Tag Archive | Brandy Woods Snow

As Much As I Ever Could: Release Day + Author Interview + Excerpt

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Seventeen-year-old CJ Ainsworth doesn’t drive—not because she can’t, but because she won’t.

She’s been living with the guilt of being the sole survivor of the head-on
collision that claimed her mother’s and sister’s lives. It’s the reason she refuses to get behind the wheel. It’s the reason her father has nearly abandoned her. It’s the reason she’s sent to piddle the summer away at her estranged Memaw’s house in Edisto Beach.

All CJ wants to do is isolate herself and make it to the trial at summer’s end, where she’ll testify against the stranger who couldn’t keep his car in its own lane.
She doesn’t expect to fall for a boy, especially not Jett Ramsey, a hotshot racing champion destined for greatness on the NASCAR circuit.

CJ’s resolve crumbles when she loses a bet that puts her squarely in Jett’s
driver’s seat. While he patiently reintroduces her to driving, they confide in each other, and CJ learns she’s not the only one silently suffering through a loss.

As their connection deepens, Jett’s focus on the track is called into question. CJ can’t be the cause of another car crash, but her heart is broken either way. Can CJ learn to put her heart in drive? Or will she throw it in reverse?

Filles Vertes Publishing

Amazon

Barnes & Nobles

IndieBound

Excerpt:

A summer away at Memaw’s can’t rectify everything that fell apart in a single minute, but that won’t stop my dad from forcing it on me.

My fingers wrench tighter around the handle grip of Dad’s Ford Explorer as he hugs the center line, tires thumping over golden reflectors in waves and shooting vibrations through my seat. I glance over my shoulder to make sure the door lock is crammed to its neck into the tan vinyl interior. Not that it’d make a difference if he were to flip this thing head-over-end into the muddy goop of tidal flats along either side of the road. If a body’s going to exit a car in a hurry, it sure as hell won’t wait for an unlocked door.

These kinds of thoughts never shoved their way into my brain before the accident. Now they circulate like a washing machine stuck on the spin cycle.

I sigh and yank my phone off the dashboard. 4:15 PM. Only ten more minutes to get my summer of hell underway.

A notification blinks on the home screen. One new email from Trent Casey and all I can see of it is “CJ, things have changed so much this last year that I think…” Inbox preview cruelty at its finest. A little sneak peek of my on-again, off-again boyfriend kicking me to the curb because I’ve been too screwed up to screw him the past year. Not that I’d screwed him before, or anyone else for that matter.

I toss the phone in the cup holder and stare over at my dad in the driver’s seat, his eyes fixed and hooded as if in a trance. He hasn’t spoken in over a hundred miles, but I’ve strategically coughed from time to time to make sure there’s at least a reaction to the noise, and he’s not comatose or something. Plus, it’s easier than actually talking, and it warrants no response from him. Win-win.

Dad flips on the blinker, its dink-doonk, dink-doonk, dink-doonk signaling a right turn. Into where I have no idea, and unless Memaw has taken up living in a dilapidated open-air shack, he’s seriously misguided. He pulls into one of the ten open parking slots, demarcated by rows of conch shells instead of actual painted-on lines. How beachy of them.

Dad lets the engine idle, sliding his phone from the pocket of his polo and pecking out a text message without so much as a word or glance in my direction. I unlatch my seatbelt and open the door, easing out onto the hot, gritty sand, which creeps into my sandals and scratches at the skin.

“Where are we?” When he doesn’t respond, I step beside the open door, banging my hand on the window. “Dad, where are we?”

“Edisto Island, of course,” he mumbles, never looking up from his phone, his fingers still moving furiously over the screen.

I point to the rectangular banner draped atop the entrance with what looks like a hand-stenciled Welcome to Edisto Beach, SC! in blue paint. “No shit. I mean, what is this place?”

“Watch your mouth, CJ. I’m still your father.” He finally looks up long enough to glare across his steering wheel at the banner, squinting as if it’s written in some foreign language before looking back at me. He waves his hand around. “We’re obviously at the market.”

The entrance isn’t a single open-close door but one of those garage-style deals that pulls down from the ceiling. Oyster shell wind chimes tinkle in the breeze. I take a deep breath, the briny air expanding in my lungs and coating my skin, and somehow start imagining myself as one of those slugs we used to find on the back porch at home and pour salt over. Almost immediately, their slimy little bodies would foam up and implode, turning into a dried-up crispie we’d flick off in the grass the next day. Maybe that’ll happen to me, and I can simply shrivel up and disappear.

Dad gets out and lifts the back hatch, and I walk to meet him, giving an extra foot shake on each step to loosen the stowaway sand from my sandals.

“But why are we here?”

“This is where Memaw’s picking you up.” He hauls out my two large suitcases and sets them under the overhang. “She’s running late, but she’ll be here within the next twenty minutes.”

“And you’re just gonna leave me here?” I thumb over my shoulder.

He stares at me as if I’ve just asked for an explanation on the meaning of life, standing like a statue except for the front flip of his thinning auburn hair that tousles with the breeze. That hair, along with his chocolate brown eyes and freckles, are the only things we even share anymore. Everything else is gone. Evaporated.

