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Romance author turned Young Adult author Linda Palmer who I’ve met online through the wonderful online publisher Wild Horse Press is here today to guest blog about her YA novel, The Cinderella Swap. She contacted me about me reviewing her debut young adult novel, The Cinderella Swap, and then J.M. at Wild Horse Press contacted me about reviewing Linda’s upcoming young adult novel with them called, Jaguar Moon. That led Linda to contacting me about scheduling an author interview and author guest blog. You can read Linda’s interview that I posted this past Tuesday which I had fun reading it again myself. And don’t forget that on Thursday, October 15th I will be chatting live with Linda on my live podcast show TAMFA—Phoebe Jordan about her change from writing print romance novels with Silhouette books to writing young adult novels in ebook format. Now onto Linda’s guest blog:

* * * * * *

Meg Cabot is my idol. I own every book she ever wrote, and my favorites of those are her paranormal YA novels. I read her for the first time during the ten-year non-writing period that followed my ten years of writing Silhouette Romances. By then I was pretty burned out on adult genre romance, and Meg’s YA books made me laugh, cry and want to write again. I deliberately analyzed her stories, trying to figure out why I loved them so much. I made a list of elements in her books that I wanted in my own: feisty heroine, inappropriate boyfriend, messy family, and a paranormal twist. My first YA novel, Nightmare, Interrupted (available TBA from Sugar & Spice Press), definitely had every element, as did my second, Operation: Normal (available in 2010 from Uncial Press).
By the time I wrote The Cinderella Swap, currently available from Sugar & Spice Press, I’d found my groove, and my paranormal twists began to determine the plot. I wanted Ren Montgomery, heroine of The Cinderella Swap, to have a secret psychic gift, and I wanted that gift to be different from anything I’d ever read about. With that in mind, I sat down and deliberately made up her ability to see a flash of color (or soul shade) when she touched people for the first time. Naturally this talent had to be a gift and a curse. So it came in handy when her maybe boyfriend tried to convince her he was a loser (she knew better). But it wasn’t so handy when that same maybe boyfriend’s beloved mentor flashed black, which meant he was evil to the core. I’ve written two more books using my “formula,” and the paranormal aspects continue to dominate the plot. In Jaguar Moon, heroine Livvie deals not only with her own psychic powers, but the hero Alex’s curse. In Storm Swept, heroine Jenny and hero Jase have to survive a week at a haunted bed and breakfast inn with an evil entity out to get them. Those titles will be available in the upcoming months from Wild Horse Press. Writing is my passion. YA paranormal novels are my joy. And I’m very, very excited to have the opportunity to restart my writing career in a genre I love.
Blurb:

The Cinderella Swap by Linda Palmer

When high school sophomore Ren Montgomery rescues a shy teenaged girl from a bully, she has no idea that the girl’s big brother, senior Dugan Donovan, is her secret crush. He not only thanks her in person, but drives her home, which should be the beginning of a wonderful relationship. Unfortunately Ren’s mom, a juvie judge, greets Dugan by name, which is never a good thing since it means she first met him in court. Though Ren is ordered to forget the boy, she can’t. Her secret psychic gift—a flash of color that reveals the soul—tells her that Dugan is as good on the inside as he looks on the outside. And while she’s perfectly happy to have a secret boyfriend, Dugan will not cooperate. It’s mutual need that finally brings them together. But will their “Cinderella Swap” remain strictly business? And how is she going to tell him that his boss/mentor/idol flashes black, which means he’s evil through and through?

Excerpt:

Around noon, Mom called to ask about road conditions. I walked out on the front porch to double check, then told her we had snow, but the streets weren’t slick. Naturally, I didn’t mention that I’d had a wreck last night in a car I wasn’t supposed to be driving going to a dance to meet Dugan, a boy she’d told me to stay away from. She asked how I was doing, then before I could answer, began to talk about their meeting and the nice dinner they’d had with Hayley’s parents.

Someone clicked in. A number I didn’t recognize.

“Mom, can you hold that thought for a sec?” I asked, now en route to the kitchen for a soda. I switched to the other call.

“Hello?”

“Hi.”

Dugan! “Hi. Would you hold on long enough for me to get rid of my mom?”

