[Blog Tour] Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski

Everything Under the Sun banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 30 July till 12 August. See the tour schedule here.

Everything Under the SunEverything Under the Sun
By Jessica Redmerski
Genre: Dystopian/ Post apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult/ Adult
Pages: 683 pages
Release Date: 28 August 2017

Blurb:
Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

You can find Everything Under the Sun on Goodreads

You can buy Everything Under the Sun here on Amazon


 

EXCERPT #1: “I’LL WAIT FOR YOU.”

“One more night,” I said, not looking at her. “Give me one more night and I’ll get you out of this city.” All I could see in front of me was the scenario: I’d wait until very late, after most of the city was sleeping, and then I’d dress her in my military clothes, make her pin up her hair underneath a cap, strap a rifle to her shoulder, a backpack full of goods on her back, and set her atop the mare waiting at the stables.

“But there’s nothing for me anymore,” Thais said, wiping away the lingering tears on her cheeks. “There’s nowhere for me to go, and no one waiting for me there if by some miracle I make it alive. My mother and father are dead. My sister”—she looked up at me, and although I didn’t meet her gaze, I could feel her eyes on me—“my whole family is dead, and this world is dead and my soul is dead and everything that was once good and beautiful and right, is dead.”

I looked at her then, her words stirring me.

“That’s not true,” I said, and got up from the chair and crouched in front of her. “You may be the only good thing left in this world, and I’ll be goddamned if I let your light fade.”

Tears tumbled down Thais’ cheeks.

I took the gun that had fallen from her hand, tucked it into the back of my pants.

“Promise me you won’t try anything,” I said as I went toward the door. “Promise me on your sister’s soul, that you’ll stay in this room and wait for me.”

“Where are you going?”

“To get your supplies.” I placed my hand on the doorknob. “Don’t open this door for anyone.” I opened it to blackness; the candles that had been lit in the hallway had burned down.

“Wait,” Thais called out, and I stopped.

She stood up on wobbly legs.

“You said to get my supplies—are you sending me away alone?”

I thought on it for a moment. I’d never had any intention of going with her. I couldn’t. Not if I was going to keep others from following her.

“No,” I finally said. “You’re not going alone. I’ll go with you, at least until I can get you somewhere safe.”

“Is there anywhere safe, Atticus?” Her voice was soft, hopeless, and hearing her say my name like that did something to my heart. “Do you know where you’re taking me?”

I sighed. And I looked at the wall.

“Yes,” I lied, and then stepped out into the hallway.

Just before I closed the door I added, “Promise me.”

Thais nodded.

“I promise,” she said. “I’ll wait for you.”


EXCERPT #2: “IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to travel with him until he got me out of Lexington City and then I was to make a run for it, kill him if I had to—but I didn’t. I was supposed to stay with these people and leave Atticus to do what he wanted, go where he wanted, without me—but I couldn’t. I was supposed to be afraid of him not only because of the terrible man he was when I first laid eyes on him, but also because he was a man—but I wasn’t. I wasn’t afraid of him.

I was afraid for him.

I was afraid of being without him…

“Thais?”

I looked up; my bottom lip quivered.

“I will wait for you,” I said, trying to be strong. I wiped my tears, swallowed hard and nodded.

Atticus dashed outside, pushing the barn door out of his way. Seconds later he came back with the horse. He tossed the quilt we’d slept on the night in the barn, over the horse’s back. Then he went over to the backpacks, stepping around Rachel’s unconscious body, and shoved everything back inside. He helped my arms into the straps of the larger backpack.

Fitting his hands on my hips, Atticus hoisted me up and set me on the horse; I grabbed a hold of the horse’s reins.

“Stay out of sight of the house,” he said as he fitted the smaller backpack and his jacket between my legs. “And cut through the woods there”—he pointed toward the back of the barn—“that’s west; just keep as straight as you can in that direction, but don’t leave the woods.”

I nodded.

He walked with me outside the barn, stopped to look out at the flat land beyond the highway where those who were coming for us would likely be, and then led me around the barn. The deep woods beckoned me out ahead; I couldn’t help but feel intimidated by them, as if they were some kind of final leg of our journey—or the beginning of my journey alone.

