaser, the book description and entire first chapter is below. 

Oh. One more thing. If you don't have a Kindle, you can read kindle books on any android or apple device. Simply download the free kindle app. Happy reading!

Meet Lillie Gable- 
high school sophomore, outgoing, beautiful, athletic, and funny

She is the life of any party. Her boyfriend, Jake, is a smoking hot senior, and Lillie is on track to be a starter on the varsity girls' basketball team this year. 

But trouble looms behind the façade. Lillie's home life is a wreck. Her father is hiding a secret, and Lillie is determined to find the truth, even if it tears apart her family. 

While she searches for the truth about her father, the last thing Lillie needs is a feud with Angela Barrett, the brass, bleached blonde senior who is the queen of the rumor mill. Angela is determined to ruin Lillie's reputation because she has set her sights on Lillie's boyfriend, Jake. 

Heartbroken and humiliated, Lillie can't return to the life she once knew. Does she have the strength and resolve to forge a new path now that everything is changing? 


The sound of something vibrating woke Lillie Gable from a deep sleep, but she cast off her comforter and sprung up to find the source of the buzzing. She stepped over the heap of clothes in the middle of the floor and rooted through the mess of folders, notebooks, and papers. Under her class schedule, she found her cell phone. 

“Hey, Rachel,” she said. “You woke me up.”

“Good,” Rachel said. “You need to get out of bed. It’s the last day of summer.” 

Lillie turned and looked at her clock. “Jake and I can meet you at the beach by noon,” she said. 


Lillie hung up the phone and texted her boyfriend, Jake. She found one of her swimsuits on top of the pile of clean clothes next to her closet. After Lillie changed and gathered a few supplies for the beach, she walked down the stairs. Her mother, Leslie, was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher. 

“Good morning,” her mother said. 

“Hi, Mom,” Lillie grabbed a bowl from the cabinet next to where her mother stood. Lillie’s latest growth spurt put her at five feet ten inches, and when she stood next to her short and stocky mother, Lillie looked like a giant. Her mother’s short and spiky pixie hairstyle was also much different than Lillie’s long, brown hair. The lone resemblance between mother and daughter were their bright, hazel eyes. 

“I have some bad news,” her mother said. 

“What?” Lillie said. 

“Your father won’t be home until tomorrow morning now, so we have to reschedule our family dinner.” 

Lillie’s parents had a tradition to celebrate the last day of summer together. School resumed on Tuesday, so the family planned dinner for Monday at one of their favorite restaurants. 

“Seriously? It’s been on the calendar for a month now,” Lillie said. Lillie’s mother worked as an intensive care unit nurse. She worked the evening shift, four nights on, then two nights off. Dan Gable, Leslie’s father, was a sales manager who travelled a few days of every week for work. With her parents’ schedule, the opportunity for all three of them to be together was rare. 

“He has to stay an extra day in Chicago for work,” her mother said. She had her back to Lillie. 

“Figures,” Lillie said. “I should have guessed Dad would bail.” 

“Your father isn’t bailing on you.” Her mother turned to face Lillie. “He has to work. I know he would rather be home with you.”

“Whatever you say,” Lillie said. She was tired of her father’s work schedule and his excuses. He was always traveling for work, and he skipped out on Lillie’s basketball games and their family plans a lot. The last straw with her father came the night before the district final last March. To celebrate Lillie dressing varsity as a freshman player, her father had planned a night out for the two of them. He’d bought tickets for the Cleveland Cavaliers game and made reservations at a new barbecue restaurant next to the Cavs arena. Lillie had been excited to watch Lebron James play and spend time with her dad.

 After practice, Lillie went home, but her father never showed. He called an hour later, apologizing profusely about having to stay late at work. Lillie didn’t buy it—it was Friday night. Furious and frustrated, Lillie went out with her boyfriend to a party. To feel better, she drank a few beers and then a few more. By midnight, she couldn’t talk in complete sentences. Worried that she might have alcohol poisoning, her boyfriend, Jake, drove her to his house to keep on eye on her for the night. With Lillie’s phone, Jake texted her mother to tell her she was staying over her best friend Rachel’s house for the night. 

By the time Jake woke her the next morning, Lillie had missed the bus for the district final. She checked her phone to see several text messages and a missed call. Rachel Brandt, her best friend and teammate, left a voicemail and messaged Lillie to ask why she wasn’t on the bus. Her mother texted a good luck message, but her father hadn’t called or texted to check on her. Lillie brushed away the tears forming in her eyes. Her father didn’t care about her. 

