Tuesday, April 20, 2021

First Look: Read the First Chapter of Don't Look Behind You

 Don't Look Behind You comes out in twenty days! Holy cow. I cannot believe it. In the mean time, are you ready for a first look? Keep reading for the first chapter.


Chapter 1

Day 91, Monday

Most people find orchids to be finicky plants. Their requirements for growing shiny new leaves and sprouting arching branches of blooms are too difficult to reproduce. People plant them in dense, smothering soil and complain when the plant withers to nothing but a dried, brown husk. What they don’t understand is that most orchids are epiphytic, meaning they grow hanging suspended from a tree branch or a slick cliff. They bloom only if precise conditions are met, or not at all. I know all of this because I used to grow them. Gently bowed green leaves on mossy chunks of cork bark, suspended near the perfect window by clear fishing line stretched taut.

I was always drawn to their particularity and resilience.

Not anymore. Not now that I’m the one clinging to life as a shriveled, nearly dead stub of brown in an airless, smothering situation.

I left every single one of my plants behind when I moved in with Aunt Karen.


The newly purchased loose blouse still has the tags hanging from the back collar. Its sharp edges are making the tender skin between my shoulder blades itch. I bend awkwardly, trying to reach it, and only manage to pull out a few strands of my overlong, hickory brown hair. What I wouldn’t give for a broken-in tee and jean cutoffs.

Helplessness threatens to overwhelm me, making me collapse on to the edge of the too-small twin bed, pawing at the bright red comforter with black polka dots. I’d have deemed it too childish to use if Aunt Karen hadn’t told me she’d purchased it because it reminded her of my favorite anime show about a teenage girl whose superhero alter ego is a ladybug. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’m not interested in it anymore. Or any of my other former hobbies.

None of it makes me light up like it did Before.

The old house creaks as someone moves down the hallway.

I look up, my pulse skittering.

“Does everything fit all right?” Aunt Karen stands in the doorway, her perceptive brown eyes skimming over me. Her dyed red hair is starting to grow out, leaving a stripe of gray at her scalp.

I bite my lip, nodding. “This outfit okay?”

“The blouse looks nice on you. Feminine.”

Not like my old clothes.

The older woman moves into the room, dressed for her new job at the grocery store in a slouchy green polo and khaki slacks. Her eyes glance over my face and away. “Where’s your bracelet?”

“Oh. I—”

“Your parents would have wanted you to wear it,” she encourages, picking up the sterling bangle from the top of the dresser and watching with keen eyes as I snap it on to my wrist.

The clothes tag rustles when I move, sparking Aunt Karen’s continued scrutiny. “What is that?”

“Tag. Would you mind...?” Presenting her with my back, I pull my hair forward over my shoulder. My skin prickles at the exposure, but I hold myself still.

Aunt Karen excuses herself to get some scissors from the kitchen, returning with a bright red set that ironically also still has the tag on. The older woman gives half a smile as she yanks it off and tosses it in the wastebasket under the small desk in the corner. “It’s amazing the things you have to buy when you move. Being back in this house feels like going back in time.” Her eyes take in the room around me before she moves closer.

I’m grateful she doesn’t see me flinch as she draws closer with the gleaming shears.

Carefully, as if she’s afraid I’ll collapse if she touches me, my new guardian cuts the tag out of my blouse and tosses it.

“How are you feeling about your new school? You know how you’re going to introduce yourself yet?”

I shrug. I’ve been dreading this, so instead of making a mental plan like I normally would, I’ve kept putting it off. I guess I’ll figure it out if anyone asks. Probably no one will.

“Practice makes permanent. You should run over what you want to say in the car on the way over. Want me to role play it with you?” The woman crosses her arms, studying me.

“No, thanks. I’ll manage.” Shouldering my backpack, I follow her out on to the landing. The door to the master bedroom has been shut tight. In the short time I have resided in this place, I have never trespassed there.

