BOOK BLITZ! Against My Better Judgmentby B.T. PolcariGenre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, YA Fiction, NA FictionPublisher: The Wild Rose Press
Blurb:When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask, and after a mysterious phone call, she’s certain a ring of antiquities smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa. With finals never far from her mind and her return to ‘Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door. Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.
I replaced the mask in the void, bolted the tire back in place, and activated the alarm. With a quick glance over each shoulder, I hustled back into the cottage. That was a great snap decision to hide it this morning before leaving for the gym. Normally, my snap decisions are not the best. Things were on the upswing. Although now I had a smuggling ring after me.
Ever wonder what retired business executives do after they have put in years of effort for society and decide it is time to hang up their hat? Perhaps strolling along the country club’s fairway, or lounging on a 50-foot yacht?
Alas, B. T. Polcari is unlike your typical retired executive. Empty nester and Scarlett Knights alum, Polcari is still learning the meaning of “retired” while feverishly typing away on the next new book idea, smashing the fuzz off the little green tennis ball, or blasting bowling pins for a perfect game. Yes there is a boat, but not one that comes with its own crew; this retiree prefers to bustle along a serene lake in a quaint single seat Sunfish sailboat.
Perhaps the only time BTP can be found in a quiet moment is while enjoying the morning company of two family dachshunds over a newspaper and cup of coffee. B. T. Polcari currently resides in Chattanooga, TN and is thrilled to be fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a published author.
Book Tour! Dead Sea by: Mia Kerick Dead Sea (Story Ballads Book #2) by: Mia Kerick Genre: YA Coming of Age Gay Romance Release Date: March 3Summary: Kyle is a swaggering bully; Lenny strives to be invisible.Kyle has been left alone in the world; Lenny is the world’s biggest loner.When Kyle saves Lenny from drowning, their lives will never be the same.After a brutal encounter with school bullies, Lenny swims out into the ocean, determined to let the current whisk him away. Next thing he knows the meanest kid in town is pulling him from the waves, promising to be his Dead Sea, and to never let him sink. All Kyle wants is to get out of beach cleanup, is that too much to ask? So he goes for a swim, only to come upon the most epic “nobody” in the senior class drowning in a riptide. Lenny’s haunted gaze grips him, and Kyle makes the impulsive decision to save his life or die trying. And through this ordeal, Kyle and Lenny are transformed. Kyle’s heroic act sets him on the straight and narrow, and he opens his heart to the young man he dragged from the ocean. Lenny changes too but is still unable to reveal the truth of his pain. While drowning in a sea of secrets, the reformed bully and wary victim fall in love. But staying afloat in the Dead Sea is not as simple as it seems.
About the Author: Award-winning gay romance author, wife, and mother of four, Mia Kerick, knows that a satisfying romance novel is riddled with challenges. For true love to prevail, the leading men are going to have to put in some effort. But the HEA is oh, so rewarding. From Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester to Brokeback Mountain’s Ennis and Jack to Twilight’s Edward, Mia has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature. Her contemporary gay romance focuses on such tropes as coming of age, hurt/comfort, and forbidden love. She firmly believes that sometimes you have to break his heart to save him. In Kerick’s books, the course of true love truly never does run smooth. Mia’s books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine. They have won a 2019 IPPY GOLD award for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, GOLD award for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction, a 2018 YA GOLD MOONBEAM Children’s Book Award, a YA Readers’ Favorite Award, several Gold Rainbow Awards in YA and adult categories, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, a YA Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award, and more. Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Nestled between counties Limerick and Cork in Southern Ireland, something evil lurks in the place of High Death. When Vicky’s boss offers her a free vacation in a self-catering cottage over Halloween break, she jumps at the chance to spend quality time with her twin sister, Irene, and Irene’s miniature schnauzer, Ronnie.
The village of Basard may boast Ireland’s longest running Halloween celebration, and one of the country’s best preserved standing stone circles, but Vicky finds the place rather dead. What’s more, she can’t sleep for the nightly roars of a distant crowd.
Will the twins survive this Halloween vacation to wake the dead, when their 7 days in paradise turns into 7 Days in Hell?