Jake drove Lillie to the game, and she arrived before the opening tip, but her coaches wouldn’t let her sit on the bench with her teammates. Lillie was a starter for the junior varsity team, and typically, she only played a few minutes in the varsity games. She cheered for her teammates from the stands, furious at her father, and disappointed in herself. Her absence on the bench didn’t hurt the team’s chances of winning the game, but she lost the trust of her coaches. Lillie vowed to never trust or rely on her father again. 

“What are your plans for the day?” her mother asked. Lillie snapped out of her memories, letting the anger settle back inside her. 

“Going to the beach,” Lillie said. 

“It will be a perfect day to be at the beach,” her mother replied. Lillie’s phone buzzed in her pocket. She glanced at it. 

“Jake’s here,” she said. “I’ll see you later.” 

“Let’s play boys versus girls,” Lillie said with a devious grin. Her chestnut-brown hair blew with the lake breeze. She turned to Rachel who sat next to her on their blanket in the sand. 

“We can take them,” Rachel said. She smiled, but her brown eyes were sizing up their boyfriends, Brent and Jake. The boys were standing a few feet away tossing a football to each other in the sand. 

“Let’s play, then,” Jake said. He walked over to the blanket and offered a hand to Lillie. His messy, blond hair and blue eyes were hard to resist, but Lillie waved him away. 

“I don’t need any help from you,” she said. “You guys are going down!” Lillie vaulted forward, sending sand flying in all directions. A few nearby sunbathers turned in their direction offering up dirty looks to Lillie. She yelled “Sorry!” on her way into the gentle, cool waves of Lake Erie. 

Due to a mild summer, the lake water remained chilly until a week or so ago. The cold water hadn’t kept Lillie out of the water earlier this summer, but she was bummed that the warm water had only returned in time for school to start. 

Lillie, Rachel, Brent, and Jake waded through the rocks and waves to the sandbar. The water reached Lillie’s shoulders before she felt the sand between her toes. On the sandbar, the shallow water rose to Lillie’s waist at the deepest sections—perfect for a game of water football with the boys. 

“Okay, what’s our strategy?” Rachel asked. Lillie stood a few inches taller than her best friend, but whatever advantage Rachel lost in height to Lillie, she made up with speed and tenacity. 

The boys were talking to each other several feet away. “Beat them,” Lillie said.

Together, Lillie and Rachel were tough to beat on the basketball court. When they weren’t on the court, they didn’t like to lose, even in a game of water football with their boyfriends. 

“The good news is we weigh the same as the boys,” Lillie said. Rachel laughed. Brent was tall, maybe an inch or two over six feet, but his body was typical of a runner–skinny and toned. Lillie guessed she weighed more than Brent with his three-percent body fat. Jake’s frame resembled the typical male high school athlete’s. He didn’t play any sports at Eastbrook anymore, but his free time was spent at the gym. He was close to six feet tall with broad shoulders, toned arms, and six-pack abs.

“That’s not a plan,” Rachel said, glancing over her shoulder at the boys. 

“I don’t know. Hit them where it hurts?” Lillie said. “Let’s play, we don’t need strategy.” 

“The end zones line up with the buoys,” Brent shouted across the water as he pointed to his left and right. “Ladies can have the ball first. Ready?” Lillie and Rachel looked at each other, then both gave a thumbs up. 

Brent launched the football into the air toward the girls. Lillie backed up a few paces, waving Rachel off. She caught the ball.

“Block for me!” Lillie shouted. She started running, but her dash for the end zone through the water resembled a power walk. The water slowed her down, but Brent looked like he was gliding through it without any resistance. As he closed in on her, his blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight, and Lillie knew she was in trouble. She looked over her shoulder. Rachel jogged behind her, so Lillie slowed down.

“I’ll take care of Brent,” Rachel said. “Let me lead!” 

They ran forward. With Brent a dive away from Lillie, Rachel dashed in front of Lillie and took a flying leap at Brent. She caught him off guard, sending both of them crashing into the water. Lillie laughed and kept running. 

With Brent down, Jake remained the only obstacle to Lillie’s touchdown. She knew he wanted to tackle her, to feel her body close to his, but she didn’t want to give him that joy during this game. She had a touchdown to score. If she barreled through him, she could make it to the buoy. 

Lillie put all her strength and speed into forward motion and steamrolled Jake. She elbowed him in the stomach, and a knee landed below the belt. He crumpled into the water, so Lillie hesitated. He resurfaced seconds later and leaped for Lillie, wrapping his arms around her waist. She pressed forward, looking at the buoy several paces ahead on her left. Her legs burned from carrying Jake’s heft and weight, but a touchdown was within her reach. Dragging Jake behind her, Lillie used her remaining strength for a final push to the goal line. She lunged forward.