Steadying my breath, I looked down at Atticus once more, transfixed on his intense blue eyes, the sculpted shape and rough texture of his handsome face, and I couldn’t imagine at this point never seeing it again.

“I’ll come for you,” he promised.

Tearing my gaze from his, I faced forward and tightened my grip of the reins.


EXCERPT #3: “AND YOU ASK WHY?”

“Why are you so angry, Atticus?” My voice was soft and concerned now.

He blinked, but offered no response.

“I’ve seen men fight before,” I went on, “but I’ve never seen a man as angry at the world as you are. The way you beat that man in your room”—I shook my head with despondency—“the one just now; Atticus, you’re just so full of rage and hate. Why?”

He snorted, as if he’d found my question ridiculous.

Why?” he mocked incredulously, holding out his hands, palms up. “I’ll tell you why, Thais: at every turn someone wants to rob or maim or kill us; we can’t sleep, night or day, without the thought in our heads as we close our fucking eyes that we might not wake up.” He gestured his arms wildly, his features constricted with indignation. “We’re covering our shit up like animals, sleeping in ditches, watching over our shoulder every second of every day for the chaos to grab us by the ankles and pull us down with it—and you ask why?”

I sat against my quilt, unable to stand to hear this truth. And as if his movements depended on mine, Atticus fell into a crouch in front of me, bouncing on the toes of his boots. I never looked away from the pull of his gaze, trapped by the intensity of it.

“I haven’t slept since you arrived in Lexington City,” he went on. “When I saw you that day, clutching your sister as she was ripped away from you; when you lay on the sidewalk, begging me to help you—it did two things to me, Thais”—he held up two fingers, and then dropped them between his legs—“it fucking killed me; the things I had to do, the part I had to play in not only your fate, but the fate of every girl in those ropes—it fucking killed me! It killed what little was left of my humanity!” His voice had risen with his heated words, his memories, but then he paused to calm himself, lowering his head but for a moment.

I remained motionless, speechless, but my heart began to ache and fill up at the same time. I listened raptly to every word, my heart breaking as he spoke them.

“It killed me,” he repeated. “But then something reached into Hell, grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back. I died that day in the street, Thais Fenwick; I died and then there I was, looking down at you with the eyes of the man I used to be, and I wanted to help you. I still fought with myself after that, but I wasn’t going to let you die or be raped or forced to marry a man you didn’t love—I didn’t know what to do, but I was going to do something, goddammit.”

I sighed. I wanted to hold him, but all I could do was sigh.


 

Everything Under the Sun Quote 3

Jessica Redmerski

About the Author:
Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.
She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

You can find and contact Jessica here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon Jessica Redmerski
Amazon JA Redmerski

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Everything Under the Sun. 3 winners will each win a signed paperback copies of Everything Under the Sun, along with signed bookmarks and postcards (United States and Canada only).

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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[Newsletter] New Projects, Appearances, Oh My!

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” _ Stephen King

I wanted to give everyone who reads the blog a bit of an update and offer some places you can go to learn a bit more about what’s going on and what you can look forward to from FyreSyde.


A Shoutout to My Readers! I love you all!!!!

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It has blown me away just how many people walked up to shake my hand and struck up a conversation, asked questions and inquired about what it meant to finish a book and get it published. It has been a humbling experience! I love my readers so much!!! All of you!!!

 


Some Places of Interest:

To just offer up a few things that have been going on. For the past two months, I have done multiple interviews, a Radio Show appearance and multiple signings all across the greater Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth area.

If you’d like to meet me in person, I welcome you to check out the appearances page! I update it regularly as best I can with where I’m going to be and when! I would love to meet you!

A few interviews have been posted as well if you would like to read them and offer feedback! These include guest posts on other blogs as well that I would recommend you to follow and read!

If you would like to guest post, get an interview of your own, want a book review or are curious about the services offered here, I highly recommend checking out these pages.

I also welcome you to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and my new authorpage.com page for updates and short stories!


Some Things to Look Forward To:

Okay! So here it is, the section letting you know just what to expect in the next year! Follow us here or any of our social media for information regarding these new opportunities!

