from the moment my feet had hit the floor, had been nothing but daggum trouble.
I couldn’t think about any of that now. When we got a call, you couldn’t think
about your life; you had to focus. And right now, it was really hard to do
that, but it was what I had to do as I felt my phone buzz once again in my
pocket and reached down to pull it out. I shook my head at the name on the
screen, again, and tossed it in the
console of the truck.
forgotten to take my phone out of my shirt pocket before putting on my gear at
the station. I wasn’t even supposed to have the thing with me on a call.
do we got?” I asked Digger, who was driving today. He was the hose man and,
frankly, he was a little crazy.
wreck. Not far. Three minutes out.” He nodded his chin toward my phone. “The
wife’s in full force today, eh?”
is not my wife!” I barked, making him laugh, taking my shove to his shoulder
with ease. He loved to tease me about that woman.
you got the pick of the litter at the crazy farm with that one.”
Chief eyed me with a scowl. “Yeah,” he said with warning in his eyes. With the
chief, who was a very easygoing guy, you knew he meant business. “And if she
shows up again in the middle of the night when the boys are sleeping, I’ll have
to call the blue shirts. I can’t have her putting my boys or other people in
danger because of an overzealous girl.”
laughed. “I don’t know, boss. With all the waterworks she puts on after he
throws her out, we could put out all the fires in the state of Tennessee. Maybe
you should hire her.”
heard a could snickers behind me.
talked over them. “Sir, you do what you have to do with her. Cops, taser,
sir, me, boy.” Chief reached back and
patted my leg. “I know why you’re putting up with her. But your mother wouldn’t
want this for you.” I couldn’t stop the flinch, even though I tried like hell.
No release date yet
the cover reveal is tomorrow!
In fact, the entire Significance series is getting a makeover, and the reveal is tomorrow so stay tuned!
And for a little extra, I have a guest post for you from
As an adult, some people look at me funny when I say that my
favorite genre is Young Adult. They kind of smile and then ask, “Isn’t that for
teens?” Many people seem to have a lot of misconceptions about what YA is and,
perhaps more discouraging, what it isn’t. So, I would love to spend some time
today making those differences clear while explaining why I love YA so much.
1. The Romance: Let’s face it ladies, we get catcalled enough
in life. No, I am not one of those drop-dead gorgeous women who can’t leave the
house without being ogled, but I do get my fair share of creeps who have some
X-rated thoughts that I really wish I didn’t have to think about. So, when I
curl up with a good book, I really enjoy the lack of steamy sex scenes and
hotter than Hades dialogue. Now, to clarify, YA can still be super romantic.
Your toes still curl, your cheeks still blush, and you definitely still pile up
your fair share of book boyfriends. You are just able to experience all of
those things through a love and romance that lets your imagination figure out
what is happening behind the door that just closed.
2. The Characters: Since there is not any on-the-page adult
content in YA books, these authors have to be thorough in their character
development. There is a thin line between describing a male character with a
tattoo on his abdomen and one with a tattoo so low on his stomach that the
female character begins to descriptively fantasize where it ends. YA authors
have to be very careful to fully develop their characters’ physical and
emotional aspects without compromising their place in the YA genre. Therefore,
many of these characters are more fully developed as a result of the time and
care taken to create someone that entices and entertains without crossing the aforementioned
3. The Serious Issues: Just because a book is YA, does not
mean that it only deals with trivial, high school problems of crushes, gossip,
and teasing. The characters are usually in their mid-teens to early twenties;
however, they do encounter serious problems, like grief, homelessness, sexual
abuse, heartbreak, and more. These characters are thereforefully relatable because of the author’s ability to address real
problems you and I face every day.
4. The Ending: With that being said, however, I have enough
real-world problems weighing down on me that I really don’t want to add a sad ending to a great book to the
list. With few exceptions, YA novels and series usually end with a happily ever
after, although don’t be surprised by all of the non-traditional and unique
twists on that. In other words, no, you do not read the same story idea over
and over in different words. YA authors are creative enough to leave readers
content without repeating the same old tale. As explained in #3, within the
plot itself, there is enough angst and suspense to fill, well, a book! However,
the difference is not in the ability to weave a plot with problems, but in the skill
to wrap-up those problems without destroying a reader’s emotions.
