Read a Romance for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Since today is all about love, it’s the perfect time to read a romance. Here are a few of mine for you to check out.

Escaping the Past

Escaping the Past cover artTrue love never dies, but can it overcome mistakes of the past?

When Felicia Coronado’s soon-to-be ex-husband kidnaps her daughter on a remote mountain road, she must rely on the assistance of a group of soldiers in the area for a training exercise. She’s stunned to discover the soldier in charge is the high school sweetheart she never thought she would see again.

Lieutenant Mark Benson never stopped loving Felicia, even after she dumped him before their senior prom. Now, six years later, he learns the truth behind why she left him. Can he forgive her for the past and give her a chance for the future once her divorce is final, or will he help find her missing daughter and leave Felicia behind?

This short romance was originally published in Second Chances: A Love Anthology.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Redeeming Honor

RedeemingHonor_w12418_300Meghan Carpenter loves God, her yarn business, and her twin brother Ryan — a former marine who currently lives with her. When she agrees to let his wounded buddy live with them on her small Indiana alpaca farm, she expects an American marine. What she gets is a former Afghan interpreter who’s painfully shy around women.

Scarred from the war, both physically and emotionally, Basir Hamidi is grateful for a place to live. But his attraction to Meghan is a problem. With his honor destroyed by events in his homeland, and nothing to offer her but his broken, scarred self, he vows to avoid her and protect her reputation. Yet he is drawn to her with a strength that can only be God’s leading. For a man who has lost everything, letting go of the past is a difficult process. When he must also redeem his honor, his only chance of success is to rely on God.

Read an excerpt HERE.

Bogota Blessings

Bogota Blessings cover art
Bogota Blessings

When Kayla Shaw travels to Bogotá to help renovate a house for a mission to street children, nothing can prepare her for the ever-present mission employee Mateo Luis. He looks like he could be one of the rebels who have caused so much fear throughout Colombia. Then she begins to see him with her heart instead of only her eyes.

Mateo Luis Gómez Días has dedicated his life to the mission, and he’s determined to help as many street children as he can. Unfortunately, he can’t keep his thoughts off the beautiful American helping renovate the new children’s home. Although he would love to have a relationship with Kayla, his past and the bad neighborhood God has called him to serve in prevent him from pursuing her.

Has God truly led Kayla and Mateo to each other, or does He have something else in mind for their lives?

Read an excerpt HERE.

Finding the Way Back

Finding the Way Back cover artA field agent betrayed, tortured, and broken. Can the gentle love of his nurse heal his wounds?

Ian Grant withstood captivity and ruthless torture on his latest mission. Now home, his body slowly heals from the deep physical injuries. His mind, though, refuses to mend — and his voice refuses to return. Unable to answer the persistent questions of his superior agents, Ian grows despondent. Until he meets beautiful nurse practitioner, Hazel Baker.

Hazel’s job is to treat bodies, but compassion calls her to heal Ian’s deeper wounds. Agreeing to care for him long-term from her home, Hazel sees how PTSD unravels Ian’s thoughts and behavior. He seems a mental mess, but the warmth in his eyes shows promise, and when he interacts with her four-year-old daughter, the single mother catches a vision of resiliency even Ian doesn’t see any longer.

As Hazel and Ian work on his recovery together, Agency corruption threatens his peace. His trauma can be put to rest only by regaining his voice and speaking against the brutality. Can Hazel’s sweet love help him find the way back to the man he used to be?

Read an excerpt HERE.

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Share a romance book in the comments for others to enjoy!

Monday Mentions – Running from Christmas by E.A. West

Monday Mentions graphic

In today’s spotlight is Running from Christmas, my newly re-released Christmas romance.

Book Description

Running from Christmas cover artShe’s frozen by fear.

He wants to warm her heart.

Can he succeed before Christmas?

Army veteran Alessandra Castillo just wants to be left alone. Life has been tough since her deployment in Afghanistan, and the holiday season makes it even more difficult. Unemployed and homeless, she’s currently living with her brother, who refuses to let her avoid all things social.