The temperature drops as we descend the stairs. Under her breath I hear Aunt Karen grumbling about how inefficient the old house is with its minimal insulation and seventy-year-old windows. While the upstairs is near too warm, the downstairs feels like a freezer. I consider going back upstairs for a sweater but don’t. The second I step outside, I’m slammed by a wall of air so hot it steals my breath. It’s not even 8 AM and already almost 90 degrees. The jean skirt I’m wearing chafes, the blouse tacky against my skin. It’s got to be twenty degrees warmer here than at home.


My eyes threaten to well over, but I force the tide back. I can’t arrive for my first day of school with puffy eyes and splotchy skin. I get into the passenger side of Aunt Karen’s sedan once she unlocks it and click my seatbelt into place.

Despite the ocean of sadness that washes over me, I’m relieved to be out of the old house that has been in the family since it was built in the 1940s. The white paint peeling off the clapboard siding and the weathered front porch testify to the truth of it. Against the side of the aged structure, the AC unit shudders as it tries to keep pace with the climbing heat.

I look up at the house, all of its windows and blinds shut against the outside.

As Aunt Karen backs out of the driveway, something in my chest loosens. I’m nervous about going to a new school where I won’t know anyone, but it’s got to be better than that house, where every move I make is catalogued and deconstructed. The idiom walking on eggshells has never been so concrete in my mind as now.

The car moves down the street past orchard after orchard of almond trees. Apparently, it’s the town’s major crop, along with milk. This side of town is all farm land; the other side flooded by the sea of black and white cows at the dairy. You can smell the stench from the freeway.

In town, we pass the grocery store, a big box store, barber shop, furniture store, boutique dress shop, a beauty parlor with faded photos in the windows, and a coffee shop/diner. That’s it—that’s the entire town.

I make quick work of my breakfast, wadding up the foil wrapper and tucking it into my pocket. Aunt Karen wouldn’t like me leaving it in the car’s spotless interior.

The school looks pretty much how it did during orientation a couple days ago. A long, single storey white building with a gymnasium at one end. A knight on a horse is painted on the side of the gym over a banner saying, “Go Lancers!” Behind that is the football stadium, which looks well-kept even though the metal bleachers are ancient.

The parking lot is separated into two sections: the teachers’ cars mostly sedans and minivans, while the student lot is full of trucks with extended cabs. Many are downright filthy, hinting at the popular pastimes of rodeos and off-roading. I wrinkle my nose as Aunt Karen pulls to a stop right in front of the main building.

Every student standing on the sidewalk turns to gape as I unbuckle my belt and move to open the door.

Aunt Karen stops me with a firm hand on my arm. “Do you have your recorder?”

“Oh. Yeah.” Unzipping the front pouch of my new backpack, I unbury the small silver device and turn it on, careful to keep it low enough that no one outside the car can see it.

“Don’t forget to check it between classes to make sure it’s still going.” Her tone is admonishing.

“Don’t worry, okay? I won’t forget.” I know how important it is.

She watches me for a beat. “I’ll be here to pick you up after school. Wait right out front.”

I promise to comply before climbing out of the car. She doesn’t pull away as I move toward the clump of students on the front steps. Their conversations hush as I draw closer. All eyes are on me—the new girl.

I try to muster a small smile, but one by one their expressions register my face and flick away, as if they’re afraid to stare. My hand comes up to cover the white scar that cuts a line from my left nostril all the way to my hairline. Dropping my chin, I let my hair fall in front of my face like a curtain.

The metallic blue front door flies open, almost knocking me in the head. I gasp, jumping back.

“Crap. Sorry. I’m sorry! Megan?”

My reddened face whips up to lock on the boy who just tried to murder me with a door. The gangly boy with an anime tee and thick black plastic glasses frames gives me a sheepish smile. Adjusting the backpack strap he’s got slung over one shoulder, he holds out a hand. “I’m Noah Lopez, your student liaison. Welcome to Valley High.” He steps back, motioning for me to go through the door he holds open.

