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More Firsts for the Noob: My Debut Cozy from Carina Press is up for Pre-Order!!

Art by Harlequin 2013

Art by Harlequin 2013

So, yeah. These last few months have been a blur in the writer life. I get the feeling writer-life is like that, and more so as you climb the sand dune that is Publishing. It’s slick and tedious work, wherein you slide down further than you climb most days/weeks/months/years.  But, for this moment, I have a little thrill seeing another work come to life. This time, under the careful guidance of a kick-A editor and brilliant Carina support staff. I won’t babble on, except to say this book’s setting is one that I visited for a week years ago and can’t seem to shake. It’s a marvelous place, stuck in my mind on replay. If you ever have the chance to visit the island, go. Chincoteague, Virginia is the definition of Amazing.

This story is book 1 of 3 in my Patience Price, Counselor at Large series from Carina

MURDER BY THE SEASIDE by me :) Julie Anne Lindsey

Armed with a new counseling degree, Patience Price is eager to move back home to Chincoteague Island to help folks with their problems. But she finds the streets awash in more than East Coast charm. There’s been a murder, and Adrian Davis, the town golden boy who once stomped her heart into a zillion pieces, is the main suspect. Now he’s on the run, claiming he’s innocent. Patience finds this…poetic. Not that she holds a grudge.

Adrian’s mom is sure that with her FBI background Patience can find the truth. Yes, she was at the FBI—in human resources. Still, she looks into it, but not everyone is happy with her snooping. Either that, or the welcome wagon has some bold new policies involving drive-by shootings.

Things really heat up when a hunky former coworker, an actual FBI agent, arrives to help. But he may be too late; the quaint island harbors deadly secrets—and Patience is running out of time.

82,000 words – Available October 7th!

I loved every minute of this delicious whodunit! Murder by the Seaside is one of those mysteries that grabs hold of you and won’t let go. From the sparkling landscape to the brilliantly drawn characters, Julie Anne Lindsey has created something very special! Plan ahead. You will want to devour this book in one sitting!”

-Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author of the Charley Davidson Series


Read an Excerpt

“Tell me there weren’t any first floor apartments available on this island.” Claire leaned against the gray siding of my new home, her cheeks pink from exertion and the hot summer sun. She reached out to test the weathered wooden stair railing leading to my door. It wiggled, and she inhaled deeply.

“None I could afford.” I squinted up the steps to the landing. A stray lock of hair teased my cheek, and I jumped. Islands and bugs went hand in hand. I giggled at the mistake and shrugged. Time to get serious. There was plenty left to do.

“Besides, upstairs apartments are safer,” I reminded Claire. “Didn’t you pay attention to anything the FBI taught you?”

“Not really. I still can’t believe they let you go.”

“Hey, I was downsized, not let go.”

Claire shifted a box marked Kitchen against her hip, trying to see the steps. Her petite five-foot-two frame was deceptive. She easily maneuvered boxes I struggled with. The fact she did it in four-inch heels said it all. She was small and mighty despite the southern belle upbringing, of which her smooth southern drawl served as a reminder. While Virginia was considered a southern state, Claire was a few borders north of her home state of Georgia. She called it Jawja. I called her cute.

“How will I get through those horrendous meetings without you?” she asked.

“Chincoteague is only a couple hours from you. We can meet on the mainland for lunch.” My first trip up the steps and I already wished it was my last. “Or shopping,” I huffed. I’d gained a pound a year since I left the island ten years ago. Three of those I didn’t mind keeping, if they stayed in the right places. The other seven should be gone by the time I finished carrying everything up these steps.

See? Moving home had bonuses. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

Claire puffed air into long, side-swept bangs and waited while I opened the door. She gazed admiringly at the historic two-story next door. Pale blue with cream trim and plenty of detail, it reminded me of a gingerbread house. My new place reminded me of the dough, the kind that had been kneaded thoroughly and hit with a roller. Victorian was a local theme, especially among the homes in the center of the island, away from the pounding waves during storm season. On Main Street, the shops blended easily with the houses. Chincoteague was the picture of peaceful living.

Homes were in demand this time of year. Tourists rented every available space between June and August. I thanked my lucky stars to have been able to get this place-the one house I knew would be available on zero notice. A decade-old rumor labeled the house haunted. On an island rooted in superstition and watered with ghost stories, my new place was the equivalent of swearing in church—i.e., to-be-avoided. Luckily, I didn’t believe in ghosts. I did, however, believe in low-cost rent and proving a point. Moving home was a real kick in the teeth after the big show I made of landing an FBI job on the mainland. Sure, I was working in human resources, but stil;…making a life for myself on the mainland had been a big deal. While it lasted.

“Wow. This place better come at a discount.” Claire’s nose scrunched up as she turned in a small circle.

Amazon Pre-Order link

Barnes & Noble Pre-Order link

Goodreads Giveaway!

TEST Art._DECEIVED_SL1000_ Merit Press has 25 copies of DECEIVED up for grabs this month in celebration and eager anticipation of my September 18th release! Stop over and enter to win a finished, hardcover copy by clicking here!