“Don’t be dramatic, CJ. I have a long drive home.” He slams the hatch, walks to his still-open driver door and slides in behind the wheel. The passenger window rolls down part-way. “I’ll see you at the end of summer. Bye.” The words scarcely exit his lips before the window’s rolled up and he’s peeling out of the parking lot on two wheels as if he’s off to a five-alarm fire.

Wow. Truly heartfelt. I think he might miss me. I lock my jaw, forcing my quivering stomach back in its rightful place. Part of me loathes him for just dumping me here. The other part understands, though. He hates me for what happened and wants me gone too.

I can’t blame him for that.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

What inspired you to write As Much As I Ever could?

It really started out as the inspiration in a theme that stirred around in my mind after listening to two songs in particular: Drive by Incubus and Drive by The Cars. I knew I wanted it to involve a tragic car accident (this is one of my worst fears!) and dealing with survivor’s guilt and finding beauty in the aftermath of tragedy. Of course I wanted the ideal hero who could pull my emotionally-wrought heroine out of her funk and that’s where the idea came into play…a girl afraid to drive? Who is her complete opposite? A race car driver, of course! That’s how the idea rooted and sort of grew from that point.

Who is your favorite character in As Much As I Ever Could and why?

I really should say one of the main characters right, but no…it’s Memaw! I mean, her character just sort of grew from a seed of an idea that I wanted her to be “smart, sassy, and a bit bad-assy” and wow…she became a unique blend of Blanche Devereaux (Golden Girls) and Ouiser Boudreaux (Steel Magnolias). She is the catalyst through which the summer happens for CJ and Jett, and can I just say that I hope I can one day be this sort of grandma?

What is it like releasing a sophomore book?

It’s a weird mix of not-as-stressful-as-debut and way-more-stressful-than-debut. I know, I’m a paradox in pants! LOL The debut novel is all excitement and nervousness in a whirlwind because you don’t know really what to expect and you’re just doing what you can and what you’re told to do. With the sophomore book, you know what works and what doesn’t. You have a better idea of how and where to spend your time promoting and working for the release. However, you also already have a goal to beat…I mean, who wants to release a second book that doesn’t outperform the first? There’s a reason people fear the dreaded “sophomore slump” and it does hang over your head sometimes like a dark shadow. However, I do my best just to focus on the positives and the fun side of it—people will be reading my book shortly and I LOVE CJ and Jett so I’m ecstatic to share them with everyone.

What do you like best about writing contemporary?

I am “that girl” who dropped her philosophy class in college because I couldn’t bring myself to comprehend what I felt was the professor’s insanity. (Do we really know what time it is? Or did everyone’s watch stop at 10 o’clock last night?) I’m thoroughly grounded in the here and now and prefer telling stories about the current issues going on with teens and our world in a “real Earth” setting. All you fantasy lovers don’t freak out on me…I do read grounded fantasy and magical realism, just not the high fantasy. Besides, I have teenagers in my house so writing from their daily experiences is also right up my alley!

What are your top three contemporary books ever?

Ack! How can I narrow them down?

  1. Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson
  2. The Prince of Tides – Pat Conroy
  3. The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m about at 50/50 blend of each. I start out with a theme, plot my biggest turning points and scenes and then fill in the rest as it comes. If the plot or characters ever feel as if they’re taking me in a different direction, I’m not opposed to following it. Sometimes they know better than me!

Who is your favorite author and why?

I’m not going to lie—I grew up a total VC Andrews junkie. Holy Southern drama and family dynamics! That’s also why I probably have always enjoyed Pat Conroy novels as well. If we’re going to kick it more contemporary, though, I’d have to say that I devour anything from Morgan Matson because she can tap into those delicious deep feels!

Did you already know a lot about race car driving before writing As Much As I Ever Could?

Growing up in the South, I can’t remember many Sundays when “the race” wasn’t on the den’s television. It was just the tradition. That being said, I was never one to really sit and watch it. I’m more of a football girl in real life. So when I started writing AMAIEC, I did have to do a bit of research on the ins and outs of racing and I watched hours of YouTube videos of NASCAR crashes to accurately write the crash scene.

What’s your favorite color?

I love so many colors, but I’d have to say blue and orange are my favorites. They both have a very different appeal, though both emotionally-set. Blues are calm, serene and oranges are happy and powerful. If I had to narrow down the exact hues, I’d say sapphire blue and Clemson orange.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I could fill up several blog pages with this! I’ll keep it short and simple: 1. Read in your genre 2. Google for resources and learn as much as you can 3. Find some trusted critique partners and get their feedback on your work 4. Never give up. This career isn’t easy, but it’s fun. And rewarding!

 

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Did you grab your copy of As Much As I Ever Could?

 

Review: As Much As I Ever Could

Title: As Much As I Ever Could

Author: Brandy Woods Snow

Date of Publication: May 26th, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old CJ Ainsworth doesn’t drive—not because she can’t, but because she won’t.

She’s been living with the guilt of being the sole survivor of the head-on collision that claimed her mother’s and sister’s lives. It’s the reason she refuses to get behind the wheel. It’s the reason her father has nearly abandoned her. It’s the reason she’s sent to piddle the summer away at her estranged Memaw’s house in Edisto Beach.