We step into the administration building. The aisle passes the high counter manned by a secretary and out the other side to the open-air courtyard.

My heart is staging a revolt in my chest cavity. I can do this. I can.

The secretary gives me a warm smile. “Good morning! I gave Noah here your schedule. He’ll show you around, okay, hon? And don’t be afraid to ask if you need anything.”

“Thanks.” The middle-aged woman’s warmth is a sharp contrast to the chilly reception I got outside, making me wonder if someone started a school-wide game of Hot and Cold I don’t know about.

“How’d you know my name?” I ask Noah as we pass through the courtyard. Low hills of dead grass roll between the concrete walkways, each mound crested by a sapling supported by wooden stakes, like miniature kingdoms guarded by groups of students. Nearest us, a jock catches sight of me and turns to whisper in his buddy’s ear. A ripple goes through the open space, and my ears flame.

Hopeful for some semblance of normalcy, I ignore the clamminess in my palms. Resist the urge to cover my face in my hands.

Noah chuckles. “You’re the first new kid we’ve had since Joey Donner moved here in third grade. Small towns, you know?”

“Right. Is this the part where you ask me all about where I’m from and stuff?”

“I figure you’ll tell me all about that whenever you’re ready to. Being new must be tough.” The smile the boy throws my way makes me relax a fraction.

The morning light glows behind the apple green leaves of the nearest tree, unearthing an urge I haven’t felt in three months. Taking out my new phone, I peel the protective film off so I can take a couple quick photos. Squatting gets the composition I want. When I’m satisfied, I straighten to find my would-be assassin watching intently.

“You a photographer?” he asks. “Can I see?”

I hesitate, but hold out my phone.

 “It’s pretty. You’re good. You should talk to Mr. Baugh, the art teacher, about getting into his advanced art class. I’m in there, too.”

Embarrassed by his easy compliment, I tuck the phone away, murmuring a quiet thanks.

Noah’s focus moves to my face. I wait for him to zero in on the ugly line marring my skin, but he doesn’t. Good, because despite what I told Aunt Karen, I have no idea what to say about it. Something like relief flutters in my stomach.

“Here’s your schedule,” Noah says, leading me along one of the walkways. “Mr. Tobin, fifth period. He keeps his room freezing cold, so you might want to bring a blanket to keep in your locker. A ton of people do. Last year there was even a competition to see who could find the ugliest one. And don’t ever be late to Ms. Parker’s class or she’ll make you wear a sombrero for the rest of the period.” He laughs, running a hand over his black wavy hair. “Hat hair is no joke, is all I’m saying.”

His smile pulls a ghost of one out of me in return. The expression feels foreign on my face. I can’t remember the last time I smiled.

Posters line the windows of the classrooms we pass advertising football, a club for future farmers, and cheerleading. I stifle a wince, hoping my tour guide didn’t notice.

He doesn’t miss much, unfortunately. “You have something against the great sport of cheerleading?”

“Not really,” I say with a noncommittal headshake.

“Okay… So, here’s your first period class. If you want, I can come back after and walk you to your next class. Make sure you don’t get lost?”

“Sure. Thanks,” I add as an afterthought.

“See you then, Megan.” He ducks his head before moving off.

When I step inside the portable classroom, no one is here yet.

A janitor is standing behind the teacher’s desk with a wastebasket in hand. “Morning,” he grunts, setting down the empty receptacle and leaving quickly, glancing back once. Probably to get a better look at my scar.

Settling in a desk in the back row, I take out my phone and look at the photo of the leaves. It is pretty good. Chewing on the inside of my cheek, I debate for a second before opening my social media app and posting it. It’s the first one I’ve shared since Before.

Almost immediately a couple of people I used to chat with leave comments. Maybe I haven’t been completely forgotten.

It would be nice to start posting photos again. As long as Aunt Karen doesn’t find out.

Before class starts, I unzip the front of my backpack under the desk to check the small device she gave me. It’s still recording.