  1. Compilation Opportunities: As many of you know, FyreSyde’s main focus is not on our own goals, books, etc. We want to be about you: the readers and the authors. Something Blaise has wanted to do and will be doing her best to put into effect is to open up theme-based compilations to authors of all kinds. For now, they will be in the form of posts either here or on a blogspot. At this time, there is no intention of making a printed version. Only an online magazine. If this changes, there will be an announcement. Please keep in mind, as of now, Blaise is the only one who will run it. She will personally be screening each piece submitted. As this is the case, there will most likely be a maximum number of accepted submissions. More info will be provided the closer it gets. If you want to keep up with this project, follow or subscribe via email!
  2. Editing Services: As of now, all that is offered here on FyreSyde as far as paid services is the 60-minute marketing consultation. In 2019, Blaise plans on opening up editing opportunities as well.
  3. Cover Reveals: FyreSyde will officially open cover reveal opportunities for authors or artists who want to get their covers seen for a very low price.
  4. Fundraisers/ Charity events/ Runs: FyreSyde will begin reaching out to its communities as well. This will come in the form of sponsorships, charity events and fundraisers. The first is the Halloween Charity Event happening in October!

So many fun things coming down the pike! For those who want to know, this Dean-is-in-Music-Ministry-nowDecember will mark FyreSyde’s first birthday!! 


New Projects and Bane of Tenebris

You guys have been so amazing with Luna’s release. It really is heartwarming to learn so many of you have received it so well and offered some truly wonderful feedback.

This being said, I have an announcement to make about a new, secret project I’ve put into the works. It will precede Bane of Tenebris as I have been experiencing some burn-out on the second book. As this is a highly anticipated release, I will be taking the utmost of care to make the book as good as it can be.

The secret project is a psychological thriller I hope to have released by the end of this year. If this isn’t doable for any reason, I will be updating you, the readers.

The second installment of the Wolfgods, Bane of Tenebris has been given a tentative release date for June of 2019. Beta readers are encouraged to contact me via facebook to be invited to the beta reading group.


The Return of Marketing101 and Regular Posting Schedules

For those of you keeping up with me on social media, you probably know I’ve been taking it easy this summer in an attempt to rest my brain. This is all true!

I will be returning August 5, 2018 with regular posting and more Marketing101 posts for you all to enjoy and hopefully glean some information from!

Until then, please check out some of the amazing books posted here to support fellow authors! See you all again soon!!! Keep going and stay productive!!!

“There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.” ~ C.J. Walker

[Blog Tour] Boy In The Mirror by Robert J. Duperre

 

Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Horror
Date Published: December 31, 2016
Publisher: TRO Publishing
 
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Fifteen-year-old Jacqueline Talbot’s boyfriend Mal lives in the mirror of her makeup case. There’s never been anything normal about Jacqueline; not during her time in foster care, and certainly not in her new hometown of Mercy Hills.
With rumors of actual monsters in the woods, the popular kids taking an unhealthy interest in her, and the revealing of her own dark past, all Jacqueline wants to do is run away forever with Mal. Too bad he’s trapped in the mirror.
But when she learns the ancient forces of the town want to destroy everything she loves, the race is on to free the boy in the mirror, because he just might be the only one who knows how to stop them.
About the Author

Robert J. Duperre is an author from Connecticut, the land of insurance, tobacco, and unfulfilled dreams. Over his mildly interesting life, Robert has released seven novels that skirt the line between horror, science fiction, and fantasy, as well as edited and contributed to a pair of short story collections. His novel “Soultaker” was released in 2017 by Ragnarok Publications. He also co-wrote “The Breaking World” series with David Dalglish, which was picked up and published by 47North, a subsidiary of Amazon Publishing. And all this was accomplished while living happily ever after with his wife, the artist Jessica Torrant.
 
Contact Links
Purchase Links
 
RABT Book Tours & PR

“Bestseller” Does Not Have To Mean Best Seller

“Bestseller”

That little orange star-bursting banner many authors strive to reach in Amazon’s ever growing sea of book titles. What makes this particular status so appealing? Is it an increase in book sales, reviews or maybe just the notoriety? Does it validate us in a way?