All CJ wants to do is isolate herself and make it to the trial at summer’s end, where she’ll testify against the stranger who couldn’t keep his car in its own lane.
She doesn’t expect to fall for a boy, especially not Jett Ramsey, a hotshot racing champion destined for greatness on the NASCAR circuit.

CJ’s resolve crumbles when she loses a bet that puts her squarely in Jett’s
driver’s seat. While he patiently reintroduces her to driving, they confide in each other, and CJ learns she’s not the only one silently suffering through a loss.

As their connection deepens, Jett’s focus on the track is called into question. CJ can’t be the cause of another car crash, but her heart is broken either way. Can CJ learn to put her heart in drive? Or will she throw it in reverse?

My Review:

I’ve come to learn that if it’s contemporary, Brandy Woods Snow does not disappoint!

As soon as I dove into As Much As I Ever Could, I fell in love with CJ! She was awesome and has a brain full of baggage that she has to deal with. And then there’s my boy! Jett! Loved him! And he was the perfect book boyfriend! Plus, he drives fast cars! Now put these two characters together and you get swoon galore!

There was some great side characters too! Memaw! I want a Memaw in my life!

Overall this was a super fun book filled with emotion and kisses and drama and awesomeness! And the dialogue was so freaking good!

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What is your favorite contemporary book?

As Much As I Ever Could: Cover Reveal + Excerpt

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Seventeen-year-old CJ Ainsworth doesn’t drive—not because she can’t, but because she won’t.

She’s been living with the guilt of being the sole survivor of the head-on
collision that claimed her mother’s and sister’s lives. It’s the reason she refuses to get behind the wheel. It’s the reason her father has nearly abandoned her. It’s the reason she’s sent to piddle the summer away at her estranged Memaw’s house in Edisto Beach.

All CJ wants to do is isolate herself and make it to the trial at summer’s end, where she’ll testify against the stranger who couldn’t keep his car in its own lane.
She doesn’t expect to fall for a boy, especially not Jett Ramsey, a hotshot racing champion destined for greatness on the NASCAR circuit.

CJ’s resolve crumbles when she loses a bet that puts her squarely in Jett’s
driver’s seat. While he patiently reintroduces her to driving, they confide in each other, and CJ learns she’s not the only one silently suffering through a loss.

As their connection deepens, Jett’s focus on the track is called into question. CJ can’t be the cause of another car crash, but her heart is broken either way. Can CJ learn to put her heart in drive? Or will she throw it in reverse?

961f3-addtogoodreads

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

A summer away at Memaw’s can’t rectify everything that fell apart in a single minute, but that won’t stop my dad from forcing it on me.

My fingers wrench tighter around the handle grip of Dad’s Ford Explorer as he hugs the center line, tires thumping over golden reflectors in waves and shooting vibrations through my seat. I glance over my shoulder to make sure the door lock is crammed to its neck into the tan vinyl interior. Not that it’d make a difference if he were to flip this thing head-over-end into the muddy goop of tidal flats along either side of the road. If a body’s going to exit a car in a hurry, it sure as hell won’t wait for an unlocked door.

These kinds of thoughts never shoved their way into my brain before the accident. Now they circulate like a washing machine stuck on the spin cycle.

I sigh and yank my phone off the dashboard. 4:15 PM. Only ten more minutes to get my summer of hell underway.

A notification blinks on the home screen. One new email from Trent Casey and all I can see of it is “CJ, things have changed so much this last year that I think…” Inbox preview cruelty at its finest. A little sneak peek of my on-again, off-again boyfriend kicking me to the curb because I’ve been too screwed up to screw him the past year. Not that I’d screwed him before, or anyone else for that matter.

I toss the phone in the cup holder and stare over at my dad in the driver’s seat, his eyes fixed and hooded as if in a trance. He hasn’t spoken in over a hundred miles, but I’ve strategically coughed from time to time to make sure there’s at least a reaction to the noise, and he’s not comatose or something. Plus, it’s easier than actually talking, and it warrants no response from him. Win-win.

Dad flips on the blinker, its dink-doonk, dink-doonk, dink-doonk signaling a right turn. Into where I have no idea, and unless Memaw has taken up living in a dilapidated open-air shack, he’s seriously misguided. He pulls into one of the ten open parking slots, demarcated by rows of conch shells instead of actual painted-on lines. How beachy of them.

Dad lets the engine idle, sliding his phone from the pocket of his polo and pecking out a text message without so much as a word or glance in my direction. I unlatch my seatbelt and open the door, easing out onto the hot, gritty sand, which creeps into my sandals and scratches at the skin.

“Where are we?” When he doesn’t respond, I step beside the open door, banging my hand on the window. “Dad, where are we?”

“Edisto Island, of course,” he mumbles, never looking up from his phone, his fingers still moving furiously over the screen.

I point to the rectangular banner draped atop the entrance with what looks like a hand-stenciled Welcome to Edisto Beach, SC! in blue paint. “No shit. I mean, what is this place?”

“Watch your mouth, CJ. I’m still your father.” He finally looks up long enough to glare across his steering wheel at the banner, squinting as if it’s written in some foreign language before looking back at me. He waves his hand around. “We’re obviously at the market.”

