Monday, April 28, 2014

5 Star Review for Skateboard Blues by Tome Tender Books Blog

Tome Tender Book Review by dii

Skateboard Blues by Sydell Voeller

Skateboard Blues
by Sydell Voeller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publication Date: March 23, 2014
Publisher: Books We Love Ltd.
Genre: YA Romance, Coming of Age
Print Length: 94 pages
Available from: Amazon
July 2015 Update:  For a complete list of buy links, please see the Books Page on this blogsite.ease check the Books Pages for the complete list of "buy links.") 

Jessica Williams wishes she were anywhere other than her small town in Oregon. All the kids there are the same except for the few skateboarders her father cannot stand. Life is pretty dull for Jessica until Cam Easton moves into her neighborhood. But when Cam teaches Jessica how to skate, and her father runs for mayor of Preston, her involvement with the skaters poses a threat to her father's campaign. Can the skateboarders prove themselves worthy of the community's support? And most of all, can Jessica and Cam resolve their differences and discover the true meaning of love?

Skateboard BluesMy Review:
Skateboard Blues by Sydell Voeller
My Rating:  5 Stars

So, I put on my Inner Tween hat and turned to page one ofSkateboard Blues by Sydell Voeller and the next thing I know, I’m finished, I’m smiling and, I admit, I would never want to be so young and so vulnerable again!

Jessica goes all “girly” over the new boy across the street and her younger sister reacts like any sibling, making being with Cam difficult and often embarrassing. Cam is unlike any boy she has ever known, worldly, intelligent, confident and a skateboarding expert. Too bad, skateboards are as welcome in her small town as rain is at the beach, all because of one incident that the town has never stopped talking about. With Jessica’s father running for mayor, she knows she is always under scrutiny, but the thrill of learning to skateboard and the chance to be with Cam is just too great of a pull. There is nowhere that allows them to skateboard, until a kindly priest opens his heart and an unused portion of the church parking lot if the kids provide the labor and materials to build their own half-pipe and ramps, but even this plan is thwarted. Meanwhile vandalism in town is being blamed on the skateboarders, but they claim innocence. So who is defiling buildings in town? Can the kids help discover the answer and clear themselves? A town meeting is in order as the kids lay out their carefully plotted plans for a skateboard park, land is donated by the city, but all financial responsibility belongs to the kids. Is their dream worth the time and effort to raise the money they need one dollar at a time? Will the town finally rally around their efforts with pride in the youth around them?

With great effort and dedication, these kids bring an entire town together, young and not-so-young, as everyone learns a lesson or two about mistaken assumptions and what being a community is all about.

It is so refreshing to find an author like Sydell Voeller who can wring every possible emotion out of her characters while allowing them to be “kids” who grow and experience a coming of age, a sense of pride and accomplishment and the blush of young love and friendship! Ms. Voeller has written for teens, tweens and even adults who don’t need to always have total in-depth details about everything. The focus was on the kids, particularly Jessica, who tells us this tale from her POV and Cam, who is almost dreamlike to her in so many ways. Ms. Voeller has spoken to every teen who has ever felt awkward or insecure, but has the drive to try to take on the world and be open to new adventures. Her ability to create visual scenes in my mind had me smelling the fall air, hearing the sounds of saws and seeing the kindness in a priest’s eyes. Beautifully written with strong role models for younger teens.

I received a review copy from Sydell Voeller in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Freebits--Excerpt from A House Divided, inspirational romance

Deep in thought, Rebecca strolled through the backyard of her new, though temporary, home. Ribbons of waning sunlight slanted through the massive maples, casting mottled patterns against the lush lawn. The air was cool, pungent with the fragrance of the white nicotiana that grew in the flowerbeds behind the latticed gazebo.

She wondered if Mark’s practice included weekend hours at the hospital or whether he was fortunate enough to have weekends off, leaving time for regular church attendance. Their brief conversation had alerted her to the fact that he was probably one of those churchgoers who liked to get involved. The thought of seeing him again both intrigued and terrified her. How could she allow herself to become attracted to a man who was so openly everything she was not? A man who'd apparently become so entrenched in his church work, he deemed it necessary to change everything the grand old home had represented for nearly a decade? And, yes, a much too appealing man who was also unknowingly trying to destroy her very dreams?