Keys to Success_

To understand why this status is so sought by authors, we need to know what it is.

This is what Amazon says about its best-seller categories:

“The Amazon Best Sellers calculation is based on Amazon.com sales and is updated hourly to reflect recent and historical sales of every item sold on Amazon.com.”

Basically, it is how well a product is performing as far as sales on an hourly basis. HOWEVER, Amazon goes on to say:

“While the Amazon Best Sellers list is a good indicator of how well a product is selling overall, it doesn’t always indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items. Category and subcategory best seller lists were created to highlight an item’s rank in the categories or subcategories where it really stands out.”

So, while the title “bestseller” is indeed an honor to obtain since it does affect sales, it is not always an accurate indication of how well a product is doing overall.

Why? Well, see what Amazon itself says:

“We choose a few of the most popular subcategories in which the item has a high ranking in relation to other items in that subcategory, and showcase the item’s rank on the product page. As with the main Amazon Best Sellers list, these category rankings are based on Amazon.com sales and are updated hourly.”

Inspirational-Quotes-About-Success-If-you-loveThis is further complicated to determine just what a bestseller is because of authors who sell most of their titles at live trade shows and events. Many sell multiple copies of their books to readers who attend these events. Some sell hundreds of copies in a year at multiple events.

 

Since readers are human beings with busy lives, it can often slip their minds to leave a review. Adding their information to email lists can help alleviate these frustrations but it does not always eliminate them since an author’s constant emailing to ask for reviews can come off as begging or annoying.

So, with all of these ever shifting trends in Amazon’s algorithm combined with the understanding that not all authors rely on Amazon reviews to get their books into the hands of anticipatory readers, the status of “Bestseller” can become very obscured. 

The hard but also stress-relieving truth is just because it says “Bestseller” it doesn’t have to mean “Bestseller.” Event authors who sell multiple copies of their books and enjoy writing them are the ones who understand that building a loyal readership doesn’t always have to rely on an orange status. 11199423_1590625647874477_252512621_n

As long as you are building your platform, have loyal readers who look forward to your work, and are buying your books then you are going to reach “bestseller” status. It just might not be according to Amazon or its system.

 

 

 

[Book Marketing 101] Know Your Target Audience!

“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.” – Robert Rose

Let’s say you just finished writing, editing, and getting beta readers to read your latest, greatest book. You’ve made it the best you can be and are ready to release it to the world.

Wait? Where are the readers you hope to find? How are they going to see your book in a vast world of social media, book promotion and saturated Amazon pages?

If you’re asking these questions, you probably hadn’t taken the time to locate what authors and publishers call the “Target Audience.”

Light it up (1)What is a target audience?

Defined, a target audience is the readership you hope to market your book to. For example, for authors of paranormal romance with a focus on wolf shifters, you’re probably hoping to catch the attention of people who are fans of the shifter sub-genre. Taking it further, what age range are you going for? Are you hoping to catch male or female readers or both?

How can you find them?

  1. Go to your local bookstore. Look around at the different sections of the fantasy, young adult, romance, etc. What are they looking at? When in doubt, talk to them. You don’t have to bash them over the head with the fact you have a book. Just strike up a conversation to find out what books they’ve read recently or recommend. If they seem interested, then, author drop. Offer an Advanced Reader’s Copy. Many love a good free book in exchange for a friendly conversation.
  2. Utilize Amazon’s search bar. Type in some keywords you may think relate (and some that don’t) to your book. What are the shoppers in the kindle and book categories looking at? Take down some lists of some popular titles and utilize the “Customers Also Bought” section. Keep notes of the authors and the book titles.
  3. Use GoodReads. Goodreads has this nice little feature called book lists. Many readers have their TBR (to be read) lists named by genre. For example, for Biker romance lovers, you might find lists titled MC Romance or Biker Romance.
  4. Find your tribe. What this means is google some of the forums, facebook groups, book clubs, etc who have a focus on your genre. Offer ARCs in exchange for reviews and see what they have to say.
  5. Use Demographics. This focuses on where they are located, how old their are, financial standing, etc. Yes this is important. You can use Twitter and Facebook to find such information. Who are your main fans?
  6. Check out Market Trends. This goes along with using Amazon’s search bar. Try to use helpful tools like Google Trends to see what readers are doing. Knowing this can narrow down where you should go and who is looking for your book.
  7. Utilize Google Adwords. Adwords is a powerful tool. It can show you some of the top searched words in Google’s search engine.
  8. Ask a bookseller. While you’re in the bookstore looking for some potential prospects, why not get insight from the store on what is selling? Often they’ll share some of the titles that are flying off the shelves. This can help you greatly because you’re getting an insider’s look at the market.
  9. Offer up some surveys. Get some short answers involving popular subjects and genres. Readers often don’t mind answering these because they get curious as to what it is you’re looking for.
  10. When In Doubt; Consult a Mentor. Talk to other authors who have written your genre and age range. Authors love to help new and upcoming authors get over the plateau because too often, they remember being there. We all started out not knowing a thing. Finding coaches may help alleviate some stress.