The entrance isn’t a single open-close door but one of those garage-style deals that pulls down from the ceiling. Oyster shell wind chimes tinkle in the breeze. I take a deep breath, the briny air expanding in my lungs and coating my skin, and somehow start imagining myself as one of those slugs we used to find on the back porch at home and pour salt over. Almost immediately, their slimy little bodies would foam up and implode, turning into a dried-up crispie we’d flick off in the grass the next day. Maybe that’ll happen to me, and I can simply shrivel up and disappear.

Dad gets out and lifts the back hatch, and I walk to meet him, giving an extra foot shake on each step to loosen the stowaway sand from my sandals.

“But why are we here?”

“This is where Memaw’s picking you up.” He hauls out my two large suitcases and sets them under the overhang. “She’s running late, but she’ll be here within the next twenty minutes.”

“And you’re just gonna leave me here?” I thumb over my shoulder.

He stares at me as if I’ve just asked for an explanation on the meaning of life, standing like a statue except for the front flip of his thinning auburn hair that tousles with the breeze. That hair, along with his chocolate brown eyes and freckles, are the only things we even share anymore. Everything else is gone. Evaporated.

“Don’t be dramatic, CJ. I have a long drive home.” He slams the hatch, walks to his still-open driver door and slides in behind the wheel. The passenger window rolls down part-way. “I’ll see you at the end of summer. Bye.” The words scarcely exit his lips before the window’s rolled up and he’s peeling out of the parking lot on two wheels as if he’s off to a five-alarm fire.

Wow. Truly heartfelt. I think he might miss me. I lock my jaw, forcing my quivering stomach back in its rightful place. Part of me loathes him for just dumping me here. The other part understands, though. He hates me for what happened and wants me gone too.

I can’t blame him for that.

About Brandy Woods Snow:

Brandy Woods Snow is a Young Adult author, journalist, wife, mama of three, Christian, and proud Southerner. Born and raised in the area of Greenville, South Carolina, she still resides in the rolling foothills of the Upstate region, though she plans to one day retire to the state’s famous Grand Strand. Brandy has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing from Clemson University. While creative writing pursuits have always held her heart, she’s built a career as a journalist and editor. Brandy has more than 19 years’ experience and a strong platform that includes articles and columns published in Delta Sky Magazine, Greenville Business MagazineColumbia Business Monthly and Home Design & Décor Magazine (Charlotte and Raleigh). Currently, she also works as the Marketing Manager and an Acquisitions Editor for Filles Vertes Publishing.

Her first novel MEANT TO BE BROKEN was published by Filles Vertes Publishing in May 2018, and she has a short story featured in FVP’s LOVE ON MAIN anthology, forthcoming in February 2020.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

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What’s your favorite contemporary novel?

 

Cover Reveal: Love on Main

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Will you find your true love on Main Street? This collection of ten short stories explores the multitude of ways love can be lost and found, hidden and shared, come sunshine, snow, or rainy weather.

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Author: Deborah Maroulis:

Born and raised in a small town in Northern California, Deborah Maroulis is lucky enough to surround herself with the things and people she loves. She teaches English and mythology at her local community college, studies myth and depth psychology in her Ph.D. program, and writes contemporary Young Adult novels. She lives in a slightly bigger town than the one she grew up in with her husband, newly-adult children, and her daughter’s very spoiled, semi-retired service dog.

Story title: Star Crossed Lovers

When seventeen-year-old Tristan moves to the world’s smallest town, all he wants is to snap some pics for the local paper and make it through senior year. But when Leda, a girl in the middle of an impossible decision, literally crashes into his life, he realizes there’s more to this blink-and-you-miss-it place than what’s on Main Street. 

Quote from Star Crossed Lovers:

A new singer belts out another song, jolting me back into the moment—the weight of my camera in my hand reminding me why I’m here. And I realize I have zero pictures of the most interesting event of the evening.

“Well, shit,” I say. Though I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t have the pictures, or because all I want to do is chase after the girl.

(Another choice without the four-letter word…)

As I hang the photos to dry, I’m still thinking about the way Leda’s lips turned up ever so slightly before she left. My heart crashes against my ribs, and I nearly stop breathing as I realize something. I won’t be able to rest until I get to see her whole, beautiful smile.

Social Media:

Twitter @yaddathree

Facebook @byDebMaroulis

Instagram @deb.maroulis

Website www.deborahmaroulis.com

Author: Leanne Treese:

Leanne lives in New Jersey with her husband of twenty-five years and their three wonderful children.  When Leanne is not cheering her kids on in their activities, she can be found running, watching Philadelphia 76ers basketball games, or spoiling her two beloved dogs.  Favorite locations include the Jersey shore, Martha’s Vineyard, and any place that sells books or coffee, preferably both.  A passionate student, Leanne’s dream life would include going back to college and majoring in everything.  Leanne is a graduate of Lafayette College and The Dickinson School of Law.  A former attorney, she is now lucky enough to write full-time!  Her debut novel, The Language of Divorce, released in September 2019.

Story title: Love Locked

Reeling from a broken engagement, Sienna Dewey has been given an assignment to report on Pittsburgh’s famed love locks.  As she chases down a unique lead, she faces a romantic conundrum of her own.  Will Sienna find love, or just report on it?

