Tag Archives: YA Books

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The Golden Girl is Here! Also, What’s Next?

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Today is Launch Day!

Get The Golden Girl Now!

99 CENTS TODAY ONLY! (Or always FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

I just re-read this book before I uploaded it to Amazon hoping to find those pesky little typos that always seem to slip through, and I have to admit, I got lost in my own story!

Zoe has exactly one goal, and that is to find a prince and get him to take her to the ball. Her life is pretty simple, but when the real reason for her obsession comes to light, her life gets infinitely more complicated.

Prince Edward is Zoe’s unsuspecting victim, and certainly has his work cut out for him.

Toss in a handsome tutor and all sorts of interesting things happen in this Rapunzel, King Midas, Legally Blonde retelling.

Here’s The Golden Girl!

This is book 7 in my Fairy Tale Academy Series!

If you missed the first chapter, click here to read it.

Here’s what’s in line for two weeks for today! The final installment of my Fairy Tale Academy series!

  


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The Golden Girl: Cover Reveal and Teaser

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The Fairy Tale Academy Series continues with the next installment:

The Golden Girl!

This story is one part King Midas’ daughter and one part Legally Blonde.

I’m not going to lie, All Zoe wants is a prince, true love and her happily ever after. It kind of made me cringe to write her, but only at the beginning. The change in her is awesome!

I hope you love this story as much as I do.

Official release day is Wednesday, April 17th!

Because I appreciate all of your continued support, I will have a fan appreciation day and the eBook will be 99 cents on release day!

Read the first chapter now!

Chapter 1

Zoe Midas cocked her head to the side to get a better view of her golden curls. She eyed the longest of them, then flipped her head the other way.

“You’re uneven,” Belle said. Zoe’s roommate lay on her bed, reading a book. Her long dark hair had been pulled back, and she wore a pair of loose-fitting pants and a baggy shirt.

“I know.” Zoe lifted the ornate shears, plucked the offending curls off her back, and snipped them. The hairs floated to the floor, but instead of spreading out and covering the carpet, they twisted together and melded into a single strand of golden thread. It joined the four-foot-long piece at her feet. “Did I get it?” She turned so Belle could see.

Belle glanced up. “You got it.”

Zoe took a moment to fluff her hair, pucker her lips, survey both sides of her face, and then smile. Her green eyes sparkled just as they should, and the pink color she’d picked out for her lips offset her hair perfectly.

It would be better if they didn’t have to wear white uniform shirts all the time, but since she spent time tanning, it looked good enough. She wore the top two buttons open and tied the red-and-blue scarf loosely around her neck.

“How’s the new blush?” Belle asked.

“Love it,” Zoe said. “Thanks for picking that up for me.”

“No worries.”

Zoe gathered a few things, including her black book, and shoved them in her bag. She checked the time. “Aren’t you coming to breakfast?”

Belle glanced up. “Oh. Yeah, I guess I should get ready.”

Zoe shook her head. She would never understand how Belle could take so little time getting ready each morning. She gathered the golden thread on the floor and tossed it into a growing pile on the corner of her dresser. One of these days she’d get around to burning it. “I’ll see you in class.”

“See you.”

Girls emptied from their rooms into the hallways. Everyone wore some iteration of the school uniform: white button-down shirt, a red-and-blue tie or scarf, plaid skirts or dark pants, and a red jacket, if they wished.

Zoe spotted her two closest friends and waved. Amalia and Eloise stood outside their opposing doors, waiting for Zoe. While not princesses like Zoe, Amalia’s father controlled the dukedom closest to the fey lands, and Eloise’s family ran the mountain passes to the east. Amalia’s large brown eyes and darker skin brought out the red in her lips. Eloise’s red hair and striking blue eyes had drawn many a boy to her side since the beginning of their time at the Academy. Her fortune probably didn’t hurt, either. Or her long legs and lithe form. Where Eloise was tall and thin, Amalia was short and curvy. Zoe stood somewhere in between.

