Cover Reveal & Five Book Giveaway!

HUGE thank you to Karen for hosting the cover reveal of SHATTER!! Karen is my food-blogging, more attractive sister who gets to be nine years younger than me all the way until we die. It’s so unfair.

On her blog, she’s got the gorgeous cover of SHATTER (releasing May 9, 2017) designed by Patricia Chaves at Cedar Fort. If you’ve seen it, sign up to win! Five winners will each get one of the following books to celebrate SHATTER’s release. If you haven’t seen it, take a peek below, or go check it out at The Food Charlatan.

hastobelove_cvrTheBishop's Wife


the row by jenn johanssonShatter Cover









See it? SHATTER? Right there in the pile of books I’m giving away? Of course one of the giveaway books is my own! SHATTER is a hip, smart-sleuthing mystery for teens and adults.

Police tell Salem the explosion that blew up her sister was an accident.


Brokenhearted Salem pursues the gang-bangers who tormented her sister, especially high school classmate Cordero. The only way to learn the truth is to slip behind enemy lines.

The only way to survive is to find a way back out.

Everyone who signs up for my newsletter between Jan.  17 and Feb. 28 will be entered to win. Winners will be contacted through the email they entered to the newsletter. If you’re already on the newsletter and want in on this giveaway, just share one of my social media posts about Shatter. Please also comment that you shared the post because FB and other sites sometimes hides useful info like that. Something about protecting the identity of anyone not friends with me, like there are stalker-weirdos on the internet. Come on.

Now, I bet you’re dying to know about the other four books I’m giving away!

HAS TO BE LOVE, contemporary young adult novel:  Years ago, Clara survived a vicious bear attack. She’s used to getting sympathetic looks around town, but meeting strangers is a different story. Yet her dreams go far beyond Knik, Alaska, and now she’s got a secret that’s both thrilling and terrifying–an acceptance letter from Columbia University. But it turns out her scars aren’t as fixable as she hoped, and when her boyfriend begins to press for a forever commitment, she has second thoughts about New York.

THE BISHOP’S WIFE, best-selling adult murder mystery: Linda Wallheim is a devout Mormon, the mother of five boys and the wife of a bishop. One cold winter night, a young wife and mother named Carrie Helm disappears, leaving behind everything she owns. Carrie’s husband, Jared, claims his wife has always been unstable and that she has abandoned the family, but Linda doesn’t trust him.

Note: THE BISHOP’S WIFE is marketed to adults and has themes related to domestic violence. Since I write and market to teens, I will happily provide a different title if the winner of this book prefers.

THE HAUNTING OF SPRINGETT HALL, young adult historical fantasy and winner of best young adult fiction from the League of Utah Writers: Eighteen-year-old Lucy doesn’t know how she became a ghost, but the more she remembers of her life in Victorian England, the more she wants to forget. Her only hope of changing the mistakes of her past is to enlist the help of a servant named Philip – the one living person who can see her.

THE ROW, contemporary young adult thriller: Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. A month before the execution date, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, Riley discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.

Don’t those all sound awesome? They ARE awesome! Good luck in winning them!

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#50FirstChapters Session 12

You’re here for #50FirstChapter updates, but have you seen my latest news? The new book UNDER A NEW YORK SKYLINE is coming your way April 15!


Time for a new session of #50FirstChapters–Make Yours Stand Out! As usual, we will raffle off a free first chapter critique to anyone both 1) signed up for thenewsletter and 2) present as we air. Just chat us once we’re live. We’ll remind you.

Here is the handout for this session!

Oh, oh! I have to brag about all our previous viewers! At least four people on our webinar email list placed in the LDStorymakers First Chapter Contest last year!! (If you placed and I don’t mention you it’s because I don’t know your name based on your email, not because I don’t love you.) They are: 
Nichole Hunt Eck
Jessica Springer Guernsey
Paige Edwards
Rebecca Charlton McCulloch
(I didn’t check for 2015, but I know Allison Merrill placed. Probably others)

Round of applause!!!

It turns out that one out of every seven 2016 winners viewed our webinars. Not bad! Let’s not overthink this, though. Those winners placed in the chapter contest because THEY are awesome, not because our webinars are awesome.  In fact, those winners probably took education from every source they could, and happened to land on our free webinar. Because, hey, free. But hey. You could think like them. You could take education from every source you can, including our free webinar. Because, hey, free. Plus, hey–maybe you’ll win, too!

Session 12 will cover 1) motivation-reaction units as they relate to showing, 2) accessing emotion in readers with naming the emotion, and 3) tips to prevent the pursuit of a voicey-voice from getting in the way of beautifully using words and images. The handout will be up next week. See you soon!

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