The house and yard were empty, now, and one full hour remained . . . Ah, one precious hour. One hour of solitude to indulge in her memories, allow herself to slip away again into that secret haven deep inside her. She stooped to breathe in the fragrance of a pale yellow rose and sighed in contentment. The wind rustled through the maples, their gray scaly trunks partially obstructing the view of the shoreline and harbor below. She closed her eyes. Yes, she could hear the wind through the trees—perhaps, even, the winds of time. Soft as a goose-down coverlet, they wrapped around her, caressed her, carried her back to nine years earlier.

It was that precious day in May again. She and August were standing beneath these very trees, inside the white gazebo, repeating their marriage vows. Pastor Vandehey, the minister from Grace Community, faced them, smiling, while nearly three hundred guests looked on: her dear parents, her beloved grandmother on her dad’s side, various members of August’s family, her friends from church and school, plus the folks from her mother’s garden club. Rebecca breathed in deeply. She caught the scent of lilacs, heard the caw-caw of a crow overhead, and felt the unseasonably warm breeze envelope her.

“And I, Rebecca, take thee, August, to be my lawfully wedded husband . . .” She gazed up into August’s blue, blue eyes and drank in the adoration she saw reflected there. Could she ever love any man more than the one standing right here before her? No, never. They were meant to spend a lifetime together, and they would . . . always. “To have and to hold . . .” Yes, she could hardly wait to have him. To hold him, to be his completely, in the truest sense. “From this day forward, for better or for—”


She gave a start. Snapping back to reality, she jerked her head to the side. Mark! Mark Simons! How dare he intrude on my precious memories, my quiet hour alone?

To read excerpts from other participants in Friday Freebits, check out

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Skateboard blues only 99 cents!

Good morning!

I just want to pass on the great news that Skateboard Blues is priced at 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time! Hurry before the sale runs out...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Summer Magic on Kindle Countdown--99 cents for a limited time!

Hi everyone,

Happy Easter weekend, everyone!  Before we know it, spring will give way to summer and we'll all be seeking out some great beach/summer reading.  I'd like to offer SUMMER MAGIC, a fun sweet contemporary romance, (new adult) at a reduced price today. Grab it for only 99 cents for a limited time before it goes up to $1.99 and finally the regular $2.99 price.  

Check it out:

Blurb:  When her fiance calls off their engagement, veterinarian assistant Lisa Prentice joins the circus in hopes of escaping the everyday grind. But life under the big top isn't quite what she expected. None of the veterinarian's former assistants managed to please their short-tempered boss, and Lisa fears that her days are numbered, too. Michael Figaro, a dashing young trapeze artist, is also caution about whether Lisa can stay, and because of that, he tries to keep his distance. Still, Lisa finds herself overwhelmingly attracted to him. Although Michael is the aerialist, it is Lisa who is flying on an emotional high wire. What happened to her safety net? Will their love survive?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Freebits for Free to Love, Sweet Contemporary Romance

Shutting the door, she bit her lip and heaved a sigh. Yes, tomorrow. Tomorrow would be a brand new day. But right now she had all she could do to deal with the remainder of tonight.

She wandered into her bedroom and switched on the wall lamp near the doorway. Soft light flooded the room. On top of the bureau was her burgundy velvet jewelry box. Kyle. Her gaze drifted to his photo next to it. His image smiled back at her, the smile that always flashed in her mind whenever she thought about him. She must've had a dozen or more pictures of Kyle situated around the duplex, she thought with a pang. But this one had always been her favorite. Balling her hands into fists, she pulled her eyes away.

Through the bedroom walls, from the other side, she heard the muffled tones of the television. Cheerful sounds. A sitcom, perhaps. Canned laughter.  Slowly she lifted the lid of the jewelry box. In the uppermost compartment, nestled in the plush layer of velvet was the simple gold band she'd given Kyle on their wedding day. Seeing it, her heart seemed to turn inside out. What was she doing, taking off her rings? she wondered desperately. Was she turning her back on everything that they'd shared? The good times, and sometimes not so good? Their hopes and dreams? Their plans for the future?

“Oh, Kyle,” she murmured, tears springing to her eyes. “You do understand, don't you? This . . . this is something I've put off, but now I must do it. The time is right. But please know, I’ll cherish your memory always. I'll always love you.” She swallowed hard. It felt as if an ice cube was lodged in the throat. The tears fell, one after the next, tracking salty trails down her cheeks as she twisted the rings over her knuckles and then slipped them completely off.

In the lamplight, the diamond sparkled, flashing prisms of light. She traced her finger over it, then for a moment held it up to her lips. Blinking rapidly, hands trembling, she placed it in the jewelry box next to the gold band, shut the lid, then turned and walked away.

