A Multi-author YA anthology
Sasha Hibbs * S.D. Wasley * Melissa Frost * Diana Stager * Deanna Dee * Bridie Hall
Summer Crush: A wonderfully romantic boxed set of Upper YA short stories by today’s hottest authors.
Summer is the time for lazy days at the beach, sun-kissed hair, flip-flops, and sizzling nights with a new crush. Those stolen glances and first kisses can quickly spark a flame. However, the road to love isn’t always a smooth ride.
Every Summer has a story, whether it’s a second chance on love, seeing a friend in a different light, or taking a step in a new direction with someone special. Love and long days create endless possibilities, but can a summer crush really last?
Follow the tour HERE
About the Stories:
Sutton Summer by Sasha Hibbs
After breaking Dylan’s heart last year, McKenzie returns to Sutton Lake for another summer. McKenzie realizes love was in front of her the entire time, but is it too late for Dylan to forgive her?
Exquisite Torture by S. D. Wasley
Stuck at his Gran’s house in a deadbeat town for the entire summer, things suddenly don’t seem so bad when 16 year old Ryan meets gorgeous Connie. But why is she so cagey about where she lives? Is there something more to Connie than he first thought?
Forbidden by Melissa Frost
The new guy in town has a bad reputation and a bad boy demeanor to go with it. Even so, Olivia can’t help feeling drawn to Gavin. Can she convince her mother he’s not the delinquent everyone believes, or will his past tear them apart?
Borderline Love by Deanna Dee
Nearly drowning wasn’t part of Dalya’s vacation plans. Neither was being rescued by a guy with a perfect six pack and a haunted look in his eyes. Mason reminds Dalya too much of her over-protective older brother, but when he offers to teach her to surf, she can’t say no. Can Dalya get past her frustration with her brother to realize how much Mason means to her?
Creating My Perfect Hero
Guest Post by Deanna Dee
I’ve read a lot of romance. Within those, I’ve read many different romance heroes from billionaire alphas to werewolves to boy-next-door. All are fascinating to read about. For me as an author, though, my skill lives in the area of nice guys.
Why nice guys? Aside from being terrible at writing bad boys or alphas, nice guys speak to me. In middle school, I wanted to be one of the bad chicks. I wanted to wear all black and ride a motorcycle and beat people up. I hung out with girls who considered themselves “tough.” Man, how wrong we were. And how wrong about myself I was.
When I got to high school, I changed. For a year, I did the clothes and the hair and the makeup. It was fun. Ultimately, it wasn’t me, but it taught me something very important. I wasn’t, and was never going to be, a motorcycle chick. So I set forth to get myself a new circle of friends and found success in a group of nice kids. They were wonderful, and the guys were swoon worthy. I found somewhere I fit, and I found guys I could really like.
Years later, this has morphed into me writing about nice guys. I love reaching into the proverbial guts of my male characters and extracting the sweetness. I revel in creating fun, caring, sweet guys who know their girls. They’re the kind who get her birthday gifts with meaning. They buy dinner and are touched when she wants to pay once in a while. They hold her when she cries, laugh with her when she laughs, and let her be the strong one when he needs to break down. There’s no set recipe to my heroes, but if I read my story back and find myself swooning at something I wrote, I know I’ve done my job.
“Right. Now, stand like that for a while.”
Uh, okay. That sounds like fun. “Am I allowed to talk?”
“No.” But the appearance of his mini-smile tells me he’s joking.
I’d punch his shoulder, but I’ve been instructed not to move. “Good. So how old are you?” If I can’t move, I may as well get to know him.
He grunts as if the question takes him by surprise. It probably does. “That wasn’t what I was expecting when you asked if you could talk.”
Gotcha. “If you’d known, would you have said I couldn’t?”
He makes a show of thinking about it before giving an exaggerated headshake. “No, probably not.” He leans back on his heels. “I’m eighteen. You?”
Ooh. He’s young enough that Greg won’t give me a hard time. Not that there will be anything for Greg to give me a hard time about. “Fifteen, but I’ll be sixteen in a couple of months.”
Mason’s demeanor changes. He’s still the friendly guy teaching me to surf, but the protector I witnessed when he told me not to go in the water is back.
Great, just what I need—another over-protective older brother figure. I don’t want that kind of relationship with Mason. Why can’t he see me as an equal? “Something wrong?”
He flinches. “What? No. Just remembering when I was fifteen.” He talks like he’s a hundred. “A lot’s happened in the last three years.”
I lean toward him. “Are you telling me I have a lot to look forward to?”
“Keep formation.” No sleeping through class with him. “And maybe. Just enjoy every second.”
Well, that’s ominous. “A little morbid, aren’t you?”
He shrugs and moves to stand behind me. “Nah. Just stating a fact.” Then he shoves my back leg.
