Mirrors and Blue Smoke officially released! :D

My latest book, Mirrors and Blue Smoke, the conclusion to the Not Like Paradise trilogy, is officially released and available to order on Amazon! 😀

If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy, you can start with Urban Legends instead. Below is a description of the series, or you can check out my previous blog posts to learn more about the Not Like Paradise trilogy. 🙂

This trilogy has been one of my FAVORITES to write! I have had so much fun with it and with the characters. I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for blog posts featuring photos from real-life locations mentioned in the books!

Description of Not Like Paradise:

Cocktails in penthouses and bars. Cigarettes on the steps of the Met. Soccer in Central Park. Sex. A few lines of coke. A couple tablets of E. A secret society meeting. Just an average day for Jansen Montgomery, Jason Auerbach, Corbin Hershey, and Clint Everly, four best friends growing up on Manhattan’s über-wealthy Upper East Side. With loads of money, parents who are rarely around but would do anything to protect their family names, limitless access to alcohol and drugs, and houses in the Village, the Vineyard, and the Hamptons, there is almost nothing out of these four friends’ reach and even less they wouldn’t do to get what is. 

As Jansen, Jason, Hersh, and Clint spin in a tornado of first loves, harsh breakups, sky-high expectations, and the dangerous need for a high that requires more and more stimulation to attain, a chilling mystery begins to unravel, exposing devastating and mind-blowing secrets from their families’ pasts, as well as the past of the Circles of Eight, the secret society to which they belong.

Their need for answers will lead the four of them on a chase from the single-sex private schools of the Upper East Side to books on witchcraft hidden in a backwater South Carolina town, from a forgotten summer house in Vermont to a tiny apartment in Paris, from a nameless dance studio housed in a former Bowery flophouse to the secret lairs of New York City’s exclusive and elusive underground clubs and, finally, to the scene of the most stunning—and the most dangerous—deception and illusion they’ve ever concocted, one involving spells, ghosts, and smoke and mirrors.

official cover for Mirrors and Blue Smoke! :D

The front and back covers for Mirrors and Blue Smoke look AWESOME, thanks to my incredible cover designer j bentz photography! 😀

Mirrors and Blue Smoke front cover
Mirrors and Blue Smoke back cover

Back cover text, so you don’t have to zoom in on the photo:

Only four other people (besides Robert) know of the existence of what I took from the Mistress Suite that day, and three of them are dead.

“…doesn’t know about Anabelle.”

“It is coming true.”

Words. Some written in a diary in 1973, others tidbits of whispered conversations. They’re the final puzzle pieces in the deeply hidden, never-recorded-in-the-Magic-8-Ball history of the Circles of Eight, a secret society whose current members may practically claw each other’s eyes out in their battle to reign as Master and Mistress, but whose past is built on witchcraft, betrayal, and murder. And those words are the only clues Jansen and Jason have.

Warned away from the Vermont house but issued a challenge involving the biggest deception and illusion to ever hit the Circles, Jansen and Jason embark on a chase for answers and inspiration. From a tiny apartment in Paris to a nameless dance studio housed in a former Bowery flophouse, from the secret rooms of some of New York’s oldest buildings to the city’s exclusive and elusive underground club scene, and, finally, from a long-abandoned subway station to a deserted insane asylum, they, along with Hersh, Clint, Kella, and Taylan, attempt to rewrite the past, present, and future of the Circles…using spells, ghosts, and the Circles’ founders…mysterious twins Jonathan and Anabelle Townsend, thought dead for decades.

In the aftermath, Jansen, Jason, and the others must come to terms with a new reality, test the boundaries of their friendships, and decide what the future holds. And Jansen and Jason must answer what could be the most defining question of their lives…what will Paradise look like now?


Coming in the next couple days…the Mirrors and Blue Smoke website launch! Stay tuned! 😀

website launch for urban legends!!

Before you read my new book, Urban Legends, the first in the Not Like Paradise trilogy, check out the website and MEET THE CHARACTERS!! There’s a description of the book on the home page, then you can go to the character page, where you can click on each character’s name to learn about him or her! On the home page, you can also read about the photo featured on the book’s cover! Have fun!! 😀

Urban Legends website

urban legends front cover

Urban Legends front cover

 

 

urban legends sneak peek!

Below is the first scene from my new book, Urban Legends, the first in the Not Like Paradise trilogy! Urban Legends will be available on Amazon and other online booksellers early next week (July 10), and I will have copies to sell by July 17! I will post links to online buying options when they are live. This is my first mystery (but of course still contains the usual relationship drama too)! I’m so excited! See below for the sneak peek! 😀

urban legends front cover

Urban Legends front cover

First scene from Urban Legends:

Jansen Montgomery first got into a bar on her fourteenth birthday.