Praise for 7 Days in Hell
Rating: 5 out of 5. “Wow! This is a very scary story. I could feel the tension and fright of the main characters. What a horrible little village.” Amazon Reader
Rating: 5 out of 5. “A truly gripping read… I found myself living each moment through with the protagonists, and look forward to further instalments of this unfolding plot, with its deceptively super smooth villain. Compulsive reading.” Amazon Reader
Rating: 5 out of 5.
“I thought the characters were delightful, Irene and Vicky that is. The gore of the book was well placed for horror.” Amazon Reader
About Iseult Murphy
Iseult Murphy started writing at a young age, entertaining her family with magazines that she wrote and illustrated as a child. In her teens, she won several local and national short story competitions, including three time overall winner of the RDS Young Science Writers competition, and had work placed in international writing competitions such as the BBC Wildlife Poetry competition.
Iseult is drawn to horror, fantasy and science fiction, as she feels that the most difficult aspects of life can be best explored through the lens of speculative fiction.
She currently resides on the east coast of Ireland with five dogs, two cats, a parrot and a couple of humans. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, art and spending time with her animals.
Book Tour! Too Young to Die in the Garden of Syn by: Michael Seidelman Too Young to Die in the Garden of Syn (Garden of Syn Book #3) by: Michael Seidelman YA Fantasy Chewed Pencil Press Release Date: March 30, 2021
Summary: The stakes could not be higher in the epic conclusion of The Garden of Syn trilogy.
Synthia (Syn) Wade discovered a secret world known as the Garden, where illness and death do not exist. Because of the tragic events that occurred in the Garden, Syn vowed never to return, even as cystic fibrosis threatened her young life. But when Syn faces the ultimate betrayal and a malicious adversary closes in, she is forced to escape her world and reluctantly return to the Garden.
However, her ruthless foe is not easily thwarted. Flanked by a deadly army, this dark force manipulates its way into the Garden with the goal of ultimate destruction. Facing great adversity, Syn must risk her life to protect the Garden and all those living within its borders.
Book Tour! Wallflower by: Cookie O’Gorman Wallflower by: Cookie O’Gorman YA Romance Release Date: March 25, 2021 Summary: Wallflower (wohl-flou-erh): Identifier for someone who is shy and/or awkward. For reference, see Viola Kent. Seventeen-year-old Viola Kent likes being invisible. Well, not literally, but she’s content being a loner, reading her books, and hanging out with the animals at the shelter. She just wants to keep her head down and get through her senior year at Durham High. Driving Dare Frost to school every day wasn’t part of the plan. And when Viola finds out her dad recruited Dare, his number one player, to be her friend? Her inner Slytherin demands revenge. The solution: Get Dare to be her fake boyfriend. Convincing the star athlete to pretend is easier than she’d thought it would be. The hard part is protecting her heart. With every word, touch, and kiss, Viola’s feelings become more real. The problem: Viola knows she’s falling for Dare—but he doesn’t believe in love.
This book features two sets of soulmates, one happy pooch named Hermione, so many sizzling kisses and answers the question:
Can a dork and a jock fake their way to true love?
“Come on, Dare. Show me your moves. Or did you run out already?”
Dare walked toward me until the top of my thighs hit the couch cushion. “I’ve got a ton of moves, flower. We haven’t even tried half of them.”
I blinked. “Really?”
He nodded. “I’m just trying to ease you into this, make sure you’re comfortable. I don’t want to move too fast.”
Please, do, I thought.
The words that came out of my mouth were, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
It had sounded good, quippy and totally aloof in my head.
But Dare took it as a challenge.
“I’m going to enjoy this,” Dare said.
Before I could respond, he gripped the backs of my legs and lifted slightly, making me gasp and throw my arms about his neck. In the next instant, I was balanced on the couch back, my legs on either side of his hips as he took a step forward. There hadn’t been that much space between us to begin with. So, the next thing I knew his body was mere inches away from mine.
My cheeks flamed, and he drank in my reaction.
Cookie O’Gorman writes YA & NA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her novels ADORKABLE, NINJA GIRL, The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder, The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad and WALLFLOWER are out now! She is also the author of NA sports romance, The Best Mistake.