The two waited until Zoe got to them before they each took her by an elbow and walked side-by-side down the hall.

“Morning, beautiful,” Amalia said to Zoe.

“You girls are looking gorgeous today,” Zoe said.

“Oh stop,” Eloise said.

The other second-year girls scrambled out of their way as they descended the stairs and went out the front doors.

Fall had finally arrived, and the chill in the air indicated that winter wasn’t far behind. The nearby trees had dropped their leaves, only their skeletal branches reaching toward the cloudy sky. Zoe’s high-heeled boots clicked on the cobblestones as they made their way to the cafeteria.

Eloise leaned in. “I have something for the book.”

Zoe raised her eyebrows. “Oh?”

“So juicy,” Eloise said.

“Perfect.”

Amalia nodded. “Me too.”

Zoe squeezed their arms to her. “I love you girls so much.”

They all giggled and entered the cafeteria. It didn’t take them long to get their meager breakfast—didn’t want to start heavy so early in the morning—and sequester their usual table near the corner.

Zoe sat in her spot and surveyed the cafeteria. Teenagers from all over the realm sat eating, stood talking, or had their heads down over books, studying. Her eyes moved in a practiced circle. Prince Adem had saved a place next to him for Belle. Prince Kawbra and his girlfriend Nakusa sat so close that their arms touched all the time. Krabbs, the goblin prince, and Brisa were having a spirited discussion from opposite sides of a table. Probably something about history.

The two kings in the room—Jak, the king of the giants, and Saru, the Monkey King—sat with their respective girlfriends and buddies.

No change since yesterday. No stiff shoulders or glares from the girls.

Zoe’s eyes continued around to the royalty from the fey, and the few other humans that held a high rank. She sighed.

“You can’t get discouraged,” Amalia said.

“No, you can’t,” Eloise said in a voice that made Zoe look over and see the other girl’s eyes twinkling.

“What did you find out?” Zoe asked, already forgetting about her apple and toast on her tray.

Eloise leaned in on one side and Amalia on the other. “I heard an interesting rumor.”

Zoe’s eyes narrowed. “You know rumors don’t go in the book.”

“Nothing like that.” Eloise waved her hand. “It’s not about anyone here.”

Zoe couldn’t deny the thrill that went through her. “Then who?” Maybe Prince Samuel was coming back.

“We have a new student starting today.”

“Another one?” Amalia asked.

Eloise tapped the table. “He’s coming from this kingdom.”

Zoe let out the breath she’d been holding. “It could be anyone.”

“Tayle has been preparing for two days.”

“Well, that is interesting. Do you know who?”

“No, but it has to be someone important if Tayle is this involved.”

“That goes along with what I heard,” Amalia said. They looked at the dark-haired girl, who smiled. “I heard that they had to rearrange some of the boys in the first-year dorm because they had to have a whole room for someone.”

Zoe licked her lips. They only let the highest royalty have their own rooms. Who could it be? Zoe reached down and pulled a tall black book from her bag. The other two cleared the table as she set it reverently on the wooden surface. Zoe’s fingers trailed across the leather cover until they reached the edge and hinged it open.

The first page showed a list of people. Prince Samuel’s name occupied the top spot, followed by the other princes at the Academy. Zoe turned the page and found a striking likeness of Prince Samuel staring up at her.

All three girls sighed.

“It’s too bad he got tossed in the dungeon,” Amalia said.

“Right?” Eloise said.

Zoe went to the next entry. Prince Edward. Samuel’s younger brother, who had decided not to attend the Academy. He would be a first year. Unlike Samuel’s blond hair, blue eyes and rugged looks, Edward’s angular face and dark eyes dared her to cross him.

If only she had the chance.