Enter Brad Kovac, youth pastor and good friend of Alessandra’s brother. He’s tall, gorgeous, and outgoing, three things guaranteed to catch Alessandra’s interest — or they would have before she survived an assault by a fellow soldier. Now all she wants to do is run from Brad and avoid anything resembling a relationship.

Will God provide a miracle in time for Christmas, or will Alessandra lose her chance for romance?

Excerpt

Boxes in their arms, they headed for the entrance to the small church. She had been there only a handful of times since her brother moved to Prairie Heights a few years ago, but each time she came a sense of peace permeated her soul. Perhaps if she stayed in town long enough, that peace would stick with her when she left…assuming she could ever get a job to replace the one she’d lost at the beginning of November when the factory downsized two months after they hired her.

Shrugging off the thought, she stepped through the glass-and-wood door her brother held open. She had plenty of time to worry about finding a new job later. She’d only moved in with Tony three days ago—barely enough time to unpack and get settled into his guest room. Since he had been encouraging her to come stay with him since she left the army last spring, she figured she had until at least February or March before he started hinting that she might want to find her own place. She planned to be out of his house long before then, but finding a job hadn’t proven as easy as she’d hoped.

Her pondering crashed to a halt when a man in his late twenties or early thirties stepped into the hall. Several inches taller than her, broad shoulders, trim waist… As much as she had protested her brother’s attempts to introduce her to people, this was one man she wouldn’t mind meeting. Her heart thumped in anticipation as she took in his light brown hair and friendly green eyes.

Slow down, girl. You don’t want a relationship, remember?

Alessandra inhaled deeply, hoping oxygen would encourage her to think clearly. So what if this guy was gorgeous? She didn’t need a boyfriend for Christmas—or at all. Not when she had enough other stuff to keep her occupied. Although she had to admit a boyfriend would probably be much more pleasant than her annual visit to her best friend’s grave. But a boyfriend meant obligatory time alone with a guy…

“Hey, man! It’s about time you got here.” A warm male voice broke into the memories threatening to drag her down, and she looked up to see the gorgeous guy greeting her brother with a slap on the back. “The natives are getting restless.”

Tony laughed. “We’re early, so any restless natives aren’t our problem yet.”

“And there’s the operative word—yet.” He turned to Alessandra and reached for the box of craft supplies. “Let me take that for you.”

“It’s all yours,” she said, relinquishing the box.

Tony set his burden on the floor and put his arm around her shoulders. “Alessandra, meet Brad Kovac, youth pastor and your cohort in crime tonight.”

Brad’s eyes lit up and sent a little shiver down Alessandra’s spine as he gave her a once-over. “Ah, so you’re Tony’s sister. I’m glad to finally meet you.”

She studied him, suspicion taking the place of some of her interest. “Finally?”

“Yes, your brother’s been telling me about you for quite some time.” Brad winked and leaned closer. “Is it true that you went to Afghanistan to play in the snow?”

~~

Running from Christmas is available from Amazon. Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

~~

About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestE.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West online

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New Release – Out of Her Element by E.A. West

I’m so exited to share this with you! Out of Her Element has just released on Amazon! *happy dances* Check out an exclusive excerpt below. Or read the first chapter on my website.

Book Description

Out of Her Element cover artLiving a life of luxury isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Twenty-year-old Palestinian immigrant Mira Hassan is dirt-poor and homeless when wealthy family friends give her the chance of a lifetime. The Montaigne family invites her stay with them in their mansion on a twenty-five acre estate in Dayton, Ohio.

The transition from the hills of rural West Virginia to high society is anything but easy. As Mira deals with prejudice and struggles to understand America’s class system she must find a way to fit in with her hosts without losing herself.

Excerpt

Unable to find a reason to stall any longer, Mira gave the hound in her lap one last scratch. “Sorry, buddy. I have to grab my stuff and go back inside. Maybe I’ll see you again later.”

She gave him a gentle shove, and he rolled off her with a groan. Despite all three dogs begging for attention, or maybe jerky, she collected her pack and sleeping bag and returned to the cabin.