BOOK DETAILS TITLE: Royal Spy (Fate of Eyrinthia #2) GENRE: YA Fantasy Romance RELEASE DAY: May 20th, 2021
BLURB: A DECOY recruited to be a spy. A PRINCE compelled to become an assassin. A SERJAH pressured by an unwanted crown. A WORLD covered in shadows.
Mere months ago, Clare was just a kitchen maid. Now, she is a decoy for Princess Serene and a novice spy, caught in the royal family’s web of secrets. While journeying to Mortise to finalize the princess’s betrothal to Serjah Desfan, Clare lives for the stolen moments she has with Bennick, the bodyguard who is quickly claiming her heart. But when a notorious assassin is hired to kill her, Clare’s life and the alliance hang in the balance.
In Ryden, Grayson prepares to leave for Mortise with his brother, Liam. Their orders are to ignite a war between their enemies, and Grayson has been tasked with assassinating Princess Serene. It may cost his soul, but he is ready to comply, as long as he gets something in return: freedom for Mia, the girl he loves. But the more time he spends with his brother, the more he begins to wonder if Liam is what Grayson wishes he had the courage to be . . . a traitor.
Desfan feels trapped. By his disapproving council, his impending marriage to a stranger, and the imminent arrival of enemy princes who may not want the peace they profess. When a dangerous drug threatens his people, Desfan jumps at the chance to rely on his swords instead of politics. But his investigation uncovers more than he bargained for—a plot that may destroy Mortise from within.
Eyrinthia hovers on the edge of war. Spies. Rebels. Traitors. All must choose a side.
HEATHER’S BIO: Heather Frost writes mostly YA fiction and has a soft spot for tortured characters, breath-stealing romance, and happy endings. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and ghost stories and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and hold Lord of the Rings movie marathons. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in the wilds of Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com.
HAVOC (Haven #2) Mary Lindsey Release Date – 4/5/2021 Entangled Teen
For the first time in his life, Rain Ryland belongs. He’s found a home with the wolf shifters of New Wurzburg and is no-holds-barred in love with Friederike Burkhart, their soon-to-be alpha. But the ascension to power is never easy for a new alpha, and challengers will come from an unlikely source—and bring into jeopardy not just Freddie’s position as alpha but her blooming relationship with Rain. Rain has never shied away from a challenge—or a fight. And he’s ready to fight like hell for the woman he loves. But then a vision shows him that the biggest challenge of all to Freddie isn’t to her alpha status but against her life…and he’s the one who delivers the killing blow.
Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.
Represented by Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency Also writes under the pseudonym Marissa Clarke
Book Tour & Giveaway! Dog Girl by: Gabi Justice YA Contemporary Fiction Tour: March 8-12
Summary: Dog Girl is Fangirl meets Pit Bulls and Parolees.
Saving the dogs who end up at Delray Dog Rescue is Kendall’s life. It’s the perfect job for a girl with severe social anxiety.
Delray Dog Rescue doesn’t just rescue dogs, it’s a second chance for felons, like her dad. Losing the rescue means losing Kendall’s home, her sanctuary, the dogs she loves, her identity and her dad, all over again.
But money’s tight, and soon, Kendall must decide between keeping a roof over her head and saving the rescue.
When a video of Kendall’s harrowing rescue of a pit bull from the path of an oncoming train goes viral. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Kendall, making her anxiety worse. But this is an opportunity to put the rescue in the spotlight and secure the donations needed to save it.
Can she overcome the social paralysis that’s plagued her all her life? Can she ignore negative comments on social media about her looks and smell? Can she accept help from a boy who really sees her, even though she can’t understand what he could possibly see in her?
DOG GIRL is the story of a teen girl who wants to save the world, and ends up saving herself in the process.
Gabi Justice is the author of Dog Girl, her teen and young adult contemporary romance debut set to publish in the fall of 2020. She is the mom to three dogs and one stray cat named Luna Buna. She lives in Florida with her husband and children. You’d be hard-pressed to find a tennis court in the state that she hasn’t visited, having three competitive junior players in the family. She spent most of her adult life writing editorial copy for local magazines after graduating from the University of South Florida. Florida provides the settings for all her coming-of-age stories that highlight bullying, misjudgment, acceptance, and teen anxiety. Her main characters are goal-oriented teenage girls with a drive that can be fierce and dangerous.