Quote from Love Locked:

“I’ve spent a lifetime hiding from who I am, from who I love.  But no more.”  — Margot Peterson, Love-Locked on the Roberto Clemente Bridge

Social Media:

www.leannetreese.com

Twitter: @authorleanne

Facebook:  @authorleanne50

Goodreads:  Leanne Treese

Bookbub:  will set up

Instagram:  @leannetreese

Author: Shaila Patel:

An unabashed lover of happily-ever-afters, Shaila Patel is a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the author of the multiple award-winning, young adult paranormal romance trilogy called the Joining of Souls. She loves craft beer, tea, and reading in cozy window seats—but she’ll read anywhere. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or gushing about her favorite books online. Check her out at www.shailapatelauthor.com.

Story title: Culture Clash

While escaping a clingy ex, star quarterback Michael Bradford runs into the captivating newcomer Shreya Sanghani and can’t stop fumbling his words. After insulting her with his insensitive comments, he’s determined to make amends when they’re paired for a class assignment—even if their cultures aren’t the only things clashing.

Social Media:

www.shailapatelauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/shailapatelwriter
http://twitter.com/shaila_writes
http://instagram.com/shailapatel94
http://www.goodreads.com/shailapatel94

Author: Melanie Hooyenga:

Multi-award winning young adult author Melanie Hooyenga writes books about strong girls who learn to navigate life despite its challenges. She first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. When not at her day job as Communications Director at a local nonprofit, you can find her wrangling her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.

Story title: Sunflowers and Lavender

One girl. One boy. One damaging lie. Will Emmy risk her heart for love?

Quote from Sunflowers and Lavender:

“I’ve spent so long hating him. Can I ever switch back to liking him?”

Social Media:

website: melaniehoo.com
Facebook: facebook.com/MelanieHooyenga
Twitter: @melaniehoo
Instagram: @melaniehoo

Author: Faydra Stratton:

Faydra Stratton is a writer, English teacher, wife, and mom to three boys. Faydra attended the University of Florida (Go, Gators!) for undergrad and UNC Wilmington where she received an MFA in creative writing. Her debut novel, DEVIL SPRINGS, a contemporary young adult which is set a few years later in the same town as this story, will be released in April 2020.

Story title: Valentines Not-A-Date

Paige Bellamy regrets agreeing to the church’s young adult scavenger hunt until Cole ends up on her team.

Quote from Valentines Not-A-Date:

Paige likes how casually Cole can say divorce. Like, it happens. Even at twenty-two. And she’s not damaged.

Social Media:

Website: www.faydrastratton.com

Twitter (@faydrastratton)

Facebook (@AuthorFaydra)

Instagram (@faydrastratton)

Author: Brandy Woods Snow:

Brandy Woods Snow is a Young Adult author, journalist, wife, mama of three, Christian, and proud Southerner. Born and raised in the area of Greenville, South Carolina, she still resides in the rolling foothills of the Upstate region, though she plans to one day retire to the state’s famous Grand Strand. Brandy has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing from Clemson University. While creative writing pursuits have always held her heart, she’s built a career as a journalist and editor. Brandy has more than 19 years’ experience and a strong platform that includes articles and columns published in Delta Sky Magazine, Greenville Business MagazineColumbia Business Monthly and Home Design & Décor Magazine (Charlotte and Raleigh). Currently, she also works as the Marketing Manager and an Acquisitions Editor for Filles Vertes Publishing.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading or driving carpool for her kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano, and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

Brandy’s novels are Meant To Be Broken (2018) and As Much As I Ever Could (2020).

Story title: Intertextual Relations

When Ryleigh Anne Royce agrees to meet her crush-by-text in person, she’s surprised when her ex-boyfriend and his military school roommate crash the party.

Quote from Intertextual Relations:

Bing.

The sound stomps my lungs, forcing out all the air, and I slit my eyes, training them on the phone in his hand. The one lit up with a new text message with my name on it.

Our eyes lock, and his bottom lip trembles. “I’m Sam.”

Social Media:

http://www.brandywsnow.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BWSnowWrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandy_snow

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/snowbrandy/

Author: Jess Moore:

Originally hailing from the Midwest, you can always expect an “ope” from Jess or one of her characters. She moved to historic gold-country California ages ago and only looks back east when the leaves are wild with color. (Well, and also, for Cincinnati chili. Let’s keep it real.) She spent years building careers in both teaching and social work, but now, she writes in the very early morning while her family sometimes sleeps.

Story title: Jane & Austen’s

When an introverted store clerk is left an ownership stake in the curio shop where she works, she decides to make it her own against the will of the original owner’s family and her potential love interest.

Quote from Jane & Austen’s:

“I never expected my life to change. So when it did, I was kind of let down that it wasn’t way more dramatic than a trip to the mailbox.”

Social Media:

www.itwasjess.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/it_was_jess

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itwasjess/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/itwasjess/

Author: C.Vonzale Lewis:

Carla Vonzale Lewis likes her martini’s shaken…never stirred. Though she was born in Georgia, please don’t mistake her for a Georgia peach. She’s more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked her recently if she remembered her birth, and all she had to say was, “Yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!”

