Welcome author PJ Sharon

Thanks for having me, Clover. Today’s post kicks off my blog tour for December. I’m very excited about the line-up of wonderful guest stops I’ve got coming up. Your readers can check the calendar page of my website for details. Also, I’d like to remind folks that my first contemporary YA romance, Heaven Is For Heroes, is on sale for .99 from now until the end of December. It makes a great Christmas gift for anyone who has a Kindle or Nook on their wish list. Click on the links to buy this sweet contemporary military romance for you or your teen’s cyber bookshelf.
 As a bonus, I’d like to offer your readers a chance to win an advanced reader’s copy of ON THIN ICE. Just leave a comment or question for Penny below, and I’ll ask her to pick a lucky winner based on how interesting the question or comment is. Good luck! Contest ends midnight on Friday, December 2nd.
One of the fun parts of creating my characters is getting to know them by doing a character interview. I thought I would share a little bit about Penny Trudeau, my main character from my upcoming release, ON THIN ICE, due out December 15th.
Meet Penny

How would your friends describe you?
Hopefully, they would say I’m loyal and that I’m kind of fun to hang out with…when my life isn’t all drama and tragedy, that is. (Shrugs and looks down, face looking strained).

Your teen life has been pretty traumatic. How do you deal with all the challenges?
(Sighs). I don’t think I’m that different from anyone else. I just take things as they come and do the best I can. I mean everybody has problems, right? People make choices that can make life harder sometimes, that’s all. (Face softens and takes on a grin). Like my guidance counselor, Mr. Barstow says, “Everybody makes mistakes. Most people just spread them out a little more.” (Smile disappears, face grows serious again). I guess it helps to have family and friends that care. I’ve realized that no matter what happens, I’m not alone. It took me a while to get that.

You’ve been figure skating since you were ten years old. What do you love about skating and what do you hate?
Wow, that’s a hard question. (Furrows brow and chews cuticle. Then a small smile appears and eyes brighten). I think I love the freedom I feel when I’m skating fast and the wind is in my face. It kind of takes my breath away and makes me feel like I’m flying…like I can do anything. Being good at something gives me a feeling of accomplishment. It’s a lot of hard work, but when I center a spin or land a jump I’ve tried a million times, it all seems worth it. (Smile dims, voice grows soft). As far as what I hate, it’s hands down got to be competing. There is always someone who is better, faster, and stronger. I don’t like the idea of being judged or compared to other people and told I’m better or worse than anyone else. It never makes me feel good to win because I know that someone else has to lose. It doesn’t mean they deserve it less than I do or that they haven’t worked just as hard. It just doesn’t feel right to me.

So Penny, tell us about Carter. You two seem meant for each other.
(Blushes furiously and lets bangs fall over eyes). I like to think so. He’s pretty special.

What is it that makes him special?
Carter is ridiculously honest. Trust and honesty are really important to him on account of his dad ditching him and his mom when he was a kid. Carter wants to see the best in people. If he trusts you, he’ll be a totally loyal friend. But if you betray him, well…let me tell you from experience, he can make some dumb choices if he feels betrayed. But in time, he can be very forgiving…at least he is after he’s had a chance to cool down. (Twists mouth into a smile and cheeks turn pink). I think the best thing about Carter is that when he really cares about someone, he will do anything for them. He’s a really good person to have in your corner, you know?

He sounds like a good guy. Tell us something about yourself that you’ve never told anyone before.
A. You’re kidding, right? Like I’m going to spill my guts to the world. Not that there aren’t a lot of secrets in my life, but why would I tell you guys if I won’t even tell my friends? (Folds arms and looks at me hard. Can’t seem to hold back a smirk…) Okay, so I’ll let you in on a few secrets about what I’ve learned.
Red Bull and chocolate are not basic food groups, school is never as hard as I make it out to be if I set my mind to it, and people lie for one of two reasons—either to gain approval, or avoid disapproval. I’ve lied for both reasons, and neither is worth it.

Excellent advice, Penny. Thanks for hanging out with us. Okay, readers. Feel free to ask Penny any questions you might have about her story or her life. Or leave a comment and be entered to win an advanced copy of ON THIN ICE. Read an excerpt here.

ON THIN ICE is about a 17 yo figure skater dealing with her mother’s cancer while trying to live up to the expectations of her family. Penny has to face issues like anorexia, a teenage pregnancy, and family secrets that threaten to change her life forever. The story is a complex, richly woven tale that deals with the consequences of hiding the truth of who we are, and making sacrifices for the ones we love.

About PJ
PJ Sharon is author of contemporary young adult novels, including HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, a finalist in the Denver Heart of Romance Molly contest. Her stories have garnered several contest finals, including two awards for ON THIN ICE, and a place in the prestigious Valley Forge Romance writer’s contest for SAVAGE CINDERELLA coming out in the spring of 2012.

On the road to publication, PJ decided that indie-publishing was the best fit for her books. Although the themes are mature, evoking plenty of drama and teen angst, PJ writes with a positive outlook and promises a hopefully ever after end to all of her books. She believes in strong heroines empowered by learning valuable life lessons. Because of this, readers of all ages will be captivated by the emotional and romantic journeys of her characters.

Writing romantic fiction for the past six years, and following her destiny to write Extraordinary stories of an average teenage life, PJ has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2007 and is an active member of the Young Adult chapter of RWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband and her dog in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.

Book Trailer for Heaven is for Heroes: http://www.youtube.com/pjsharon64
On her Website: http://www.pjsharon.com
Follow PJ on Twitter: @pjsharon
Follow PJ on Facebook: PJ Sharon Author Fan Page
Follow PJ’s Tuesday blog on http://secretsof7scribes.wordpress.com

Thanks so much PJ for stopping by!