The truck pulls into the animal hospital. Rock rushes the pit bull inside. The five-thirty alarm on my phone buzzes reminding me how late it is. Typically, I’d be done with chores by now, or at least almost done, and heading into the house for a shower. God, I need a shower. I could follow Rock, I’m definitely concerned about that sweet dog, but my part in this rescue is over. You’re so far behind. The anxiety stirs. Inhale. Exhale. It’s okay. I hurry along the sandy path between the vet and the rescue center. Gotta get back on schedule. Three rambunctious, disobedient dogs need training, and the wolf-rescue-flyers for Spring Festival are still not finished. Plus Algebra II homework. There’s no way. Not enough time. My breathing quickens. Calm down. Slow inhale. Exhale. A few deep breaths and the rapid fire breathing reduces to a controllable smolder. I pass the length of the yard and close in on the barn when Cruz nearly knocks me over. “Cruz!” Mid-jog, he says, “Sorry. Damn bus was late. Just got here.” “Where’s Mom?” “Don’t know.” He gives me a small wave, but no smile. “Gotta go do work.” That’s weird. Cruz never misses an opportunity to talk, especially when it comes to rescues. He loves to hear the stories. He’s desperate to go on calls, but he’s only been here a month, and so far, none of us are very impressed with his abilities. I didn’t expect Mom to be gone this long. And she never explained why the Miami agent wanted to see her. The phone alarm shrieks again, snapping me back to panic mode. I rush into the barn. My boy, Rascal, spots me. His tail whips in quick circles and his paws drum the ground. The unconditional love soothes. He smiles. I grin back. I love him so much. “Let’s go, boy.” I lead him to the training area. Rascal, being his usual stubborn self, won’t crawl through the agility tunnel, so I enter the tube on my hands and knees, creep half-way, then turn around. He pokes his head in and growl-mumbles. “Get in here. I don’t have time for this.” My fist pounds the ground. “Arrooh,” he answers. I laugh, “Come on, boy.” He tilts his head, backs away, inches forward, tilts his head again, and talks in his hilarious dog howl. “You can do it.” At the sound of my high pitch, he perks up and touches the tube with his front paw but doesn’t enter. “Tease.” I pound the floor with my fists again, shake my head, and whip my stringy, brown hair around. That gets him. He races inside, trampling me with dirty paws in an attempt to ram his way past. “Rascal!” I’m shoved up against the wall of the tube. We’re squished side by side. Wet slobbery kisses drench my face. His deafening bark rings my ear. Lick, bark, lick, bark, as if this is a fun game we’re playing. He nudges me with his slimy, wet nose and eventually squeezes past, scratching and tickling. I’m sure from the outside it looks like some freakish anaconda digesting a gator. “Ouwa! Rascal!” One of his nails snags my skin. He opens his mouth in a tongue-dangling, Bull Terrier smile, so I can’t stay mad at him. He’s adorable with that long nose, pink tongue, and goofy spotted face. He has muscles so dense he can drag a person without a problem. “Rascal!” I cover my nose as the foul odor of his fart encircles me. “Rude!” No remorse. He saunters out the other end to chase anything that moves. I crawl to the opening, stick my head out, and gulp in the fresh air. A guy leans over the fence. An extremely cute guy. He’s grinning wide, laughing. How stupid I must look, bested by a fifty-pound Bull Terrier. My cheeks burn. Oh my God, is my face bright red? I’m a tomato-red idiot rolling around in a tube with a dog. Wonderful! “That looks fun.” His piercing blue eyes mock me. “Very.” I’m still stuck in the tube. I start to ask him if he’s a Saint Paul’s guy. He looks like a preppy asshole. They’re all the same – faux hawk haircut with spiked blonde tips, clean sporty clothes because he probably doesn’t sweat, and a superiority complex. However, the amount of embarrassment zooming through my body will not allow proper functioning of speech right now. I rush to stand, tripping over my feet, and brush the dirt off of my clothes in an attempt to look somewhat presentable. It’s not working. In fact, it’s worse. Large mud stains smudge my shirt. The old, faded, Spider-Man shirt! All the air leaves my lungs. No wonder everyone thinks I’m weird. He’s even more gorgeous close-up. A flawless face, bad-boy grin