It was a dive bar in the East Village called Red Sulfur. She and her friends hadn’t planned on going to a bar. They had been wandering aimlessly away from the West Village, looking for anything to do that sparked their interest in the moment. The East Village appealed to them because it lacked glamour and had a reputation as a more dangerous area.

It was almost completely dark when Jansen, Hersh, Jason, and Clint looked across the street and saw the black awning with the words RED SULFUR shining through in an orangish-red print similar to the color of blood. It reminded Jansen of someplace out of a low-budget horror movie.

“Hey, I bet we can get in that place,” Clint said. The four of them exchanged excited, mischievous grins and knew they had to try.

The doorman, an old, friendly man whose work shirt bore a cursive inscription reading Claudio, gave them only a brief look-over before letting them in.

Jansen held hands with Hersh, whose real name was Corbin Hershey but whom all his friends had called Hersh since they could talk, flashed a flirtatious smile at Claudio, and walked down eight steps into the smoke-filled room. She briefly raised her right hand, the one not in Hersh’s, and grinned at the huge sapphire-look-alike ring on her middle finger.

A forty-something female bartender with short red and purple hair came to their table as soon as they sat down. “Whadda y’all want?” she asked with a bright smile.

Jansen liked her immediately. She embodied everything Jansen loved about the East Village. She seemed rebellious, and she was a far cry from anybody Jansen’s parents would hang out with, even though she was probably about their age.

“It’s her birthday,” Hersh said, locking his arm around Jansen.

“I won’t ask how old you are,” the bartender said. “So whaddaya want?”

Jansen, Jason, and Clint darted looks at each other, but Hersh totally kept his cool.

“We’ll have shots of Patrón,” he said. “And then Jack to wash it down.”

“Coming up,” the bartender said and spun away.

Jansen looked around. Even though the air was potent with smoke, there weren’t really that many people. Only four other booths were occupied. The room was long and narrow. The booths lined the wall opposite the bar, and there were a few tables in back. The floor was a dark shade of wood and uneven in places. The walls were also a dark wood, and the whole room was lit only by two dim bulbs hanging from the ceiling at either end of the bar. Jansen somehow felt protected and safe here, even though it was so grungy. She wasn’t sure why, but she thought it had something to do with how they’d come down steps right inside the door, and now they were underground.

“Happy birthday, honey,” the bartender said when she brought their drinks. She plunked the round tray in the middle of the table. There were limes to go with the tequila. “What’s your name?”

“Jansen.”

“I’m Hersh,” Hersh added, reaching out his hand to shake the bartender’s.

She shook his hand and looked to Jason and Clint.

“Oh, I’m Jason.”

“Clint.”

“I’m Lydia,” the bartender said as she turned to go. “Let me know if y’all need anything else.”

“Sure thing,” Hersh said as he lifted his shot of Patrón from the tray.

They hit their shot glasses together and tipped their heads back. Jansen made a slight face as hers went down. She grabbed her lime to suck on. “This isn’t what we had at your birthday party,” she said to Jason. That had been in his parents’ Park Avenue penthouse last fall, the first time she’d tried tequila.

“No,” Jason said, shaking his head and making a face too.

They smoked and drank their whiskeys and ordered more. When they were on their third, Hersh said to Jason and Clint, “So I have coke.”

“No fuckin’ way!” Clint cried. “I’ve been wanting to try that for so long!”

Jansen laughed a little. She thought Clint tried too hard to act like Hersh sometimes. She figured it would suck to have your best friend mature physically and athletically a lot sooner than you though. And Clint hadn’t had a girlfriend yet either.

“Dude, cool,” Jason said.

Jansen smiled again, studying Jason while he waited for Hersh to get out the coke. Jason had medium brown hair, which he wore kind of long, almost to his eyes, and tousled. Her favorite part about him was his eyes. They were really dark blue-green and really unique. He was the only person she’d ever seen with that eye color. Her favorite non-physical thing about him was how he never tried to be anything or anyone but himself. He didn’t feel a need to please other people or try to impress them. He was the most real person she knew. Hersh was real too, but sometimes Jansen thought he tried pretty hard to look cool to the older guys at his school. He cared more about his reputation than Jason did.

Hersh looked around to see if any workers were close, then pulled the bag out of his pocket. Lydia had left the drink tray on the table, and he emptied a little onto it, dividing it into four lines with a broken, hollowed-out piece of a pen. Then he put the bag away, looked around again, and offered the pen in the direction of Jason and Clint.

Jason took it. He leaned forward with total confidence, put his head down, balanced the pen between the tray and his nose, and snorted one of the lines. He sniffed as he raised his head, then grinned at them. “That was badass.” He held the pen out to Jansen questioningly.

“I just did some. In the park. I can still feel it. I did some at Hersh’s after school too.” Jansen smiled to herself, thinking back to Hersh’s bedroom in his West Village townhouse a few hours ago. He had done a line first, demonstrating for Jansen, and then she had done one. She’d liked the way her nose felt afterward, and she’d liked the immediate rush. The aftertaste in the back of her throat had been unpleasant but overlookable.