Pre-order  Your Copy: https://tinyurl.com/5rht6sef

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57433662-don-t-look-behind-you

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Don't Look Behind You Cover Reveal

 Who's ready for a cover reveal? Me!

I've been sitting on this for several weeks and I'm ecstatic that today is the day to share it! It's gorgeous and creepy and I am here for it. My cover designer killed it this time around. :D

Look for more details and sneak peeks next week.

Pre-order Don't Look Behind You

Add it on Goodreads

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Teaser Tuesday: Don't Look Behind You


The truth is a deadly blade that cuts deep. 

Megan Pritchard aches to find safety and security when she starts fresh in a new town. Yet the habits of a chilling past are hard to break. 

Keep her head down.

Never tell them who she is.

When someone asks about her scar... lie.

For a brief flicker of time, she thought she was safe. That she could find ways to fit into that small town with secrets of its own. Then... the prickle down her spine returns. 

Someone is watching and waiting—just like before. But this time they won’t settle for shallow cuts. Knives, and secrets, will be buried deep. 

Don’t Look Behind You is a dark psychological thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end. Fans of Karen McManus, Chelsea Ichaso, or Natasha Preston are sure to love Emily Kazmierski’s chilling masterpiece!

Don't Look Behind You comes out May 10, 2021

Monday, October 26, 2020

Four Days Until Killer Final Exams Comes Out. Want My Thoughts in Gif Form?

Killer Final Exams is the perfect Fall read. Consider it the baby of Pretty Little Liars… 

 and Gossip Girl

where everyone is wearing fabulous clothes but also lying to their friends, significant other, parents, school administration, police… You get the idea. 

 So what is the Brat Academy gang up to? 

 Ricardo has a stalker.

Gul is trying to get over her abusive ex but also can’t help but sniff out some dirt on her classmates.


 Mikhail’s sister is MIA and he’s starting to get suspicious.

There’s a fire, some webcam hacking, and an almost game of human dartboard. 


 I can’t believe I’m wrapping up another series. I have loved every minute with Adrienne, Mikhail, Charlotte, Ricardo, Gul, and Callahan. I hope all of you fantastic readers love them too.❤️ 


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Cover Reveal! Check out Embassy Academy Book Three: Killer Final Exams!


Who says teenagers don’t have stalkers?

I can’t shake the feeling someone’s watching me. Then the creepy text messages start. And “gifts” arrive with notes written in blood.

When a girl goes missing from a nearby embassy, it seems unrelated, but after the deaths that have occurred at Embassy Academy, can it really be a coincidence?

Time’s running out and if I don’t figure out who my stalker is, more people will disappear. Even worse, their next target is my girlfriend.

Embassy Academy: Killer Final Exams is a young adult romantic thriller, and the final book in the trilogy.


I loved writing Ricardo's story, and although editing it has been quite the process, I'm proud of how it's turning out. I think you'll love reading more about Ricardo and Charlotte, all of their friends, and the shenanigans those diplomats' kids get into. 

If you love trying to guess whodunit, redeemed villains, new friends and old loves, creepy notes and seemingly omniscient anonymous texters, this story is for you.

Add Killer Final Exams to Goodreads here.
Pre-order on Amazon here.

P.S. The Amazon page says the book doesn't come out until January 2021, but I'm working hard to get it out much sooner--probably in October. I'm excited to share it with you lovely people.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Upcoming YA and Adult Thrillers I Can't Wait to Read

Despite all of the kerfuffle over a certain virus that I won't name, 2020 is shaping up to be an excellent year for books. Young adult thrillers in particular have my attention, because I love a good mystery. Even better if the story surprises me, which doesn't happen often.

Here are a few mysteries and thrillers on my ever-expanding TBR:

All Your Twisted Secrets by Diane Urban

Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso

When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day, and her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down.

But then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point--not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious--and dark--their family's past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn't over--and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

The Obsession by Jesse Sutanto

Nobody knows Delilah like Logan does. Nobody. He makes sure of it by learning everything he can through her social media and watching her through a hidden camera he has trained on her house. Some might call him a stalker. Logan prefers to be called “romantic”.