She stole a peek at the room while she set her things on the floor by the door and hung her coat on the empty peg. Richard still sat at the table, but James stood at the counter, knife in hand, with the rabbits in front of him. Bill was conspicuously absent.

The way Richard kept assessing her made her nervous, so she joined James.

“What are you making?”

“I was thinking about rabbit stew.” He glanced at her. “If I put it on now, it should be perfect by lunch.”

Maybe she could help him out to repay him for breakfast. “You want me to skin and cut up the rabbits for you?”

“If you’d like.”

He handed her the knife and joined Richard at the table. Mira quickly skinned both rabbits and set the pelts aside. She could trade them at the store after she cured them, unless one of the men wanted to keep them.

Working with practiced fingers, she soon had one rabbit boned and cut into bite-sized pieces. Bill came into the kitchen as she started on the second.

“Hey, Mira, I have a proposition for you.”

“What is it?” If he wanted to offer her a job, she would give it serious consideration.

“How would you like to come live with my wife and me?”

She almost cut herself. He wanted her to live with them?

Stilling her hands for a moment, she took a breath to compose herself. Her mind raced faster than her pulse. Moving into his house was a far cry from working for him.

She went back to work on the rabbit. “Is Mrs. Montaigne okay with this idea?”

“She’s hoping you’ll say yes. I just got off the phone with her, and she made me promise to call her back just as soon as I have your answer.”

Mira finished butchering the rabbit while she thought. Why did they want her to live with them? Did she even want to live there?

~~

Out of Her Element is available on Amazon. Read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

~~

Right now, Out of Her Element is available as an ebook only. A paperback version is coming soon, so stay tuned for more information!

Monday Mentions – Crash Course by E.A. West

Monday Mentions graphic

Imagine my surprise when I checked my schedule and discovered I didn’t have a guest scheduled for today! So, today I’m spotlighting my YA novel, Crash Course.

Book Description

Crash Course cover art“Angie, you have to go.”

I loved my Southern California life. Parties, dirt bikes, boyfriends—I had it all. Then with one sentence, I lost it all.

My dad made me move out and live with my mother. She’s strict and conservative, and now I’ve got a stepfather I barely know. Yeah, I’m angry! So I broke the rules and started hanging out with freestyle motocross rider Jeremy Stokes. But he wants to go farther than I do.

He’s got this rival, Brady Scott—a hottie who’s straitlaced, but he doesn’t judge me for having a different idea of fun. He sees me as a person, not just a female body. No matter how hard I try to push him away, he’s always there waiting for me to come back.

I’ve been trying to live in two worlds, but now I’ve got to choose.

Excerpt

“Angie, you have to go.”

I dragged my attention from the supercross race to see my father standing in the hall with his bleach-blonde girlfriend hanging on him. The woman’s skimpy shorts and deeply scooped tank top looked as if they’d been painted on. So trashy. I clicked off the TV and tossed the remote on the coffee table, shooting my father a disgusted look as I rose from the couch. It figured he would want some privacy when I was trying to relax. “Fine. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”

“Howard!” the blonde whined, tugging on his arm.

He glanced at her then returned his cold gaze to me. “No, I mean you have to leave. Get out of here and don’t come back.”

My jaw dropped. “You’re kicking me out?”

“I thought you’d be happy.” Dad shrugged fleshy shoulders covered in a stretched out T-shirt. “You don’t like me, I don’t like you, and Lainey can’t stand you. If you leave, everyone’s happy.”

“Dad!” This couldn’t be happening. Where did he expect me to stay? I didn’t have a job, and most of my friends didn’t fall under the reliable category.

He let out an exasperated sigh. “Just go pack and get out of here.”

I glared at him and the blonde as I stormed past. Slamming the door of my room only sort of shut out Lainey’s whining. The one good thing about getting kicked out was never having to listen to her annoying voice again. I grabbed the black cordless phone from my desk and dialed my mother’s number. While I listened to it ring, I pulled a suitcase out from under my bed and set it on the twisted sheets and blankets. So much for being more important than my father’s revolving live-in girlfriends. I should have known they would come first eventually.