with boy-next-door dimples and those blonde tips are actually from the sun, not the salon. God, I sound like one of Vicky’s stupid Cosmo magazine articles. Listicle: Top five things on the hot meter. But honestly, he’s probably an Instagram model. I can’t help but gawk with a huge smile plastered across my face. I might as well have a neon sign flashing: Seventeen-year-old virgin, approach with caution. She might attack. I snap out of it and force myself to act professionally. It’s strangely difficult to get my mouth to cooperate and stay straight. “May I help you?” “Yes. I need community service hours for school, and I’d like to help out here.” Even his voice is smooth. “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” I ask. “Huh? No.” He laughs, the kind of choke-laugh that gets stuck in the back of your throat when someone has just said something ridiculous. “Then you can’t work here.” I turn my back on him. Those perfect cheekbones are too much. If I don’t look at him, then maybe my heart will stop doing circus acts. “I can go to the Walgreens and shoplift a pack of cigarettes if that’s the prerequisite to volunteer here,” he says. My lips defiantly curl upward at his joke. Cute, articulate, and funny. I’m screwed. Just keep your uncooperative face toward Rascal. Remember, he’s a Saint Paul Boy, and they’re all spoiled, entitled tools. I struggle to ignore the voice, and whatever this is that’s happening inside my body and gather my facial expressions into a proper attitude of indifference. I spin around and face him. “I’m afraid that even if you so generously shoplifted on the rescue’s behalf, we still would not have a position available for you.” Rascal takes advantage of my distraction and digs a giant hole in the dirt. “No, Rascal!” I grab the leash and clip it to his collar then he jolts behind. His brute force pulls my legs out from under me, and I face plant in the mud. He drags me a few inches before I can get to my knees and wrestle him back into obedience. Suddenly, Saint Paul Boy’s hands clamp under my sweaty armpits pulling me to my feet. “What are you doing?” “You’re welcome.” He removes his hands. “No! You never jump the fence. Rascal could’ve attacked you, and we’d get sued.” He’s in my personal space. I’m nearly as tall as him, and it takes all my nerve not to look away, to stand my ground, to inhale his hypnotic cologne. Why didn’t I take that shower? But he just snickers and gestures to Rascal. “Him?” He’s still too close. Maybe his olfactory glands don’t work? “Rascal doesn’t look vicious at all.” Cute Saint Paul Boy cocks one luscious eyebrow. Rascal sits next to us with his tongue flopping out and gooey slobber bouncing all over the place, that goofy grin lighting up his expression. “It’s obvious you know nothing about dogs.” I turn to Rascal and deflate. Come on, you’re a bully breed. Do something to support my argument! Growl? Just a little growl. How about a rumble? I yank Rascal, which I shouldn’t, and immediately regret it. My social helplessness isn’t his fault. I lead him over to the ramps hoping that will normalize this situation. Saint Paul Boy doesn’t move and continues to stare at me. The mud dries on my cheek, it itches and reeks of dog poop. If I could, I’d curl up in the corner and die. Why is he still here? Don’t look at him. Keep working. My eyes never leave Rascal as he masters the first ramp and ascends the second. “You’re bleeding,” Saint Paul Boy says. “What?” I glance down and see a smear of blood on my arm. It’s from earlier. It must be the pit bull’s blood. “I’m fine.” I rub it, but it’s dried onto my skin and won’t wipe off. Saint Paul Boy offers a bandana handkerchief. What is this, the fifties? “Uh. No, thank you.” “Hello. May I help you?” Shane appears out of nowhere. Rascal didn’t even notice her, but he does now. He barks and tugs the leash. My stepmom is his favorite. She eyeballs me, concerned I’ve allowed a stranger into the dog pit. Mom would be livid, but Shane gets worried not mad. “Yes, you may.” He politely extends his hand over the fence. She shakes it generously. They exchange greetings that I can’t hear over Rascal’s barking. I give up and let go of the leash so he’ll shut up. “I need community service hours for my senior year. It’s a graduation requirement. I love dogs and was hoping I could help out.” His dazzling blue orbs slide in my direction. He wouldn’t last a day here. We