The next few entries were the people she’d already looked at this morning. No change with Prince Adem and Belle or Prince Kawbra and Nakusa. After she got through the princes, the other ranking members of the court appeared. Each page held notes about who the boys talked to, their favorite colors, foods and activities, who they’d gone on dates with, along with who they had taken to which ball.

Zoe’s name was in the book many times, as were her friends’, but hers was never the last name. Never the name the prince had stayed with.

“Maybe Adem has a brother?” Eloise asked.

“Or he could be another king,” Amalia said.

“Perhaps,” Zoe said. “Or someone dangerous, like Saru.”

Both of her friends sighed.

Zoe sat up straight. “Not to worry. We need to focus.” She narrowed her eyes at her book. “Who is going to ask each of us to the Lantern Ball?” Her friends scooted closer as she once again began to flip through the entries. Zoe had a few ideas for the other two—prominent boys that they would probably get along with—but had no clue who she was going to charm into asking her.

“What about Matthew?” Amalia asked, as if reading her mind.

“Or Solomon. He’s handsome,” Eloise said.

Zoe turned to their pages. Their statistics put them in the circle that meant that she and either of them would be good together, but something about them felt off. Like a crawly feeling when you saw a spider and then it disappeared.

“Still cataloging the boys of the school as if they were cattle?” a mocking voice asked.

Zoe sighed. “Good morning, Taylor.”

Taylor, a first-year student and Prince Adem’s roommate, sat down with a flourish of his black cape. He wore his uniform under the cape, but he’d dyed his hair black and silver. Small silver jewels sparkled at the edges of his eyes.

Eloise giggled.

“How are you ladies this fine morning?” Taylor asked.

“Good,” Eloise said.

“Fine,” Amalia said.

Zoe shrugged. “As well as can be expected.”

“Still no prince to take you to the ball, huh?” Taylor asked.

“That’s not why you’re here.”

“True.” Taylor leaned forward and put his elbows on the table. “I’m still hoping you’ll give me some of your hair.”

Zoe sighed. “I burn it. You know that.”

Taylor shook his head. “I don’t know why you won’t give me some. I’m just going to use it to embellish my designs.”

“Uh-huh.” Zoe still didn’t know how Taylor had found out that her hair turned to golden thread, but since he had, he hadn’t stopped bugging her about it.

“Think about it,” he said.

She leaned forward. “What’s in it for me?”

He raised an eyebrow. “What did you have in mind?”

“Get Prince Adem to break up with Belle.” She was only half joking.

Taylor laughed. “You are funny.” He stood. “Think about what I said. I’ll pay almost any price.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Do.” He smiled at the other two. “Ladies.”

They sighed.

Zoe shook her head. Where was she going to find a prince to take her to the ball?


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The Giant King is here! Also, What’s Next?

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Today is Launch Day!

Get The Giant King Now!

99 CENTS TODAY ONLY! (Or always FREE on Kindle Unlimited)

I literally couldn’t pick a favorite character from my Fairy Tale Academy series. Each character has come alive in my head. Jak and Maggie are no different.

My take on the traditional Jack and the Beanstalk is, in my opinion, hilarious. And sad. You see, in a sick twist of fate Jak accidentally killed the giant king, which makes him the new king, a position that can only be relinquished by a duel to the death.

Maggie (or Magnolia-which is another name for Mulan) is the only person at the Academy who can best a giant in a fight.

Toss in a grouchy giant bodyguard and all sorts of interesting things happen.

Here is The Giant King!

This is book 6 in my Fairy Tale Academy Series

If you missed the first chapter, click here to read it.

 

Here’s what’s in line for two weeks from today!

 

 


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The Giant King: Cover Reveal and Teaser

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My Fairy Tale Academy Series continues with the next installment:

The Giant King!

This is, obviously, a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling. In my version, it was the king of the giants that fell down the beanstalk, and because Jak killed him, Jak is now the giant king.

Poor kid. I feel bad for him.

Good thing Maggie (*cough* Mulan) is there to help him.