“Hello?” My mother’s familiar voice sounded as sweet and friendly as ever.

“Mom, it’s me.” I threw a couple of shirts in my suitcase. “Dad just kicked me out. Can you send me some money so I can get by until I find a job?”

Her gasp traveled clearly across the phone line from Virginia. “Did you say your father kicked you out of the house? You’re sixteen years old! What is he thinking?”

“I doubt he’s thinking much of anything other than how fast he can get rid of me. His latest girlfriend hates me, and I have to leave as soon as I’m packed.” I added a stack of blue jeans to the suitcase. “So, can you send me some money?”

“I’ll do better than that. If you can get to the airport, I’ll make sure there’s a ticket waiting for you.”

~~

Crash Course is available in print and ebook from Amazon. Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

~~

About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestE.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West online

Website
Newsletter
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
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Wednesday Words – Are you devaluing your own accomplishments?

Wednesday Words graphic

I’ve noticed a common theme on social media that carries over into real life — the devaluation of one’s own accomplishments. It sounds strange, doesn’t it? Let me give you a few fictitious examples based on real comments I’ve seen or heard.

“I just finished reading this awesome book in a week, which is kind of sad when I know most of you read a book or more in a day, but I’m happy it didn’t take me two weeks to finish it like it usually does.”

“It sounds kind of pathetic, but I can pay half my rent with this check and still buy groceries for the week.”

“I know there are a lot of people who are better than me, but I did a good thing today, so that counts for something. Right?”

Do you see the trend here? Even in the midst of celebrating a personal accomplishment, people are still putting themselves down. Someone pointed out to me last week that I do it too in certain contexts. I didn’t even realize it until they said something, but now I’m wondering how quickly I can break the habit.

You see, this devaluing our accomplishments (and by extension ourselves) comes from comparing ourselves to others. Many people have said that comparison is one of the fastest ways to kill joy. So why do we do it to ourselves?

You may be thinking that comparison is a good thing because it makes us strive to do better. That’s a good theory, but the reality is that comparing yourself to others leads to discouragement. It can also keep you from reaching your full potential because fear of not measuring up discourages you from trying.

Here’s the thing about comparing what you accomplish to what others do: you are not that other person and they are not you. We all have strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities, that are unique to us and our lives. No two people are the same, which means when you’re comparing yourself to another person, it’s kind of like comparing pumice to granite. Both are igneous rocks, but one can float and the other sinks.

If you look past the geologic nerdiness of that analogy, I think you can see what I’m trying to say. We all have things we’re good at and things we’re bad at. Take the example of the reader statement above. They may read slowly, but they might be an excellent baker. Another reader might speed through two novels a day, but they might not be able to bake to save their life. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other. They’re just different people with different strengths.

Life is a journey, and we’re all on different paths. Sometimes those paths may run parallel to each other, or even share the same route. But ultimately we each have to travel our own path. Comparing our journey to that of another doesn’t do anything other than lead to discouragement, which steals the joy you might otherwise find along the way.

Don’t let comparison steal your joy. Celebrate your accomplishments without the disclaimers. Be proud of doing the thing, having a small success, or just making it through another day. Your small achievements are just as valid and worthy of celebration as the big accomplishment of that other person over there.

The world has enough joy to go around. Let yourself feel it. You are worth it.

About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestAward-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

RedeemingHonor_w12418_300Book Description

Meghan Carpenter loves God, her yarn business, and her twin brother Ryan — a former marine who currently lives with her. When she agrees to let his wounded buddy live with them on her small Indiana alpaca farm, she expects an American marine. What she gets is a former Afghan interpreter who’s painfully shy around women.

Scarred from the war, both physically and emotionally, Basir Hamidi is grateful for a place to live. But his attraction to Meghan is a problem. With his honor destroyed by events in his homeland, and nothing to offer her but his broken, scarred self, he vows to avoid her and protect her reputation. Yet he is drawn to her with a strength that can only be God’s leading. For a man who has lost everything, letting go of the past is a difficult process. When he must also redeem his honor, his only chance of success is to rely on God.