Some helpful tools:Light it up

  • KDP Rocket – This is a helpful little tool endorsed by Jeff Goins and the Kindlepreneur. It helps to take away the trouble of hours of keyword typing and research. For a one time price of 97$, this is a powerful tool. Hurry because it looks like it might go to a subscription basis.
  • Kristen Martin’s course, Valiance – Kristen walks you through her own journey as a self-publisher. A five-time Amazon best seller, Kristin clearly has things under control as far as finding and marketing to her target audience. She also offers a neat little pdf on how to write a first draft in two months just for subscribing!
  • Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn has some helpful information that walks you through the self-publishing process and a free eBook to help. She is one of the leading experts on indie and self-publishing. Her writing podcast, The Creative Penn offers different interviews and helpful information as well.
  • Jane Friedman is one of my favorites and another successful self-publisher. Her blog at janefriedman.com is loaded with helpful information.

Remember, you are never alone in this journey! Writing and blogging can be lonely but there are people who are willing to offer their expertise. If you have an experience that you found helped you find your audience, please leave us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

If the content here today helped you and you would like to see some more, why not follow via email, bloglovin or right here on wordpress!

Before you go….

Interested in writing for us? Want a book review? Would like to guest post or want to offer your own insight? Feel free to contact us! We are always looking for authors who want to share their experiences!

Contact: website: https://fyresydepublishing.com/ | email bramsayauthor@gmail.com | For guest posts, interviews, booking for events, etc contact fyresydepublising@gmail.com

[Blog Tour] Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks

Phi Alpha Pi banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 14 till 28 May. See the tour schedule here.

Phi Alpha PiPhi Alpha Pi (21st Century Austen #2)
by Sara Marks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult, Adult
Release Date: May 28, 2018

Blurb:
Phi Alpha Pi is the oldest and largest sorority on campus and new president Lizbeth has a busy senior year ahead of her. She’s determined to keep her sorority in good standing on campus after a year on academic probation. She’s trying to manage the new sorority house manager, Mrs. C, who has her own ideas about how to support the sorority sisters. All while trying to find balance with her own academic goals to complete an honors thesis, graduate, and decide her future plans.

The last thing Lizbeth expects is her anger when Wil, a new member of the Alpha Pi fraternity, pushes every one of her buttons. Lizbeth finds Wil, a new transfer to the university with his best friend, to be rude, snobby, and judgmental. Even though she tries to avoid him, he seems to be everywhere, scowling with displeasure when he sees her. That is, until his Thanksgiving proclamation of love. That causes Lizbeth to reconsider how she sees the world.


Excerpts:

Excerpt #1:

As one of the largest and oldest sororities on campus, there was usually someone in the Phi Alpha Pi two-story Greek revival style mansion. Members were eating, studying, or simply enjoying each other’s company. Today there were twenty women moving into their rooms and unpacking for the start of the school year. Lizbeth, as chapter president, had been one of the first sisters to arrive, but still hadn’t unpacked. She and the other officers were too busy helping their sisters move in. Lizbeth had already put out a small, literal fire from a fallen candle. Then she put out figurative fires of roommate mix-ups and fights about who got which bed. Now Lizbeth sat alone in her room, exhausted and anxious to get out of the house, if only for a few hours.