But after Logan sees Delilah killing her abusive stepfather, he realizes there’s still more about her to discover. His sweet, perfect Delilah isn’t so perfect after all.

Delilah knows she should feel guilty, but all she feels is free. She’s so over the men in her life controlling her. Except Logan saw what she did, and he won’t let her forget it.

Delilah is done being the victim. And she refuses to be a character in Logan’s twisted fantasy. If Logan won’t let her go…she’ll make him.

What thrillers and mysteries are you looking forward to reading?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Last Day to Enter to Win a Signed Paperback

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lethal Queen Bee by Emily Kazmierski

Lethal Queen Bee

by Emily Kazmierski

Giveaway ends April 26, 2020.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Lethal Queen Bee Comes Out in Only 7 Days!

I can't believe this book comes out in only SEVEN DAYS! I can't wait to share Charlotte and Ricardo with you.

This one's got murder, secrets and rumors, hate to love, fake dating, sisters, new friends, and old enemies. :D


Friday, March 27, 2020

Enter to win a Paperback of Embassy Academy: Lethal Queen Bee


It's hard to believe, but the second book in my Embassy Academy trilogy comes out in exactly one month! Eek. I'm super excited about it.


Who says politics, murder, and a fake boyfriend don’t mix?

I’ve spent the past three years watching my step father groom my brother for the position I crave. Heir apparent to his political legacy. So can you blame me for breaking my own rules and getting a little buzzed at yet another campaign dinner?

I’m fine. Really.

Until the “animal” I ran over on my way back to school turns out to be my Calculus teacher. A guy with whom I might have a shady history. No comment.

If the police pin his murder on me, all my political aspirations will go up in smoke. And what’s worse, I need the help of the school’s resident playboy, a guy I can’t stand, to prove my innocence. So what if he tricks me into fake dating? It’s nothing I can’t handle.

Embassy Academy: Lethal Queen Bee is a young adult hate to love romantic thriller, and the second in the trilogy.


Want a chance to win a copy? Head over to Goodreads and enter the giveaway.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Embassy Academy: Deadly First Day is Live!

Who knew that the first day at a new school could be deadly?
Embassy Academy, the elite private boarding school I’m being shipped off to wasn’t made for girls like me. Girls who are timid wallflowers.
It was made for bold, outspoken, cultured kids of the political elite. Rich. Privileged. Condescending.
Except for Ricardo, who looks at me like I'm a new flavor of ice cream he'd like to try, despite my cute bodyguard's disapproving stare. If only bratty girls and cute boys were my biggest problem.
When the academy's resident mean girl is killed on my very first day, their shimmering oasis becomes a pool of blood. The whispering gets louder. Quick glances become hard stares.
They’re looking for someone to blame. They’re looking at me.

Embassy Academy: Deadly First Day is the first in a trilogy of young adult romantic mysteries. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

FREE This Week Only

Dying for an action-packed read? Start the Ivory Tower Spies series today. Get book one for FREE, this week only.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cover Reveal for My Next Book, Embassy Academy: Deadly First Day

Been wondering what I'm working on? Here it is!

Who knew that the first day at a new school could be deadly?
Embassy Academy, the elite private boarding school I’m being shipped off to wasn’t made for girls like me. Girls who are timid wallflowers.
It was made for bold, outspoken, cultured kids of the political elite. Rich. Privileged. Condescending.
Except for Ricardo, who looks at me like I'm a new flavor of ice cream he'd like to try. If only bratty girls and cute boys were my biggest problem.
When the academy's resident mean girl is killed on my very first day, their shimmering oasis becomes a pool of blood. The whispering gets louder. Quick glances become hard stares.
They’re looking for someone to blame. They’re looking at me.

Pre-order: https://tinyurl.com/yxcdbroe

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Now Is the Time to Pick Up the Ivory Tower Spies Series!

