Write What You Know

Recently I’ve been reading over a lot of comments and thoughts readers have had about The Kings of Charleston and one thing keeps popping up. Although they know it’s a work of fiction, there’s something about the whole story that seems believable and real, beyond merely being contemporary fiction. I have a lot of people questioning the existence of Kythera or something similar and my experience with such groups.

Hmmm… should I tell you what I know?

If I knew of a “Kythera” or ever participated in one, wouldn’t it be breaking the rules to blurt it out, not to mention a little dangerous? But it’s a common question, because Kythera comes off believable and isn’t the old adage to write what you know?

My answer is…I’ll never tell. It is a mystery after all 😉

Kythera Business_Card front(3)

10 Things You Don’t Know About Marcus Gray

Marcus Gray was introduced in the last half of The Kings of Charleston and has had a presence ever since. He’s quickly become a fan favorite and so I wanted to share a little about him.

1. I am an athlete all the way. I love football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse…the list goes on and on.

2. Until we moved to Charleston, I had only ever lived in New York City. Talk about a serious change.

3. I had some culture shock moving to the South, but I’ve come to embrace sweet tea and grits.

4. My favorite pro football team is the New York Jets with the Baltimore Ravens being a close second.

5. I was scouted by Ohio State University and University of Florida to play football, but I had to tell them no after we joined Kythera.

6. I always try to look at the optimistic side of any problems I have.

7. Casper is like the little sister I never had (even if she is the same age), and I feel the need to protect her.

8. Charlotte is my first real girlfriend. I’m a real romance guy at heart, I just don’t show my friends that side of me.

9. I love all types of music, including Country.

10. I’m not as confident as I try to pretend to be with everyone.


Hey everyone, I’m happy to be a part of another Xpresso Book Tours. Check out the excerpt below from Univited (#1 South Hills Sidekicks)! 
UninvitedTourBanner copy
Uninvited by Leah Spiegel and Meg Summers
Series: South Hills Sidekicks #1
Publication date: February 11th 2012
Genre: Humorous YA Chick-Lit
When Alley started her senior year at Upper East High in the South Hills area, it was supposed to be the usual drag of hanging out with people who spent more on one outfit than Alley did on her entire wardrobe. That was until Kirsten, a girl in their clique, suddenly goes missing and the only people who seem to care are her friends. All evidence leads to the new comer Shane, a cocky and self-pretentious person in Alley’s opinion, but the police seem uninterested so she and the rest of the girls start a little investigation of their own. But they are nowhere closer to finding Kirsten than when they started and now they had the police’s attention; just not in the way they expected. The girls have to start over and discover that maybe it wasn’t an outsider who took Kirsten, but someone within their own clique who has something to hide; a secret that just might have gotten Kirsten killed.


~I knew Buddy needed to go out and do his business, but for some reason, my big watch dog was either very lazy or afraid of the dark. He would drag me out of bed to go for a run in the morning, but when it’s time to relieve himself for the night, he acts like outside is a strange place. Standing at the wide open door, I pointed out and said very firmly, “Buddy, go pee.” To which he answered by whining and lying down. “Come on, Buddy, Mommy had a rough day, please go pee!”

Buddy huffed loudly and rested his head on his paws. Not wanting to spend the next hour arguing with my dog for the entire neighborhood to watch, I went to my last resort. I bent over, half picking him up and half dragging him outside to use the bathroom. Once on the grass, he lifted his leg and did his business then walked back inside on his own accord.

DSC09651Although we moved down to North Carolina several years ago, we’re originally from the Pittsburgh area. (That’s why a lot of our characters either live in the Burgh or reference our hometown football team, The Pittsburgh Steelers.) And yes, we even have the Southern accents to show for it now. Although Megan’s is considerable thicker, Leah still can’t understand the locals.

We are known as ‘the sisters’ among our neighborhood; when actually we’re probably really known as ‘the sisters with the Yorkies’. Our pups, Skippy Jon Jones and Captain Jack Sparrow, were given long names to compensate for their small size but not their large personalities.

If Leah’s not glued to her electronic devices, AKA her Kindle Fire and various laptops, you can find her training ‘the attack dogs’, running on the treadmill while conceiving the next great book idea with the Dave Matthews Band, Muse, Florence and the Machine, The Lumineers, and Pink (just to name a few) blaring out of her earphones.

If Megan’s not glued to her electronic devices AKA her iPad and Nook Color, you can find her teaching fourth graders, swimming marathon style at the pool, or cuddling with ‘the attack dogs’ as she watches Duck Dynasty, Gold Rush, Scandal, Person of Interest, Morning Joe, etc.

Leah graduated from Edinboro University with a BA in Art Education. Megan received her teaching degree from Edinboro University and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Technology from Grand Canyon University.
Author Links:

Waiting for the Storm Review

I’m happy to be taking part in another Xpresso Book Tour and reviewing a great book. Once you’ve read the review, head on over to Amazon (link below) and buy a copy for only .99, a special price being offered for the tour! Trust me, it will be .99 well spent!
17258025Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry
Publication date: April 9th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary

Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her beloved mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved.

After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…

Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?

I have to be honest and say that I let this review slip up on me and I didn’t start reading until yesterday. I was really worried that I wouldn’t finish in time for the review, but fortunately I did. And the reason I was able to finish on time was because it was a good read and I found myself reading every spare moment I had, which means I finished this book in a day…and not because of the time crunch, but because I enjoyed it that much.
This was such an easy and enjoyable read. I loved Ms. Landry’s writing style and her descriptions. From the very first page I was pulled into her world and she never let go. I thought all the characters were great and well developed. I particularly liked the bit of depth Miranda and Kennedy added to the story, even though they weren’t centrally featured in the book.
I loved Ezra and Charlotte. They were such believable characters and so was their relationship. I could’ve honestly kept reading about their relationship, no conflict and resolution. Just a book about them.
And my heart ached for Ella, even when she was acting like a complete brat, because I knew this was her way of trying to figure out how to cope with something no one her age should have to cope with. Her character was convincing and we saw her grow in a way that I would expect from someone in these circumstances.
Charlotte was also a great character who grew through the story. It was amazing how life like Charlotte felt as I can relate to her character. I have not been in that situation personally, but I’ve watched my husband and his family go through it with the loss of my father-in-law and Ms. Landry nailed the roller coaster of emotions that come with such a devastating circumstance. All the characters dealt with the tragedy in their own true to life way.
This was a classic summer read that left me feeling satisfied and happy.
I don’t really have a whole lot to say here, except that maybe the climax of the book could’ve been a little more dramatic. The situation with Ezra and Charlotte felt forced and put in place for the sole purpose of creating some drama between them instead of being a natural progression. There were some moments that were pretty predictable, but this was one time that didn’t seem to matter.
The writing was great and this was a well developed world filled with believable characters.
I’ve never read Ms. Landry’s work before, but if her other books are anything like this one, then I might have a new author to add to my favorite list.
MarieMarie Landry is the author of BLUE SKY DAYS (contemporary YA—January 2012), UNDRESSED (a collection of short erotic romance stories—October 2012), THE GAME CHANGER (chick lit—November 2012), and WAITING FOR THE STORM (contemporary YA—April 2013). Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood, she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews. For more on Marie and her books, please visit marielandry.blogspot.ca or check out her book blog Ramblings of a Daydreamer (sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca).