Wednesday, June 6, 2018

7 Tips to Make Your Summer a Success, IWSG, + Win a Beach Book


Are you ready? I'm so ready.

It's the season for beach reads, vacation, and kicking it with a capital "K". To start us off right, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Plan your road trips wisely.

2. It's okay if plans go amiss, as long as you make your destination in the end.

3. Enjoy each moment to the fullest.

4. Take things slow.

5. Don't get overwhelmed.

6. And HAVE FUN!

7. But remember, you can't take it home with you, so make good memories.


And last of all, the IWSG question for the month. I know some of you will spend the months dreading the lack of writing you get done, but keep in mind that life goes fast. Enjoy each moment.

The question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Titles, though I usually don't struggle with either. Titles can get sorted out by a publisher...or critique group.

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
Beverly Stowe McClure,
Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

Last month Judy Corry shared MEET ME THERE along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win a signed print copy.

The game:

1. I broke my toe doing a cartwheel into my friend's back.
2. I lived in 4 different houses on the same street.
3. I speak fluent Italian.

The lie: #3. From Judy: I speak a little German. (My dad taught it.) But my husband is the one who is fluent in Italian and lived there for two years before we were married. We wrote emails back and forth during that time, so Italian has a special place in my heart. This is why I made the main character in my book DON'T FORGET ME half-Italian.)

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Christine!

Today is all about summer, eh? And today I've got an awesome summer read for you (clean romance for the pool side). Check it out:


Ethan Walters has no time for distractions like romance. Not if he's going to have the brilliant medical career he's always dreamed of. But when he's given a trip to a theme park resort as a college graduation present, he can't exactly say no. Even if Samantha--the one girl with the power to dismantle his goals--is tagging along.

Samantha Diederik has managed to avoid her high society mother’s manipulations since the woman moved to Europe. Now she’s back and pressuring Sam to move to New York with her. With that battle on the horizon, Sam proceeds with a vacation with her brother and his roommate. She’s crushed on Ethan for years. They've only met online, but their hours-long conversations are the highlight of her week. Now she has a chance to find out if the cyber magic she's felt with him will translate to real life.

And wow, does it ever--with sparks flying! Now all she has to do is find a way to fight off her mother's machinations while convincing Ethan she won’t destroy his dreams.

Buy your copy for 99 cents now on Amazon.

Ready to meet Donna K. Weaver?




Award-winning author, wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer.

She loves Muenster cheese, but usually only get it when she attends those luncheons with sandwich trays. (Poor thing! She just needs to come to my house!)

Donna gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win the winner's choice of an AUDIOBOOK or EBOOK of SWING VOTE. (Open internationally.) DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT WITH AN EMAIL ON THE PROFILE? No problem. LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL crystal@crystal-collier.com to enter.

You have until Tuesday, July 3rd at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on July 4th, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I was interviewed on TV just before the release of the last Harry Potter Book, Deathly Hallows.
2. I started school in Greece.
3. I flunked the second grade.

So sleuths, which is the lie? What are you most looking forward to about summer? Have any great tips for making summer rock? Do you like clean romance stories?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Do You Love Your Mother? & IWSG

You have a mom. I have a mom. Everyone has a mom.


Not all mothers are created equal, but generally speaking, no matter who she is, she wants what's best for you. Before I was a mom, I was a driven, multi-talented individual who was going to take the world by storm. For 10 years after I became a mother, I clung to those aspirations.

Hollow aspirations?
But things happen--moving to NYC and having no option but to home school (I was NEVER going to home school), chronic sicknesses (being down and out for 3+ years really takes a toll), being far from extended family and forced to rely on my individual family alone...

I found the joy in nurturing and raising children. I was pouring all my creativity into home schooling and mothering.

My books were part of my young girls aspirations, and finally getting a few of them out there felt amazing...for a moment. Being published blew my mind. Literally. It contributed to the stress that kept me down during my chronic illness. I was already juggling so much to keep a household and 3 separate grade curriculums going, and to those who haven't experienced it, publication has the potential to take over your entire life. Forever. Because it never ends.

Ah, the lessons we can't learn except in doing...

For the time being, I'm on a publishing hiatus. I admit, occasionally there is a twinge of jealousy when I read about other people's successes, but these are the best years of my life, and I plan to enjoy them to the fullest.


After all, when I get to the end of this life, my greatest successes won't be my abundance of novels. It will be my children.

Even the bad moments.
This mother's day, be sure to say thank you to your mother. You never know what she gave up on your behalf. If she's not around, pass on stories of her goodness to the next generation. And if you're like me, stuck in the middle,


Keep at it.

On a related note, how about the IWSG question for the month:  It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

So when you have wicked allergies, spring is not the most productive season. (But it's awesome for sinus infections.) =P

Huge thanks for hosting
Alex Cavanaugh
E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose,
C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

Last month, Michelle R. Reid shared ALICE GAMES along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win a print copy or eBook.

The game:

1. I'm a certified falconer.
2. I was seriously studying to be a Manga artist when I was 18 years old.
3. The first time I saw Jurassic Park, I was eight, in a dark basement, alone, at Crystal's house! 

The lie: #1. She specialized in raptures in zoology for a time while at college, but never did actually become a falcon pro.

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Congrats, Tyrean!

Moms, and all of you who read YA, I've discovered a fabulous author whose works are mom approved (aka clean), and fun to boot. Check it out:

A dark Chemistry lab. A fake British accent. It's all fun and games until somebody falls in love.

When sixteen-year-old, Ashlyn Brooks, runs into a sweet British guy in the dark Chemistry lab, she has no idea she's actually sitting in the pitch black room with her longtime rival, Luke Davenport. She also doesn't know that she's stepped into another one of the football captain's pranks. It isn't long before she's sharing things she's never told anyone, and starting to fall for the mysterious guy with a sexy accent who seems to understand her in a way no one ever has before.

When Luke's mom dies the summer before his senior year, he turns to pranking Ashlyn to keep his mind off his loss. But the more he gets to know her, the more he regrets using his fake British accent in the first place. Soon Luke is walking the thin line of keeping his lies a secret and wishing he could tell her that the boy she's falling for is really him.

Meet Me There is a standalone novel in The Ridgewater High series, a collection of simmering YA contemporary romances. If you like sweet romance with ballad-worthy chemistry, swoony kisses and endearing characters then you'll love Judy Corry's latest book.

Buy your copy on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?


Judy Corry has been addicted to love stories for as long as she can remember. She reads and writes YA & Clean Contemporary Romance because she can't get enough of the feeling of falling in love. She graduated from Southern Utah University in an area that has nothing to do with writing. Some of her favorite things are chick flicks, singing, and playing the piano. She believes in swoon-worthy kisses and happily ever afters.

Judy met her soul mate while in high school, and married him a few years later. She and her husband are raising four beautiful and crazy children in Southern Utah.

You might run across her snacking on cream cheese and Triscuits, or laughing cow swiss cheeses--especially while she's writing! 

Judy gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win a signed PRINT copy of MEET ME THERE. (US only.) DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT WITH AN EMAIL ON THE PROFILE? No problem. LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL crystal@crystal-collier.com to enter.

You have until Tuesday, June 5th at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on June 6th, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I broke my toe doing a cartwheel into my friend's back.
2. I lived in 4 different houses on the same street.
3. I speak fluent Italian.

So sleuths, which is the lie? Have you thanked your mother recently? What's one life dream you've given up for a different one? Do you like contemporary stories?