What the …? I catch myself just before I fall. “What was that for?”
He helps me regain position, making my skin tingle some more. “The ocean is unpredictable.”
Kind of like him. Lesson learned.
The next hour flies. Mason keeps trying to throw me off balance, and I keep thwarting his attempts. He looks a little more impressed every time, and I barely manage to keep the grin off my face. We make small talk, and, more than anything, I start to feel comfortable. Is this what it’s like to get to know someone?
“You’re pretty good at this,” he says, a little grudgingly, and then swipes at my foot.
I wobble a little but stay standing. Take that. “I know.” This time, I can’t keep the grin away. “Is this standard surfing training?”
He scowls. “Don’t question your teacher.” Then he picks me up and dumps me in the sand.
“Hey.” I spit out a few grains and glare up at him. “I suppose there was a point to that?”
He helps me to my feet. “Yeah, it’s called we’re done for now.”
My stomach crawls in on itself. Done? I don’t want to be done. This has been one of the best days of my summer. Granted, most of my summer has been spent inside, but still. I force a smile. “Sick of being one-upped by an amateur?”
“No. It’s just almost noon, and who wants to do this under the mid-day sun.” Good point. He makes a vague hand gesture in the direction of the boardwalk. “You hungry?”
My stomach is out of its ball and chattering a mile a minute. He wants to spend time with me! And the time is going to include food. Either that or he’s just hungry and feels like he has to feed me because he’s been torturing me all morning. The chattering slows. Oh well, I’m taking the invitation. I slip on my flip-flops, grab my purse, and give a hopefully casual shrug. “I could eat.”
He smiles, and it lights his gorgeous green eyes. “Perfect. Come.”
An Ocean of Their Own by Bridie Hall
Lola spends her days trawling the sand dunes in search of the perfect subject for her art. She finds it in a solitary, beautiful girl. Sarah doesn’t just fill the pages in her sketchbook, she enchants Lola’s heart too. But how can Lola tell her family about Sarah?
Five things I didn’t know about becoming a published author
Guest post by Bridie Hall
- The really hard work starts after you’ve written your book and sent it to the publisher. It’s while it’s in the process of getting published that you have to go through revisions (it depends on the publisher though how many you go through, but it’s usually at least two), discussing book details with the publisher, and the most time-consuming of all – promoting the book.
- As mentioned above, promoting the book will take up a lot of your time just before and for a long time after the book is published. I had no idea I would spend hours online, writing blog posts, giving interviews, sending books to reviewers etc. When I was a newbie and I published my first book, it came to a point where I had to deliberately cut back on the promoting activities in order to get back to writing or I would never have finished the second book. So my advice is not to get sucked in too deep. Make schedules, be prepared and organized or you will find yourself spending more time promoting than writing. For a writer, promotion is important, but writing is essential.
- One of the most pleasant aspects of being a published author, besides having people read your books, of course, is the new relationships you establish during the publication process and after. I got to meet so many wonderful and helpful authors, editors, book bloggers (amazing people!), and readers that I am so grateful for. They made every difficult revision, every moment spent organizing book tours worthwhile. By writing books, I made new friends and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
- In the 21st century, writing is a business. It’s like a day job only you don’t have a pesky boss forcing you to do things; you have to be responsible enough to do them yourself. There are no excuses. If you want to make a career out of writing you need to write, promote, connect with readers, go to conferences if you can, and write some more. It never stops. I use vacations to get inspiration for new books and stories. I sent the second round of edits for ‘An Ocean of Their Own’ to the publisher just twenty minutes before I left for my vacation this year!
- And while we’re talking about the business side of things, you have to know that this bizz is not for the weak of heart. There are rejections, negative reviews, even mean emails from readers, covers you won’t like, editors you don’t agree with. But this is all part of getting published. The best way to deal with it is to not take it personally. Not everyone will like your book, which is only natural. Take that as the motivation to write a better one and move on. Don’t dwell or cry over it. Have a coffee, eat some comfort food, and get back to writing. In the end, it’s worth it. Good luck!
About the Authors
Sasha Hibbs is a nurse living in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, two daughters, and lives in her own imaginary world where she’s plotting her next story.
Diana Stager is a teacher who writes in her spare time and lives with her husband and kids in Ontario, Canada.
Deanna Dee is a full-time writer living in sunny North Carolina, where she takes full advantage of the beach whenever she can.
S.D. Wasley is an author, copywriter and daydreamer living in Western Australia where she wrangles chickens, cats, dogs and children on a daily basis.
Melissa Frost is a young adult author who lives near Pittsburgh PA with her husband, their son Marshall, and their soon to be daughter Adalynn.
Bridie Hall is a translator and editor who spends every free minute writing and reading.
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