~~

Redeeming Honor is available from Amazon. Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

Monday Mentions – Redeeming Honor by E.A. West

Monday Mentions graphic

That’s right! I’m sharing about my inspirational romance Redeeming Honor today. Read on for an excerpt and some exciting news!

Book Description

RedeemingHonor_w12418_300Meghan Carpenter loves God, her yarn business, and her twin brother Ryan — a former marine who currently lives with her. When she agrees to let his wounded buddy live with them on her small Indiana alpaca farm, she expects an American marine. What she gets is a former Afghan interpreter who’s painfully shy around women.

Scarred from the war, both physically and emotionally, Basir Hamidi is grateful for a place to live. But his attraction to Meghan is a problem. With his honor destroyed by events in his homeland, and nothing to offer her but his broken, scarred self, he vows to avoid her and protect her reputation. Yet he is drawn to her with a strength that can only be God’s leading. For a man who has lost everything, letting go of the past is a difficult process. When he must also redeem his honor, his only chance of success is to rely on God.

Excerpt

The oven timer dinged, and Meghan grabbed a hot pad. Golden-brown cookies filled the air with the delicious scents of vanilla and chocolate. She set the tray on the granite counter, shut off the oven, and then turned to the task of transferring chocolate chip cookies to the cooling rack.

As she set the baking sheet in the sink, the front door opened. Meghan’s heart jumped, and she hurried from the kitchen, eager to see which of Ryan’s friends would be living in her house. She stepped into the hall and spotted her brother and a swarthy-skinned, black-haired man wearing huge dark sunglasses. Each of them carried a black suitcase.

Ryan grinned as his friend closed the door. “Hey, Meghan, this is my buddy Basir Hamidi. Basir, meet my sister, Meghan.”

The black-haired man removed his sunglasses to reveal a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and scar tissue around his tawny-brown eyes. “Thank you for letting me stay in your home.”

Meghan swallowed her surprise at his heavy accent and pushed aside her sorrow that he had endured something terrible to cause the scars. Regardless of what he had been through, the only thing that should matter to her was helping him to feel comfortable in her home. She offered a warm smile and clasped her hands at her waist. “I’m glad I had an empty guestroom for you. I’ll let Ryan give you the grand tour of the place while I put the finishing touches on lunch, but remember that this is your home, too, for however long you need it.”

“Thank you.” He inclined his head, his right hand over his heart. Then, he lowered his hand and glanced at Ryan.

Her brother slung an arm around Basir’s shoulders and guided him to the stairs. “Your room’s up here.”

Meghan returned to the kitchen and struggled to wrap her mind around her new houseguest. She’d expected an American marine, but her brother had brought home an Afghan man. Had Basir somehow become a marine? Had he been part of the Afghan army? Questions flowed in a steady stream as she chopped hardboiled eggs for the chef’s salads she’d planned.

~~

Redeeming Honor is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Pelican Book Group.

Exciting News: Redeeming Honor is available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

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About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestAward-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West online

Website
Newsletter
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Monday Mentions – COVER REVEAL Out of Her Element by E.A. West (and big news)

Monday Mentions graphic

Hey, everyone! I don’t have a guest today, so I’ll be “mentioning” some of my own news (I’m so excited!!!).

Out of Her Element has a brand new cover! Check it out:

Out of Her Element cover art

Isn’t it pretty? *swoons*

Now for my other news. This one has me bouncing in my seat.

I have a new website!!!

I’ve spent the last week working on it, making it as pretty as the cover above for you guys. My new website’s address is https://eawestauthor.com. Stop by, check it out, and let me know what you think!

Along with the new website, I’m going to be changing the schedule here on The West Corner a little. This will be the last week I post a chapter of Out of Her Element on this blog for Fiction Friday. All future (and past) chapters will be available on my new website at https://eawestauthor.com/blog so be sure to bookmark it.