don’t need him. I’m sure Shane is going to say no. “Yes,” she says. What? Yes! Why is she doing this? “We could use a strong boy like you. Corvette just left us, and he was about your build. No medical conditions, right? You can lift heavy bags?” Ah. That’s it. Cruz’s late, I was gone, nothing got done so she needs someone to unload the Science Diet truck. “Sure.” He shrugs his shoulders. As if he’s ever done manual labor. Ha! “Great. Come with me,” Shane says. His eyes widen in surprise. I snort. Those neat, sporty clothes are going to get so filthy. “Now?” he asks Shane but looks at me for assistance. I smirk and glance down at the pristine whiteness of his shorts. Overwhelming satisfaction fills my chest, and I suppress the giggles. “Yes, of course.” Her chin lowers, and her brows rise. “Great, let’s go.” His voice remains smoothly confident, but the slack in his smirk reveals the effect of Shane’s challenge. He follows in her wake. He’s tall, six feet or more, and thin but definitely strong, carrying those broad shoulders proudly. Long, lean, tan legs with powerful quads and calves. And that butt. Wow! He turns around and busts me checking out his ass. His lips return to a full smirk. It’s a gut-wrenching punch. Frantic anger strikes like a bolt of thrilling but painful electricity. This time I can’t stop the critical voice inside my head. He saw you checking him out! You’re an idiot! Good job, Kendall. You deserve that dog girl label. Actually, you’ve stepped it up to dirty, weird, red-faced, dog girl. Why in a million years did you think you were capable of interacting with a guy like that? I should’ve been busy training Rascal and totally ignoring him. Rascal’s exuberant face bounces as he pants, oblivious to my internal death. “Traitor!” I growl. “You’re as dumb as a stump.” To this, he bows his head. My heart breaks. I bend down and give him a generous scratching on his sternum. “I’m sorry, boy.” The tightness in my chest fades as I watch Rascal’s tongue hang and flap with joyful satisfaction. “You’re way cuter than he is.” I risk a peek over my shoulder. Saint Paul Boy is carrying one of the giant dog food bags off of the truck, and he’s looking over here. What’s behind me? I turn around. Nothing’s there. I turn back and catch his eyes on me. Now he’s smiling. This isn’t good! The web of anxiety stretches and shudders.
Book Blitz! No One Dies in the Garden of SynBook 1 in THE GARDEN OF SYN Trilogyby: Michael SeidelmanGenre: YA Fantasy
Summary: Synthia (Syn) Wade is a teenage girl who struggles with cystic fibrosis, an incurable life-threatening disease. One day she is pushed into a pond by an unseen figure and wakes up in a new world – a mysterious garden where illness and death don’t exist.
Welcomed by the garden’s residents and now free of her symptoms, Syn decides to stay. But, before long, she realizes that this apparent utopia holds many dangers and dark secrets.
Surrounding the garden is a fog that Syn is warned never to enter. She encounters bizarre creatures that defy reason. And always lurking in the shadows is a masked woman – a woman who may have a connection to the disappearance of Syn’s parents many years ago. A woman whom no one will speak of, but whom everyone fears.
When was the last time you confronted the skeletons in your closest?
Immediately following book one, “Elephant,” Matthew “Matty” Smith awakens from his coma and discovers that his worst nightmare is all true: his grandmother, Jamie, and Derek have gone missing and his mother murdered his father and grandfather years ago.
With the hospital placing him on lockdown, including no visitation rights by his loved ones such as his best friend, Lisa, Matty finds himself deteriorating into a state of the abyss, consumed with the secrets of his family. Convinced that it was the ‘stranger’ who kidnapped his grandmother and friends, no one believes him. The hospital only believes that Matty is slipping into a toxic mental state, repeating the cycle of his family.
Until one day, Lisa helps Matty escape the hospital.
On the run from Dr. Brown, Officer Barry, and the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Matty and Lisa set off to find their friends and Lucia and for answers on who the ‘stranger’ is. Once they unmask who the ‘stranger’ is, Matty continues to unravel the deepest secrets of what was supposed to be forever hidden in the Smith family as well as the town.