Despite being born in the South, she grew up in the North. California to be exact. And every once in a great while, she gets to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat.

Her debut novel, LINEAGE, was released July 16, 2019 and she fully intends to ride that joy for the rest of her life.

When she’s not concocting her next contemporary fantasy story, she enjoys reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince her husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea.

Story title: Chasing the Story

High School reporter Vicki Monroe is trying to uncover the reason why a sleazy nightclub owner was able to open his club on historic Main Street.

Her next door neighbor, Marcus—the boy she secretly loves—joins her in her quest for the truth.

In a night filled with antics, which one will Vicki get first, the story, or the boy?

Quote from Chasing the Story:

“Why did you kiss me?” Oh, that’s perfect. Why did you kiss me? I sounded pathetic.

Or

“Thank you.” I checked him out. “Didn’t you wear those jeans to school today?”

“You keep track of what I wear every day?”

Heat bloomed on my cheeks and I turned away.

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CVLauthor/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel&eid=ARDaFKc97pBY8XN_92H3r5X9NZIvqEiXHUpTT_U0Povv4DSl5Ec_-xJe_O8UZ_SuZF9Xh4QtuhHWRYgL

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cvonzalelewis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carlavlewis/

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/430336351080997/?ref=bookmarks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18389491.C_Vonzale_Lewis

Website: cvonzalelewis.com

Author: Prerna Pickett:

Prerna Pickett believes in magic, fairytales, and unicorns. Writing was always her dream job and now she gets to live the dream. When Prerna isn’t writing, she can usually be found daydreaming about writing, or at the library helping her five kids choose books. Her debut novel, If You Only Knew, was published on February 11, 2020 by Swoon Reads/Macmillan.

Story title: Storm of the Decade

When the storm of the decade strands Priya at her job, Ollie is last person she expects to come to her rescue. While the snow piles on outside, Priya and Ollie are forced to acknowledge a past kiss, and their feelings for one another.

Quote from Storm of the Decade:

“You scare me because you’re exactly the kind of girl I could fall in love with, and I’m exactly the wrong guy for you.”

His words smack me right in the chest. I force myself to take even breaths, to stay calm, even though right now, that’s so far from what I am. My whole body is flushed. “Oh.”

Social Media:

Twitter: @prernapickett

Instagram: @watchprernawrite

Author: Patty Blount:

Patty Blount grew up quiet and invisible in Queens, NY, but found her superpower writing smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. Today, she’s the award-winning author of edgy, emotional contemporary romance. Powered by way too much chocolate, Patty gives a voice to characters society would prefer to ignore…characters facing situations like rape (SOME BOYS, 2014, SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW, 2018), bullying (SEND, 2012), and grief (NOTHING LEFT TO BURN, 2015). She enjoys hearing from her readers so visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Read…roar!…revel.

Story title: Silver for Gold

In The Hamptons, Long Island’s playground for the rich and entitled, a shy teen server who needs his job must decide just how much he’ll risk to protect his coworker after a customer’s behavior nearly gets her fired.

 Quote from Silver for Gold:

“Wishes were pointless. What I wanted, no one could give me. I wanted my parents to be proud of me whether I talked or didn’t talk. I wanted words to come easy and not get stuck in my throat, choking me with guilt and anxiety.”

Social Media:

http://www.pattyblount.com/

Twitter: @pattyblount3

Instagram: @pattyblount3

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PattyBlountNovels/?ref=bookmarks

Facebook readers’ group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2000753743272379/

Love on Main Promo4 sm

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What’s your favorite love story?

 

 

Author Interview: Brandy Woods Snow

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Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star QB, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—but his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares, probably because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love really exist if it’s all built on a lie?

 

Author Interview: Brandy Woods Snow, author of MEANT TO BE BROKEN (a Carolina Clay novel) released July 2018 from Filles Vertes Publishing

What was the inspiration for Meant to be Broken?
I originally wrote a prologue for MEANT TO BE BROKEN more than 12 years ago while sitting in a tiny, blue cubicle on my lunch break from a corporate job. I sent the file to my email where I let it sit until 2015 when I finally began writing the actual story. (Ironically that terrible prologue didn’t make the cut!) I guess my inspiration really came from something as simple as wanting to write a small-town love story. It was when I actually started writing that some of the underlying themes began to come out—the love/hate relationship with a small town; Southern culture and how it affects expectations of behavior; the thin line between truth and lies; and even religious undercurrents. Growing up in a place where everyone knows your name can be both comforting and constricting. I found my characters doing exactly what I was doing at the time of writing—stepping out of “my box” and embracing my true self. Some people support that, and some people don’t.

Do you have a favorite character in your book? Who and why?
Of course, I love both Rayne and Gage. They are so special to me (see how I talk about them like actual people?). If I have to choose, though, I’d say Rayne, for the simple fact that she reminds me so much of myself. She tries to be confident but the insecurities creep in; She has strong opinions but she’s afraid to voice them all the time; She says she doesn’t care what people think of her but she spends her life worrying what everyone will say. I like to think that while I was writing this, she and I grew up together and finally found our true selves.