“Uh…sure.”

Click. “Mom, I’ve got to go.”

“Why? Who was that?” She sounded very suspicious, which suddenly made me wonder if I’d inherited my psychic powers from her.

“A new friend who’s asking a favor of me.”

“Oh, okay then. We’ll see you Sunday, honey. Love you.”

“Love you, too.” I clicked her off. “Dugan? Still there?”

Dead silence.

My heart leapt into my throat. Oh God. Had I pushed the wrong button? Was Mom still on the line?

“Ren?”

Whew. “I’m here.”

“Sorry about that. Bo needed me.”

“No problem.” God, I hated deception. I mean, there’s nothing more stressful in my opinion. You not only have to remember what lie you told, but who you told it to. It can get so confusing, which is why I’m all for honesty if it will possibly work.

Unfortunately, in this case it wouldn’t.

“I’ve been thinking about tomorrow,” Dugan said, “And I believe it might be best if you just met Payton and me at the mall, maybe by that fountain at the south entrance. That way I can pay for everything with my debit card.”

He was going to shop with us?

Now that was a turn of events I had not anticipated.

My heart kicked into high gear, pounding joyfully in my chest. I immediately began to think up ways I could stretch out the afternoon. Why, we could—

“Ren? Are you still there?”

Oops. “I’m here.”

“So does that work for you or not?”

“It totally works.”

“Good.”

In the silence that followed that single syllable, I tried to think of something to say—something that might keep him on the phone a little longer.

“About the dance Friday…”

“What about it?” I asked, hoping he was going tell me he’d had a good time, too.

“I’m sorry I kissed you goodnight.”

“What? Why? Was I bad at it?”

He inhaled sharply. “Don’t talk crazy. You’re a fantastic kisser.”

That was better. “Then why are you sorry you kissed me?”

“Because I think I gave you the wrong impression about us.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning there is no us, at least as far as kissing goes.”

“So why’d you do it, then…?”

“I did it because I’m a guy and you’re a girl, and it was late, and we were in a car in the snow, wearing dress-up clothes, and you smelled so damn good—”

My knees turned to Jell-o.

“And your eyes are so blue, and you’d been crying, and I wanted to make it all okay—”

“You kissed me out of pity?”

“No. Hell no. Haven’t you been listening? I got caught up in the moment and lost it.”

“Your point?”

“My point is that it won’t happen again. Ever. I swear. I just want you to know that so you’ll feel comfortable around me while we do the whole Cinderella thing.”

“Great. Wonderful. Big whoopee. Bye-bye.”

“Wait! Are you…mad at me?”

“Does it matter?”

“Of course it matters. I want us to be friends.”

“You can’t have everything.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means—” I took a deep breath, trying to put my complete and utter frustration with him into small words he could easily understand “—it means….Oh, I don’t know what it means.”

“Then we can still be friends?” he asked.

“Yeah. Sure. I guess.” I made no attempt to hide my disappointment.

I swear I heard him swallow.

“Good. I’m glad we got that straight. Gotta go. See you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” I echoed dully.

He hung up. I went into my cell contacts and added his phone number, bitterly tagging it “Un-boyfriend.”

******

You can find more information about me and my books by visiting my website.

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Phoebe Jordan
Phoebe Jordan

Phoebe Jordan

I'm a part-time aspiring romance novelist, book reviewer and blogger. I've always wanted to travel the world and learn everything I can about other countries. Learning the Italian language is one way of trying to make that dream come true. Traveling will help me with my writing because I'll be learning about the history of the U.S., Latin America, England, Italy, and Ireland, the countries I find so fascinating while reading the romance genre. I read and review romance novels of almost every subgenre along with erotic romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult novels. You can find the reviews at my blogs, Talk About My Favorite Authors and Phoebe Jordan's Reviews. I’ve also started a live podcast show called TAMFA | Phoebe Jordan hosted on Blog Talk Radio. This show is dedicated to everything I love about romance and young adult novels. I love having romance and young adult authors live on my show to be interviewed and showcase their books. I plan to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal romance and young adult when I get my writing career started with help from Keta. I'm not sure what genre I'll write to begin with since I love to read so many different romance genres.

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