What does this mean for Fridays on The West Corner? I haven’t decided yet. LOL I may keep it open as a day for me to post about books I’m reading, random thoughts on life and writing, and anything else that strikes my fancy. You know, the usual blog posts an author writes. Or I could do new release announcements for other authors (and myself).

What would you prefer?

Thank you for coming along with me as I change things up! Your support means a lot to me.

Wednesday Words – Self-publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Which is better?

Wednesday Words graphic

There’s no guest today, so I’m going to talk about the debate between traditional publishing and self-publishing.

One of the more common questions I’m seeing from new authors recently is some variation of, “Should I self-publish, or should I go the traditional publishing route?”

Many of these writers probably expect a definitive answer that will tell them which direction to go. The problem is, the question isn’t as simple as it may seem. The most honest answer anyone can give is, “It depends.”

That may seem like a cop out to avoid giving a direct answer, but it’s not. What type of publishing path you choose to follow really does depend on several factors. I’ll cover some of them here, but you should do you own research into your options before making a decision.

Personality

If you’re the type of person who only wants to write and shies away from learning multiple skills you never thought you’d need, traditional publishing might be the best choice for you.

On the other hand, if you love to learn new skills, want to know all the behind-the-scenes stuff that brings books into the world, and need to have total control over your literary baby, self-publishing might be the best option.

Technological Skill

Many people don’t realize it, but if you’re afraid of computers or are technologically challenged, self-publishing may be next to impossible for you. There are a lot of skills you need to master in order to succeed, including using social media, maintaining a website, and uploading your books to retailers.

If you prefer leaving things involving technology to others, traditional publishing might be a better option.

Marketing Acumen

Marketing is one of the biggest challenges facing authors, both traditionally published and self-published. Self-publishers are responsible for 100% of the marketing, but there are a ton of resources to help you learn how to market books. Traditionally published authors are responsible for some to most of the marketing (depending on their contract and the publisher), but they do have a publisher doing at least some marketing of their books.

Money

This actually has two parts. The first is the cost of publishing. When you go the traditional publishing route, there are no up front costs for you. The publisher pays for the editing, formatting, and cover art. If you self-publish, that financial responsibility falls to you. The amount of money you will spend to publish your book varies based on several factors, including length of the book and how much of the work you’re able to do yourself. A lot of self-publishers want to save money and do everything themselves. This can be done, but you have to either already have the skills to create a professional product or you have to learn them. One thing to keep in mind is that many authors, even those who are professional editors, can’t edit their own work. They can’t see their manuscript objectively no matter how hard they try, so editing is an almost guaranteed cost to self-publishing.

The second part of the money discussion is revenue. When your book is traditionally published, you’ll receive only a percentage of what the publisher receives for each book sold. The exact percentage varies, depending on the terms of your contract. If you have an agent, they get around 15% of everything you earn. So, you may only be getting paid pennies for each book sold.

If your book is self-published, you get to keep all the revenue. So, let’s say your ebook is priced at $4.99. Amazon generally pays 70% of the sale price (there are a few exceptions based on which country the book is sold in). That means you receive about $3.50 for every book sold. Even if you only receive 35% royalties on a sale, you’ll still be paid about $1.75, which is more than you’d receive from a traditional publisher. Just remember that the increased revenue comes with increased responsibility.

So, is is better for you to self-publish or go the traditional route? It’s up to you. Do your research on both publishing methods and follow whichever path is best for you. Or, if both seem equally good, you could do both. Hybrid authors self-publish some books and have others traditionally published. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the best publishing option for an individual. As an author group I’m in is fond of saying, there are many ways up the mountain. What works for one person may not work for another, so we all have to find our own best path to follow.

Here’s a little about one of my self-published books:

Crash Course cover artBook Description

Parties, dirt bikes, boyfriends… Angie has it all, but everything changes when her father kicks her out. Gone are the freedom and parties she thrived on. Now she has to survive a conservative mother with strict rules and a stepfather who may or may not like her. Then she meets freestyle motocross rider Brady Scott. He’s gorgeous, talented, and shows her respect at every turn. There’s only one problem — his opinions of life are opposite hers. The more time she spends with him, however, the more she’s drawn to him.