“Touchdown!” she shouted, crossing the imaginary goal line. Jake released his grip on her. Lillie threw her arms in the air and then spiked the football into the water, splashing both of them. Rachel celebrated from across the water with cheers and arms raised, and she failed to see Brent until he tackled her. They both fell into the water. Lillie laughed. 

“We let you have that,” Jake said as he approached Lillie. 

“No, you didn’t,” she said. “We scored on you fair and square.” 

“I’m not sure I would call a knee to the groin fair,” he said.

“Sorry about that,” Lillie said, turning to him. “Let me make that up to you.” She wrapped her arms around him and let her lips dance with his. His wet, muscled body was warm against hers. 

“Maybe you can make it up to me later?” he asked between kisses. 

“We’ll see,” she said, pulling apart from him. “First, we have a game to finish. She grabbed the football and swam to Rachel.

They played a few more rounds in the water before calling the game. Lillie and Rachel squeaked by with a win because they had one more offensive possession than the boys. They didn’t care if it was unfair; they wanted to win. 

Exhausted, the four of them strolled out of the water and sprawled across their blanket in the sand. The girls took the middle places with the boys on opposite ends. With the sun at its afternoon peak, they dried off in a matter of minutes. 

“I can’t believe today is the last day of summer,” Rachel said. 

“I know. It sucks,” Jake said. “At least it will be my senior year. One more year at Eastbrook.” 

“Lucky,” Lillie said. Rachel and Brent were juniors, but Lillie was the young one of the group—she was a sophomore. 

“Either way, it’s going to be a great year,” Rachel said. 

Lillie knew it would have to be better than last year for Rachel. Rachel had lived with her grandparents all of her life. Her father was killed in the Gulf War when she was a baby, and her mother had been out of the picture until last year. Against her grandparents’ wishes, Rachel met her mother. The meeting wasn’t what Rachel expected. She discovered the truth about her mother, father and why her mother left. The truth devastated Rachel, but over time, she moved forward. She forgave her mother and started talking with her.  

“I agree,” Brent said. 

Lillie looked over at Brent and Rachel, who lay close together with their hands fingers intertwined. They looked at each other like they would be together forever. Brent had stayed by Rachel’s side through the tough moments last year. Their romance is more than a typical high school fling, she thought. She turned her head to face her boyfriend. She had fun with Jake, maybe a little too much fun, but she couldn’t imagine a life beyond high school with him. 

Jake pulled into Lillie’s empty driveway. She kissed Jake good-bye and walked through the front door into an empty house. She wondered where her mother was. Lillie marched through the entryway, past the living room, into the kitchen in the back of the house. Under the basketball magnet on the refrigerator, Lille saw a note and a twenty-dollar bill. 


I took an extra shift tonight at the hospital. Here’s money to order pizza or to go out with your friends. 



Lillie ripped the note to shreds and threw it in the trash. Home alone again. She picked up her phone and called Jake. 

“I know you just left, but want to come over? My parents are gone for the night.” 

“Sure. Let me shower at home, then I’ll be there.” 

“Great. That is enough time for me to shower and clean up,” Lillie said. 

“I can help you shower,” he said. 

Lillie groaned. “No thanks. See you in a bit,” she said. She walked upstairs and jumped into the shower. By the time her hair was dry, she heard Jake’s car pull in. She hurried down the stairs to greet him. 

Jake walked in carrying a six-pack of beer. He wore black athletic shorts with a snug, gray Eastbrook football T-shirt that accentuated his muscles. Lillie bit her lip. 

“Didn’t you say something about a family dinner?” he asked, placing the beer in the fridge. 

“They ditched,” Lillie said. 

“That’s good news for us.” He walked over and sat next to Lillie on the sofa in the living room. He leaned in and kissed her. She kissed him back, her lips growing more furious with each moment, pushing her hurt further back with every kiss. The touch of his cool hands on her back sent a shiver through her body. She pulled him on top of her on the couch. 

It was almost ten, and Jake needed to go home, but she didn’t want him to leave her in the empty house. 

“I have an idea,” he said. He threw on his T-shirt and stood up. “We both don’t want this awesome summer to end, so I think we should have one more day of summer.”

“What are you saying?” Lillie asked. 

“Let’s ditch school tomorrow. We can spend the day at the beach. It will be quiet because everyone will be at school, and we get to have one more day at the beach,” he said. Excitement was written all over his face.

“Ditch? I don’t know, Jake,” she said. She loved his impulsiveness, but ditching school could get her in serious trouble. 