Do you usually outline or just go with it?
The first draft of MEANT TO BE BROKEN was completely pantsted. I had an overall idea of what I wanted the main turning points to be, but that was pretty much it. After that first draft “wasn’t working” though, I took it back to basics and plotted out some new scenes and put it all into a very formulaic pattern. The flow and pacing improved significantly. It was a learning curve. As I write now, I plot most scenes and turning points with the plot and character advancement goals for each, but I can honestly say I’m not tied to anything. If I begin writing and a character begins pulling me in their own direction, I go. It’s more important to be true to the character and story than some random notecard I put together in the beginning.

Without me giving spoilers, did you always know who Rayne would end up with or did you question yourself at time?
I always knew it would be HIM.  I’m a bleeding heart romantic who fully believes that the decision your heart (not your head) makes is the right one—you know, that whole “love” versus “in love” thing. The guy Rayne chooses in the end is the one who knew her—all of her—and still wanted more. He wasn’t the popular choice, but he was her choice. Rayne had to learn to get herself and other people out of her own way to become the person she was meant to be in order for it to finally work. Sounds easy enough, right? But try growing up in a small town where everyone has an opinion. Sometimes it becomes a matter of “do I live their version of life?” or “do I live mine?” When Rayne finally makes that decision, the choice is clear.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Since age 4 when I read THE POKEY LITTLE PUPPY. It was the first book I ever read by myself, and I was sold on the wonder of books. At age 6, I begin typing out stories on a typewriter and illustrating them. I dabbled in poetry a bit in elementary school and wrote several emotionally-charged pieces about navigating bullies in high school. I majored in English and Writing at Clemson, though I pursued a journalism focus since everyone warned me that you can’t expect to make a living writing books. I’ve worked in corporate communications, marketing, and magazine writing/editorial for nearly 18 years now but the desire to write a novel never left me. In 2015, I moved that dream off the back burner, and here we are today.

What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year? And what’s your favorite book ever?
My favorite book I’ve read this year has to be WORDS IN DEEP BLUE by Cath Crowley because it deals with true love finding its way back after so many emotional hurdles. And who doesn’t adore love letters?
I have two favorite books of all time: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (obviously) and THE GRAPES OF WRATH. I’ve always adored these books and now, looking back, I can guess why. One deals with finding love and one deals with emotional suffering and finding your way as a family through various trials. Both are right up my alley.
What future books do you have planned next?
I’m currently writing Book 2 in the Carolina Clay series, which will focus on the rejected brother and his HEA/HFN.
I’m also querying another completed YA contemporary romance as we speak and have put down extensive notes and a rough first chapter on “the book of my heart” that deals heavily with an issue close/dear to me. I’m being intentionally vague here because right now, I’m keeping it under wraps. 

If you could live in any year or another fantasy world, what would it be?
I’ve always thought it would be so much fun to live in the 1950s and 60s with all the big hair-dos and drive-ins and rock and roll music. Maybe that’s from listening to a crap-ton of oldies growing up? LOL

I know you’re a Southern girl, what’s your favorite part about it?
The lifestyle. I feel like I have the best of all worlds here. From big city to rural backroads, you can go from one extreme to the other in a matter of miles. The food. The weather. The fact that strangers still wave to each other and say hello. The unique places. My biggest dream is to drive cross-country and see everything America has to offer, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the South (and more specifically, South Carolina) is my home and my heart.

What’s your favorite color?
I have two, blue (any hue) and orange (Clemson Tiger orange, to be specific!).

If you were trapped on an island with one person, one object, and one food, what would they be?
This is so easy—my husband, notebooks (and pens!), and macaroni and cheese (not the box variety but the good Southern kind in a casserole dish).

Do you have any advice for other writers out there?
There are four points of advice I always tell writers, and I don’t foresee this ever changing.
1. Find your tribe
Critique partners are the bee’s knees, y’all! Don’t trust yourself to see all the mistakes and plot holes in your own work because it’s not going to happen. The book you’re writing is already in your brain but you cannot see if you’re translating it to the paper efficiently. Fresh eyes make all the difference. Find a core group of honest, talented CP’s and your writing life will change for the better!
2. Read in your genre
Please do this. You want to learn how to show and not tell? Read. You want to know how to develop character voice? Read. You want more information on building character motivation? Read. See what other authors are doing. See what publishers are looking for. Gather all this great information while also taking in a great story, and then use that to hone your own craft. Gold mine!
3. Throw away limitations
You know that whole quote about “dance like no one’s looking”? Well, modify that to “write like no one’s looking.” I can’t tell you how many times in the beginning I found myself censoring my own words because someone I knew might not like what I was saying. For real, y’all. There goes those weight of expectations again, thrown all over your shoulders. Brush that junk off and write what’s in your heart. Quit caring if Aunt “sew and sew” will banish you to Hell or tell the Ladies League about your “free-wheeling” style. WRITE.WHAT.YOU.WANT.
4. Persevere
You’re going to want to give up. You’re going to feel defeated, rejected, worn out, and sometimes unloved. It’s a part of the whole experience. But this is your dream. Remember that when the sucky stuff happens. And just like I tell my kids, “Any dream worth having is worth fighting for.” It’s not going to be easy…it’s not supposed to be. If it were easy, everyone would do it. You are not “everyone.” You’re an author, so get back up and see this through!