Lizbeth had never been this involved in the sorority. She had agreed to the position, for her senior year, to help keep the sorority off academic probation for low grades. This had been a looming threat in the past. Lizbeth had helped by teaching the sorority sisters ways to get organized, creating study schedules, and helping create an atmosphere that turned studying into social events. She was glad her best friend Jane, who was Membership VP, was helping with the move in. There were sisters that Lizbeth didn’t know and relationships she didn’t understand. Jane was good at soothing hurt feelings and mediating fights. She had to run a membership meeting later in the day. Rush Week, the week before classes started so potential new members could attend all events, launched tomorrow.

“Lizbeth, did you see the shirts she got the board members?” Marie said, entering her room.

Marie, the sorority treasurer, was holding a hot pink T-shirt up to her body. At twenty years old, she was petite and wore her black hair long with bangs that nearly covered her eyes. When she pulled them back she revealed bright hazel eyes and a nose just a bit too big for her face. Marie was Lizbeth’s “little sister,” a bond between sorority sisters that often lasted the rest of their lives. As their resident gadget geek, she always had the latest technology toy. She had the first Fitbit, the first GoPro, was also the first to adopt new social media, and had happily taken over the sorority’s web presence.

Lizbeth had seen the shirt Marie was holding in the gift basket their housemother had given each officer as they moved in. Mrs. C, as they were instructed to call her, was brand new this year and a bit over-eager. She had welcomed each of the officers with a huge hug and said basket, which had also included tons of candy, candles, and school supplies. She gave each sister a candle as she moved in. It was one of these very candles that Lizbeth had put out when it fell and burned the carpet. Their previous housemother had never been this excited to see them.

“Yes, I saw it,” Lizbeth said with a sigh.

“Lizbeth, it says, ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.'”

“Well, she is up on her Austen,” Lizbeth said with a shrug.

Lizbeth sat down on her bed and let herself fall back on the bare mattress.

Marie put her hands on her hips and sighed before responding.

“You know that’s not the point. Some of us aren’t here to find rich husbands.”

“I believe it was the goal for many sisters in her day. She is new and excited. She will learn some of us aren’t like this anymore.”

“She asked me to wear it tonight.”

“No, you’ll wear an official sorority shirt; it’s tradition.”

Marie huffed irritably.

“Are we paying for this stuff? She hasn’t handed me receipts, but I’m worried she will.”

“Let me know if she does. I think this is her gift to us. She made these herself. I mean, the font is comic sans.”

Marie left the room and Lizbeth heard her door bang. All the bedrooms were on the second floor of the house, but the two officer bedrooms were adjacent, so they could all work together. Lizbeth lay back on her bed wishing she wasn’t living this close to Marie and her roommate Lydia. She closed her eyes for a few moments, hoping to catch a quick nap.

“I think we have everyone settled and don’t need to worry about anything until the meeting starts.”

Lizbeth opened her eyes to see Jane come into their room. The only good thing about having to live at the sorority house, as far as Lizbeth was concerned, was rooming with Jane. She had only joined Phi Alpha Pi so she and Jane could be together their freshman year. Last year, when the sorority had just come off an academic probation for low grades, Jane and a few graduates had begged Lizzie to run for president. The year had been difficult for some of the sisters, but Lizbeth had emerged as a leader. There was only one other candidate for president: Lydia. Lydia was the de-facto leader of the un-academic sisters and the worst of the lot. In the end, Lydia had taken on the Programming VP role, something she was very good at. Lydia had already planned so many mixers that Lizbeth had forced her to cancel some.

“Is it true there is a party tonight after the meeting?” Lizbeth asked Jane.

“Yes, Lydia planned with the guys at Alpha Pi. They have a few new brothers who transferred from another school and they want to make them feel welcome before Rush Week starts. Do you remember Caroline? Her older brother Charlie is one of those members,” Jane added.

Lizbeth nodded, vaguely recalling the woman who had transferred to the university and wanted to get involved at this chapter of Phi Alpha Pi.