“It’s the first day. You know nothing happens on the first day. Teachers aren’t paying attention to who should be at school and who isn’t there. It’s the perfect day to ditch. We’ll leave at the same time we should be heading to school. Your parents won’t have a clue. They aren’t around ever.” He grabbed her hands and looked into her eyes. “C’mon, it will be lots of fun.” She turned her gaze from him and mulled over his argument. He’s right. The first day of school is pointless.

“Okay. Let’s do it,” she said. He grinned, gave her a big hug, and lightly kissed her lips. 

“I’ll pick you up first thing.” He turned and walked out the door. Lillie locked the door behind him. She turned off the lights before heading upstairs. She brushed her teeth, set her alarm, and collapsed on her bed. The silence overwhelmed her. She switched on her television so she could sleep.

I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of The Evolution of Lillie Gable. Click here to buy the book

The Photograph is Free in the Kindle Store

The Photograph is free this week in the Amazon Kindle store. Pick it up March 24-28 for zero dollars. Here's the link to get your copy. Read it and let me know what you think!

By the way, if you don't have a kindle, you can read kindle books on your iPad or other Android device. Simply download the free kindle app.

Happy reading!

October 2014 Book Reviews

October was a packed reading month. Three of the books I read were brand new releases that I was excited to read right away. They didn't disappoint! Check out the video or the reviews below for more details on the books I read. What have you read recently?[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COYSmoAHa5I]

Balanced on the Blade's Edge by Lindsay Buroker Balanced on the Blade's Edge is so much fun to read. The novel is a steampunk romance with a heavy dose of adventure. I love the witty dialogue and narration throughout the book. It made me laugh out loud several times. The characters develop nicely, despite it being a shorter book. The action scenes keep the pace moving, and I even liked the steamy romance sections. I am excited to keep reading this series by a great indie author! 6 out of 7 stars

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas - The Throne of Glass series evolves in this third installment. The first two books were action packed and fast paced with some character development along the way. In this third book, the structure changes. The story focuses on character development and world building with very little action, especially compared to the first two books. This makes the book seem slow at parts, especially in the first half. I knew the story was building to something greater, so I didn't mind, but I could see how the slow pace could turn off readers. However, the last third of the book was great. I couldn't put it down at that point. The POV chapters from Manon (a witch) also feel misplaced and disconnected, but I am confident it will make sense in the greater story arc of the next book. I think this is morphing from a light young adult fantasy to a high fantasy series. I like it. 6 out of 7 stars

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - I loved The Sky is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson's debut novel, so I was excited to read this one. It didn't disappoint. The story is stunning. I adored the dual point of views from the varying time periods. I also liked the element of mystery to the novel and figuring out exactly what happened to Noah and Jude. But most of all, I loved the story of Noah and Jude. It was so good. I did feel a little bogged down with the long chapter lengths (especially since it's YA), and some of the quirky language. I also wonder if teens are truly the target audience of the book. It just didn't sit with me as a novel teens will flock to reading. Maybe too literary? Either way, I liked it. You probably will too. 6 out of 7 stars

Unstrung by Kendra C. HighleyUnstrung is the first in a new YA series from Kendra Highley. Unstrung is a sci-fi, dystopian novel where artificial humans were created to be a new workforce. As the technology increases, these artificial humans or "Bolts" have become more and more human. Lexa, the main character, is on a crusade to free these bolts from their slavery. I enjoyed this novel. The pacing of this story was great–it really kept the plot moving. I found myself intrigued at the greater story arc about the bolts and this society. With so many dystopian novels these days, I am curious how Highley plans to differentiate Unstrung. I did want a little more character development and backstory, but I hear there is a prequel on the way to address it. Overall, Unstrung is a fun, enjoyable ya novel, and I'm looking forward to more in the series. 6 out of 7 stars


The Girl in Between by Laekan Zea Kemp - The Girl In Between is an intriguing young adult novel. Bryn, the main character, suffers from a condition that causes her to sleep for days or weeks at a time in a coma-like state. She starts having vivid dreams during this state, and meets a boy named Rowan in this dream. The dreams cause her to search for him when she's awake while she meets with doctors searching for a cure. We also learn about her family, friends, and school for Bryn. On the positive side, I loved the unique concept of the story. It caught my interest, and I am intrigued to see where the story goes, especially with the cliffhanger at the end. I did find the pacing a little slow for my liking, but I'm not a reader who likes extra fluff and exposition.  5 out of 7 stars



Rating System Guide

7 stars = Phenomenal book – one of the  best books I’ve read

6 stars = Great book – worth your time to read

5 stars = Solid book, if you like the genre pick it up

4 stars = Okay book, maybe lacking something in the way of language, character development, story

3 stars = I probably should have stopped reading this book.

1 or 2 stars = Serious issues with plot, structure, language, or not a book for me.