Official release day is Wednesday, April 3rd!

I’ve had so much support and excitement for these books, that I’m going to have another fan appreciation day, which means the price will be 99 cents on release day!

Here’s the first chapter. Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Jak sat on his bed and stared down at the objects in his palm. The opaque, green, kidney-shaped beans made a neat little pile. He used his thumb to spread them out, as if looking at them from a different angle would help him understand.

It didn’t.

Jak’s eyes moved from the beans to the folded parchment sitting next to him. He sighed, dropping the beans back into the red velvet bag and pulling the drawstrings shut. Then he gently set it on the bed and picked up the parchment.

His mother hadn’t bothered to seal it. Instead, she’d simply folded it in quarters, then rolled it enough to get it in the bag with the beans. The parchment crackled under his fingers as he unfolded it and found his mother’s neat script on the page. He’d read it more times than he remembered, but some part of him hoped that if he read it again, he might find a different meaning in it.

Dear Jak,

I’ll keep this brief. The council has agreed to let you stay at the Academy for two years, which keeps you out of their way, and safe. When they bring you home, it is likely that one of them will challenge you for the throne.

While I understand how terrifying that must be for you, you need to focus on the more pressing matter of our fields. A majority of the crops from the summer have failed, and as you know, the soil has become toxic. There is enough in our stores to last through the winter, but if we can’t grow anything in the spring, we will have to find another way to feed the people of Oreroth. The giants will blame us, and their solution will be to let us starve while they take what they need from another kingdom, which will result in a war that will likely cascade out of control.

The giants do not know the extent of the problem. They think it is a few fields and just the bean crop. We need to keep it that way.

Find out where the beans I sent with you came from, and how they work. Get back to me as soon as you can.

Mom

Boom, boom, boom!

“Sure, Mom. No pressure.” Jak refolded the parchment.

The slender bed creaked as he rose to his feet. The desk drawer gave a squeal as he opened it and put the letter inside.

The room looked almost as barren as it had upon his arrival. The desk sat at the far end of the bed, the long side against the wall. Beyond that, light poured in through a window. A single blanket lay on the bed, now wrinkled from him sitting on it. The dresser stood at the head of the bed. An invisible line ran down the middle of the room, and the other side was a mirror image of his own. Only no one slept there.

Boom, boom, boom!

The pounding penetrated the wood, and likely the entire building. Jak wondered what the Academy made their doors of. There wasn’t much that could stop a determined giant.

Your Highness, we need to get going.” Beklor’s voice dripped with irony.

“I’m coming. Don’t have a cow,” Jak said before Beklor started pounding in earnest.

Jak caught his reflection in the full-length mirror on the back of the door. Tall and lean, Jak looked like a beanpole in his school uniform, which consisted of a white shirt, black pants, a red-and-blue plaid tie, and a red jacket. The collar of the shirt struck a drastic contrast with his ebony skin. His mother had cut his black hair short the month before, and it had finally grown enough to form tight curls on his head.

He adjusted the tie, smoothed the jacket, and reached down for his blue messenger bag.

A low growl floated through the door, and Jak reached out and turned the knob before Beklor began foaming at the mouth.

Beklor’s wide frame practically filled the doorway, and he had to lean down to see beneath the jamb. His massive shoulders barely fit into the black tunic he wore, and he’d ripped the sleeves so his muscled arms could be free below the elbow. The gold belt buckle around his thick waist had to weigh more than Jak’s head. His boots, which rose to Jak’s mid-thigh, cinched around his muscular calves.

“Are you finally ready?” Jak asked the giant. “I’ve been waiting for hours.”

Beklor ignored the remark. “We’re going to be late.” His dark blue eyes regarded Jak. He’d pulled his long blond hair into a ponytail at the base of his neck.

Jak rubbed his smooth chin. “The trim looks nice.”

“Apparently humans find food in their hair disgusting.”