So, when people strangely look at me for loving the YA genre,
I explain these four reasons to them and insist that every great YA book will
meet these criteria. This is not to say that other genres do not necessarily do
the same, but YA books are unique in that they are able to do these four things
while maintaining an engaging plot that readers of almost any age will enjoy.
Thinking back on my very favorite book, I can tell you that Shelly Crane’s Collide is a perfect example of this.
The intense feelings that Merrick exhibits are no less toe-curling than any
bedroom scene. Yet, Merrick doesn’t cross any lines into adult content while
accomplishing the sweet romance that fills the book. The problems throughout
the book, and the rest of the series, are very real. While most readers probably
cannot relate to an alien-esque invasion and subsequent war, they certainly can
sympathize with the characters’ feelings of love lost, friendships in time of
need, hopelessness, and faith in something greater than themselves. Collide wraps up this example perfectly
with its ending. The ending to the book may not be the happily ever after we
expect, but the end of the entire series certainly has that familiar charm to
Shelly has continued to produce amazing YA books that readers fall in love
with. All of her books have taken the above reasons for why YA is such an
amazing genre and produced something magical. Without a doubt, her upcoming
novel will do the same. While we are all dying to get our hands on it, we can’t
read it just yet. Until then, however, here is a teaser to help you start
falling in love with it early.
About the Author: Tamara Beard is the
owner of Wrapped Up Writing, a business that provides editing, proofreading,
and content writing services. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a
writing concentration and communications minor, from the University of
Tennessee at Martin. She currently lives in Nashville, and enjoys reading,
traveling, and volunteering in her spare time. Connect with her on her website
at wrappedupwriting.weebly.com or on Facebook (@wrappedupwriting).
put both of her hands in my hair and tugged slowly and firmly, making my hands
tighten on her sides. We both groaned into each other’s mouths, which made my
blood riot under my skin. I pulled back so hard, my head hit the wall behind
your family’s right around the corner,” I scolded, but didn’t let go.
get it. They understand,” she rebutted in a hoarse whisper and then moved to
kiss me again.
maneuvered just enough so she couldn’t make contact. And if you’ve ever been
chased by a female who wants something, you know what a feat this is. It’s
practically like they can read your brain, they know all the ways to torture
you in the sweetest most kill-shot ways."
dad understands that I want to stick
my tongue in your mouth all day long?”
her hair moved and I saw her face, I got a good look at her. Her lips were open a little and pink and
glossy with whatever girly stuff she had put on them, her skin was golden tan and
smooth, her features fit together like the perfect little puzzle of her
family’s genetics of good-looking people, her eyes that looked up at me were so blue, and she was the most stunning
human being I’d ever seen.
felt like the biggest tool for thinking it, knowing she was in this mess right
then, but it didn’t make it any less true.
“Hey,” I told her softly when our eyes met. Wow,
those eyes. She stared up at me, saying nothing, like she expected me to fix
everything, right the wrongs of injustice and battle any demons that may come
to steal away the light, right then and there. And in that moment, that’s
exactly what I wanted to do—that’s exactly what I would have done.
have a feeling,” he took another deep breath, calming, and I’d never felt so
smug, “that I have a lot to learn about all this.”
that it was my bliss that was helping him, my calming touch that was taking his
angered veins and wrangling them like vines in a thunder storm under his skin,
knowing that only I could be his drug
from now on, was making me more than a little blissed out.
I whispered, “and I can’t wait to show you.”
I was to Ember. Boyfriend? Soulmate? Gentleman caller? Future husband? Boytoy? Obviously
hot escort? The Romeo to her Juliet? Gallant wooer of angels? Sweetheart’s concubine?
guy who I could only assume was Maggie’s—yep, he was her husband, unless some
other person in this family was going for a sly backside feelski, and if that
was true, I was coming in to a family with more “problems” than just keeping their
secret superhero identities.
husband said, “If you have a sarcastic mind, you’re done for.” He grinned at me
and then looked down at her, his face changing a little to reveal his affection
for her. “She can’t hold back the giggles with the sarcasm. It does her in
smacked his arm. “Don’t tell him all my secrets.” She looked at me and shook
her head. “Besides, Caleb can hear everything, too, by default through me. And
he has no room to talk. He’s the most sarcastic person in here and makes me
snort in front of complete strangers on purpose.” The guy laughed loudly at
that. “So…” She shrugged. “I’m sorry. We’re a very open family.”