I used to be shy. When I was younger, I hated being the center of attention. Now I enjoy meeting people and socializing. Back then, I couldn’t handle more than one set of eyes on me. A big problem was gift anxiety.
I guess that I spent way too much time thinking until I found an outlet in my writing. I hated my birthday. I always worried that I would hate my gift, or if I liked it, that I’d fail miserably in convincing the giver that I liked it. Crazy, huh?
After all this thinking and fretting, I rarely managed to show excitement about any present. I couldn’t perform as expected. A show of appreciation was just that, a show, and I was no actress.
Years later, I have decided that my problem stemmed from too much empathy. I’m skilled at reading the emotions of the people around me. Trust me, it’s no super power. Once I know how much someone wants me to love my gift, I freeze up. I panic. I shrink back into myself.
Christmas gifts were different. Everyone around me received them too. Attention was never on me for more than a few seconds because my friends and family were too excited about their own gifts. Whatever the twisted reasons behind it, my preference is for being the giver rather than the receiver and for giving to as many people as possible.
I’m not shy anymore. In fact I have taught classes as large as one-hundred students and have let people into the deepest recesses of my mind through my writing. Having overcome my fear of gifts, I do not mean to discourage my friends and family from giving me gifts as frequently as they’d like. J
Last winter, I teamed up with twelve authors of Young Adult fiction who had a special gift in mind. A gift for our readers. A gift of a free short story. This diverse group of writers combined the gifts into an anthology.
The anthology is free in ebook format and will remain free. The anthology will be available at all retail outlets in the next few days. You can read the book on your Mac, PC, iPod, iPad, or smart phone, as well as on your e-reader.
Flowers, vacation, baseball, prom…what does spring mean to you? From unicorn hunters and teenage exorcists to Egyptian princesses and aspiring ballerinas, this collection of thirteen stories by some of the most exciting authors in Young Adult fiction explores young love and new beginnings during the most beautiful time of the year.
“Barre Hopping at Midnight” by Amanda Brice
How can aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak concentrate on performing at a spring arts festival when her not-quite-boyfriend is in town filming the lead in a hot new vampire movie and he was seen kissing his costar?
“The Vanishing Spring” by Carey Corp
More than a century earlier, Eleanor Quimby tumbled into the water to escape an arranged marriage and disappeared. But was that the tragic end or a brave new beginning?
“The Princess of Egypt Must Die” by Stephanie Dray
A lonely Princess of Egypt is tempted by a forbidden love and forced to make a heartbreaking choice that will upend a kingdom and change her forever.
“Spring Perfection” by Leslie DuBois
Star athlete Scott Kincaid is about to make history and pitch a perfect game. But when he realizes that true perfection lies in the relationship he has with his best friend, Reyna, will he risk everything in order to keep a promise to her?
“Picture Not Perfect” by Lois Lavrisa
Seventeen-year old Tim wants to go to senior prom. Why doesn't his girlfriend Gabrielle want to go with him? Is she not who she says she is?
“Potionate Love” by P.R. Mason
Math geek, Tina, has found a way to get the popular jock, Ronny, to fall for her: a love potion. It'll work unless her best friend Nathan gets in the way.
“1:30, Tour Eiffel” by Jennifer McAndrews
A kiss in the dark will ruin Spring Break and lifelong friendships unless Rachel Healey can prove she is a pawn in someone else's game.
“Off Balance” by Renee Pace
Jennifer’s secret is big, but she loves Charlie enough to know ending their teenage relationship will set him free and enable him to join the Army. When Charlie discovers the truth, it’s up to him to convince Jen their young love was meant to be.
“On a Field, Sable” by Diana Peterfreund
After the shocking events of Ascendant, what awaits the unicorn hunter Melissende Holtz on the mountaintop where she watched her comrades fall?
“The Language of Flowers” by Rhonda Stapleton
Chrissy, a clerk at her aunt's flower shop, starts getting her own romantic surprises -- flowers with a special secret meaning. Can she bury her longstanding unrequited crush on her best friend’s brother to take a chance on mysterious love?
“Dating After Dark (With Clowns)” by Tawny Stokes
All teenage exorcist Caden Butcher wants is a demon-free night to take his new girl to the spring fair. Is that too much to ask for?
“Sometime” by Alicia Street
Sixteen-year-old mythology buff Terry Conn finally gets the after-school museum job she wanted so badly, but who knew those ancient dragon figures would dredge up images of a past she only half-remembered? Or that drool-worthy Jerrod Pierce would be part of it?
“Camp Cauldron” by Juli Alexander
Forced to spend Spring Break as a counselor at a camp for troublesome young witches instead of drooling over hotties at the beach, Emma relinquishes her hopes for romance. Could the perfect guy be waiting in the midst of poison ivy, s'mores, elephant trunks, and kangaroo feet?
The production costs involved in the print copy of the anthology prevent us from being able to offer it for free. However, today, you can enter to win a paperback copy of the anthology right here!
Working on the anthology was a blast for all of us. We hope you will enjoy it!
I adored reading everyone’s stories, especially the part about opening them in private and then sharing them with everyone.
CLOSED: WINNER: Aurora Celeste
GIVEAWAY! I have (1) paperback copy to giveaway!
Please leave a comment below regarding which short story from the anthology you are most excited to read! ONE winner will be chosen randomly and named here on June 20th. Please make sure to include your email address in case you are the winner!!!