“Mrs. C is all abuzz about them because they are so rich.”

“Exactly. She thinks Caroline’s brother could be a boyfriend for one of us. It is so sweet of her to want to help us.”

Lizbeth wished that Jane was being sarcastic, but she knew otherwise. Jane was the kindest person in the world. Jane liked almost everyone, so Lizbeth knew there was something wrong with you if you were the rare person Jane didn’t like (and vice versa).

“You’re too sweet,” Lizbeth said.

“Lizbeth, she’s recently widowed. Her children are all off living their own lives. She wants to take care of someone and we need someone looking out for us.”

Lizbeth rolled her eyes.

“I understand, and I feel horrible for her. I mean, you saw the shirts. God forbid we learn to take care of ourselves rather than hunt for rich men to marry.”

“Some members actually want to meet their future husband. Let her get used to us and learn what we need. I’m sure she’ll calm down. If not, well… you’ll certainly be a good balance for her. That is one of the strengths we value in you.”

Lizbeth tossed a stuffed bear at her best friend before getting up and organizing her half of the room.


Excerpt #2:

The more they walked around the museum, the more Lizbeth realized they liked a lot of the same pieces and artists for very similar reasons. They didn’t draw while in the Matisse exhibit, but Lizbeth would periodically sit and doodle while listening to tour guides who led groups through the space. Her paper was quickly filled with little triangle butterflies and poorly drawn horses.

“Suddenly I expect you to love unicorns and rainbows,” Wil said, sitting next to her on a bench and looking over her shoulder.

“I do!”

“I was joking.”

“I’m not. I also love mermaids. Ask Becca. For years I was going to turn into one when I grew up. It was my career goal for quite a while.”

“Are you a good swimmer?”

“Fantastic! I’m a much better swimmer than I am an artist.”

Wil laughed at her.

“You are great at riding horses and swimming? Did you want to become a unicorn later?”

“No, I was going to be a mermaid princess who came on land to ride her unicorns. That’s why my grandparents bought me Windfola.”

Wil blushed, probably remembering his plan to buy her horse.

“Then your income would be princess-based.”

“Obviously, a great plan.”

This time they both laughed. Wil wouldn’t let her see what was on his paper. They left the exhibit and headed for a cafe in the museum to grab lunch. As they left the exhibits, Lizbeth saw him fold his paper and slip it into his back pocket. As they made their way to the cafe, they got distracted by a collection about roosters across cultures. They stood before a painting of a rooster called “The Cock.” Neither recognized the artist, but Lizbeth felt inspired.

“The thing that catches my eye about this cock is the color and shape. Notice the left curvature of the cock. The shape is of an average cock. What are your thoughts about the cock, Wil?” Lizbeth said.

She turned to face Wil and found him trying to stifle a laugh.

“Do you find cocks funny, Wil? A cock is nothing to laugh at. If you had a cock as grand as this would you want people laughing at it?” Lizbeth said.

She would have continued, but she started laughing herself. She let Wil take her hand and pull her out of the room.

“You’ve seen my terrible drawings. Let me see what you did,” Lizbeth said once they were seated with lunch from the cafe.

“No, it’s nothing.”

“Wil, don’t worry. I won’t tell your aunt how you aren’t a well-rounded young lady.”

Wil laughed at the joke, but refused to let her see what he had drawn.

“This isn’t over. The more you refuse, the more I want to see what you drew,” Lizbeth said as she got up to throw away their trash.

Excerpt #3:

The party was in a penthouse apartment only a few blocks from their house. They could easily have walked over, but instead they took a car. Since all three women were wearing new high-heeled shoes, the less walking on icy sidewalks, the better. Lizbeth had found an amazing black, sleeveless dress on a clearance rack. It looked fantastic on her. This was the extent of Lizbeth’s excitement for the party. She suspected she and her two siblings would be the youngest people there.

“We’re going to play a game,” Becca said on the elevator ride up to the party. “Each of us must find something interesting about the apartment. Lizbeth, a measly library does not count. Nor, Josh, does the food or kitchen. I want mermaid statues in the bathroom, rooftop sex rooms, or, if you’re desperate, famous socialites puking over the balcony.”