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About Brandy:

Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Writing from Clemson University. While creative writing has always been her first love, the media has been her home for more than 17 years, during which time she has built a strong platform that includes articles in Delta Sky, Greenville Business Magazine, Columbia Business Monthly, and Home Design & Décor magazine (Charlotte, Raleigh). She has also worked in corporate communications, public relations and business development for international and regional companies. Her first novel Meant To Be Broken, the first book in the Carolina Clay series, was published by Filles Vertes Publishing in July 2018.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her military husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

Social Media Links:

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Review: Meant to be Broken

Title: Meant to be Broken

Author: Brandy Woods Snow

Date of Publication: July 2nd 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star QB, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—but his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares, probably because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love really exist if it’s all built on a lie?

My Review:

Contemporary is always tricky tricky for me because most of them I just can’t truly get into. However, this book had me coming up with all kinds of emotions—aww, I want to throw this book at the wall, these characters are stressing me out, puppy dog eyes, and more!!

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Yes, for all you love triangle haters, usually me included, there is one—but it makes sense. You know right off the bat who Rayne likes. And it makes you think well, sometimes you just meet the wrong person first, and instead of stay with them, there should be a way to change that—even if it’s his brother.

Gage was pretty awesome, and I loved the chemistry between him and Rayne. Preston, I went back and forth with that boy! Actually, there were aspects all throughout the story where all the characters were stressing me out! And this was good stressing out! Because I prayed and hoped the journey would end well, but I just never knew! I’ll keep the spoilers out!

Overall, a great book and loved the addiction of it. I’d love to read more from this author and can’t wait to see what she does next!

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Meant to be Broken: Trailer Reveal + Excerpt

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Date of Publication: July 2nd, 2018

Summary:

Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star quarterback, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love endure if it’s all built on a lie?

Pre-Order: https://www.fillesvertespublishing.com/product/meant-to-be-broken/

 

 

Excerpt:
At 9:30 Saturday morning, I find out Preston Howard wants to date me. At 11:30, my mama hears it from old lady McAlister and has a “spell” in aisle three of the Piggly Wiggly. It’s taken seventeen years, but I finally understand the two things my social life and Mama have in common. They’re both erratic and one usually suffers because of the other.

The store manager calls me on my cell and asks me to come get her. He has my number because he’s Daddy’s best friend’s brother and used me to babysit his kids a few times last year. I answer, expecting another job offer.

“Rayne? This is Dave Sullivan, you know, the manager down at the Piggly Wiggly? There’s been an incident with your mama.”

Apparently it’d happened in front of the Luzianne tea bags. She was comparing the family size to smaller ones when Mrs. McAlister offered her a coupon… and a piece of news.

The details get a little sketchy from there—something about her sinking to the floor and gasping for air. That’s when the manager came over with one of those small brown paper sacks they use to bag up ice cream and had her breathe in it. A nurse and a vet, both in the crowd assembled around her, agreed from their varied medical expertise it didn’t appear to be life-threatening. When the paper bag seemed to work, he decided to call me instead of the ambulance.

I pull into the parking lot ten minutes later. She’s sitting on the front bench beside the automatic doors where the employees go to smoke, under the “I’m Big on the Pig!” sign. Mrs. McAlister sits beside her, a little too close, waving a folded-up circular in her face. I wonder what the store employees and shoppers think of me, casually parking the car, walking-not-running, and looking both ways before crossing the main traffic flow. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out they’re all watching from between the weekly specials scribbled on the plate-glass windows.

I don’t feel the need to rush. It isn’t a heart attack or stroke. I call it her bipolar though Daddy gets mad when I refer to it like that. The diagnosis is anxiety, better known as my evil little sister—always around, always a pain, and always ruining my life.

This sort of episode has happened before, just not too often in public. In most societies that’s considered good news—but not in the South. They say we don’t hide our crazy, we dress it up and parade it on the front porch. And even if we don’t, someone else will do the parading for us—telegraph, telephone, tell-a-southern woman. We know how to reach out and touch some people.

Mrs. McAlister jumps up from the bench and grabs my arm as I step up on the curb. “I suwannee, child. She liked to turned over her buggy and spilt them groceries everywhere.”

Talking to some of the older ladies in town always feels like walking out of real life and into some part of Steel Magnolias. She gives me her version of the sordid details. Mama created quite a scene, not just with her episode but also by her scandalous choice of groceries. The mayonnaise was the only casualty, rolling out the leg hole of the kiddie seat portion of the cart when Mama accidentally gave it a rough shove while collapsing on the linoleum.

Mrs. McAlister hadn’t bothered to pick that up and put it back in the buggy, which was now waiting by the customer service desk. It wasn’t Dukes Mayonnaise. She leans in close to whisper because how embarrassing would that be for Mama. To her, it’s further proof Mama hadn’t been feeling well long before their conversation. What southern woman in her right mind buys off-brand mayonnaise?

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About the Author:

Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstate South Carolina. She earned a BA in English/Writing from Clemson University and worked in corporate communications and the media for more than 17 years before pursuing her true passion for novel writing. Brandy is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Young Adult RWA.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

Connect with Brandy:

Website: http://brandywsnow.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandy_snow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BWSnowWrites/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/snowbrandy/

 

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