What you don’t know can kill you…

Ever since she could remember, Elle has had to hop from town to town to keep up with her dad’s demanding career as a corporate insurance agent. Each time, a recurring nightmare followed her wherever she went–until the day that the frightening figures haunting her at night became all too real. When news of a serial killer spreads throughout her new school, Elle worries that the Reaper has been leaving her his calling card in the form of cigarette butts on her doormat and an unusual ribbon in her locker. With the help of Brian, a boy she meets at a flea market, she discovers that this isn’t her first encounter with the murderer and that her father has been concealing her true identity for the past twelve years. But despite her father’s desperate attempts to protect her, Elle still comes face to face with the darkness she has been running from her whole life. Trapped in the woods and with help hundreds of miles away, will Elle be able to confront the Reaper and reclaim the life she lost?

Book Blast! Destiny Road by Melissa Wray

It’s been 12 months since the first box of freshly printed
Destiny Road books arrived from the publishers.
A great excuse for a celebration!
Destiny Road is about a girl called Jessica, who is building up to make a most important decision. One that will affect the rest of her life. It is a story of decision, growth and acceptance. Jessica is sixteen when she meets Bill for the first time. Six months later she is moved away by her mother, to begin a new life away from what she knows. Away from the man she is just realising she might have wanted in her life all along, her biological father. So begins Jessica’s journey of living with the choices made by herself and those around her.
Read the first chapter for free;
*Enter below to win one of three Ebooks of Destiny Road!* 

“It might have been a long while since I was a teenager, but I felt myself identifying with emerging author, Melissa Wray’s realistically drawn characters, in particular Jessica, for the strength she maintained in carrying out her choice – because it’s not an easy one, the love and absolute acceptance shown to her by Bill and Janet, and Luke, for his own pain, suffering and self-inflicted guilt at what could have been, but wasn’t!”
Book Muster Down Under

“Wray has managed to write with absolute brutal honesty that very easily could have become too confronting-especially for those that have undergone a similar situation …
The timing is perfect. You have time to catch your breath when needed without ever compromising the flow. In fact the novel has such a polished feel I was surprised that this was indeed her debut into the published world.”

Cecilia Janisk Confessions of a Booky Monster reviewer

The great thing about Destiny Road is that is filled with all the realistic teenage things- starting at a new school, family drama, friend drama, learning to drive and etc …

My absolute favourite thing was the relationships that were in the novel. I loved reading about the building father/daughter relationship of Bill and Jessica …

Some of the little details that Melissa wrote about actually got me thinking- one example was a really good discussion about pivotal points and all …

I want to thank them for their honest review and feedback about Destiny Road. To read the complete review and check out their blog, click on the link below.

A Book So Fathomless

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s Coming. September 18th. Fear the Reaper.

DECEIVED: The awesome, amazing, blowing my mind trailer from Kent State University Student, Matt Petrunak. Enjoy!


Controversial Content in my Book: PROVIDENCE, by Lisa Colozza Cocca

When I first read the subject for this blog, How do you deal with controversy in your book?, I thought:

1.     Stock up on rose-colored glasses
2.     Run like the wind!
3.     Bury head deep in the sand.

The truth is I never thought of Providence as controversial when I was writing it. I didn’t seek controversy, that’s for certain. The thing I really wanted readers to walk away with was a sense of the goodness in the world; that it is all around us, if only we open our eyes and hearts to it. Then a short time ago, I went to the NESCBWI conference in Massachusetts. One of my crit buddies, Betsy Reilly, was my roomy there. One night, we went to a panel discussion on edgy YA. When it was over, our discussion went something like this:

Me: My book isn’t at all edgy.

Betsy: You think that because we just heard them describing their edgy books in terms of foul language, sex, drugs, and violence. Your book doesn’t have those elements, but it has an edgy storyline.

Me (staring into space): Hmm, my main character does run away from home and is better off for it. I guess that is a little edgy.

Betsy: And she finds an abandoned baby and takes on the responsibility for her. That’s going to seem edgy to lots of people.

As she so often does, Betsy gave me much to think about. She helped me look at Providence in a new way, through a different lens. My initial reaction to this blog topic was that I haven’t written anything controversial. Then I reflected upon my conversation with Betsy and came up with a real answer to the question.

I was oblivious to it. I let my characters tell their story. I tried to stay out of the way and let the story be as true to the characters as possible. I think most emotions associated with books – joy, concern, excitement, and even contention, come from the interaction between the reader and the words on the page, not from the words alone. So I will leave the judgment of the book as controversial or not to the readers.

About Lisa:

I grew up in Cohoes, NY, a small city between Albany and Saratoga. I have lived most of my adult life in Morris County, NJ. It is a lovely place to live – close enough to and yet far enough away from the ‘big city’ New York.

I am happy to be the mother of three adult children and the grandmother of one precious little girl, all who bring joy to my life. I am also lucky to have five nephews and a niece who make me proud, three siblings, and in-laws. Life is good.

I’ve had many jobs in my lifetime. Some were fun; some were not. At the moment I work as a freelance writer/editor of educational materials and, of course, as an author of fiction.

Oh so many! One of my quirks is ironing my money. I have a bad habit of stuffing change into my pockets or into the corners of my purse. This results in wrinkled bills. I feel badly about giving these scrunched up dollars to a store clerk (who must fit it smoothly into the drawer) or a waitress, so I iron my bills to keep them neat.


Posted first on Uncommon YA! A great place to meet new voices in YA. 

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