Out today!

If you've been waiting to try the Ivory Tower Spies series, today is the day! This ebook complete series is hitting Amazon, and is a great way to read all five books (and save a few bucks).

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Find Some Thrilling New Action & Adventure Reads


I'm partnering with a bunch of authors to highlight some awesome action & adventure books that you can read for free with Kindle Unlimited. These books run the gamut from crime novels to espionage thrillers to dystopian tales that make your  heart pound.

If you're looking for something new to read on this lovely Fall day, check it out!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Visit My Ivory Tower Spies Inspiration Board

I don't know about you, but I love Pinterest. It's a great way to put research together in one place so I can refer to it when I need to. That's why I create a pin board for every new writing project I start. In it you'll find research on the various countries the Ivory Tower Spies visited, plus character inspiration, design photos I used to visualize the spy group's underground base, and so much more.

Also, you'll notice that the board title says it's a "spy trilogy," when the series ended up being five books. I discovered as I wrote that I needed more than three books to tell Loveday's story, and I'm so glad I did!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Find Your Next Favorite Book, and Enter to Win $25!

Good morning! If you've always wanted to try reading my YA espionage series and never gotten started, now is the perfect time. I've joined up with a bunch of mystery and thriller offers for a great promo, and as part of it I'm offering the first few chapters of For Your Ears Only (book one of the series) for free. It's an awesome way to find new books, and you can enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Five Days Until Over My Dead Body Launches

Loveday isn't sure if she can trust Starling, or if he's been in league with the enemy all along.

Starling knows what he has to do, but will his actions ruin his chance at having a family?

Clarity has a secret, but when it gets out it might damage her relationship with her sister forever.

Having been caught kissing by Royal, Lotus and Julep worry about their shared future with the Ivory Tower Spies.

Haru's homesickness is growing worse. Will she ever get a long enough break to go visit her parents?

Royal's been disappearing from the tower without explanation. Where has he been going, and who has he been meeting?

Find out in five days! 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Get For Your Ears Only, Book One of the Ivory Tower Spies Series for $.99 This Week Only!

Want to start reading the Ivory Tower Spies series, but haven't had the chance?
Today is the perfect time to start, because For Your Ears Only is $.99 for the next seven days!

Monday, May 6, 2019

My Newest Book, Spy Got Your Tongue, is Out Today!

I can't hardly believe that book four is now out in the world, but it's true! Loveday and her team are in for an adventure full of surprises in this book. It was so much fun to write!

I'm celebrating by planning a delicious dinner with my family, because good food is the perfect way to enjoy the release of another book (and who knows, there might even be a fancy dessert!)

Sunday, May 5, 2019

One More Day 'til the Launch of Spy Got Your Tongue

Hello reader friends!

We had a busy weekend of children's birthday parties, church, and naps, which is great because I am absolutely pumped for tomorrow and the busy schedule kept me from freaking out (mostly). But seriously, I'm ecstatic that tomorrow, Spy Got Your Tongue will be delivered to e-readers everywhere, and you, my awesome readers, will be able to continue reading Loveday's story.

While you're waiting, here's another sneak peek:

     We file out, and Lotus pulls the door shut behind us. “Whoa, that was intense.” He slides his hands into the pockets of his bright red athletic shorts.
     Julep swallows. “I’ve never seen him so mad.” She shifts her weight, her shoulder brushing against Lotus’s and remaining there.
     “What do you think he’ll do?” Clarity asks, turning to me.
     I shrug. “I don’t know, but as far as I’m concerned, this team just pulled off something extraordinary. No matter what he says, each of us belongs here, and I’ll fight to keep it that way.”
     “Did you mean what you said about us being your family?” Julep asks, her gaze steady on mine.
     “Every word of it.”
     She leans forward to embrace me, but the whack of Royal’s office door being flung open stops her. The knob crashes into the wall with a metallic smack.
     Royal stands over us, wild eyed, the phone still clutched to his ear.