Heaven is for Heroes

The summer before Jordan's senior year, her brother is killed in action and his best friend, Alex--the boy Jordan has crushed on since she was six--comes back from Iraq, wounded and unable to remember the details of what got his friend killed.

Heaven is for Heroes is not a fluffy coming-of-age tale. It deals with grief, guilt, self-harm and forgiveness in a realistic, yet gentle manner.

Jordan and Alex are great characters who I found myself rooting for. They are both instilled with a can-do/must-do attitude under tough circumstances as they deal with what they've lost and learn to appreciate what they've gained.

Join me tomorrow as the author PJ Sharon stops by.


Smart and athletic seventeen year-old Jordie Dunn has a bright future planned, but when tragedy turns her life upside down, she begins to question not only her future, but the facts surrounding her brother’s death in Iraq. The military’s account that his best friend and fellow Marine, Alex Cooper, is at fault, is a notion she refuses to believe. Alex was the careful one--the shy, protective, computer geek she’s had a crush on since the ninth grade, and she knows better than anyone that her troubled brother had a dark and reckless side—a secret she’s kept for far too long.
With no memory of the incident that killed his best friend, nineteen year-old Alex Cooper returns home, shattered and facing a difficult recovery. Determined to go it alone, he pushes Jordie away. No longer the freckle-faced tom-boy who followed him and Levi around as a kid, she has become a beautiful and stubborn young woman who believes in him far more than he deserves.

            While Jordie’s unique approach to rehab pushes Alex to extremes, the two discover that their childhood friendship has grown into more. The attraction has Jordie’s head spinning and her heart soaring, but Alex struggles to deal with his guilt, his loss, and the nightmares that continue to haunt him. Even though Jordie is determined to help him heal, and even more determined to find the truth, what she doesn’t expect, is to find love.

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm have many things to be thankful for. My family, my husband and children. They mean everything to me. We're all in relative good health so I'm grateful for that. For my husband's employment and my own little job. For the ability to follow my dreams even when it's hard and doesn't seem worth it.

I'm grateful for my friends--I have some good ones, old and new. For getting to hang out with people who have nothing in common with me and also to hang with people who enjoy the same interests.

I'm grateful for my parents and my siblings and some wonderful kind in-laws. I'm grateful for my beliefs. I'm grateful to have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly, and medication to help my body from completely falling apart. I'm grateful to live in America, though I know I take what we have here for granted most of the time.

Yeah, I have a lot to be grateful for. Have a wonderful Holiday everyone.

Droopy Boob Effect

Does your cover suffer from the droopy boob effect? Why yes, it does. 

I adore this cover. The ghost has just the right expression and creepy level for the ghost in my newest book. 
However ...
No, that is not a droopy boob, it's actually a ruffle on her dress. See the pretty lace? But when viewed in thumbnail size ~~ droopy boob alert. Sigh.

Fortunately, I'm on good terms with my cover designer and instantly the db issue is whisked away. 

Writers Retreat

The North Texas Chapter of Romance Writers of America has an annual writers retreat every November. For the past two years since I've been a member I haven't been able to go for various reasons, so I was real excited to be able to attend, hoping to get lots of writing done.

So how'd I do? Uh, let's skip over that part for a minute.

Around 10 of us converged upon the Jefferson Street  Bed and Breakfast Inn in remote Irving, Texas. I'm joking. Irving is smack dab between Fort Worth and Dallas (which reminds me of a joke: If Fort Worth is where the West began, that makes Dallas where the East petered out.) approximately about a pig and poke from the old Dallas Cowboy Stadium before it was torn down. Not remote. But it was in the Historic Downtown Irving District and was real quiet and pleasant. There is even a horse painted on the side to inspire a remote atmosphere.
Great times were had by all. We enjoyed two workshops. One with a former secret service dude who waltzed in all innocent looking with several hidden weapons on his body and yes, we all now know how to make a homemade silencer with a baby's pacifier and which guns will go off if accidentally dropped and which won't.

We also enjoyed cringed as Nikki got thrown around the cottage by the multiple Martial Arts instructor and listened to our mild-mannered chapter president exclaim "damn!" each time a body smacked the floor. 

(Excuse the blurriness. They were in motion. Also I kinda can't take a good picture. Hubby keeps sending me how to take good picture links, but, well, here ya go.)    
Just hangin out and plotting. That's Marsha, Nikki, and Chrissy's back.  Marsha wrote approximately 7000 new words.
Chrissy and Michelle aka Lavender.
Jen got a new premise worked out for her T/T WIP.   Most frequent question overheard: Does your story have a secret baby?
Gina reworked three scenes.

This is what the Hill Country Suite looks like without 10 writers hangin out in it and also in focus.
Everyone together, even the two dark heads who wished to remain unphotographed. Vampires or something. Oh, and me, I'm behind the lens. Raquel (blonde in the back) wrote a truckload of words, but she's prolific any day of the week anyway so I don't know her final count. The Dark head writing team who shall remain unphotographed plotted the weekend away.
Wow, looks like a grumpy group. It's morning and I just hadn't warned them to smile yet.

The bathrooms rocked. Three words: Heated tile floors.

And me? The group as a whole helped me figure out my villian's motivation. It only took the entire Saturday, but after that I was able to write a pivotal scene that pretty much the entire WIP hinges on. Only about 800 words total, but some very vital-better-get-it-right 800 words so I'm happy.