Jak pointed at the giant. “Everyone should have that problem.”

Beklor stepped aside and followed Jak down the stairs. They’d arrived late the night before, and hadn’t had a chance to look around.

A smattering of furniture filled the lobby. A semi-circle of chairs had been dragged to the fire, and Jak could imagine students gathered there, laughing and talking. Now they sat deserted except for a single figure standing before the fireplace. He must have heard Jak and Beklor, because he turned to greet them.

He wore a school uniform. Short brown hair topped his head, and the color of his skin sat somewhere between the pale white of the northerners and Jak’s. He had to be about Jak’s age, but he carried himself with almost as much confidence as Beklor.

“King Jak?” the young man asked.

Jak made a face. “Please don’t spread that around.” He offered his hand to the young man. “Stick with Jak.”

Beklor let out a little grunt.

The young man’s fingers tightened around Jak’s, but not to the extent of a challenge. “Tayle. I’m in charge of security here at the Academy.”

“Sounds like a big job.”

“Not as big as being king,” Tayle said.

“But we’re not talking about that.” Jak put a finger to his lips.

Tayle’s eyes flickered to Beklor.

Jak pointed. “This is Beklor.”

“I am the giant king’s keeper,” Beklor said.

“Good to meet you.” Tayle didn’t hesitate to shake Beklor’s hand.

“Please don’t break him,” Jak said to Beklor. “We need him to like us.”

Beklor looked mildly disappointed.

Tayle gestured outside. “Are you ready for the tour?”

“Ready,” Jak said.

Tayle opened the door and held it as the other two went through.

“Mind your head,” Jak said to Beklor.

The giant glared and ducked. Before Tayle joined them, the giant muttered, “You need to show your dominance.”

“How? By outwitting him?” Jak might be taller, but Tayle obviously worked out and could probably tie Jak in a knot if he wanted to.

A cold breeze licked at Jak’s skin, and he shivered. Gray clouds hung low in the sky.

“These are the dorms,” Tayle said. “The first years live in the far building, second years in the next one over, and so on.”

“So the rooms get better as you go?” Jak asked, noticing that the fourth-years’ building was much larger than the first-years’.

“Basically.” Tayle pointed over and behind the dorms. “The fields there and the woods beyond are within the Academy limits. Don’t get too close to the barrier.”

“Or what?” Jak asked.

“Or it will fry you like an egg.”

“Understood.”

A huge, round building stood across the cobblestone path that ran in front of all four dorms.

“That’s the library,” Tayle said. “The entrance is on the far side.” When they reached the edge of the fourth-year dorms, Tayle turned right. They followed the curved wall of the library around to the first of six other buildings. All were roughly rectangular and rose one to three stories. Tile covered slanted roofs to high peaks.

“These are our academic buildings.” He pointed in turn. “Magic, arts, math and science, agriculture, the gymnasium…”

Jak lost interest when he got around the library far enough to see the square.

Before him stood a fountain with a two-tier bowl resting on the backs of a human, an elf, and two others that he couldn’t see. At the edges, eight statues representing other races spit water into the pool.

Cobblestones lined the fountain’s perimeter, which sat in front of the library and formed a box around a large expanse of grass. Several clusters of tables with benches dotted the area.

“Do you guys paint the grass green?” Jak asked.

Tayle chuckled. “The grass is enchanted; it never dies.” He pointed at the other side of the square. “That’s the dean’s tower and other administrative buildings.”

Jak glanced over his shoulder and found Beklor’s eyes scanning every inch of the area. “Already planning how to invade?”

“And defend,” Beklor said in a serious voice.

When Jak looked back, he noticed a ring of students around a trio of nearby tables. He strained to see what they were doing, and caught a single glimpse through the crowd. “Are they playing Shiji?”

Tayle glanced over and nodded. “That is our Shiji club. Do you play?”

Jak shrugged. “A little.”

“Would you like to meet the players?”