As Angie struggles to find her place in two conflicting worlds, she gets a crash course in life lessons and has to make a difficult decision — give up the partying life to hang out with Brady and his youth group friends or continue down a dangerous path that could destroy her.

~~

Crash Course is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Autism Awareness Through Fiction – Different by E.A. West

Autism Awareness Through Fiction graphic

Today the spotlight is on my YA novel Different. The main character is a teen girl with autism who must overcome a multitude of challenges.

Book Description

Different cover artJezebel Smith is different. She can’t talk, she doesn’t look like anyone in her family, and no matter what she does it’s always the wrong thing. God accepts her for who she is, but He’s the only one who does. Then she finds an unconscious man in her favorite cave, and her life is turned upside down. New people and new rules collide with the old, leaving Jezebel unsure of which set of rules apply to her life. When the strangers in town attempt to help her out of the nightmare she’s grown up in, it promises to change her life forever.

Excerpt

Fear shivered through her that he was sleeping so much. One of her brothers had fallen out of a tree once and hit his head, and the doctor said they had to keep him from falling asleep for a while. Jezebel didn’t know if falling off a ledge and hitting his head made the man have to stay awake or not.

After worrying for a while longer, she finally decided she’d have to risk a beating from her parents and go get the doctor. She didn’t know if he’d come, but she had to try. Daniel was the only person to ever treat her kindly, and he needed help.

She put a couple more sticks on the fire so it would keep burning while she was gone, and then she lit the lantern and headed out of the cavern. As she neared the cave entrance, the flame went out. She slowed her steps and followed the faint glow of daylight. Hopefully the doctor had a flashlight. When she stepped into the woods, she set the lantern by the cave entrance and ran toward town. She practiced saying Daniel’s name while she ran, praying the doctor would come if she told him the injured man’s name.

As she neared the edge of town, she slowed down to catch her breath. She hesitantly stepped onto the main road, terrified at the thought of trying to convince the doctor to go with her. She’d learned a long time ago that no one believed her about anything, and since she couldn’t talk, people didn’t understand what she tried to tell them anyway.

A lot of strange cars and people clogged the main street through town, and Jezebel wondered who they were. Unless Reverend Brown was holding one of his many revivals, the town rarely had many visitors. As she continued toward the doctor’s office, a woman carrying a stack of papers walked toward her with a smile. Jezebel stopped, her mind whirling with uncertainty, and the woman handed her a paper.

“We’re looking for this man. He went hiking in this area a couple of days ago and didn’t come back.”

Jezebel studied the sheet in her hands, and her heart skipped a beat. A picture of Daniel stared back, and some words had been printed across the bottom in black ink. She pointed to the photo. “D-Dan… Daniel.”

“That’s right, his name is Daniel,” the woman said, her tone changing a little. “Have you seen him?”

Jezebel nodded and looked back the way she’d come. “C-c-cave.”

“You saw him in a cave?”

She nodded again, excitement rushing through her. For the first time in her life, someone understood what she tried to say. She touched the photograph on the paper, indicating where the cut on Daniel’s head was. Before she could see if the woman understood, she heard her older brother spit out her name. She cringed and felt herself shriveling inside.

~~

Different is available from Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo.

~~

About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestAward-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West Online

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Autism Awareness Through Fiction – Christmas Harmony by E.A. West

Autism Awareness Through Fiction graphic

Who’s up for another Christmas romance? In today’s spotlight is my book Christmas Harmony. It features an autistic heroine.

Book Description

Christmas Harmony cover artAfter a long semester, college student Tawny Beschen is more than ready for a relaxing winter break. Hanging out at rehearsals for her dad’s metal band is just what she needs. Familiar people, familiar music, and a familiar routine… It’s an overwhelmed autistic’s dream. Then the new guitarist walks in, and her safe, predictable world implodes.