Through the bedroom walls, she could still hear the sounds of canned laughter.

Buy Link:

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Monday, April 14, 2014

4 star review for Skateboard Blues

Check out my 4 star review at the Readers' favorite Website for Skateboard Blues.

 I really appreciate this thoughtful review!

Happy Monday, everyone...

The Heart Leads home only 99 cents

Great news! The Heart Leads Home, a sweet contemporary romance, starts the Kindle Countdown Promotion today. Grab if for only 99 cents for a limited time...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Unlikely Dad

My book, Unlikely Dad, is being featured on Sunday April 13th 2014 at eBookSoda, a new readers' site where they'll send you ebook recommendations tailored to your
Please take a moment tomorrow to check it out!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Freebits--Excerpt from The Fisherman's Daughter (romantic suspense)

Sea spray cooled Vanessa Paris's cheeks as she gazed from the ferry across the froth-tipped waves of Puget Sound.  Missing.  The words gouged deep into her mind. How could Dad have disappeared from his small fishing boat without leaving a clue?  The desperate call from Clinton Paris, her father's brother, had come only last night.
That morning she'd hastily arranged for a leave-of-absence at the university in Seattle where she taught as an assistant professor in the psychology department.  The afternoon drive up the Interstate to the ferry terminal had seemed to take forever.  At last she was almost home.
Raising a hand to shield her eyes from the sun, she watched the approaching craggy shore, edged with a saw tooth line of dark evergreens.  Tawanya Island.  The northern-most of the San Juan Islands.  Her childhood home.
Thoughts of her father resurfaced and a pang shot through her.  What if he was never found?  What if he'd fallen overboard, was knocked unconscious, and sank beneath the frigid waters?
Vanessa gave a quick shake of her head.  No--that just couldn't happen.  Dad was an expert fisherman.  He'd always believed in his abilities, just as he'd taught her to believe in hers.  Everyone on the entire island agreed that Eldon Paris was a master of the sea.  Nearly every day at the Kaloch Bay Lodge, owned and operated by her father and uncle, Dad would fire up the engine of the “Lady Luck” and welcome the hopeful tourists who'd signed on for his guided fishing expeditions.
Overhead, a seagull screeched, momentarily breaking into her anxious thoughts.  The last rays of an early summer sun were quickly fading beyond the horizon.  In the distance, white sails billowed against the sky.

Vanessa lifted her chin.  Yes, Dad would want her to be brave.  She was not only homeward bound, but bound in her love for him.  She had no choice but to unravel the mystery of his disappearance...

To read excerpts from other Freebits participants, follow this link:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Freebits Excerpt from Skateboard Blues

Excerpt from my latest release, SKATEBOARD BLUES, by BWL Publishing, Inc.

"Ou-whee-ouch!" I yelped. I blinked hard, wondering why it never occurred to me that cement was so hard. Thank goodness, I'd landed smack dab on my bottom where I had a little cushioning. The thrashed-up skateboard Cam had loaned me lay upside down about three feet away, wheels spinning. Now that Saturday had arrived and there was no one around Preston High, Cam agreed to let me join him and his skating buddies there.

"Hold on, Jessie! I'm coming," Cam called. He'd been leaning against one of the pillars in the school courtyard, watching my progress.

I groped to stand up. Feeling like a klutz, I vowed out loud, "I'll learn to do it—even if it takes me a hundred years." I looked down at the palms of my hands. They smarted from where I'd caught myself on the pavement, and one of them was bleeding. I remembered thinking when I was a little girl that every time I skinned my knee, I was being punished for something bad I'd done. Though I'd long outgrown that idea, I reflected guiltily about my leaving the house with Cam that morning and telling my parents he was going to teach me to skate. Actually, they were nicer about it than I'd expected, but I knew beneath their even expressions, they wondered what had come over me.

Cam clasped my shoulders, his gaze meeting mine. "Are you okay?"

"Sure. But you never told me skating was like this," I grumbled, shivering against the autumn chill. Shakily, I dusted off my jeans and shrugged. The blood was starting to trickle down my wrist.

"Let me look at your hand," he said. "It's nothing that a little Bactine won't take care of." He pulled out a wad of Kleenex from his back pocket and then took my hand in his. As he dabbed at my abrasion, I wanted to melt. So far, it was the closest we'd come to holding hands. Suddenly I no longer felt the pain.

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