“Sure.” He leaned closer to Tayle. “Remember, it’s just Jak.”

Beklor gave him a jab with his elbow, and Jak swatted him away.

“It makes things awkward,” Jak said.

“They should know who you are,” Beklor said.

“Later.”

Tayle watched the exchange, then waved for Jak to follow.

A few heads turned their way as they approached. Most eyes went wide when they spotted Beklor. Jak could only imagine the expression the giant was giving them. “Be nice,” Jak muttered.

“Giants are not nice.”

“Believe me, I know.”

Tayle stopped a few feet away and waved a centaur over. Short, white hair the same color as his coat and tail stood up in spikes. A swirling blue tattoo started on his cheek and disappeared into the shirt of his uniform.

“Tayle,” the centaur said.

“Haleros, this is Jak. He’s new.”

The centaur turned to Jak but did not approach. Instead, his eyes slid from Jak to the giant behind him.

Jak closed the distance. “Nice to meet you, Haleros.”

Haleros kept half of his attention on Beklor as he shook Jak’s hand. The centaur was almost as tall as the giant. “Welcome to the Academy,” Haleros said. “Where are you from?”

“Oreroth.” Jak plowed on. “You’re the captain of the team?”

“I am.” Haleros finally dismissed Beklor and looked at Jak with raised eyebrows. “Do you play?”

“A little.”

“If you have a minute, come watch.”

Jak licked his lips. “I think I will, thank you.”

A strangled sound came from Beklor, but Jak ignored him. He would have to endure the Pride-of-the-Giants speech later, but for now he could pretend like he was a normal teenager.

Haleros made a hole, and Jak slid in next to a short girl with almond-shaped eyes. Her straight, dark hair hung to her shoulders. She barely gave him a glance before returning her attention to the game.

Winters were long in Oreroth, and Jak and his father had spent countless cold nights playing and discussing the game. It only took Jak a moment to assess each board and take an educated guess at their strategy. One pair of players had just started, another looked to be in the middle of a game, and the last were only a few moves away from the end.

Another inspection showed Jak that the game that looked half over would be decided in the next three moves. If the satyr didn’t notice the goblin’s strategy, then he would likely lose.

“What are your thoughts on that one?” Haleros asked.

Jak blinked. “You always talk about people like they’re not sitting in front of you?”

Haleros laughed. “We put silence spells around them. They can only hear one another.”

“Then why is everyone so quiet?” Jak asked.

“Habit, I guess.” Haleros pointed. “Well?”

“The satyr is going to lose unless he protects his goblin.”

“Interesting way of looking at it,” Haleros said. “Would you mind explaining?”

Jak narrowed his eyes. “The goblin pieces are some of the most versatile on the board. If the satyr playing loses that one, then the right flank of his First Fey is going to be exposed.”

“You’re wrong,” the girl next to Jak said.

Jak turned to answer, but the words stuck in his throat. The girl’s dark eyes studied him. Delicate cheekbones and full lips struck a contrast to the muscles in her neck. A strange combination of beauty and power. He cleared his throat. “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

She thought a moment before saying, “He’s still got several puppets he can use to protect the right flank.”

“But they’re vulnerable.”

“So is the other player’s king.”

Jak looked at the board again. It took him a few seconds to work out what she was saying. “I’ve never seen that strategy before.”

“Glad to know you can still be taught,” the girl said before walking away.

Jak tried not to stare. A girl who knew that much about Shiji was worth getting to know.

Haleros waved a hand. “That’s Maggie. Don’t take it personally, she’s like that with everyone.”

Jak looked back at the board as the satyr moved his piece. He winced. “That was a mistake.”

“You might be right,” Haleros said.

Tayle appeared at Jak’s side. “Come on, we need to finish the tour before classes start.”

“Right.” Jak nodded to Haleros. “Thank you for letting me watch.”

“Come by later. We’re here before and after classes, and we can always use new victims.”

 


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