“Becca!” Layla said as the elevator door opened right into the apartment.

To say the apartment was big would be insufficient. There were at least two floors, and probably something on the rooftop. The space was large and open with a grand staircase leading up to the second floor. Lizbeth could see the walls of windows, many leading out to the balcony that overlooked the city. The main room was devoid of furniture other than high-end folding chairs. It was full of people with food and drinks in hand. Waitresses walked around the room with trays of food. Lizbeth saw a buffet against a far wall and a bartender serving drinks. Two walls were just floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city skyline. She could see a few people chatting out on a balcony outside. Inside the decor was primarily white and metal.

“I will also accept stolen Nazi art,” Becca whispered in Lizbeth’s ear.

There was a great deal of art in the large front room. Everywhere people chatted amongst themselves. Someone came and took their coats. Another person came over to Jack and Layla and started talking to them.

“Kids,” Layla said, turning to her children, “you’re on your own. Don’t get drunk, don’t steal anything, don’t cook anything, and don’t get lost in the library.”

Layla knew her children well. Each of them grabbed a glass of wine and went on their own way to play Becca’s game. Lizbeth walked through various rooms. Other than some great art, there wasn’t anything of interest for her to tell Becca about. She did enjoy looking at the art, but without Charlotte, she didn’t know anyone but the masters. She eventually put her wineglass down and made her way upstairs. There were people talking on the landing and on the stairs, so it didn’t seem out of bounds. Some of the doors were open. She saw someone come out of a bathroom. She peeked in the door and saw no marble mermaid statue.

She walked into the poorly lit room next to it. It smelled of furniture polish and something familiar. She realized, as her eyes adjusted to the light, that she was in a library. It wasn’t a for-show library either. This was wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, bookshelves full of books. The books were a mix of beautiful leather bound books, worn paperbacks, spiral bound books, and folios of loose documents. A sofa faced a large window that looked out over the city. The view was breathtaking and made her remember what she loved about New York City.

Lizbeth was more interested in the books than the view. She made her way over to a shelf and pulled one out. It was about the navy during the Napoleonic era. The whole shelf was full of similar books. She didn’t care about her mother’s instructions; this was her dream room. Her grandparents’ library in Gardner had been built and filled with books over generations. It was her favorite room in their house. Her mother had built a library in both their homes. She put the book back, and pulled out another one. accidentally snagging another. It fell to the floor with a loud thump.

“Fuck,” she said under her breath and bent down to pick it up.

“Lizbeth?”

She stood up and turned to the sound of the voice. There, next to the sofa, was Wil Darcy.

“You certainly have a thing for wandering into my bedrooms,” Wil said softly.


You can find Phi Alpha Pi on Goodreads

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Check out the first book in this series!
Modern Persuasion
“Tension builds as they each learn about the current version of the person they once loved and resolve the ramifications of their choices.”Links:
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Sara MarksAbout the Author:
Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara Marks has two masters degrees and plans to never stop getting over educated. She likes the idea of having all the academic regalia she can ever possess and winning with the most degrees in her family. By day she’s an academic librarian. In what little free time she has, she also knits and plays with her dog Cedric Doggory.

You can find and contact Sara Marks here:
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Giveaways
There are two tour wide giveaways during the blog tour of Phi Alpha Pi! There is a US Only Giveaway for a prize pack and an international giveaway for 14 e-copies and a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi!US Only Giveaway
One winner will win a Prize Pack containing:
– Mrs. C’s homemade officers shirt in Comic Sans (you pick XL or XXL)
– A Phi Alpha Pi sorority sticker, candle, and bracelet (some of the items mentioned in the story).
– An illustration by cover designer Risa Rodil
– A rooster dishtowel (so you can make cock jokes with Lizbeth and Wil)
– Autographed printed copies of Modern Persuasion, A Little More Modern Persuasion, and Phi Alpha Pi (not pictured)
Phi Alpha Pi Prize Pack GiveawayFor a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open for all Giveaway These are the prizes you can win: – 14 winners will each win an e-copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks – 1 winner will win a print copy of Phi Alpha Pi by Sara Marks For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway


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