Pre-order it here: https://tinyurl.com/y6xg4sfc
Add it on Goodreads here: https://tinyurl.com/y3uum2bf

Monday, April 1, 2019

Young Adult Scavenger Hunt (YASH) Spring 2019

Hi! I'm Emily Kazmierski, your hostess for this leg of the Young Adult Scavenger Hunt.

(I didn't plan the fact that I'm on the blue team 
and am wearing a blue shirt in my photo, but there it is!)

Some Fun Facts About  Me:

I am a shameless, lifelong fan of Harrison Ford. If he's in a movie, I am game. 

I set my Goodreads challenge to 80 books for the year, but I've already read 50, so I may need to up my goal. 

When I'm not reading or writing, I can be found in my kitchen experimenting with new recipes for homemade ice cream. Some of my favorite flavors are cookies and cream with a peanut butter swirl, white chocolate buttermint, and dark chocolate raspberry.

You're currently hunting on Team Blue

If you're looking for my bonus content, keep looking! Somewhere on this blog hop you'll find The ORIGINAL opening scene to my Ivory Tower Spies series. Spoilers abound, so watch out! 

But let's get the rules out of the way, shall we?


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. 

Hint: It's highlighted in blue.

Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 7th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Now that we've gotten all of that out of the way, here's the fun part! For this hunt, I'm thrilled to be hosting Amber Duell. 

About Amber:

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, and snuggling with her cat.

She's showcasing her book: 

About the book:

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

Are you ready for bonus material? Here it is!

Author’s note:
This is the beginning of the original 1st draft of DREAM KEEPER. It’s super rough, but you can see the transformation Nora’s first chapter went through. The scene is completely different in the novel now and happens during chapter 2. :)



Twelve thirty-two.
The clock on the dashboard glowed green, the colon blinking in a slow, torturous rhythm. I cursed my mother for telling me to stay out as long as I wanted. Saturday nights were usually reserved for hunkering down in a comfortable pair of pajamas, and binge watching whatever television series looked interesting until I fell asleep. That was what really mattered—the sleeping—because that’s where he was.
The Sandman was my closest friend and my best kept secret. He had to be if I didn’t want to lose him. My mother meant well, but I couldn’t face a lifetime of pill-pushing psychiatrists. One white-haired doctor tossing around words like personality disorder and delusional was enough.
By the time the final doctor deemed the Sandman a simple outlet for me to process my parents’ divorce, the damage was done.
Don’t worry about it, he said.
It will pass, he said.
That was five years ago. The divorce was a distant memory. My father moved across the country and my mother remarried, but the Sandman, real or not, became a permanent fixture. One I never, ever talked about.
Natalie jabbed a button on the dashboard. The radio cut off, silencing the rattling bass, and I tore my eyes away from the clock.
“What do you want to do when I get back from California next week?” she asked.
“Whatever you want to do.”

Next week didn’t matter as much as the next five minutes did. I wrapped my arms around my stomach, and willed the car to go faster. The only reason I was out tonight at all was because this was my last first day of summer vacation. Next year at this time I would be a high school graduate, a legal adult, and college would be a blink away. So, when my friends showed up to drag me to a house party four hours ago, I pulled on a pair of shorts and a tank top, and hopped in Natalie’s car. A decision I’ve since regretted.

You can purchase Dream Keeper here.

Find out more about Amber on her website, or on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


Don't forget to enter the contest to win a signed paperback of For Your Ears Only, courtesy of me, plus a bunch more!


To win, write down my secret number:


and find all the other numbers on TEAM BLUE, add them up, and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

And while you're here, don't forget to enter the KingSumo giveaway I'm hosting.

Two lucky winners will receive a signed paperback copy of For Your Ears Only, the first book in my Ivory Tower Spies series, along with paperback copies of The Prince, the first book in Jillian Dodd's Spy Girl series, and White Knights, the first book in Julie Moffett's YA spy series.

To continue the scavenger hunt, visit author Cyn Balog

Good luck!