This story is for those who feel their voice is unheard and for children, teenagers, and adults who never had the chance to heal from their pain.
NATALIE RODRIGUEZ is an award-winning writer, director, and mental health and anti-violence/trauma advocate based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2014, she graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-Television-Film. Her first experience in entertainment was an internship at the Conan O’Brien show and Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures, where she worked at the offices of producers, Matthew Rhodes (“Cherry,” “Men in Black: International”) and Academy Award-winner, Cathy Schulman (“Sharp Objects,” “Crash”).
Natalie was also a panelist at events, including Google, Hispanicize, and YouTube, where she has shared her story as a writer, filmmaker, and a female working in the entertainment industry. Some of her previous writing work can be found in publications such as the HuffPost Blog, Thrive Global, Anxiety Resource Center, Opposing Views, NowThis News, Hello Giggles, The Mighty, and more.
In 2017, she founded her production company, Extraordinary Pictures, focusing on both films, television, digital series, and social issue projects. The company has a list of projects in its roaster, including development on a TV sitcom, “The D,” which placed in top-ten for best comedy screenplays at Stage 32. At the moment, Natalie’s second directorial feature film, Howard Original, is in post-production and set for a January 2021 release date. The film is based on the award-winning short film about a washed-up screenwriter named Howard, who encounters more than just selling a story, a studio rejection, and writer’s block when his pet cat comes to life. The film co-stars, Iliyana Apostolova, who has more than one million Tik Tok subscribers.
Natalie’s directorial feature film, “The Extraordinary Ordinary,” which she also wrote, produced, and was the executive producer on, made its rounds through the festival circuit. The film stars John Posey (“How to Get Away With Murder” & “Lucifer”), the great Ricardo Montalban’s grandson, Alex Montalban, in his feature film acting debut (“My Dinner With Herve”), Maddison Bullock (“Ice the Movie” and “Wives of the Sky”), and social influencer, Ana Marte (over 185K IG followers/”Need For Speed” and “Amigos”). The film deals with young adults, mental health awareness, recovery, and the aftermath of trauma. “The Extraordinary Ordinary” also won ‘Best Film About Women’s Empowerment’ at the Glendale International Film Festival and scored nominations in Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Picture. The film also had a sold-out world premiere screening at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF) and won ‘Best Performance’ by a leading actor, Maddison Bullock. “The Extraordinary Ordinary” will be available nationwide on streaming platforms, including Amazon, Google Play, and more, on FRI August 28th, 2020 through Indie Rights. The project also premiered on Infobase’s ‘Films On Demand’ and ‘Access Video On Demand,’ available to subscribers of the products for public libraries (Access Video On Demand) and colleges & universities (Films On Demand). Ask your library for details. Further details on the project can be found @theextraordfilm via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Natalie’s other screenplays and films have also been featured and placed in the final rounds at HollyShorts Film Festival, NALIP: Latino Lens Film Festival, ShortsTV, Stage 32: Comedy Screenplay, Beverly Hills Film Festival, Culver City Film Festival, Indie Night Film Festival, Hollywood Screenplay Contest, Table Read My Screenplay – Austin Film Festival, and others.
She was most recently an ambassador for Jen Zeano Designs (JZD), a clothing company in association with USA Networks. While she continues to build her creative background, Natalie is always open to collaborating with other artists and advocates. Her first young adult thriller, fiction novel was published in June 2020, “Elephant,” a story about four childhood best friends who uncover a family secret.
When was the last time you were shut down for experiencing a mental health struggle or feeling unheard by others, including those closest to you?
Summer of 2006. Four childhood best friends. A family secret.
After a strange encounter leaves him hospitalized, a timid teenage boy named Matt “Matty” Smith comes home to a continuous series of events met with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
Under the guardianship of his grandma, Lucia, Matt lives with unspoken questions about his grandfather and parents. The elephant in the room. As Matt develops over the summer, the secrets only grow more profound and complex. Will the answers ever come? While searching for answers, Matt and his three childhood best friends encounter the meanings of love, forgiveness, and fate.
This story is for those who feel their voice is unheard and for children, teenagers, and the adult who never had the chance to heal from their pain.