Malachi Vandermeer is grateful for the opportunity to play guitar for Death Pardon. After a rough few years, the family-like relationship of the band is what he needs. Then he meets Tawny. Her sweet innocence creates an instant attraction, but his past makes him afraid to let it grow.

Can Tawny and Malachi overcome their challenges and have a merry Christmas together?

Excerpt

“Hey, Tawny,” Alan said, “you mind if I take the mic now?”

She lifted her fingers from the smooth metal of the stand and stepped back. “Oh, sorry.”

“No worries. Long semester?”

“I think I’m brain dead,” she said, shoving her hands in the front pocket of her hooded sweatshirt.

Alan chuckled and adjusted the microphone. “You must be glad you’re on winter break, then.”

“Yeah.” She wandered away as the men prepared to start their rehearsal. Minutes after she stretched out on the floor and stared up at the ceiling with its recessed lights, someone else entered the room.

A stranger around her age. He was cute with his dark brown hair and a day’s growth of beard shadowing his jaw.

The sudden change in routine broke through her relaxed state. A rush of anxiety immobilized her. She curled into a ball on the carpet and pressed her sleeve-covered fist to her mouth to muffle the crying.

“Hey, Tawny, are you all right?” Her father’s quiet voice meant she hadn’t done a great job of hiding her tears. “You want to tell me about it?”

She squeezed her eyes shut. After a few breaths, she rolled halfway over and looked directly into her father’s face. “That’s not Jimmy.”

Dad’s features filled with sympathy, and he smoothed her hair back. “Oh, honey, I’m sorry. I thought you knew.”

Dread washed over her. “He’s not dead, is he?”

“No! He’s still going strong.” Dad rubbed her shoulder. “He decided it was time to move on to other things, so we found ourselves a new guitarist a few months ago.”

“I…I think you told me about that when I was working on that paper that drove me nuts. Some guy with a Bible name or something.”

“That’s right. His name is Malachi Vandermeer. Would you like to meet him?”

Tawny nodded.

Dale was talking to the new guy on the far side of the room.

Insecurity slammed into her. Would he want to meet her?

Her dad held his hand out. “It’s a little hard to introduce you if you don’t come with me.”

“He probably thinks I’m an idiot or a psycho.”

“No, he doesn’t.” Dad gave her a brief yet soothing hug. “When I came to see about you, Dale said he’d explain to Malachi.”

“I feel like an idiot.” Humiliation threatened to make her cry again.

“There’s no need for it. A lot of college students get stressed out with their classes, and they don’t have the added struggles you do. You rock, girl, for overcoming that and making the dean’s list anyway. Now, let’s go introduce you to the newbie so you can quit worrying.”

She dropped her gaze to the floor, more comfortable looking at the ugly utilitarian carpet than risking seeing what was in anyone’s eyes. Dale’s familiar skater shoes and an unfamiliar pair of sneakers came into view. They looked as if they’d walked across the country and back. Tawny stole a glance at their owner.

Malachi offered a smile.

Tawny looked back down.

“Malachi, this is my daughter, Tawny. Tawny, meet Malachi Vandermeer, our new guitarist.”

“Hi.” She managed to make eye contact just long enough to discover he had the most gorgeous brown eyes she’d ever seen.

“Hey, Tawny, it’s nice to meet you.” Malachi’s smooth, rich voice sent tingles racing through her. “Your dad’s been bragging on you since I joined the band. How’d your grades turn out?”

“All A’s.” She glanced at her father as curiosity formed. How many others that she’d never met had heard about her college career?

“Awesome!” Malachi’s exclamation broke into her ponderings. “Congratulations.”

“Thanks.” Tawny’s nerves jumped. “I’m gonna go back to the floor now. Have a good rehearsal.”

Malachi’s voice followed her. “Hey, Tawny, I have a cousin who’s an Aspie, and his daughter is autistic. Just thought you might like to know that I get it.”

She gave a single nod and stretched out on the floor again. Maybe she didn’t have to worry about him thinking she was crazy or stupid after all.

~~

Christmas Harmony is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Pelican Book Group.

~~

About the Author

Photo of author E.A. WestAward-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West Online

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page