“Oh,” Jason said, raising his eyebrows, excited for her. He handed Clint the pen.

Jansen thought Clint looked nervous, but he did it without hesitation.

“Yeah, that was awesome,” he agreed, nodding.

“I can feel it already,” Jason said.

Hersh grinned at both of them, then leaned down to do a line himself. After he did, he looked up at Jansen. “You sure?” he asked, motioning to the one he’d prepared for her.

“I’m sure,” Jansen said. She felt wide awake and excited, like she had since her first line at Hersh’s.

“Have you done it before tonight?” Jason asked her.

“No. Hersh surprised me for my birthday.”

“So you like your present?” Hersh asked her now.

“Oh yeah.” Jansen felt the ring between her fingers. “I like it a lot. Hey, will you put some more in my ring?” She held out her hand.

“Why, you gonna do some later by yourself?” Hersh asked.

“It goes in your ring?” Jason asked, leaning forward curiously.

“Yeah, look, the top twists off!” Jansen spun the dark blue stone off and held out her hand to Jason to show him. “See? Hersh got me this too.”

“Sweet ass,” Jason said.

“Jewelry?” Clint asked sarcastically. “What are you guys, like engaged?”

“I saw it in a shop on Broadway like a month ago and said I liked it,” Jansen snapped defensively. “He remembered and went back and got it for me.”

Hersh took her hand and funneled some more coke from the bag into the ring. “There you go, baby.”

“Thanks.” Jansen spun the blue stone back on, then squeezed her fingers around the band again as she put her hand under the table. She didn’t even know if she would use the coke in the ring, but she liked having it there. It made her feel daring and reckless.

“Are you guys bored?” Hersh asked.

Jansen looked at him in surprise.

“No, I’m having fun,” Jason said.

“No,” Hersh said. “I mean like, in life. I feel like we need to shake things up. We just do the same stuff all the time.”

Jansen frowned. They were doing something new right now. A couple new things, actually. This night was huge for her, in a really good way. Hersh’s comment made her uneasy. What else could he possibly want?

“Shake things up how?” Jason asked.

“I don’t know. Like something to fuck with our school friends. A practical joke or something.”

Now Jansen smiled as relief washed over her. “Oooohh, I like that.”

“What kind of joke?” Clint asked.

“Something they’d never see coming.”

“You could pretend you and Jansen broke up and she was back with Jason,” Clint said.

Jansen glared at him. He was so annoying sometimes.

Hersh quickly shook his head, blowing off the idea. “No. Something better than that. Not just like, a joke that’ll blow over in a day. Like, a project.”

“I love it,” Jansen said, picturing the four of them spending hours here at Red Sulfur, leaning together across the table, laughing hysterically as they schemed up something genius to blow the minds of all their school friends. It was her idea of heaven.

“I have an idea,” Jason said, and all eyes turned to him.

“What?” Hersh asked after a moment of dead silence.

“A secret society.”

 

new book – urban legends!

My next book, Urban Legends, will be out in July! It’s the first in the Not Like Paradise trilogy and also my first mystery. This is probably the book I am most excited to publish so far, because the story is so different from my others and it was a new adventure to write! If you’ve read any of my previous books, this trilogy will be a prequel – it is about Jansen growing up in New York City. If you haven’t read any of my others, it is definitely not necessary; this one stands alone (and comes chronologically before the others anyway)! But if you’d like to check out my other books, there are a couple links below. 🙂

urban legends front cover

Urban Legends front cover

Here’s what this one is all about:

One night at a dive bar in the East Village, best friends Jansen, Jason, Hersh, and Clint create a secret society. One with a fake past full of murders, ghosts, and family secrets. A joke, meant to freak out their school friends, who will no doubt fall for it.

Because in the single-sex private schools of Manhattan’s über-wealthy Upper East Side, where GPAs and coke highs are through the roof, last night’s mind-numbing party is this morning’s eyeroll-inducingly exaggerated story, and relationships burn out faster than the cigarette between your fingers, induction to a secret society feels like a natural rite of passage.

The eerie notes left in Jansen’s, Jason’s, Hersh’s, and Clint’s bedrooms are the first clue their joke has hit too close to a very real, and very hidden, history of Manhattan. In a secret room only blocks from their penthouses, the mystery, one that began with long-dead twins named Anabelle and Jonathan, starts to unravel.

And after a cab chase, fruitless attempts at an impossible-to-crack code, and the offhand discovery of a book stacked on a desk in a backwater South Carolina bedroom comes the chilling realization their “joke” has also hit too close to home. Because as it turns out, murders, ghosts, and family secrets are the hidden history of their own parents.

 

Look for more updates and info coming soon! 😀 And in the meantime, check out my other books at either of the following links (all my paperbacks are also ebooks)! Happy reading!

My Website

My Ebooks